It’s not all that easy when it comes to choosing a landscape designer. There are so many designers and landscape companies out there that deciding on the right one might take you a bit of time. Ask the right questions and you will be much better prepared to make the right decision.
You may have hired a landscaping company in the past, or this is your first time, then this information will save you some time and money.
1) Do you have a licence and insurance?
A reputable company should have at least a trade licence. Any company without the proper licences could present a potential liability issue for you. Insurance is a must when you have people working on your property. For their protection and yours.
2) Is the price fixed or an estimate?
Any contractor can low ball a price to get the job. The trouble is that the price could be an estimate. You need to get a firm proposal outlining the services that will be provided and the work that will be done. An experienced and reputable landscaping company should have no problems providing a firm quote.
Once you are comfortable with their proposal, sign a contract and agree on the scope of work. Again, a legal document protects you and the contractor.
3) Can I talk to previous customers?
Testimonials on websites don’t often tell the real story. An established landscape design company will be more than happy to give you references from both current and past customers. It’s not a bad idea to drive around to look at their properties. A sort of sneak preview.
An associated question here is to ask about comparative jobs. If a company is great at maintenance and upkeep rather than landscape designs, they may not be the best choice.
4) How good and consistent are your client communications when the job is in progress?
Like any relationship, an open line of communication is necessary. If you want to ask questions or want to be able to speak with the crew working at your home, it’s good to know you can chat and discuss the job. If something unexpected happens, communication is essential.
So, check out communications and who your point of contact within the company will be. A professional company should report on daily progress and even discuss the next day’s plans.
5) Are there any guarantees?
The company should be accountable for their performance and provide some guarantees for the plants, trees and shrubs they install. Why? Well, that’s their expertise. The right plants in the right soil in the climate of that specific region. Not all companies offer this.
If you can get reasonable answers to these questions, it will give you a level of confidence when you choose a quality landscape company. Peace of mind, saving money and time can all make for a great project and a wonderful result.
Make a wise choice and don’t be afraid to be thorough when making your selection. A little bit of effort and pain at the start will make you glad you did it.