Do You Know Your Landscaping Budget?

backyard landscaping with a patio and pergola in south dakota
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Do You Know Your Landscaping Budget?

Homeowners contact our team daily with their dreams for improved landscaping or outdoor living features. But, often, they have no concept of their budget simply because they don’t know a reasonable cost expectation. 

Part of doing our job the Weller Brothers Way includes making an extra effort to educate our clients and being transparent about how we price our products and services. We value the time of both our clients and our designers and for that reason, we strive to be upfront about landscaping costs.

Which Type of Homeowner Are You?

We frequently meet with two types of homeowners with misunderstandings regarding the cost of landscaping:

1. They Know What Their Budget Is

This homeowner comes to Weller Brothers with landscaping dreams – perhaps a new patio with an outdoor kitchen and surrounding softscapes – but with unrealistic investment expectations. 

“We’d love to have a backyard pool with surrounding pavers and softscapes, and maybe even a firepit. Our budget for this is $50,000.”

While this budget is nothing to scoff at, we’ll need to nix the pool to make it happen and encourage the client to prioritize their desired features to accommodate the budget. 

These conversations are always a bummer for both the client and our team. For this reason, we do our best to share our landscape budget guide online and in our initial client onboarding process to manage expectations and goals early in the relationship.

2. They Know What Their Budget Isn’t

“We don’t really have a budget in mind” or “We have no clue what’s reasonable,” is something we commonly hear from homeowners. “But here is what we want.”

Without a baseline budget to guide the way, we might spend time drafting a landscape design with the client’s desired features, often to be met with “Well, that’s more than we thought it would be. That isn’t within our budget.” 

Back to the drawing board.

If you know that you would spend, for example, $25,000 to $75,000, but you know that you won’t spend $80,000, let us know! While that wide range of available budget may not seem to provide our designers much direction, it gives us something to work with and could eliminate the potential for multiple revisions (which saves you money).

So, if you meet with a Weller Brothers landscape designer who asks, “Would you spend $50,000? Would you spend $80,000? Would you spend $150,000?” know that they aren’t trying to manipulate you into spending more.

They are identifying what your landscaping budget isn’t.

How We Work Within Your Budget

While some landscaping features may simply be out of the question for some price points (for example, a custom masonry outdoor kitchen on a $15,000 budget), our design team will work with you to manage costs as much as possible.

Here are some examples of features we can adjust to help manage your budget:

Wall Materials

We have many options across various price points for wall materials – between field boulders, manufactured block, or decorative block.

Patio Pavers

We source our pavers from a few different manufacturers, including Belgard, Unilock, and Techo-Bloc. Within these brands, there are many options for paver style, size, and materials. We can consider all of these options to help offset costs as needed.

Pool Options

Your backyard pool design provides many opportunities for cost efficiency. To give you an idea, a pool could range anywhere from $180,000 (no features or landscaping around the pool) to upwards of half a million dollars (including custom designs, lights, jets, slides or diving boards, and more.)

There are also price ranges between fiberglass (lower cost) and concrete pools (higher cost).

Outdoor Kitchens

Similar to your pool, we have a lot of room for adjustment with outdoor kitchens. A baseline outdoor kitchen is a simple kit kitchen that may include a countertop and a grill.

Conversely, your fully customized stone veneer kitchen with accessories like a kegerator, pizza oven, or sink will require greater investment.

Here are some ideas to consider for your outdoor kitchen.


Going from a gas firepit to a wood-burning firepit is an easy cost-saving swap.

We can also discuss the materials for your firepit; for example, we can custom-build it from cinder blocks and stone veneer or purchase a firepit kit for a more cost-effective option.


We can manage the costs of your general landscaping, shrubs, trees, and plants by selecting smaller or different plants.

A common example is Boxwoods. They are popular in the Midwest but cost more as they take several years to grow. Instead, opt for Dogwoods, which have a quicker growth rate and are more cost-efficient.

Your Weller Brothers landscape designer will help you make cost-related material decisions that align with your priorities for your outdoor living space.

Also, you can trust that even if you go with the “cheapest” option for a feature, Weller Brothers still only sources high-quality materials for our clients and our landscaping projects in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN, and Des Moines, IA.

Let’s Align Expectations

We understand that if you don’t live and breathe landscaping like we do, it’s unlikely that you would have a realistic idea of the cost of landscaping features. 

That’s exactly why we have created our landscape budget guide. We encourage you to consult this before you contact us. That way, you will be confident of your next steps in investing in your outdoor living space and we can create a high-quality, long-lasting landscape design within your budget — whatever it may be.

Backyard Embers & Elegance

Custom patio area with mantel style fire place and pergola in Ames, IA

Backyard Embers and Elegance

Anna Stadel, Senior Landscape Designer at Weller Brothers in Des Moines, IA

Design by

Anna Stadel

Imagine it’s a crisp Friday night in Ames. You’re snuggled by your backyard fireplace; the flames rivaling the roar of passionate Cyclone fans echoing through Jack Trice Stadium just down the road.

That’s exactly what these Cyclone fans were dreaming of when they came to Weller Brothers with a vision for a cozy and inviting outdoor area to host pre- and post-game festivities.

Our Iowa landscaping team created this outdoor living space with the mantel-style fireplace as the main focal point. Brick pavers complemented and extended the existing outdoor seating area. The custom-built pergola provides shade throughout while allowing enjoyment of the natural elements. 

For added privacy along the outskirts of the new patio area, landscape beds feature greenery and small trees. 


the Weller Brothers Way.

