Five Tips for Hiring a Landscape Contractor

When it comes to hiring landscape contractors, there are architects, designers, contractors, and firms; but don’t let the various titles get you confused. Here are some tips for figuring out which one you may need to complete your landscaping project.

Hire a firm, or ask for referrals. Some design-build firms have their own landscape designers and architects on staff to put together the design, installation, and upkeep of multifaceted landscape projects. In addition, some architects and designers may hire their own landscape contractors for projects. However, if you want to take a stab at carrying out the project on your own, you can hire an architect or designer to come up with the plans; then ask for contractor referrals from the company, and look for a good landscape contractor yourself. Normally, landscape contractors will consider design work as part of the package.

Research the landscape contractors in your local area. Don’t forget to ask friends, neighbors, and relatives whether they’ve had any good experiences with landscape contractors in your area. This is a good way to get started when creating a list of prospective contractors. Local trade publications, or yellow page directories, may also be able to help you in your search. Organizations like the American Society of Landscape Architects and LandCareNetwork.org may also be useful.

Consider the following factors when you’re deciding whom to hire. Before you decide which company, or person, to go with; make sure you think about the size of your project, how complex the project may be, your project’s timeline, and budget. However, most importantly, make sure you communicate well with the landscape contractor, or firm, you decide to choose. The person should be open to your ideas, and in line with your project’s goals and timeline.

Cover your bases. Before you make a final decision, make sure the landscape contractor you choose has the proper business licenses required by community. In addition, check to see whether the company, or person, has been certified, and whether or not they have professional affiliations or references you may be able to check for reassurance. Lastly, make sure you put all of the details for your project in writing, including the project’s start and end date, as well as the terms and cost for your project.

Consult with a professional, no matter what. Finally, whether or not you decide to hire a landscape firm, contractor, or do everything yourself; it’s still a good idea to consult with a professional in order to create the plan for your project. It may be harder than you think to design a landscape project, as well as do all the landscape work yourself (which can be hard labor for someone with no experience!). You may have to tackle complex issues such as grading, irrigation, and lighting.

But, if you consult with a professional landscape contractor from the start, it may save you an expensive mistake in the end. Follow these tips, and you should be on your way to completing a successful landscape project. And, in the end, remember; have fun!

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