How do you know that you’re getting a skilled and professional landscape artist?
How can you ensure that you would be getting your money’s worth for your home improvement project?
Before you agree to hire a contractor, here are some tips to guide you.
If you are familiar with landscape terms and you ask the right questions, then your contractor will quickly realize that you know your stuff and will most likely be straightforward with you.
- Do you have clients who would be willing to vouch for your work?
Ask for at least 3 referrals from your potential contractor, preferably those who had similar landscaping projects to yours. A good quality and trustworthy landscaping company in your community should have no problem giving you 3 or more references in your neighborhood.
- Do you provide Workman’s Compensation Insurance to your own employees?
This is important to ask your contractor for your own protection in case a crewman gets into an accident or sustains an injury while working on your property. A Workman’s Compensation Insurance policy can protect you from financial liability and lawsuits.
- Do you have a comprehensive landscape maintenance system for all your installations, including lighting, plants, fireplace, etc.?
A landscaping project can be a very expensive and long undertaking. Naturally, you’d want your investment to last for as long as possible. Your contractor should be able and willing to give you tips and ways on how to properly maintain and take care of your garden landscape.
- Can you provide me a scaled landscape design/ drawing?
A properly scaled design or sketch of the overall landscaping project can help you visualize everything down to the smallest details. This can also help you easily divide the project into phases and prioritize the work to be done first to help spread out the cost of the project if you need to
- Do you use locally-grown shrubs, trees, evergreens, etc?
Locally grown plants for your landscape garden can significantly impact the health and longevity of your plants. You wouldn’t want to invest in non-local plants or shrubs as they may not last long due to incompatibility with your garden soil type and/or climate condition.
- How many of your crew are full-time or regular employees? Do you hire subcontractors?
Hiring industry experts is very important but it is also worth looking into your landscaper’s ability to deliver the finished project on time. Some contractors may fall short of completing the project on time due to lack of manpower or materials. Also, make sure that your contractor will not hire a subcontractor to do the bulk of the job.
- Based on your professional experience, and as I want to explore my options, can you give me an estimate of the cost for my landscaping vision?
This type of question serves a double purpose. It will give you an idea of your expected expense, and at the same time, let your potential landscaper know that you’re also considering other landscape design companies and that you’d want to get a competitive price quote.
- How do I know that I won’t be disappointed with the outcome, and that you’ll be able to give me value for my landscape dollar?
This is really what you may call a beauty pageant question, but nonetheless, it’s still a question to be asked, especially if you don’t personally know the contractor. In this case, whatever the reply just trust your judgment or intuition as to whether to seal the deal or not.