Benefits of Hiring Landscaping Contractors
Owning a home is an essential part of the American dream but making that home look great takes lots of work. When you are changing the look of your landscape, landscaping professionals provide the perfect blend of gardeners and contractors to help you make lasting enhancements to the beauty of your lawn and gardens. Let’s take a look at five good reasons you should hire a professional landscaper for your next major landscaping project.
Professional landscapers have in-depth knowledge of what your plants need to add to the beauty of your home.
Professional landscapers know what they are doing. A landscaper who has years of local experience will know the weather hazards for which you need to prepare for the long-term health of your landscape. Landscapers will have experience with soil variations, microclimates, and insect pests acquired from years of working with plants full-time in your location. A good landscape contractor can give you all the information you need to keep your lawn and garden looking great all year round.
Landscapers can save you time.
Think about your checklist for putting in a new landscape. You have sketch out the way you would like your lawn or garden to look after you are done. Then you have to choose the plants that will look best in your landscape, locate them in local nurseries, transport them safely to your home, and amend the soil to meet their nutritional requirements. Then you have to do the hard work of modifying your landscape for your new plantings, maybe doing stonework, laying brick, and installing irrigation and lighting.
Of course, you’ll want to admire every step toward completion of your project. And you may find that you need to stop to get professional advice at many points along the way.
Professional landscapers can take care of all of this for you. You can have a single point of contact, with your contractor or your contractor’s foreperson, for every question and every change in plan. You can focus on enjoying your new landscape without all the hard physical work and all the running around needed for getting supplies.
Professional landscapers can save you money.
Your professional landscaper will know the exact plants you need to give you the look you want with the conditions you have. It’s easy to waste thousands or even tens of thousands of dollars on plants that turn out to be not quite what you needed for long-lasting beauty around your home. And a professional landscaper has the connections to find you the best deals of plants and construction materials.
Professional landscapers can help with maintenance, too.
When you hire a professional landscaper, you can spend as much time as you like taking care of plants, without the hassle of dealing with droughts, insect infestations, and sudden freezes. Landscapers can also help you with holiday decorating. With the ongoing help of a professional landscaper, your lawn and garden can be a source of joy, not worry.
Questions to Ask Your Landscaping Contractor
Recognizing the value of hiring a landscaping contractor for your project is the place to start. But finding the right landscaping contractor who can finish your project at the best price and best quality with hassle-free service takes a little investigation. Here are seven questions you need to ask your landscaping contractor.
How long have you been in business?
You don’t want to hire a landscaping company that can’t deliver on its promises. Landscapers who are established and locally well-known are likely to have the best connections for getting the exact plants you want. They will have established relationships with subcontractors (such as electricians and plumbers) you need to complete your project and will be able to negotiate favorable prices for you. And they will have experienced, bonded, reliable crews to complete the work. You almost never want to be any landscaping contractor’s first project.
Are you insured and bonded?
If a prospective contractor answers this question with a comment that they have health, life, or auto insurance —and occasionally they do —you should thank them for their time and move on to the next interview. The kinds of insurance you want to be sure your contractor has liability insurance and worker compensation insurance.
Accidents happen. If your contractor causes damage to your property in the course of the job, you can be assured that they will compensate you if they are adequately insured. If workers are injured on the job, you will not be liable for the cost of treating their injuries if your contractor is up to date with worker compensation. Your contract with your landscaper should specify that they will carry these kinds of insurance. Even if the law is on your side, insurance can keep you out of lawsuits and save you legal fees.
This question is especially important if your landscaper will be operating machines or moving trees and heavy plant containers on your property.
Do you have industry specialists on your staff or on retainer?
The more exotic the plants you want in your home landscape, the greater need you have for the services of specialists. You may need an arborist, a hydroponics specialist, or a landscaper with in-depth expertise in rare plants. If your tastes run toward the exotic, you need these kinds of specialists and you need to make sure you have connections in place before you start your project.
Will you stay on my project until it is complete?
If you are hiring a great landscaping company, you won’t be their only client. You need to get a clear commitment to a completion date for your project before you even start. But don’t expect their entire staff to be parked on your site just for your convenience without substantial additional payment.
Can you show me a sketch or a computer’s 3-D drawing of how the project will look when you are finished?
Every landscape contractor should be able to show you a design sketch. Many landscape contractors will be able to use 3-D drafting tools to give you a specific idea of how your project will look when it is completed. If you want to keep the sketch, there may be a fee unless you go forward with a contract.
What are your guarantees?
Reputable landscapers should be able to offer warranties of two to five years on their work and guarantees that the plants they use are healthy and disease-free.
What are the construction details?
You need to know what kinds of construction techniques will be used in your project. This can help you plan for dust mitigation and other disruptions to your family’s day to day life.
What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Landscaping Contractor?
Your landscaping contractor is more than a gardener. Most landscape designers will have college degrees in landscaping. Landscape contractors often will have years of experience and will be certified by the Professional Landcare Network (PLANET) as a mark of professional expertise.