Many homeowners turn to a professional landscaper due to a lack of time, energy, or design skills. Choosing to hire a landscaping company can be intimidating and time-consuming as it’s essential to do thorough research on all candidates to ensure they can efficiently complete your project. Improve your property value and create the home of your dreams by getting professional help with all your landscaping needs.
Identify the Amount of Landscaping Needed
Before contacting a full-service landscaping company, it’s encouraged to consider how you plan to utilize your space and establish the desired functionality of your outdoor space. This will help you determine whether your project requires a full-service landscaping company or a maintenance lawn care service. A full-service company will assist you in designing your new landscaping, shrubbery placement, greenery selection, and overall property aesthetic and curb appeal. A maintenance company will help you clean up your yard and maintain the greenery and arrangement you already have.
Determine what design elements you would like to implement, such as materials, colors, and features. Have fun with the process and start a Pinterest or scrapbook of magazine clippings with detailed notes, so all your ideas are in one spot and easily accessible by your landscaping partner. During this process, it’s also essential to establish your budget and decide how much you’re wanting to spend on landscaping as this will be a point of conversation when you begin interviewing and compiling quotes.
Review Insurance and Licensure
In the grand scheme of homeownership, your yard acts as a critical element to the aesthetic of your home. It’s vital to review each landscaping company’s insurance information and project experience to make sure they’re correctly qualified for your project. If a minimally skilled landscaper begins working on your property, a lot of damage can occur, which can potentially lower the value of your home and property. Additionally, it’s also essential to make sure the company is bonded to safeguard against damages. This protects your home and the company’s employees as they will likely be carrying heavy equipment and operating complex machinery. While there are many details you should inquire about companies about during your initial interviews, a few are placed higher on the list.
- Proof of Insurance including Workers Comp and Liability
- Specialized Certifications such as LEED
- Applicable Licensure
Research Company History and Project Experience
While landscapers aren’t required to be tech-savvy, meaning many may not have a website, you should still do your research and use the information to determine if a company is right for your landscaping project. A company should show up with a simple Google search, and if not, utilizing social media, or online business directories such as Google My Business, Angie’s List, or Better Business Bureau (BBB) are great places to start. These resources can be used to help you determine several details about your prospective landscaping partners.
- Length of company establishment
- Past project experience
- Reviews from previous clients
If you suspect a company hasn’t been in business for that long, make sure to do more investigating before crossing them off your candidacy list. Additionally, ask potential companies for references and call to discuss their experience with them. You may even be encouraged to visit their property to see their outcome and get additional inspiration for your project.
Ask About Their Team
Depending on the type of project, specific skills may be required or necessary. If you’re interested in adding a particular species of plant or tree to your property, you may require the advice and knowledge of a specialist. Specialty services like emergency tree removal may also be needed. When selecting your landscaping company, it’s essential to ask about their team members to see if any individuals have specialized certifications or licensures to fit your needs and expectations better. Along with the previously mentioned, it’s also beneficial to have a team with extensive experience in your local area. If team members are knowledgeable about your soil type, they’ll be able to direct you to plants that will thrive in your climate as well as those that won’t.
Explore how the landscaping company recruits and trains their team members as it’s essential to verify that everyone on your property is qualified and will complete all work safely. Encourage the company to have all team members pass a background check and drug test before beginning your project. Inquiring about these topics and investigating their training program will give you better insight into how the company is run and if they prioritize a finished product of high-quality.
Establish a Timeline
Establishing a transparent relationship with your landscaping company is vital as you want to be aware of and up to date with their current workload. This helps you ensure that the project will get completed, and you won’t be left for a long duration of time with a half-completed one. Discuss how many projects the company is working on currently, how many months they’re booked, and when the projected start date may be. If a company’s schedule is significantly booked out, don’t necessarily take this as a good sign; clients may just be drawn to this company, but it doesn’t mean a high-quality product is provided.
In your discussion and meeting the team, keep an eye out for poor time management skills or under-staffing issues, which both may affect the outcome of your project in the future. Ultimately, once a design is created, you should be able to sit back and relax. Your prospective landscaping company will take care of arranging inspections, applying for permits, and handling most of the technical details for you. You won’t have to worry about paperwork, and they’ll get the project off the ground and running relatively quickly.
Ask for a Sketch
After discussing your design plans with your prospective landscaping partner, it’s essential to ask them to put their ideas onto paper. While any landscaper can talk with proper terminology, and give you the impression that they will provide you with an excellent finished project, protect yourself by asking for a sketch of their ideas before signing the contract. This is typically a complimentary service, and the company should willingly offer up drawings before the project starts.
Requesting a sketch will allow you to make sure that you and the landscaping team are on the same page, that they’re qualified to complete your project, and that they’re open to collaborating with you. If you do find a design you would like to move forward with, the company will likely charge you a fee for any sketches, but it’s a worthwhile charge to ensure your project is done correctly and to your liking.
Choose Your Landscaping Partner
Finding the right fit for your landscaping project is vital to making sure your project is completed to your liking and with your design in mind. Your prospective landscaping partner should be transparent regarding your needs and desires. Select a company that thinks about your current and future needs, as this showcases their ability to continue to care for your property as it evolves.
Explore other areas of specialty your landscaping candidates feature, such as irrigation, renovation, enhancements, design, and tree care. Choosing an all-encompassing company allows for flexibility and guarantees your design needs will be met entirely. Begin your design journey and select your landscaping partner today!