So you are considering hiring a new landscape company. In the past, you might have done your garden’s landscape yourself and you have finally decided to spend that little bit extra cash on getting a professional to take on the task. Maybe you have decided to hire a new landscaping company to replace your current one. Perhaps you have been stuck inside your home for too long due to the ongoing pandemic and you have become bored with what your garden looks like.
For whatever reason you have decided to employ a new landscape service, there are a few things you may want to ask before you spend some of your hard-earned money. You probably plan on living in your home for many years, possibly the rest of your life, so hiring a landscape contractor is a big decision. Here is a list of questions you should ask a landscaping service before hiring them.
How Many Years has your Landscape Company been in Business for?
Experience is very important when it comes to choosing the right landscaping company for the job. The last thing you want is to be the contractor’s first client. The more experience the company has, the more knowledge they will have when carrying out the project. Networking with previous or existing clients about their experience with the landscape company can give you a good indication of what to expect. The research could end up saving you money. You should easily be able to find out their reputation if they have been landscaping for several years. Asking the contractor for pictures of previous projects they have completed will help you get an idea of what to expect. Pictures might also give you some ideas about new features you might like to add to your landscape. If the contractor has done the same feature previously then they should have no issues doing the same again on your property.
Do you have Landscaping Insurance?
Check if the contractor has taken out a landscaping insurance policy. If one of the landscaping employees has an accident on your property you will want to make sure that you won’t have to pay the damages.
Most landscape insurance policies will cover:
- General liability to protect you in case they try and sue you
- It will entitle workers compensation if they have an accident on your property
- Their vehicles and other machinery will be covered if damaged on your property
Requesting to see the policy before you hire the company to do your property’s landscaping will prove beneficial. If you don’t understand the policy you could speak with an insurance broker for further advice. Large landscape companies regularly use heavy vehicles and power tools. Find out what the contractor’s safety record is like. You must make sure that employees who will be using these tools or driving these vehicles have the experience and the correct legal documentation to carry out the job.
How many Employees will be Working on My Property?
Some landscape contractors are a one-man show. If the task in hand is a big job, it might take a very long time to get the contract complete. If you plan on giving your landscape a big makeover, hiring a large firm to get the job done on time would probably be the best option. The amount of people that work for the landscaping company is important, however, you should also find out if they have any specialists employed. For example, if you are having serious problems with some of your trees, you may need an Arborist. These are people who are educated specifically to deal with tree care. They can diagnose tree problems and they will also know how to treat them. They will know how to properly prune trees and will explain to you how to maintain them yourself. They will have lots of knowledge of tree biology and will be able to identify each type of tree. They will also be able to spot any tree hazards that might be an issue in the future.
Other landscaping specialists are:
- Irrigation specialists
- Lawn care experts
- Landscape planners, architects, and designers
- Landscape professionals encompass
Not all projects require these specialists however if one is required, the landscaping company might need to hire someone outside of their company to do a specific job. This could come at a hefty price. Beware of small landscape companies who claim they can do all the work, you may experience issues down the road.
How many Projects are currently doing?
If the company has the workforce to carry out lots of projects then you should be okay, however, others might have a backlog of incomplete jobs. Some companies bite off more than they can chew by taking on too many jobs. Find out the exact date they will start the work and when they expect to finish. It might be possible to put in the contract that if the work is not complete by a certain date then the full amount agreed won’t have to be paid. Although you don’t want the job to be rushed, so expect to give them a little bit of breathing time, especially because landscaping is outdoor, the weather might cause delays. However, you don’t want to wait too long for the project to be complete.
Check if the landscape company will offer you a guarantee on the work they have carried out. Will they be confident on the plant material they have used, the chemicals and fertilizers they have added to your land, are they confident that the new fence they have installed will last for a long time? It is common for a landscaping company to have a one-year guarantee on the work they have done. Keep in mind that the landscape of your property is very important. Even if you don’t intend to live in the house for the rest of your life, a beautiful landscape will certainly add to the value of your home.