Are you tired of doing your yard work yourself? Or do you simply not have the time anymore? Your yard might be too large to manage on your own. No matter the reason, you need to hire a professional landscaping company in order to care for your yard.
Depending on the services listed in your contract, they’ll either ensure that your lawn looks great, plant flowers in your yard, and even autumn tasks like pruning branches and general clean up. However, before you can get to that point, you need to find the best landscape design companies for your needs. Here are seven tips to steer you in the right direction.
1) Check Their Prices
Always ask the landscaping company about their pricing. You might a discount for paying in advance, or for adding specific services into your contract. For example, the price for simple lawn mowing might be discounted when you add in weeding your flowerbeds or caring for your shrubbery. Don’t be afraid to ask for discounts on these services.
Many landscaping companies will be willing to work with you and find options that meet your budget.
2) Get It All in Writing
After you’ve received pricing and have gone over the services that you want them to handle for you, the next step involves getting everything put into writing. This is crucial, since those costs can change over time. They might give you one quote one day, and then a month later, say that the actual price is much higher.
As long as everything is in writing, it’s essentially in stone and cannot be changed without prior notification. Even a service quote – which has less weight than a contract – should be put into writing.
3) Ask For References
You always want to ask the potential landscaping companies that you’re working with for references. They should be able to give you the names and phone numbers of several people who’ve they’ve worked for in the past (or are currently working for) who can tell you about their landscape design experiences. Note that these people shouldn’t be relatives of the landscapers, because they might be biased. They need to give you the names of several “neutral” parties. Once you receive that information, call them and ask plenty of questions. The more informed you are the better. You need a landscaping service that does great work and is trustworthy.
4) Request to See Pictures of Their Work
Also, ask the company representative if you can see photos of the work that they’ve done. They should have a bunch of before and after pictures that prove that they know what they’re doing. If those pictures show some messy lawns and planting beds in the before images and nicely trimmed lawns and pretty flowers in the “afters” then you know that you’ve found a good company to work with.
However, if they don’t have any before and after shots, then feel free to ask their references for some.
5) Make Sure That They Are Licensed and Bonded
A good landscaping company operates lawfully. They have all of the proper licenses, as well as some insurance, just in case something goes wrong. For example, if they’re mowing your lawn and kick up a rock that then goes through your window, their insurance needs to be pay for the replacement window – not yours. You can ask the company representative for this information, and they should be able to provide it quickly and easily, if it isn’t already included in the introductory packet.
6) Ask About Who Will Be Doing the Work
You also have to ask the company who will be doing the work on your yard. How long has that person worked for them? How much experience do they have? If it’s a larger company, then they probably have quite a few well-trained employees who have been working for them for years.
In smaller ones, the owners are more than likely the landscapers as well. It’s important that you know this, so that you won’t be surprised when someone appears in your yard to weed or mow. You don’t want any unpleasant surprises.
7) Inquire About Their Equipment
Finally, ask the company about their equipment. What types do they use? How old is the equipment? Is it well maintained? The landscapers that charge the least might have older equipment that isn’t well taken care of. It might be prone to breaking down, which means that your yard work won’t get done.
For this reason, you want to choose one of the slightly more expensive (but still within your budget) landscapers who have better equipment. Those that truly care about their jobs will take the time to do all of the required maintenance. You should hire a company that follows this rule.