What Are the Different Types of Jobs in the Landscaping Industry?

Sioux Falls Weller Brothers Team 2023

What Are the Different Types of Jobs in the Landscaping Industry?

When it comes to landscape industry careers in the Midwest, there are many different options. This is a region where people truly value the outdoors and want their outdoor spaces to serve them aesthetically and functionally.  

While many different jobs in landscaping are available, choosing one that fits your skill set, experience, and interests is an important task. 

Weller Brothers is always hiring great people to work with, and we believe everyone can be someone at Weller Brothers.

Career Pathways

We have two primary landscaping career pathways: landscaping and lawn/tree maintenance services. Each position has a career pathway map that will outline the possibilities for promotion throughout your career. No one wants to stay stagnant at their job, which is why we almost always promote from within at Weller Brothers.

Landscape Designer

Landscape designers sell, design, and oversee the execution of landscaping projects. Landscape design could be an excellent career choice for individuals with artistic skills and a strong attention to detail. Each of our designers possesses a passion for creating beautiful outdoor spaces to enjoy life’s best moments.

Ron Peterson, Weller Brothers Landscaping
Ron Peterson; Landscape Designer

“As a landscape designer, my advice to anyone that is wanting to become a landscape designer is to spend as much time in nature as possible and do not be afraid to get your hands dirty. Find a part-time job or a mentor that is involved in gardening, landscaping, horticulture, construction, or an engineering discipline.” 

Education / Training

For this role, candidates must have a degree in landscape design or landscape architecture. A significant understanding of local horticulture is crucial for integrating plants that thrive within the designated area. All Weller Brothers, landscape designers uphold our commitment to excellence by proactively completing projects promptly and within specified budgets.

Landscape Foreman

Landscape foremen execute the construction of designs created by landscape designers. They manage their crew members, oversee day-to-day job site operations, manage and train crew members, and communicate professionally with customers.

Nolan Meier, Landscape Foreman
Landscape Foreman; Nolan Meier

“Before being at Weller Brothers, I attended South East Technical College in their landscaping program, and I learned even more when I was on a job site with my mentors. I would recommend finding someone who can teach you and help you learn everything you can from them if you are looking for a position in landscaping.”

Education / Training

We prefer to hire those with a degree in horticulture or with construction experience, however, we have opportunities for entry-level positions to gain the necessary experience needed to become a landscape foreman. Through our Fast Track Foreman program, you will receive on-the-job experience as you advance through the program. This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to change their career path and enter the landscape industry with minimal experience.

Lawn Maintenance Foreman

Lawn maintenance foremen are responsible for the lawn care and maintenance of our clients’ properties. They manage their crew members, oversee day-to-day job site operations, and communicate professionally with clients. 

Foreman Fast Track, Kobe Lien
Lead Lawn Maintenace Foreman; Kobe Lien

“I never expected the opportunities that the Foreman Fast Track program would give me to advance professionally while on the job. I gained confidence in overseeing projects and leading a team. Three years ago, I joined Weller Brothers as a Lawn Maintenance Technician and am now a Lead Lawn Maintenance Foreman.

Education / Training

We prefer to hire those with a degree in turf managment or with construction experience, however, we have opportunities for entry-level positions to gain the necessary experience needed to become a lawn maintenace foreman. Through our Fast Track Foreman program, you will receive on-the-job experience as you advance through the program. This is a great opportunity for someone who is looking to change their career path and enter the landscape industry with minimal experience.

Lawn Maintenance Account Manager / Sales

Lawn Maintenance Account Managers retain and sell maintenance contracts, which can involve upselling plant and tree health care, landscape enhancements, or snow removal services. Additionally, each account manager ensures that the property meets or exceeds the client’s expectations of quality and appearance.

Ryan Benda, Weller Brothers Landscaping
Ryan Benda; Senior Account Manager

Although the role of an account manager is sales-oriented, it is just as much or more about building a strong relationship with the client through professionalism, trust, and ongoing communication. People do business with people that they know, like, and trust.” 

Education / Training

Each lawn maintenance account manager must independently work with little direction while effectively and efficiently communicating with their clients. Preferably, candidates should have one year of experience in the landscaping industry or equivalent education. Proficient skills in computer applications such as LMN, GIS, or other relevant applications are required to create, track, and pursue proposals.

Irrigation Specialist

Irrigation specialists install, test, and troubleshoot new underground sprinkler systems. They also have the main responsibility of adapting and performing other irrigation-related duties as needed, such as system startups, checks, and winterizations.

weller brothers lawn technician adjusting a sprinkler head

“As an irrigation specialist, my biggest advice would be to always be willing to learn and work hard. This type of job requires on-the-job training and experience, so be patient as you move up the ladder to this position.” 

Education / Training

It takes special training and experience to become an irrigation specialist. At Weller Brothers, we prefer to hire those with experience, but are happy to train motivated individuals who’d like to become specialized.

Fertilizer Specialist

Fertilizer specialists maintain and apply fertilizers and chemicals to lawns, landscape plants, and trees. They identify and diagnose turf and landscape plant issues and diseases, recommending treatments and repairs as needed to customers. This position demands the ability to manage a crew by tracking a daily route, holding teammates accountable, and communicating professionally with customers.

Fertilizer application, with PPE
Mitch Kasten; Fertilizer Specialist

“I enjoy my job as a fertilizer specialist because it continues to challenge me. I think that my turf management degree from Southeast Technical College was vital to the success I have found at Weller Brothers. Anyone interested in a career in fertilizer application should consider whether they are a self-motivated person who is always willing to learn.”

