February 18, 2013 12:00 am

Once the final Dean’s Landscaping truck drove out of the driveway of her Valparaiso home and the breathtaking backyard renovation she had once only dreamed about was complete, homeowner Carol Abbate walked onto her freshly laid patio and looked out into the starry night…in disbelief.

“I couldn’t believe it was ours,” recalls Abbate of the lakefront home she shares with her husband Paul. “It felt like I was at a hotel or something. It just felt so luxurious and so right. It was more than we could have ever envisioned.”

Indeed, the backyard renovation ended up exceeding the expectations of the couple, who had long considered partaking on the project on their own. Yet, after seeing the work of Dean Savarino and his team at Dean’s Lawn & Landscaping, the couple says they fell in love with the possibilities of a brand new backyard living area.

“Dean (Savarino) is by far the best contractor we have ever worked with, and we have worked with many throughout the years,” gushes Abbate, whose project earned Dean’s Landscaping the prestigious Belgard Best in Class Award for the second year in row. “Dean’s expertise was amazing, and his personality made you feel as if anything was possible. Plus, he followed up on every single detail of the project. He was here many times throughout the week, just checking to make sure everything was going as planned. Plus, his workers were not only skilled, but incredibly polite. They did an excellent job.”

“We do every job without the idea of getting an award or being recognized for it,” admits Savarino, President of Dean’s Lawn & Landscaping.”Yet, I have to admit that having our team recognized for the work they do is much deserved and extremely gratifying for all of us.”

For over twenty years, Dean’s Lawn & Landscaping has served the outdoor scenery needs of clients throughout Northwest Indiana and the Chicagoland area. Based in Schererville, the company brings an artistic outlook to the idea of landscaping, whether it’s a small enhancement or a large transformation. The talents of the company’s skilled staff of landscape installers and certified chemical application specialists are here to make your landscape dreams a reality.

“It’s always been about going over and beyond what is expected,” says Savarino. “It’s about making the project better than the client has ever envisioned. Not only meet their expectations, but exceed their expectations. The work I do is the footprint I leave on their home, so I pride myself in being as creative as I can be with their space. We also have a reputation of always finishing things properly, often making the stone cuts so clean, it’s as if God placed it there.”

But rest assured. Savarino admits that many of the spaces he and his team work within are far from ideal. “There is nothing that I love more than a challenge,” he explains from his office. “We recently worked on a project where the previous contractor left the job incomplete and far from finished. Once we started though, I began to realize that this site would end up as one of our finest pieces of work. It was transformed into a mini Bellagio. The transformation was incredible.”

Having a never ending sense of pride in everything from the trucks that pull up in the driveway to the respectful, uniformed craftsman that stay until the job is finished, Savarino says creating a piece of art remains as the centerpiece of his business philosophy. Indeed, it has been this philosophy that has also earned the team to be recognized as a Master Craftsman from Belgard, one of only nine landscaping companies in the United States to receive such an honor.

“In essence, the Master Craftsman designation means that Belgard recognizes these installers for not only being competent, but outstanding at their craft,” explains Jen O’Neill, Vice President of Marketing for Belgard Hardscapes. “A Master Craftsman is an award winning installer with a commitment to continuing education and a commitment to growing business through the innovative products and programs available through Belgard.”

“Homeowners are more educated than ever before regarding the products they would like to use,” adds Savarino, who asks each client to fill out a detailed landscape questionnaire to begin the design process and relies on a 3D computer program during the planning process. “It’s like a good marriage, where you work as a team to create something amazing. I give them the confidence that their dreams will, be indeed, realized.”

And while he continues to make others dreams come true, many of Savarino’s dreams are also becoming realized. Today, Savarino and his team have built a company that continues to grow and expand via a popular garden center and a thriving commercial business. Savarino says he also plans to create a living showroom off their current office area.

“We envision this as an area where we can feature a number of small garden areas,” explains Savarino, who plans to have the space completed in the next couple of years. “It will be a place where prospective customers can come and truly become inspired and envision what can be done in their outdoor living space.”

Come to find out, others can’t help but notice the fine work of Dean’s Lawn & Landscaping. “Our project finished up in July, and our neighbors began working with Dean and his team in August,” chuckles Abbate. “One can’t help notice when something is done in an excellent way.”

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