The decision to invest in landscaping can be a daunting task whether you’re a homeowner or property manager, especially when considering a large project such as an outdoor living space complete with a kitchen, paver patio and fireplace. Before hiring a landscape contractor, be sure to ask them these questions:
1. What Are Their Qualifications?
A top-quality landscaping company should be able to freely share their qualifications and industry experience. Some of the specific questions to ask could be: “How long have you/your team worked in the industry?”, “How much training does your staff have?”
2. How Long Have They Been in Business?
You can tell that a business has had success in the area if they have managed to stay in business for multiple years and especially if they’re actively growing. While there is nothing wrong with hiring a new company, an established contractor is familiar with many different projects and the challenges that can arise.
3. Do They Offer a Warranty?
Always ask about the warranty on their services. Whether that be related to the trees and shrubs, hardscape material such as pavers or retaining wall block, or a warranty on their labor, all forms of a warranty are important.
4. When Can They Start Your Project?
Most landscaping companies that do excellent work will have their crews scheduled out as little as a couple weeks or several months in some cases, this can vary depending on the season.
5. How Long Do Projects Take to Complete?
Be sure to ask the company how long they anticipate your project to take. Smaller landscaping projects can be usually completed in as little as 1-5 days, whereas large outdoor living areas may take 1-2 or more weeks to build. The timeline can vary as it’s dependent on the exact scope of work, but knowing ahead of time helps you plan accordingly.
6. What’s Their Pet Protocol?
Your dog will likely want to go outside and use the lawn throughout the day. Make sure to ask the company how they handle pets when working on the property. Keep in mind that it might not be possible for pets to be outside on the lawn if the crew is renovating the lawn, grading, installing irrigation or sod.
7. Do They Have References of Reviews?
A dependable landscaping company will be able to provide a list of prior clients/projects, or have a large amount of reviews on their online profiles such as Google maps and social media. The reviews tell the story about how the company operates and treats their clients.
8. What Types of Equipment and Tools Do They Bring?
Ask beforehand what type of equipment they will be bringing onto your property. For many jobs this may involve skid loaders, mini excavators, laser levels, etc. that may disrupt your lawn depending on soil conditions. Typically, contractors will use plywood for driving their equipment on to reduce impact on your grass.
9. Do They Use Subcontractors?
The term “subcontractor” has a negative connotation, but there’s no issue if a landscaping company uses top-tier subcontractors to assist in projects. A great example would be subcontracting specific tasks within your project that the landscaping company doesn’t offer in-house. This allows the landscaper’s team to focus on what they do best and the sub can complete their job in a timely manner.