Frequently Asked Questions

We get a lot of questions here at Terren, so we’ve compiled a list of them for you to take a look at before getting started. If you can’t find what you’re looking for, get in touch anytime via our contact page to speak with someone directly. Thanks!

General Questions

How do I make an appointment for a consult or estimate?

You can make an appointment quickly and easily via our contact page form or by calling (610)-284-4400 anytime M-F from 8 AM – 4 PM. If you leave a voicemail we will respond within 1-2 business days. 

Do you accept credit cards?

We do accept credit cards, as well as a wide array of additional payment options and automated payment plans designed to make the process as easy as possible!

Why do you cost more than the guy in the pickup truck?

The old adage of “you get what you pay for” is true of landscaping as well. A friendly, neighborhood operation might cut your lawn for pennies on the dollar, but do they have insurance in case someone gets hurt? Will they answer your calls when there’s an issue with your bill? Are their workers background-checked, uniformed and legal? In the end, it’s just a matter of how much those things are worth to you. 

What is your service area?

We provide services to the Main Line suburbs south and west of Philadelphia, which includes Radnor, Gladwyne, Lower Merion Twp, Bala Cynwyd, Villanova, King of Prussia, Chestnut Hill, Haverford, Ardmore, Berwyn, Bryn Mawr, Devon, Narberth, Paoli, Newtown Square, Media, Wayne and others. Visit our contact page to see a map or call us to ask where your property lands. 

Are your minimums real?

Yes, they are. Our services are high end and not a fit for homes less than 1/2 an acre or projects under $25k.

How long have you been in business?

Jim and John McCaughey started Terren in 1983 as a couple brothers mowing their neighbors’ lawns. In the almost 40 years since, the company has come a long way, and continues to grow each year.

Do you use legal workers?

Every single Terren employee is not only verifiably legal, but also background-checked, drug-tested and insured before being hired. While other companies save money by exploiting illegal workers and bending the rules, Terren is committed to a safe and secure workplace that treats their employees well. Our committment to this is part of what sets us apart.

Would you replace the plant that died in my yard?

Only for regular maintenance customers, who are not limited by our $25,000 installation minimum.

Do you do tree work?

We can perform light treework, like pruning lower branches and fertilizing, but generally recommend a company like Ward Tree Care or Shreiner for larger projects requiring a certified arborist.

Design/Build Questions

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Do I get a copy of the design? Is it mine and can I bid it out to others?

Yes! After purchasing a design you will receive your own print and digital copies, with which you can do whatever you’d like. These fully-realized designs include all the necessary installation and material details, so you’ll have everything you need to have it installed by Terren or another landscape contractor of your choosing.

What do you mean $25,000 minimum? Is that real?

Our design services are available no matter what size your budget is. Installation however, is only offered for projects costing at least $25,000. Current maintenance customers are exempt from the minimum requirement and have full access to our planting, masonry and repair services year-round.

I don't know how much my project might cost or if I'll even meet the minimum. Is there some way to figure that out first?

Don’t worry–you’re not alone! Most people have no clue what to expect cost-wise, so we’re always open to discuss your project and budget over the phone or via our contact form before setting an appointment. 

Do you pave driveways?

While we regularly design and install driveways with a variety of materials, any asphalt paving is subcontracted to one of our trusted peers in the industry, with whom we have worked for many years. Alternatively, we love to design and build driveways utilizng other materials, like cobblestone, brick or pavers. We install Belgian block curbing, aprons and details, as well as drainage within the driveway. We do not install asphalt but work with gravel, pavers or other porous paving materials.

Do you do patios with mortar?

Of course! While we tend to recommend “dry-lay” patios more often in recent years (find out why here), our stonemasons do excellent “wet-lay” patio work with both standard and specialty materials as well.

Should I use natural stone, stamped concrete or pavers?

That depends on what you like the look of and what your budget is. Natural stone provides an old-world look that many people enjoy, but costs far more than the alternatives. Pavers offer more color and style options, but tend to look more modern, which may or not be your thing. To find out more and see some examples, read this.

How much does it cost for a front walkway with three steps?

Probably less than a walkway with four steps. But that’s all we can tell you without knowing more details. This link here should help give you an idea of what similar projects cost and hopefully be enough of a reference for you.

Do you do children’s play areas? Will you set up a play set?

I have never seen in my almost 8 years of working here an installation of a play set. We’ve taken a few down but I think most companies who people purchase them from offer installation included in the fee. We can however help level an area for the play set or install playground mulch or another safety rated material.

Do you install and maintain ponds?

We install and maintain just about every type of water feature you can think of. For some more specific information on those, check out this blog page.

Do I need a Landscape Architect?

Some larger and more complex projects require certification by a registered landscape architect (RLA), but other than that, anything they can do a landscape designer can do as well. And if you’re project does require an RLA, we’ve got one on staff for you, so don’t worry!

How many landscape designers are on your staff and what is their education and certifications?

You can learn about our talented design team and their credentials here.

How long will it take to get a design?

We typically provide a rough draft of the design for review within 3-4 weeks of a client commissioning the design. This timeline is weather dependent since the first phase includes necessary site visits to take photos and measurements. Design time from start to finish varies based on the size of the design as well as the permitting requirements.

Does my project require an engineering survey?

We highly recommend surveys for projects that will ultimately go through the township for permitting, such as designs that include hardscape items. Additionally, surveys are important for any project near unmarked property lines. Our designers will let you know during the initial meeting if they recommend having a survey drawn for your project.

I don’t think what I want requires a design

Our team of designers are able to take your ideas and make them a reality. This process includes documentation of the existing area and how your vision will fit both visually and technically. Measurements and sometimes elevations are required for even the smallest of projects to ensure things run smoothly during installation. These plans will be used by the installation crews to ensure the project is completed properly.