Education / Training

A fertilizer specialist must possess their applicator license for the respective state they work in, along with experience in fertilizer and chemical applications in the field. They need significant experience operating common irrigation equipment, a valid driver’s license, a clean driving record, and the ability to obtain a DOT Medical Card.

Horticulture Specialist

The horticulture specialist actively grows, maintains, and takes care of all types of plants and landscapes in a variety of settings. A large part of this role involves actively providing excellent customer service by promptly and courteously assisting customers, answering questions, and providing information as needed.

horticulturist creating a floral arrangement
Cassidy Phen; Horticulture Specialist

“As someone who does not have a formal educational background in horticulture, I would highly recommend taking every opportunity to learn. Weller Brothers has been a great place for me to grow my plant knowledge as well as my professional experience. I joined the team as a horticulture specialist and am now the lead horticulture specialist, leading a team of six people. Take every opportunity you are given.”

Education / Training

We prefer candidates with a degree in horticulture, along with one year of experience in the related field. Proficient skills in computer applications such as LMN or other relevant applications are necessary to effectively track job times and process accounts.

Tree Care Specialist / Arborist

A tree care specialist or arborist plants, treats, and removes trees. They also help determine the viability of trees in a landscape design for a particular area. Arborists understand their obligation to preserve the significant value that trees may contribute to life and property.

Phil Nystrom, a Weller Brothers Certified Arborist Removing a Tree
Phil Nystrom; Tree Care Specialist

“Tree removal can be a very dangerous job, which is why I always recommend furthering your education to know how to properly use all of the tools. There are different types of certifications to become an arborist, which are also very important to get depending on the jobs that you will be doing.”

Education / Training

We prefer one year of experience, and tree and plant ID. Our tree team also takes additional training and education, such as Electrical Hazard Awareness Training or Qualified Line Clearance Arborists. Maintaining and obtaining a state-specific applicator license is required to perform applicable tree health treatments.

Educational Opportunities

In addition to many different career pathways, we offer a variety of different educational experiences to gain comprehensive real-world experience in the landscaping industry. In each of our three locations, there are seasonal internship opportunities available for college students who are pursuing a degree in a respective industry. 

By the end of the experience, you’ll understand the inner workings of a large design/build/maintain landscaping company and have clarity on your career path.

Contact us to Work for Weller Brothers

The landscape, lawn, and tree care professionals at Weller Brothers in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN and Des Moines, IA are always looking to hire great people to work with. If you are looking to join a team that will help you grow professionally, in a team culture with competitive wages, look no further. 

Weller Brothers Landscape Professionals Named One of the Midwest Region’s Fastest Growing Companies

Weller Brothers Landscape Professionals Ranked No. 128 on the 2024 In. 5000

Weller Brothers Landscape Professionals Named One of the Midwest Region’s Fastest Growing Companies

Weller Brothers Ranks No. 128 on the 2024 Inc. 5000 With a Three-Year Revenue Growth of 82.8 Percent

SIOUX FALLS, SDInc. magazine revealed that Weller Brothers Landscape Professionals is No. 128 on its annual Inc. 5000 list, the most prestigious ranking of the region’s fastest-growing private companies. The list represents a unique look at the most successful companies within the American economy’s most dynamic segment – its independent small businesses, such as Weller Brothers.

“We are honored to be recognized by Inc. 5000; it’s a true testament to the dedication of our team, says Cole Weller, CEO of Weller Brothers. “At Weller Brothers, we grow so we can provide our people with opportunities for advancement. We are excited to continue on our growth journey and watch our people advance their careers. A big thank you to our employees at all of our locations for their hard work and dedication to ‘Creating Outdoor Spaces for Life’s Best Moments.’”

Not only has Weller Brothers earned a spot on the 2024 Inc. 5000 list, but Weller Brothers has achieved an incredible three-year average growth of over 82.8 percent and a median rate of 35.2 percent.

Since 2001, Weller Brothers Landscape Professionals has provided the Midwest with the highest quality landscape design, installation, and lawn and tree services. Brothers Cole Weller (Sioux Falls, SD) and Brent Weller (Sioux Falls, SD) manage the company as CEO/President and Vice President/Regional Operations Director, respectively. 

As a private company, Weller Brothers takes great pride in being a locally owned and operated business located in the Midwest region, catering to the needs of communities in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, Rochester, Minnesota, and in our most recent expansion of Des Moines, Iowa.

Our services throughout these communities include landscape design, expert lawn care, and certified arborist services. Weller Brothers Landscape Professionals employs landscape and tree professionals who are eager to expand their professional careers, as well as offering seasonal internships through partnerships with regional high schools and colleges. 

Complete results of the Inc. 5000 Regionals: Midwest, including company profiles, can be found at You’ll also find an interactive database that can be sorted by industry, metro area, and other criteria.

Landscape Foreman

Landscape Foreman

Details about this Career

The primary responsibility of the Landscape Foreman is to oversee designated landscape projects. Coordinate and manage team members along with their schedules. This position will perform a variety of outdoor landscape project installations that improve the functional and/or aesthetic value of the property.  Many of the projects include softscape and hardscape installation, including pavers, retaining walls, and outdoor kitchens. All Weller Brothers team members are expected to provide excellent client service by assisting clients promptly and courteously, answer questions and provide information as needed. A landscape foreman will perform and ensure all team members are executing all job responsibilities in a safe, timely and efficient manner.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities

To perform this job successfully, an individual must be able to perform each essential duty and competency satisfactorily. The requirements listed below are representative of the knowledge, skill, and/or ability required to perform this job. 

