4 Tips for Choosing the Right Landscape Contractor

4 Tips for Choosing the Right Landscape Contractor

Choosing the right landscape contractor for your project is essential to ensure that your project is built up to local codes and construction standards, as well as being affordable and long-lasting.  With so many contractors out there it can be challenging to figure out which one is right for you.  Here are 4 tips to focus your decision-making process and weed out the contractors who aren’t the right fit for your project.

1. Check references and ask people in your local area who they have used.

There is no better way to determine if a contractor holds their word and builds a beautiful project than to talk to people who have worked with them in the past.  By speaking with your neighbors, you can get a sense of which contractors are familiar with your neighborhood and how well they perform.

However, it’s important to look beyond your neighbor’s experience and utilize the power of the internet to broaden your search, perhaps there is a company that your neighbors don’t know about that will really understand your project’s requirements in a unique way.

Often there is limited experience with landscape contractors in your neighborhood, so internet searches and online reviews are a really helpful tool to get a broad view of who is trustworthy.

Simple searches such as ‘sustainable landscape designer’, ‘native plant landscapes’, or ‘landscape contractors near me’ are great ways to find the right landscaper for you.  Then you can use Google reviews as a second step for verifying that their clients have had good experiences.  Read the reviews thoroughly and make sure people mention the qualities of a landscape contractor that are most important such as trustworthiness, good communication, and accurate and fair pricing.

Large open space with a pool and green plants in the background

2. Ask for photos of completed projects that are similar to yours

Every trustworthy contractor documents their projects with photos from start to finish and should be readily able to provide photo examples of various types of projects that incorporate elements similar to yours.

Reviewing photos of their construction process allows you to ensure they are well organized and that their construction process is fluid, ending in a beautiful final product.  It’s a big red flag if a contractor doesn’t have photos of their work, always be sure that a contractor has photo documentation of a variety of projects over a significant period of time so that you have confidence they consistently perform well and are proud of their work.

3. Discuss your budget early on in the process and request firm pricing in the bid

A contractor’s goal should be building your landscape within a reasonable budget and they should be willing to make modifications to ensure the project is affordable.

If a contractor is skittish when asked to providing firm pricing, then it raises concerns that there might be runaway costs or that they aren’t putting adequate time into measuring your site and presenting pricing that they have confidence in.

The most common horror story of working with contractors is that they have runaway costs that result in a client spending far more than they originally intended to in order to complete the project.

4. Ask for a detailed contract specifying the scope of work

Many contractors will use vague language in their contracts making it very difficult to be sure exactly what they are promising to build.  Request that they provide detailed descriptions of the amount and type of each material they plan to use, especially when it comes to more expensive items such as patio surface or irrigation equipment.

There is no substitute for a clear and concise contract that instills confidence within you that the project will be completed to your satisfaction.

Here at Inspired Landscapes, we pride ourselves on offering first-class service from start to finish. Contact us today at (707) 395-7474 for a free consultation and to learn more about our services.