One of the best ways to improve the resale value of your house is to install a new landscape or improve the existing one. It can become a major financial investment but would also make your property more beautiful and enjoyable to live in. To find qualified landscape contractors near your area, you can simply search “landscape companies near me” online. However, selecting one from the list of candidates is not so easy.
Tips & Tricks
Here are a few tips you can follow to choose a qualified landscape contractor:
- Figure out the scope of the job – It is crucial to understand what exactly you want from your landscape contractor before you even begin the research process since most landscape contractors specialize in a certain field of work.
For instance, you may want to put in a swimming pool, install a patio, grow vegetables, create an entertaining outdoor area, create a space for the kids to play, build a hardscape, create special lawns, and a Japanese garden, etc.
Don’t worry if you don’t have any idea of what you want on your property. A landscape designer can help you with that and you can ask for suggestions from the landscape contractors you interview and note their suggestions.
- Ask for referrals – Most people refer businesses that they were satisfied with and thus, it makes sense to ask your friends, colleagues, and even family members to refer to landscape contractors who have hired them in the past. We also recommend you visit local nurseries since they tend to stay in contact with reputable landscape contractors in the area.
- Conduct thorough research – Once you have a list of referrals, add them to the list of companies that you have learned about by searching online. Next, it is important to conduct preliminary research about the companies by visiting their official websites and reading the customer reviews and testimonials before you decide to set up an appointment.
You can search for their presence on websites such as Angie’s List and check their Better Business Bureau rating to learn about their reputation. It is also necessary to check whether they have any affiliation with professional organizations such as the Local Landscape Association.
Usually, you can learn a lot of information about the company by visiting their official websites such as the number of years they have been in the business, their expertise, past experience on special projects, portfolio, and more. You can also see videos and pictures of past projects and learn about their satisfaction guarantee. This can help you shortlist the candidates even further.
- Check up on the legal matters – Now that you have narrowed the list of candidates that you are likely to work with, it is time to set up an appointment with the companies to discuss the details about the project in person. You can simply call their service line to set up an appointment and conduct some basic inquiries.
However, before you set up an appointment, it is necessary to ensure they have all the legalities of their business sorted out. By this, we mean that the landscape contractors must have the necessary license required for their job and should also be insured.
Insurance is extremely important since it would cover any accidents that might occur while the project is ongoing on your property. Don’t just take their word for it. Ask for a copy of their insurance binder and verify the documents by calling the number listed in the documents.
Professional licenses are mandatory in most states, but you should definitely confirm them by talking with their service representative. Also, be sure to ask about their professional qualifications including the certificates and degrees they hold.
- Set up a meeting to shortlist them – Once you have verified the legal and professional documents of the companies, you have to visit them in person to verify a few more details. You can learn a lot about the professionals in a company by the way they handle themselves and their behavior.
For instance, discuss the details of what you have in mind for the project and listen to how they want to approach the project. Professionals who are quite experienced will answer with a lot of important details that you might not have even thought of and solve your doubts quickly.
Be sure to ask them whether a permit is required since it is an important consideration. Also, ask them about work guarantees for proper craftsmanship and installation of patios, decks, irrigation systems, and more. Also, ensure whether they would help with maintaining the property against the weather, pests, and insects. This is simply good to confirm.
- Finalizing the deal – Finalizing a landscape contractor is the trickiest part. Most people like to make a final decision based on the estimated project cost and the length of time required to complete the project. And, while that can help it is also important to consider important things such as work guarantees and the number of subcontractors they would hire since it can complicate the work process.
It is not out of the ordinary to hire one or two outside experts for any project, but you should seriously consider any company that wants to hire multiple contractors since it would indicate they are not as knowledgeable as they say.
Finally, you have to pay attention to their communication skills, their willingness to understand your specific needs, and their creativity. Interpersonal skills are crucial and people with bad interpersonal skills are often a pain to work with and cause many misunderstandings.
Hiring a qualified landscape contractor among all the list of candidates you come across is not an easy task. But it is worth it since a skilled expert can transform your property into something magical and guide you towards the proper maintenance of the property. You can definitely settle with recommendations from your friends or family. However, we suggest you search “landscape companies near me” online to ensure you don’t miss out on a true hidden gem of a company that can be a better fit for your needs.
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