Landscaping your yard takes a lot of effort and hence it is necessary that it is done in the right manner. Consequently, it is best to make use of professional help if you don’t have enough knowledge on the subject or do not have the time required. Given below are a few tips on choosing a landscaping company for your yard.
Decide on how you want your landscape to be?
You can go about hiring a landscaping specialist and he might create for you a landscape based on his vision. This might work for quite and few of us, but in actuality it is important that the landscape reflects your ideas and vision. So before you start to look for a landscaping company; pick up and pencil and note down exactly what you would like to see in your landscape like patios, pools, trees, vines, decks, fences, walkways, jogging trials, colors etc. Once you are clear on this, communicate your ideas to the landscape specialist to find out how he proposes to go about it and if you ideas are actually achievable. Also have a clear idea of the kind of budget you can invest and convey the same to the landscaper.
Research Your Options
It is very obvious that in order to take the services of a landscaping company, you have to locate the company first. The best way to go about it would be to use an online or offer landscape company directory to find contact numbers. Another simpler way would be to go around your neighborhood and locate landscaping projects. An enquiry would help you get the name and number of the landscaping professional.
Meet Company Representatives
Your next objective should be to meet representatives of various landscape design companies to find out if they have enough knowledge and experience to turn your ideas into reality. Discuss your landscape ideas with them and analyze their replies. Also inquire about the applicator who will actually be designing your lawn and insist upon meeting him. The success of your landscape depends heavily on how well you can get along with the applicator. If you find the landscape applicator is rude or arrogant, just move on to the next company.
Check for Identifications, Certifications and Licenses
Try and establish if the firm you are dealing with is a legitimate business by checking the firm’s federal identification number. In addition make sure that the firm has a sales tax license and a valid insurance. Meet up with the company representative or the landscape applicator who is going to design your landscape and find out if he is certified (preferably holding a master’s degree in horticulture) and well experienced. In most cases companies that have an operating license will have certified staff.
Inquire about the time the company has been in existence
A company is defined by its employees and not by its years of existence. But whatever be the case, it is best to enquire about the time the landscape company has been in existence. A company that has existed over a period of time will certainly have a good deal of knowledge about the local conditions and will be able to guide you better on your landscape design. In this manner, they certainly do have an edge over newer landscaping companies.
Check out some Ongoing and Completed Projects
Ask the landscaping service provider to show you some of their ongoing and completed projects. Visit the site when time is available and have a look at the work done. If possible speak to the landscape owner inquiring about the quality of service provided. In addition to completed projects, try and visit some ongoing projects to get an idea of the quality of job, crew’s appearance and job presence among others.
If you do not have the time or patience to visit landscaping projects in person, ask the landscaping company for pictures of their completed projects. In addition ask for customer references and contact them to find out what they felt about the service provided by the landscape company.
Inquire about ongoing maintenance
Landscapes require sustained maintenance to ensure they continue to look attractive. This is why it is extremely important that the landscaping service provider offers ongoing maintenance that can involve mowing, fertilizing, pest control, weed removal, pruning, and aerating among other services. So make sure to inquire about the ongoing maintenance offered by the landscaping service provider, including what processes are included.
Some other issues to find information about:
Here are a few other questions that you can ask the landscaping company:
- Ask them how they evaluate soil and what procedures do they adopt to make the soil fertile by increasing the organic content
- Inquire about the type of fertilizers they make use of
- Ask them about the importance they place on water management and the efforts they will make to minimize the consumption of water.
- Ask them about the techniques used by them as a preventive measure for pest control and information on how to eliminate bats
- Ask them what their accident or damage policy is or how they address damages
Ask for Written Agreements
Once you have decided to go with a firm, ask the firm for a detailed written plan or contract stating the proposed design, plants and materials to be used, terms of payment, duration of work, ongoing maintenance, guarantees, liability issues, starting and completion dates and total cost involved. This written plan should basically contain every aspect of the project with proper signatures. Go through the plan properly giving special attention to the fine print and clarify every clause that looks doubtful with the landscaping service provider.