  • Place orders for materials needed for projects. Make sure material deliveries are set to arrive as they are needed on the jobsite.  For any special order materials, make sure that you have scheduled delivery on a timeline that allows the crew to continue a consistent pace of work.
  • Contact and line up subcontractors for projects. Ensure subcontractors are scheduled to start and finish their portion of the work in sequence with what Weller Brothers is doing on that jobsite to maximize efficiency.  
  • Take time to review all plans with team members making sure they are aware of what their assignments are if you are going to be absent from a jobsite.  
  • Set daily and weekly goals for all team members on the jobsite.
  • Oversee a crew of 2-3 team members, making sure they are on track and being productive. 
  • Responsible for maintaining clean job sites.  Record End-of-Day Checklist each day.
  • Maintain a strong work ethic to complete a variety of physical job tasks.
  • Professionally communicate with clients to achieve strong client/company relationships.
  • Operate a variety of outdoor landscape and power equipment, as well as a variety of hand tools.
  • Commit the hours necessary to make sure the job is done to satisfaction; this may include weekends and/or holidays
  • Maintain a clean appearance and conform to the Weller Brothers dress code.
  • Willingness to learn new techniques and installation practices.
  • Assist in maintaining all company equipment.
  • Follow all policies as specified in the Team Member Handbook.
  • Make decisions that are in the best interest of the company.
  • Other duties needed to help drive and fulfill the Weller Brothers Mission.

Required Skills and Abilities

  • Strong communication skills.
  • Superior work ethic.
  • Timely input of hours on LMN software to ensure accurate payroll processing.
  • Detail oriented, with considerable attention to order and cleanliness.
  • Ability to manage multiple tasks
  • Strong attention to detail
  • Experience installing softscapes, such as edging, mulch, rock, plants, trees and sod.
  • Experience installing hardscapes, such as pavers, retaining walls, and outdoor kitchens.

Education and Experience

  • Minimum of one-year experience in industry or related field.
  • Must be 16 years or older
  • High school diploma/GED 
  • Valid driver’s license and a clean driving record is preferred.

Physical Requirements

The physical demands described here are representative of those that must be met by a team member  to successfully perform the essential functions of this job. Team members  must be able to perform the following tasks during a typical 8+hour day.

  • HEAVY WORK: Lifting up to 100 pounds; frequent lifting or carrying objects weighing up to 80 pounds.


Position Type and Expected Hours of Work

This is a full-time non-exempt position.  Specific schedules will be determined based on weather and general needs of the business.

Compensation and Benefits

  • Health Insurance
  • Dental Insurance
  • Vision Insurance
  • Paid Holidays and Paid Time Off
  • 401K with Company Match Up to 4%
  • Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
  • Cell Phone Reimbursement
  • Company Truck
  • Year Round Employment
  • Ample Overtime During the Summer Work Season
  • Relocation Assistance if Applicable

Disclaimer:  The specific statements shown in each section of this job description are not intended to be all-inclusive.  They represent typical elements and criteria considered necessary to perform the job successfully.  The company recognized that an individual with a disability may require an accommodation to enable him/her to successfully perform a job function.  Consideration will be given to reasonable accommodations.  This document does not create an employment contract, implied or otherwise, other than an “at will” relationship.

The Weller Brothers Way

Our Mission and Roots guide us in our decision and actions every day. They are not just written words; they are our culture.

Why Work Here?

You can work anywhere. So why work at Weller Brothers?

You can be somebody here, and we believe that we are the best employer in the Midwest.

Six Reasons To Use Native Plants in Your Next Landscaping Project

Landscaping project utilizing South Dakota Native Plants

Six Reasons To Use Native Plants in Your Next Landscaping Project

Did you know that utilizing native plants in your next landscaping project is not only great for the environment but can also make lawn maintenance easier?

We know that low-maintenance solutions are a priority as a homeowner. When it comes to your landscaping, Weller Brothers has you covered on the best ways to make a big impact on your property while only making a small impact on the earth. 

Let’s learn why you should choose native plants when spring makes its eagerly awaited arrival back to the midwestern states!

One thing to keep in mind is that different geographic areas have different types of native plants. Finding a local nursery that can serve as a great asset to ensure that your selection of native plants is native to your area

Native flowers in a landscaping rock bed.

Environmental and Pocketbook Friendly

Native plants are low maintenance because they are naturally well suited for the local environment. By choosing native species for your landscaping, you can significantly cut down the time and money you spend on multiple different aspects of maintenance.

Native plants offer a wide variety of benefits to connect us with our environment. Below are six reasons from the professionals:

1. No Fertilizer or Pesticides Needed

Native plants have adapted to their ecosystem’s soil. No matter if your soil is poor or extremely fertile, they can survive off of the soil’s available nutrients, as well as defend against the area’s insects, diseases and fungi. Not only does this save you time and cash, but it is also great for the environment.

2. Irrigation

Though our planet may be full of water, the availability of clean and safe drinking water is shrinking. Water that is used to irrigate your lawn, garden, or flower bed is valuable and can quickly add up costs in the heat of summer. Native plants generally require less water than non-native plants due to their adaptation.

3. Annual Bloom

Gone are the days of having to head to your local nursery each spring to purchase plants for your yard! Due to the adaptability of native plants, they will resurface each spring as if you just planted them, saving you the hassle of having to repurchase, cage, tear out, and replant each year.

Coneflowers in South Dakota Sunset.

