Cobb County

Metro families out thousands after they say landscaper left their yards disaster areas

COBB COUNTY, Ga. — Families paid tens of thousands of dollars in down payments to have their backyards transformed, but the landscaper took their money and left town, leaving yards all over metro Atlanta a mess.

Channel 2 consumer investigator Justin Gray has learned that police are now investigating the landscaper who has left the state.

Tara Lockridge’s backyard is finally a construction zone.

“We just had to cut back everywhere,” Lockbridge said. “It was supposed to be done by Thanksgiving of last year.”

Lockridge hired Ideal Landscape Solutions in the summer of 2022.

“We looked at Google reviews. We actually went out to three different customer sites. I got the insurance certificate for the company,” Lockbridge said.

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A Milton couple also did a lot of research for their backyard renovation with Ideal Landscape Solutions.

The company left materials piled up in their backyard and that was as far as construction ever got after the couple paid a $60,000 deposit.

“They took our money and never did anything. You know, then there’s no demolition, no construction,” Stephen Soong said.

A new contractor was brought in to clean up the mess after the Lockbridges paid Ideal more than $45,000, and ended up with a backyard left in ruins.

“The work that was done had to be torn down because that wasn’t to engineering standards. So, I mean, we basically got nothing for our money,” Lockbridge said.

Lockridge told Gray that she only discovered Ideal had apparently abandoned Georgia when the head of the company, Joseph Hayes, failed to show up for yet another meeting at her home.


“I just got so mad. I was like, ‘I’m going to go confront him.’ And unfortunately, when I got there, there was nothing to confront. They were they were already gone,” Lockbridge said.

The cell phones for Joseph Hayes and his wife Heather both no longer work. Heather is listed with the Georgia Secretary of State as the company’s registered agent.

Heather Hayes also filed to register the company in Florida in January, but in August withdrew the registration.

The Tangs now believe the couple had already left town for Florida when they took their money.

“When they took our check, it was definitely knowing that they were never going to start on this project,” Lisa Tang said.

It’s not just these two families left in the lurch. They are just a couple of several families across north Georgia left with a huge mess after cutting a massive check to Ideal Landscape Solutions.

“I don’t know how they sleep at night. I seriously don’t, because they do this to so many well-meaning people,” Lisa Tang said.

“This could happen to anybody, and I’m personally not going to let it happen again,” Lockbridge said.

Multiple local law enforcement agencies are investigating the company. Cobb County police referred Gray to the Cobb County district attorney, who said their investigation remains open and active.