Do you receive 3D renderings with a design?

We have the ability to create 3D renderings for any project to help clients visualize their design. If you are interested in receiving a rendering it is an added cost for the design.

Do I need a permit?

Dependent on the project requirements, Terrren works with local townships to obtain the proper permits for each project. Most projects that include hardscaping require permitting.

I don’t want there to be change orders

We try our best to avoid any added expenses throughout the design and build process, however there are sometimes things that are unseen circumstances such as items underground which are undetectable until we begin work. Our No Surprise Policy means that we will notify you if and when anything is discovered and a fee will be presented to you prior to any additional work being done.

When will our job be scheduled?

Projects are tentatively added to our calendar when both a signed build proposal and deposit are received. The installation schedule is a fluid thing that can change based on crew availability, weather conditions, and material availability. The designer in charge of your project will reach out prior to the installation to update you on any changes to the schedule and to let you know when the date gets closer when crews will arrive on site.

Do you install everything?

With full-time skilled masons and planting crews we are able to install almost everything a project needs. If there is any aspect of a design or project we cannot install ourselves, we have trusted industry professionals who we can work with or oversee. We can also work with any professional that you may have worked with before.

What is hardscaping?

Hardscaping is any surface which water cannot pass through. This includes patio, gravel, walls, boulders, walkways, etc.

Do you have any warranty on your installations?

Plants are guaranteed for one year from installation with some exclusions such as sod and annual plantings.

Maintenance Questions

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What services do we offer?

There is little we can’t do upon request, but as far as the standard services go, they are as follows: Spring Cleanups, Bed Edging & Weeding, Pre-Emergent Weed Control, Mulch Applications, Weekly Mowing w/ Weekly Weeding, Pruning Visits and Fall Cleanups.

Will you bid on our home owners association maintenance? We are looking for the lowest bidder.

We are happy to bid any project within our service area that meets our $7500 yearly minimum. That said, we are rarely the lowest bidder, so if cost is the ultimate concern, we may not be the best fit.

I don't know how much my project might cost or if I'll even meet the minimum. Is there some way to figure that out first?

Don’t worry–you’re not alone! Most people have no clue what to expect cost-wise, so we’ve created a simple pricing guide to help give you an idea. If you still have questions or want to talk about it with one of us, you can do so any time right here.

Do you offer a low noise or low emission maintenance? Blowers are loud and bad for the environment.

We definitely do! Our fully-electric “Eco-crews” do their work without using any gas-powered equipment, which greatly reduces noise and eliminates emissions. Our robotic mower program also provides low noise & zero emission mowing, which helps decrease your carbon footprint just the same.

Why should I consider a robotic mower? Do you still visit each week?

There are many reasons to consider a robotic mower. A perfectly cut lawn 24/7 and no noisy gas mowers are two of the biggest draws, but many also simply enjoy the simplicity of it all. Weekly visits are still necessary in order to weedwack and maintain the device, but these can be done quickly and quietly with all electric equipment, so overall it’s much better for people who appreciate their peace and quiet.

Do you do snow plowing?

We offer snow plowing and salting services, but only to our full-service maintenance customers.

Do you maintain fountains?

We can install and maintain just about any water feature you can think of. Fountains included!

Why do you ask your maintenance customers who get turf care to use your turf services over others?

We want all our properties to look their best, and if the turf care isn’t adequate, we can’t ensure that it does. As our own turf program is top-notch, we prefer our maintenance customers go A to Z with us instead of using an outside contractor. This ensures higher quality and makes coordination much easier.

Turf Care Questions

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What types of turf services does Terren provide?

Terren offers full-season turf services including: fertilization, weed and insect control, soil testing, liming, late summer/fall aeration and overseeding. We also offer disease control and lawn renovations as needed.

Are there different program options for Turf Care?

Yes, Terren offers three distinct full-season turf programs: Conventional, Organic and Hybrid.

What are the differences between the programs?

Our conventional program involves our time proven approach to lawn care, designed to effectively and economically maintain a lush and healthy lawn. Our organic program only utilizes naturally derived materials, held to the highest standard of organic production. The organic program focuses on establishing a healthy soil ecosystem and dense turf populations to keep weeds, insects, diseases under aesthetic thresholds. The hybrid program combines elements of the conventional and organic programs to limit the use of synthetic materials, while maintaining a uniform and healthy lawn.

How many applications are included for a full season turf program?

While there are some differences between specific programs, there are, generally speaking, around 8-10 applications per season. This means that we provide lawn treatments approximately once every month from April through December.

Are the Terren turf programs safe for children and pets?

Absolutely! Regardless of which program you choose, every product we utilize is designed for use on residential properties. Information regarding what application has been performed and any other safety information will be provided on the lawn sign left by the applicator.

Are Terren turf applicators licensed?

Yes! All turf applications are performed by certified pesticide applicators and technicians. Ongoing training and access to professional turf seminars and educational opportunities are also fundamental to our turf department.

Do I need to be a Terren maintenance client to receive turf services?

While it is not necessary to be a Terren full season maintenance client to receive turf services from Terren, there are many benefits to doing so. Having general maintenance and turf services provided by one company allows for us to better manage the horticulture of caring for your lawn. We can monitor cultural controls (ie. mower maintenance, cutting height) as well as manage the scheduling of applications around other maintenance services much better when done under one roof.

Why do you ask your maintenance customers who get turf care to use your turf services over others?

We want all our properties to look their best, and if the turf care isn’t adequate, we can’t ensure that it does. As our own turf program is top-notch, we prefer our maintenance customers go A to Z with us instead of using an outside contractor. This ensures higher quality and makes coordination much easier.

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