4. Water Runoff

When rain falls, it must go somewhere. The soil will soak up some of the water and replenish the groundwater. However, most water flows into a storm drain as runoff, which is often polluted by several different types of chemicals. By adding native plants, you can help minimize the effects of this runoff as their deep roots help filter stormwater before it makes its way to a waterway.

5. Erosion Prevention

Erosion — it is a real pain! It begins to change the shape of your yard’s slopes and landscape beds and can even change water flow. The extremely deep roots from native plants can help stabilize and anchor the soil to avoid further erosion.

6. Fostering Habitats and Biodiversity

Biodiversity is the wide variety of life on Earth; from humans to tiny organisms, biodiversity is the interconnection between all living things. When you grow native plants you’re preserving the natural connections and habitats between organisms in your yard. Homegrown National Park is a nationwide call to action to regenerate biodiversity in the ecosystem. This allows for a unique habitat to be built for discovery and learning from children of all ages in the outdoors.

Traditional style landscape in front yard.

What Native Plants to Include in the Midwest Region

Since you are now convinced to create your very own habitat from native plants, sourcing and selecting the perfect plants comes next! Prairie Moon Nursery is an advocate for prairie restoration and is a resource for authentic native plants. 

Here are some of Weller Brothers favorite native plants that will not only thrive here in the Midwest, but add the fundamental elements needed to bring your landscape project to life.

  • Oak Trees’ (Quercus) ecological benefits number as high as their lifespan. Their mighty crown of branches provides not only an oasis of shade but also an abundant food source for native animals. The expansive root system also makes it an ideal choice for soil conservation, preventing erosion in natural or manmade terrain. 
  • Yarrow (Achillea) is a unique plant sure to add color and texture to your landscape. This deer and rabbit-resistant plant can grow in some pretty unfavorable conditions but will give you long-lasting blooms that seem to float above the stems like lazy clouds ranging from red to pink to yellow. Yarrow is also a perfect addition to any fresh bouquet or to cut and dry.
Vine like native plants in landscaping bed
  • Penstemon or Beardtongues are another native flower that come in a vibrant array of colors. These blooms provide a bountiful buffet of nectar to our favorite winged pollinators — hummingbirds and bees. As well as being an important player in promoting diversity, Penstemon is pest and drought-resistant. 
  • Grasses such as Little BlueStem (Schizachyrium) provide not only year-round interest to your landscape, but year-round safety to one of our most important gardeners. This grass is often chosen by the female bumblebee as her shelter for the long winter. The seed of this grass also attracts many varieties of songbirds, a welcome sign of life on our long and dismal winter days. 
  • Potentilla is a prolific blooming shrub that can add a pop of color to any landscape. Besides the benefit of beauty, the root system is fibrous and wide-spanning — acting as a perfect natural netting to prevent erosion.

Contact Us To Have the Professionals Design Your Native Plant Sanctuary

Take the guesswork out of creating an all-encompassing native landscape project and let the professionals at Weller Brothers in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN, and Des Moines, IA, handle your project. 

Our experienced Landscape Design team will ensure your native landscape project comes to life. Contact us here to request landscape design services.

Caring for Your Outdoor Patio

Outdoor Fireplace with Custom Outdoor Furniture and Patio


Back to Landscape Design

Caring for Your Outdoor Patio

Outdoor patios combine comfort, and versatility that allows relaxation, socialization, and while enjoying the outdoors! The ability to create a personalized and inviting outdoor area makes patios a favorite feature of many homes.

However, caring for a patio and outdoor furniture in the Midwest involves addressing specific challenges with the region’s diverse climate, including frigid winters, hot summers, and varying types of precipitation. 

Weller Brother’s landscape designers and HGTV are here to offer you their professional expertise to ensure your patio and outdoor furniture are maintained and cared for to optimize your next hosting experience!

Outdoor Patio Care

Not all patios are created the same; different materials need to be cared for specifically to ensure that you maintain the integrity of the paver materials. Avoid using harsh or abrasive cleaning solutions that are not recommended for your patio materials. Here are our general patio cleaning recommendations:

Recommended Patio Cleaning Guidelines:

  • Remove all patio furniture, sweep off or use a leaf blower to remove debris from the patio. 
  • Hose down the concrete or pavers with a garden hose equipped with a nozzle that provides a strong stream of water or a pressure washer on a low setting. 
  • Use a mild grease-cutting detergent such as Dawn or Ajax dishwashing liquid mixed with water and a natural or synthetic bristle scrub brush to help brighten the patio surface. NOTE: Never use a wire brush as it can leave rust stains and scratch the concrete or paver surface.
  • Use a degreaser made for concrete to remove oily spots, often found near the grill.
  • If your patio is heavily discolored, you should call in a professional. They will apply a solution on the patio surface to bring it back to life.

Outdoor Furniture Maintenance

You should maintain your outdoor furniture  to ensure many years of comfort and pleasure in your outdoor living space. We recommend that patio furniture be “deep cleaned” at least twice a year – once in the spring when temperatures begin to rise, and once in the late fall before it is stored out of the winter elements. 

Regular cleaning is recommended for all types of outdoor furniture, this will minimize mildew, dirt and debris buildup.

