Are you thinking about doing some landscaping on your property?
Installing a new landscape or improving the features of your already-existing landscape can be a huge financial investment. However, landscaping is quite beneficial to your property.
Not only will it leave your outdoors looking beautiful, attractive, and relaxing, but it can also increase your property value by up to 15% and attract potential buyers.
If you’re thinking about landscaping, you should start by finding the best landscape contractor. Unfortunately, this isn’t an easy process, and you need to be careful not to hire someone without experience.
Below are tips to help you hire the best landscape contractor.
Check Their Area of Specialization
Before looking for a landscape contractor, you should start by determining your needs. What type of landscaping do you need? Your landscaping needs and goals will guide you in choosing the best contractor for the job.
Most contractors have different areas of specialization. Hence, it’s vital to find one specializing in what you need to do.
Some contractors are hardscape specialists and only deal with building patios, decks, fences, retaining walls, and driveways. While others are plant specialists who will help you set up any type of garden you’d like, from edible to Japanese gardens.
If you’re unsure what you want, how will you find the best landscape contractor? Fortunately, you can always look for a landscape designer to help you figure out your needs.
Landscaping License and Insurance
Checking for license and insurance is key when dealing with home improvement contractors. When contacting different landscape experts, ensure you ask them whether they are licensed and insured for the job you are requesting.
Many states across the country have strict professional landscape contractor license programs. This means it’s mandatory for each landscape contractor working in that state to be licensed.
But if you live in a state with no licensing or insurance requirements, ask potential contractors about their educational level, training, and any diplomas they hold to show they’re educated in this field. You can also ask them to show you proof of membership in your state’s professional landscape association.
Another major thing to consider is their insurance policy. Before hiring any contractor to work on your property, ask them for a copy of their insurance binder. Call their insurance company to confirm that they are covered.
Ask For Recommendations
If you don’t know where to find a reputable landscape contractor, asking your family members and friends for referrals is a great option.
You can also keep your eyes open as you’re driving in your neighborhood and check for newly done landscapes and gardens. Ask the homeowners about the contractor who did the job if you see something you like.
In most cases, landscaping companies often place their sign on the front yard immediately after completing the job. You can take their number and contact them to see if they will also handle your job. Check the company’s website and do some research before hiring them.
Another great way to find a reputable landscaping contractor is by asking local nurseries for recommendations. They often recommend good contractors for their customers. Take advantage of this free source of information.
Interviewing Different Contractors and Selecting One
Once you know a few contractors you’d like to work with, try narrowing down that number to three or four.
Typically, landscaping contractors visit your property for a free initial consultation to discuss the project. During this consultation, they will ask you about your vision for the land and give you a free estimate of the project’s total cost.
Bring all four contractors to consult on your property and ask them as many questions as possible. This is an opportunity to learn more about their services and experience level. Contact them beforehand and ask them to come with a portfolio of photos of their past landscaping projects.
You should also come to the consultation prepared with a list of questions to help you know more about the landscaper. Below are some key pointers.
Years of Experience in the Industry
It’s advisable to hire home improvement contractors with decades of experience behind them. That’s because they have been in the industry longer and will have enough exposure and experience to handle the job at hand. However, this doesn’t mean new faces in the industry will do a poor job.
Sometimes, new contractors often have fresh ideas and will cost significantly less. Ensure you consider all these aspects before hiring a new contractor.
Have They Handled a Project Similar to Yours Before?
During the consultation, ensure you ask whether they have handled a similar project in the past. This helps you find out their level of experience in handling your project.
Keep in mind that this is just as essential as their level of experience in the industry.
If the project is highly specialized, you need to check the contractors’ credentials and portfolio. Check how they handled similar projects in the past before choosing to work with them.
Their Approach to the Project
Understanding their approach will help you know exactly who you’re dealing with. It’s a great way to judge their level of competence, especially with the type of work you need them to handle.
When you ask them about their approach, check how they answer your questions. A very passionate contractor explaining their process and answering your questions with well-detailed and explained answers is probably the right person to handle the project.
Whether you’re looking for backyard contractors, landscape grading contractors, or drainage contractors, ensure you ask about their approach to the project.
Making the Final Decision to Hire a Landscape Contractor
Finding a reputable landscape contractor isn’t an easy process; you need to research, check their credentials, and ask about their level of experience. Don’t forget to check their professionalism, overall personality, and competence level. Always trust your gut feeling and avoid contractors who aren’t straightforward.
Asking potential landscape contractors as many questions as possible is a great way to know more about them.
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