Maybe you’re not strong enough to do your own landscaping. Maybe you just don’t have the time. Whatever the reason, you need to hire a professional landscaper. Here’s how.
Hiring Full or Part-Time Service
If you want a full-on design for your yard, you might need to hire a full-time landscaper — especially if the design requires extensive maintenance. If you want or need only a few things done to the property, you can get away with a part-time company.
Some designs from PoynterLandscape.com will give you an idea of the various options and what they would require in terms of upkeep and design.
Some experts say that you should hire a specialist or expert any time you think you might need extensive lawn care or landscaping services. There is a saying in the business world: “Best price, best quality, and best service — choose two.” You can’t have them all. Meaning, no company operates profitably by offering a combination of the lowest price, best service, and best quality.
Typically, you get “the best” by paying more. But, you can pay less and poorer service or quality (or both).
Getting a Fully-Insured Landscaper
This is the first thing you want to find out. Is the landscaper fully insured? If not, then you want to skip them and go with someone who is. It’s an especially awful situation to be in when you have heavy plants and trees in your yard or when someone is operating heavy machinery in your yard without being bonded and insured.
The Business History Of The Landscaper
Sometimes, it’s easy to forget about the basics, like how long a landscaper has been in business. Make sure the contractor you hire has experience, manpower, and the skill to handle your project. The last thing you want is to hire a company offering more than it’s capable of delivering.
Most experienced companies have an office and a website, can provide references, and have a lot of success stories to share about completed projects.
Crews whose only job is to install plans and sod are great. However, maybe what you need is an arborist when planting trees. Horticulturists are also helpful when planting plants and knowing what works best in various regions of the country.
How long will the landscaper stay on the project? Will he or she see it through to the end? Get a clear timetable for the completion of your project so you’re not waiting around with a half-finished front yard while the work is being done at someone else’s house or another commercial property.
Getting Schematics And Drawings
A drawing of you project is a great way to objectify what will happen on-site. This gives both you and the landscaper a great idea of what will happen before it happens. Ask each bidder to provide a design sketch you can easily decipher.
They might charge a fee for this — especially if you want to keep it. But, they should be able to let you see it at the very least. In addition to this, ask for photos of projects they’ve done before that are similar to what you’re asking for.
What’s the guarantee on the landscaping? If there is none, ask why. Reputable landscapers should have a guarantee on their work for at least two years, but preferably 5 or more. Ask about warranties for plants and trees.
Paver and wall installation industry experts recommend that your contractor guarantees their work for 2 years — minimum. Most companies offer a 5-year warranty. That is the industry standard, so don’t be afraid to ask for it.
How Will The Installation Process Go?
This is something you want to know early on. The process can be broken down into a few categories. How will they build your project out, what materials will they use, and what equipment is necessary? Will they secure the permits, and how will it affect your yard (if it will)? Will they clean up the mess they make (they should) and how will the finishing touches be put on? Will you be required to do any post-work or cleanup?
Hiring a landscaper isn’t easy. You need to have good judgment about the people you hire. Even then, you’ll want examples of their work and price quotes. You’ll also want a detailed explanation of what will be done, how, and in what timeframe.
Don’t feel you’re being too demanding. A reputable company will be “on top of it” and willing to give you specifics and details about their work.
Phoebe Jackson appreciates a nice garden, but does not have green fingers, not even a green thumbnail! Recently she admitted this to herself and decided it was time to hire someone who did – Here she gives her tips and advice on hiring a gardener to create your dream vision, and keep the weeds under control!