How to Clean your Outdoor Furniture:

  • Wash cushions and furniture frames with mild soap and clean water. Let cushions dry completely before placing them back on the furniture to prevent mildew from growing.
  • Use auto polish on metal furniture frames to make them shine; make sure that the metal is not coated with a paint prior, as the polish will remove the paint. NOTE: When using new products on your furniture, test the product in a small inconspicuous area of the furniture prior to ensuring the product does not damage any metal finishing. 
  • Use a glass cleaner on glass tabletops and don’t forget to clean the glass on the windows of your outdoor lanterns so the light shines through.
  • Use a kitchen degreaser on grill grates and the outside of stainless steel grills. Learn more on how to deep clean your grill.
  • Open your umbrella and wash the fabric with mild soap and water, and use a household oil — such as WD-40 silicone lubricant — on any moving parts to keep them working well.
  • Remove and discard any old potting soil from planters and clean the insides of pots with a bleach and water solution to kill any insects or bacteria that may have overwintered in the pots. Fill with fresh potting soil and put in new plants.

Don’t Sleep On Our Outdoor Furniture Design Services!

Whether you have an outdoor living space that is in need of new furniture or you are wanting to upgrade your existing furniture, Weller Brothers is the place to call. In addition to a free face-to-face design experience, Weller Brothers also offers outdoor furniture cleaning in the winter months for existing customers! This gives you the opportunity to put your furniture out of sight and out of mind, while having it ready to use as the warmer weather quickly approaches again.

Contact Us For Your Patio Upgrade

If it’s time for a new patio or quality outdoor furniture in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN, or Des Moines, IA, you’re in the right place.

Our experienced landscape design and furniture design teams will ensure your dream landscape project comes to life and stays that way. Contact us here to get started on your new outdoor living space!

The Best Plants For Your Next Midwest Landscaping Project

landscaping project in the midwest

The Best Plants For Your Next Midwest Landscaping Project

Living in the midwestern states is great, however some plants do not find that to be true. Not all plants thrive in the Midwest due to its climate, soil types, and other environmental factors. Plants may struggle due to the frigid winters, blazing summers, or various soil compositions. However, many native plants have adapted well to the Midwest’s conditions and flourish here.

As you begin creating your dream landscape project, there are a few things to consider when choosing a plant that will thrive in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN or Des Moines, IA

Ensure that the plants you include in your next landscaping project are Midwest-friendly with advice from the professionals at Weller Brothers and Better Homes & Gardens.

What to Consider When Selecting your Plants

When selecting plants for the garden, USDA hardiness zones provides detail on what plants will best survive your coolest weather. The Midwest region includes plant hardiness zones 3-5. 

Deciding which plants to grow in the Midwest can be tricky. Using the hardiness zone tool above, start by narrowing in on the plants that best fit your climate. A couple of other important things to consider when adding new plants to your yard is how much sunlight your plant will need and how much space you need between plants.

Feather Reed Grass a native South Dakota Plant

To transform a space and create a unique experience, Weller Brothers recommends incorporating a variety of color and texture; these elements add interest and richness to any design!  

Below are five examples of plants that will not only thrive in the Midwest, but also add key elements to bring your dream landscape project to life.

The Types of Plants to Consider:

    • Poaceae, commonly known as grasses, have narrow leaves with parallel veins and small, inconspicuous flowers.
    • Burning bush are apart of the shrub family. Shrubs are any woody plant that has several stems, none dominant, and is usually less than 3 m (10 feet) tall. 
    • Echinacea are flowered perennials also known as Cone Flowers, and are often cultivated as border plants.
    • Yucca, which is commonly referred to as Adam’s Needle, is  unforgettable for their rosettes of evergreen, tough, sword-shaped leaves and large terminal panicles of white flowers.
Wood Iris in Midwest Landscaping Project including a pool.

How to Care for your Midwest-Friendly Plants

Once you have selected the perfect Midwest-friendly plants, placing them in the appropriate area, as well as ensuring that they are getting the proper amount of sunlight and hydration, is equally important to their life span. Different types of plants require different amounts of water and sunlight. Watering properly in the summer fends off heat stress; however, make sure to avoid overwatering and wetting the leaves to prevent disease in the already-muggy conditions.

If the thought of designing, selecting, building, and caring for  your newest landscaping project feels overwhelming, leave the hard work to the professionals at Weller Brothers in Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN and Des Moines, IA.

Our experienced Landscape Design team will ensure your dream landscape project comes to life. Contact us here to request Landscape Design services.

Eight Questions to Ask During Your Landscape Design Consultation

Weller Brothers employees discussing a design at a table
Weller Brothers employees discussing a design at a table

Eight Questions to Ask During Your Landscape Design Consultation

How exciting! You have decided to create your dream outdoor living space.

Whether you’re planning for a pool, outdoor kitchen, custom patio, a pergola — or, all of the above — the next step is to find a qualified designer and installation team who can design, build, and maybe even maintain, your landscaping.

You’ve searched online and found a landscaping company in your area. Now, it’s time to meet with the designer.

Before You Get Started, Ask These Eight Questions

Whether you’re in South Dakota, Minnesota, Iowa, or beyond, there are several important questions that a homeowner should ask during a landscape design consultation as you approach this huge and exciting investment.

Let’s discuss.

1. What is your design process and how do you work with clients?

The answer to this question will give you an understanding of how the designer approaches the design process and how they work with clients. Some specific things to consider when asking this question might include:

  • How do you begin the design process? Do you start with a consultation at my home?
  • Will you listen to my ideas? What if I don’t have any ideas about what I want? 
  • How will you present your designs to me? Do you provide sketches, computer renderings, or other visual aids?
  • How do you handle revisions and changes to the design? Will you work with me to make changes or do you stick to the original design plan?
  • How do we communicate during the design process? Do you have regular check-ins or do you only communicate when necessary?

