7 Ways to Choose the Right Landscape Contractor
As a property owner, you know that it is important to have designated spaces to relax and enjoy. A beautiful outdoor space can be life-changing for you and your loved ones. Having a nice space where you can unwind after work, entertain guests, and spend quality time with friends or family is essential. Not only can a beautiful living space impact the relationship in your life, but it can also improve the aesthetic appeal of your property and add character.
An experienced contractor knows the ins and outs of designing, installing, and maintaining landscapes. Landscape contractors possess specialized knowledge to tailor landscaping solutions to their clients’ needs.
When it’s time to begin searching for the perfect landscape contractor for your project, remember a few things. Not all landscaping contractors are created equal.
Just because most people in your community use a particular landscape service does not automatically assume it is the right fit for you. When choosing a contractor, consider your project’s specific needs. Instead of rushing your decision, take your time evaluating your options and select a contractor who offers the services you need.
As the leading landscaping contractor in Sonoma County, Inspired Landscape’s team of professionals understand that there are many factors to consider when choosing the right contractor for your project. Here are some tips for choosing the right landscaping contractor.
Do Your Research
Visit the websites of local landscape contractors. Based on their online presence, you may get a better feel for the contractor and their work. Look through their services and online portfolio to determine if they have what it takes to manage your landscaping project.
If the contractor has social media profiles, look at what people are saying online about them. Visit independent and reliable third-party review sites such as Trustpilot, Angie’s List, and Yelp. Check out reviews posted by people who have used the services you are considering.
By researching the landscaping contractors near you, you can begin your educated search for the right contractor for your project.
If a neighbor, colleague, friend, or family member has recently wrapped up a landscaping project, ask them about the services they hired. Ask them:
➢ About their experience working with their contractor.
➢ If their project was completed on time and within the original budget.
➢ If they’re satisfied with the result.
➢ If they’d choose the contractor for future landscaping projects.
A referral from a trusted friend, family member, or neighbor is a great way to become introduced to a landscaping contractor in your area.
Check Certifications and Memberships
Look for a landscape company member of industry associations or holds certifications awarded by leading industry bodies. Landscape contractors should demonstrate their expertise and commit to lifelong learning to earn and maintain their membership and certification.
Contractors certified by industry bodies are expected to keep on top of industry trends. When you hire a landscape contractor with a certification from a reputable industry, you can rest assured that everything will be taken care of.
When choosing a contractor, ask if they are bonded and insured. When you hire a bonded and insured contractor, and someone on their crew gets injured while working on your property, their insurance company takes care of the claim.
Talk to Contractors’ References
Ask the contractors you are considering providing a list of references. A reputable contractor with a proven track record of success will be happy to provide a list of references. If a contractor ducks your questions, walk away; instead of taking everything that a contractor claims at face value, interview their references to verify their claims.
Ask a landscape contractor’s references these questions:
➢ What kind of work did the contractor perform for you?
➢ Was the project completed on time and within the planned budget?
➢ Did the contractor’s crew show up on time?
➢ Did the contractor’s crew clean the area after work every day?
➢ Did the contractor have a plan to ensure flawless communication?
➢ Were there any unpleasant surprises? How did the contractor manage them?
➢ Were the contractor’s crew courteous and respectful?
➢ Would you hire them for future projects?
Get Multiple Quotes
In choosing the right contractor for the job, it is best practice to review your options. Invite quotes from at least three landscape contractors. When comparing quotes, analyze all cost elements. Do not hesitate to contact the contractor if you do not understand a particular cost element.
A reputable contractor will be willing to answer your questions. Be sure to ask contractors if there are any other costs involved in designing, installing, or maintaining your landscape than the ones mentioned in the quote provided by them.
A quote should include the following:
➢ Payment terms and conditions.
➢ A detailed explanation of costs.
➢ Job specifics.
➢ Business details.
➢ A detailed description of the services that the contractor has agreed to offer.
While a contractor’s fee is an important factor to consider, do not base your decision solely on this factor alone. Instead of choosing a contractor who quotes an unrealistically low price, look for a professional who can deliver value for the cost with their work on your project.
Once you have shortlisted contractors, call their office to schedule an appointment. Before meeting a contractor, create a short list of your questions for the meeting.
Ask the landscape contractors you are considering the following questions to assess their expertise:
➢ Can you give me a timeline?
➢ Can you provide a list of references?
➢ Do you foresee any challenges?
➢ Will you obtain permits, if required, for my landscaping project?
➢ What type of insurance do you carry?
➢ Will you or a project manager be on the site to supervise work?
➢ Will you provide me with regular updates?
Assess Contractors’ Personality Traits
The qualities to look for in a landscape contractor are – experience, patience, the ability to understand client needs, creativity, and the ability to communicate clearly. Look for a contractor willing to hear your ideas and consider them viable.
Inspired Landscapes is a leading Sonoma County landscape contractor. Our landscape experts have years of experience turning ordinary landscapes into extraordinary outdoor spaces. To make an appointment, call (707) 395-7474.