Resources from Eric Simpson Landscaping
For your reference, we have provided a number of helpful resources below that will help you better realize the issues of water conservation and the dangers of hiring unlicensed contractors. You will also find some interesting resources on general landscaping topics. The concepts presented in some of these resources will help you better understand the many creative solutions that Eric Simpson Landscaping can implement to assist you with your landscaping plans.
Clicking on the resource links on this page will take you to third-party websites that are neither affiliated with nor controlled by Eric Simpson Landscaping.
Drought and Water Conservation in the Rogue Valley
In Ashland, Medford, and surrounding areas of Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley, we are facing a serious water shortage. The first line of defense against this pervasive problem is knowledge about drought and what can be done to help alleviate its effects. Read more…
What is a drought? Generally, the term “drought” refers to a deficiency in water supply. According to Merriam-Webster.com, a drought is “a period of dryness especially when prolonged; specifically: one that causes extensive damage to crops or prevents their successful growth.”
But there’s much more to the drought problem than crops. Yes, damage to crops is serious and, on a large scale, can ultimately lead to famine, since drought conditions can provide too little water to support either food crops the grain crops needed to feed livestock. When drought undermines or destroys food sources, people go hungry. When a drought is severe and continues over a long period, famine may occur. Drought can also cause many other major social problems, such as thirst, disease, wildfires, social conflict, and mass migration. Dire apocalyptic predictions from science fiction? Perhaps. But there is a growing body of scholarly research that suggests the entire Pacific Northwest is heading into a major drought cycle that may last for many years or decades. What does that mean for the good residents of the Rogue Valley on a day-to-day basis?
We now have more people, more lawns (which require a tremendous amount of water) and landscaping everywhere, including water features. We have new homes with indoor plumbing, washing machines, car washes, and on and on…basically, a much greater demand for water than ever before. And as this demand keeps increasing, the signs point to less water becoming available. We’ve already seen it: Mt. Ashland did not even open for the 2013-14 ski season. The only snowpack check site that had any signficant snowpack to report was Big Red Mountain. Our watershed is so overtaxed that even Ashland’s city council, already infamous for its disagreements and the need for outside assistance with making decisions, unanimously voted to bring in water from Big Butte Springs. That ought to make even the most die-hard skeptics sit up and take notice: Ashland, we have a problem.
So what can we do about it? Simple: use less water. In practice, however, that’s anything but simple. In landscaping, there are a number of viable solutions that Eric Simpson Landscaping can help you implement, but like any substantial change, these would require a significant mindset shift. We must begin to think in new ways about how our landscapes are going to look – certainly not worse, just different. There are many attractive options: eliminating or reducing the size of lawns, use of natural landscape materials, and planting native and/or drought-tolerant species, to name just a few. Contact us to discuss how we can help your landscaping beat the drought!
The Dangers of Hiring Unlicensed Landscaping Contractors
These days, many people in the Ashland-Medford-Phoenix-Talent area are hiring unlicensed contractors to landscape their properties. Not only is this practice illegal under Oregon law, but it also carries many other serious risks for property owners. In Oregon, as in most states, the law requires anyone who performs most types of landscaping work for a fee to have a valid state license. Read More
So why would anyone hire an unlicensed landscaping contractor? Usually, it’s because an unlicensed landscaping contractor will underbid your job and quote you a lower price to get your business. But hiring an unlicensed landscaping contractor to save a few small dollars carries with it numerous big risks, including:
- What guarantees do you have about the skill level of an unlicensed landscaping contractor or the quality of his work? Licensed landscapers must demonstrate their knowledge by passing a comprehensive and extremely difficult state exam before they can legally work in Oregon.
- Will an unlicensed landscaping contractor warrant his work after he’s been paid – even assuming you can still find him? Many owners who have hired an unlicensed landscaping contractor were later forced to hire a licensed landscaper to complete or repair unfinished or defective work, which ended up costing them far more than had they just acted sensibly (and legally) and hired a licensed landscaper in the first place.
- An unlicensed landscaping contractor won’t have a bond on file with the state, which is required of licensed landscapers. If there is a problem with your job and an unlicensed landscaping contractor refuses to rectify it, or he simply vanishes, what’s your recourse? You can’t file a claim against a non-existent bond!
- An unlicensed landscaping contractor probably doesn’t carry liability or workers’ compensation insurance, which is required of licensed landscapers. If an unlicensed contractor or his workers were to be injured while on your property, they could sue you for damages, including medical bills and loss of income.
- If an unlicensed landscaping contractor happens to be in this country illegally, you could be cited and heavily fined for hiring an undocumented worker. The risk of this activity being reported to the immigration authorities is greater than one might think.
In our sagging economy, the temptation to save a few dollars by hiring an unlicensed landscaping contractor is greater than ever before. But considering these considerable risks, is the cheaper option necessarily the better one? NO! A far safer – and legal – option is to hire a licensed landscaper, even if it appears from an estimate that the job may cost you more money than an unlicensed landscaping contractor’s bid. But far and away, your best option, of course, is always to hire Eric Simpson Landscaping to complete your job right! Contact us today.
General Landscaping Resources
Still Have Questions?
Not finding the information you’re looking for? Or just overwhelmed by the endless possibilities? Send us an email or call Eric Simpson Landscaping today at (541) 973-5497 to discuss your specific landscaping questions, concerns or comments.