You may be working with this designer over the course of many months, or even longer. Entering into the working relationship with an overview of the process will set everyone up for success.

2. How do you approach the design of outdoor spaces and what factors do you consider?

One of your main criteria in hiring a landscape designer is that they listen to your needs and desires for your space, while still bringing their own expertise and creativity.

By asking the designer about their approach to designing your space, you’ll set expectations at the beginning of the relationship.

Some examples of factors to discuss include:

  • Incorporating elements like plants, hardscaping, lighting, and other features into your designs — does the designer have a specific approach to incorporating these elements, or do they take a more flexible approach?
  • Designing outdoor spaces that are functional and aesthetically pleasing — how does the designer balance these two goals?
tile patio with green turf and patio furniture

3. Can you provide examples of your work and references from past clients?

If the answer to this question is “no,” find a new landscape designer.

Work examples and customer testimonials will both attest to the quality of the designer’s work and communication, as well as provide clarity as to whether or not the designer’s style is right for you.

At Weller Brothers, we create landscape tours and client testimonials for many of our landscape design projects. This shows potential customers that our designers and team provide quality and trusted service in Rochester, Des Moines, and Sioux Falls. Plus, they’re just really fun to share!

weller brothers customers filming a testimonial video in their backyard

Weller Brothers customers filming a testimonial video in their backyard.

Another important thing to consider when looking at a designer’s past work is if it’s similar in style or scope to your project. 

Do they have experience designing outdoor spaces that are similar to yours in terms of size, layout, and other characteristics? If they don’t, perhaps there is another designer on their team who is a better fit for your project.

For example, while all of our designers at Weller Brothers are very talented and experienced, we have one who designs many of our commercial projects and another who loves to work with natural grasses in his designs.

A landscape project is a large investment; take the time to find the designer who can best create what you’re dreaming of.

4. Can you provide an estimate for the cost of the design and any additional services?

Big question, right? You’re probably walking into this meeting with a budget, and maybe you’ve already consulted a budget guide.

Of course, you want to know what this project will cost and what expenses may come up along the way. Maybe you have a budget in mind and you need a designer who can work within those constraints.

Communication is key here.

  • First, the designer should be able to provide a detailed estimate of the cost of the design process, including any consultation fees, site analysis fees, and design fees.
  • How about any additional costs that may arise during the design process, such as changes to the design or unexpected challenges that may require additional work or resources? If so, how will the designer handle these costs?

A clear, upfront conversation about all costs associated with your landscape project will contribute to a smooth and positive experience for both you and the designer.

5. How do you address maintenance and upkeep in your designs?

As the homeowner, are you prepared to maintain your landscape once the project is complete? Do you even know what type of maintenance will be necessary?

Landscape maintenance is an important topic to discuss with your designer because you certainly don’t want your new project to look abandoned and overgrown in a few years. 

If desired, can your designer incorporate low-maintenance plants? Does the company offer ongoing maintenance services to keep your new landscape looking pristine? If so, what’s the estimated cost?

A beautiful landscape is a place to create a lifetime of memories – but it’s also a lifetime of commitment. How can your designer help you prepare for that commitment?

weller brothers employee blowing leafs from a rock bed

6. Can you provide a timeline for the design process and any potential implementation?

Summer is coming, and you want to be enjoying that new patio and fire pit ASAP – we get it.

Just like the budget topic, it’s important to set clear expectations about the project timeline from the beginning. How long will the design process take? When will the work begin? When can I finally dive into my pool?

Other factors that may impact the timeline for the design process or implementation include weather, the availability of materials, and subcontractors. With the freezing Midwest winter, perhaps a larger project needs to be executed in phases.

Communication is key!

7. How do you handle any changes or revisions to the design?

Things happen. Minds change. New ideas take root. So, what happens if you want to revise your landscape design?

Obviously, after a certain point in the timeline, this may not be possible. But, it’s also important that you and the designer work together to create a landscape design you’ll be happy with for years – even if it takes a few revisions.

During the initial design process, does the designer allow a certain number of revisions? Is there a cost associated with revisions? 

  • What if you want to make a change after the groundbreaking?
  • How does the designer handle changes or revisions to the design after the design process is complete and the design has been implemented?
  • Do they offer any warranty or support for changes or revisions made after the design process is complete?

Understanding how the designer handles changes or revisions to the design will help you feel confident that the final design meets your needs and preferences.

8. What is your approach to sustainability and environmentally-friendly design practices?

Some people care deeply about sustainability in their landscaping and all areas of their lives. This may be you!

If sustainability is an important consideration in your Midwest landscaping, bring it up with your designer. He or she may have experience with drought-tolerant plants, rainwater harvesting systems, or incorporating natural grasses into the design.

In general, landscape sustainability boils down to a few key factors (including water usage and types of plants), so an experienced designer will help you find a design solution that you’re comfortable with.

Feather Reed Grass a native South Dakota Plant

Found the Right Designer? Now the Fun Begins

Once you’ve identified a landscape designer and covered all the bases above, you’ll be amazed at how your outdoor space will transition over the next few months.

We’re so excited for you!

If you’re in the Sioux Falls, SD, Rochester, MN, or Des Moines, IA, area and still looking for the right landscape designer, we’d love to learn more about your goals. 

Learn more about our services and processes and reach out if you’re ready to schedule a consultation.

Ideas to Consider For Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen

Full Outdoor Kitchen with Mantel Style look, Weller Brothers Landscaping

Ideas to Consider For Your Dream Outdoor Kitchen

Our customers in Rochester, Des Moines, and Sioux Falls reach out to us with the goal of extending their indoor living space into the outdoors. For many, this means including an outdoor kitchen in their landscape design.

You may quickly brush off the idea of an outdoor kitchen as a lofty investment that will bring your landscape design beyond your budget. However, our designers can likely incorporate the outdoor kitchen elements that you’re looking for into nearly any budget.

So, whether you envision a full-service outdoor kitchen with custom masonry details or a simple kegerator and flat-top stove area – or something else – we’re here to help you decide what will be best for your lifestyle and your budget.

Read on to learn about our favorite outdoor kitchen elements for Midwest homes!

Customizable – The Options Are Endless!

brats being cooked on a grill

The outdoor kitchen is one of the most customizable features in your landscape design.

Unlike some landscaping features that have limitations, outdoor kitchens offer many possibilities. You can tailor your outdoor kitchen to your exact preferences and modify it to your space. Here are a few customizable aspects to consider:

  1. Material Selection: Outdoor kitchens can be constructed from a variety of materials, including veneer stone on a wooden frame, cinderblock retaining walls, and fascia block walls. Your choice of material can greatly impact the aesthetics and functionality of your kitchen.

  2. Size and Shape: Depending on the space available, you can decide on the size and shape of your outdoor kitchen. This flexibility allows you to create a kitchen that perfectly fits your backyard.

  3. Accessories and Appliances: From grills to refrigerators, there’s a wide array of appliances and accessories to choose from. You can even integrate unique features like a kegerator, flat-top griddle, or a pizza oven.

Outdoor Kitchen Elements To Consider

While the options for customization are virtually limitless, here are the elements we typically see our customers choose for their outdoor kitchens:

  1. Grill: A must-have for any outdoor cooking enthusiast, a high-quality grill is the centerpiece of your outdoor kitchen.
  2. Counter space: Adequate counter space is essential for food preparation, serving, and entertainment.

  3. Fridge: An outdoor refrigerator eliminates the need for trips back and forth to the indoor kitchen.

  4. Bar top or Countertop seating: Whether it’s a bar top or counter with seating, having an area for guests to sit and chat while you cook is a great addition.

Once you cover the basics, you can have even more fun with your outdoor kitchen! Here are additional ideas you may not have thought of:

  1. Smoker: If you already own a smoker, it can be seamlessly integrated into your outdoor kitchen, adding a new dimension to your culinary adventures.

  2. Kegerator: For beer enthusiasts, a kegerator allows you to serve fresh, draft beer right from your backyard.

  3. Flat-Top Griddle: A flat-top griddle is a fun and sleek alternative that allows you to expand your culinary adventures beyond grilling.

  4. Pizza Oven: A custom ceramic masonry pizza oven or a smaller one adds a touch of authenticity to your outdoor kitchen. We’ve had customers implement huge, custom-masonry pizza ovens or smaller, more budget-friendly options.

  5. Fire Table: Consider a fire table as part of your island to create a cozy, warm ambiance.

  6. Swim-Up Bar: While it can be complicated, a swim-up bar is a unique and luxurious option for those with ample space and budget.

man removes pizza from his outdoor pizza oven
homeowners cooking tacos on their evo flat top grille

Designing an Outdoor Kitchen On A Budget

Creating an outdoor kitchen can be a significant investment, but it’s possible to design one that fits within your budget. Here are some tips for stretching your dollar.

For example, instead of building an all-custom outdoor kitchen, our designers can order an outdoor kitchen kit from our suppliers. These pre-designed kits have modular components and they can be a more budget-friendly option.

An important note regarding kits is that the cost savings come from the time saved on the design and planning of an entirely custom kitchen. The elements and appliances are still the same high-quality materials that you can always expect when working with Weller Brothers.

Our landscape designers will always work with you to identify the best options that align with your budget and your vision. That said, let’s discuss what the outdoor kitchen design process looks like!

Other Elements to Consider For Your Outdoor Kitchen

Lastly, you may not have thought about these small but important considerations for your outdoor kitchen. Here are some additional questions are designers will bring up:

  1. Gas or Propane: Decide whether you want a gas line or propane for your grill and other appliances.

  2. Sink Location: Determine if you want a sink connected to your irrigation system or back into your house.

  3. Outlets: Consider how many outlets you want on your backsplash for crock pots or counter lights.

  4. Customization: Think about personal touches like custom beer taps for your favorite sports team or other unique customizations.

The Outdoor Kitchen Design Process

Choosing the elements for your outdoor kitchen involves collaboration with your landscape designer. Our team knows all of the ins and outs of creating and outdoor kitchen!

Here’s how the process typically works:

  1. Initial Consultation: Your designer will listen to your needs, preferences, and budget. They’ll draw up a design based on this information.

  2. Product Selection: The designer will make product decisions based on your budget range. They may present you with options for different elements, ensuring you’re happy with the design.

  3. Customization: If you have specific appliances or fixtures in mind, the designer can work around those, ensuring your outdoor kitchen perfectly suits your desires.

You can gain a more in-depth understanding of our landscape design process in Sioux Falls, Rochester, and Des Moines right here.

Weller Brothers employees discussing a design at a table

Let’s Get Cooking!

Do you feel inspired? We hope so!

Your next step toward having an outdoor kitchen is to schedule a consultation with one of our designers in Rochester, Des Moines, or Sioux Falls.

We’ll check out your space and discuss your budget and what elements you’d love to include in your updated space. We can’t wait to brainstorm with you!