Some folks prefer to spend their time enjoying the outdoor areas around their homes while leaving the hard work of making them beautiful to the professionals. Others love the satisfaction of doing it for themselves and only turn to the professionals when they’re faced with a project they just can’t handle alone.
What do you need to know before you hire a landscape contractor? There are a lot of factors to consider when shopping for a professional landscaper to handle projects on your property. Many are related to the specific project that you have in mind. But some questions are important regardless of what kind of work you’re having done.
Before you pay someone to do work on your property, you should make sure that they have the knowledge and experience to complete the job successfully—and insurance to cover anything that might go wrong. Read on to learn about the five areas that you should factor into your consideration of a landscape contractor’s qualifications.
5 Key Questions to Ask Before You Hire a Landscape Contractor
The consequences of hiring an unqualified landscaper can range from flowers that don’t bloom all the way to someone getting injured on your property while performing work and you being held responsible. If you’re just looking for the cheapest worker around—you’d do well to remember that you get what you pay for.
Asking about the following items will help you make sure that you’re working with a true professional.
Almost every state requires landscaping professionals to have a Landscape Contractors License. The requirements for obtaining a license vary from state to state so you should investigate what your state’s licensing process tells you about a landscape contractor’s background and experience.
Another way to get a sense of a landscaper’s commitment to their profession is by inquiring about their membership in professional associations. Many national and international professional groups cater to landscaping professionals. There are also regional, state, and local organizations to consider.
Some of the most recognizable and prestigious national and international associations are:
- The National Association of Landscape Professionals
- The National Arborists Association
- The American Society of Landscape Architects
- The Association of Professional Landscape Designers
- The Indiana Association of Landscape Professionals
Any professional Landscape Contractor should be able to provide you with a certificate of insurance. This will give you the name of the insurance company, the contractor’s policy number, the policy limits, and the expiration date.
It’s also a good idea to inquire about any warranties or guarantees that the contractor provides for their workmanship or the products they’ll be installing on your property.
Obviously, you’ll want to make certain that you’re trusting your home’s landscaping to someone who knows what they’re doing. A professional landscaper should be familiar with a variety of landscapes and property types. It’s also important to verify that they have the local experience required to get the results you’re seeking on your property.
You should go a step further and ask if the contractor has any specializations. While you’re at it, ask if they plan to use any subcontractors on the job and if so, whether they can provide information on those workers’ qualifications.
Ask your contractor if they can provide you with a portfolio of their work or examples of projects similar to your own that they have completed recently and in your local area.
You can definitely access important information about a landscaping professional by visiting sites like Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau. But don’t be afraid to ask your contractor for references that you can contact directly to learn more about other people’s experiences working with them.
The other questions that we’ve advised you to ask are fairly straightforward. Either a contract is licensed by the state you live in or they’re not. They do have proof of insurance or they don’t. But when it comes to verifying their ability to do the job, sometimes subjective information is just as important.
All of the experience that your contractor claims in their portfolio will mean more to you if you can ask the clients from those jobs about their overall experience while working with the contractor.
- Were they easy to work with?
- Did they encounter any problems during the project?
- Was the project on-time and on-budget?
- Did the contractor deliver what was promised?
- Did they have a positive experience overall?
These are the kinds of questions that will help you get a sense of the professionalism and customer service that you can expect from the contractor if you hire them for your project. That kind of information can help you choose the best contractor for the job and the one that you’ll enjoy working with the most.
Making a Decision
Once you’ve asked these questions and gotten a sense of whether the contractor is qualified for the project you have in mind for them, you’ll want to get down to the business of discussing the budget, timetable, and specific elements of your project.
Assuming that you can come to terms with the costs, schedule, and particulars of the project, you will want to get a written contract in place before any work commences. The contract should lay out the specifics of the project in detail and you should review it carefully before signing it.
Moving through all of these steps before allowing the work to proceed can seem like a burden while you’re working through them. Trust us, you’ll be glad you took the time to proceed through each step. Even if everything with your project goes exactly according to plan, the extra confidence you have knowing that you’re working with a qualified professional will be worth it.
Knowing that you have qualified professionals working on your projects means that you’ll be able to relax and devote all of your attention to looking forward to enjoying the results.
South County Landscaping, Inc is an Experienced Professional Landscape Contractors in Northwest Indiana
If you have a landscaping project that you’d like to discuss with experienced local contractors, call South County Landscaping today. Our knowledgeable staff will be happy to answer all of your questions about landscaping in Northwest Indiana.
I have been planning to hire a landscape service because I noticed that my garden looks so dull and lifeless. Thank you for this; I’ll make sure to hire someone who is knowledgeable and experienced in landscaping. I’ll also keep in mind to investigate my state’s licensing process, so I’ll have an idea what certification to seek from my prospective contractor.
Like!! Thank you for publishing this awesome article.
Think about your regional climate, the topography of your site, and your soil type when planning your landscape. Using the USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is a great place to start.
I had no idea that landscaping professionals are required by the state to have a contractor’s license. This makes me happy because it means you can trust them to do the job right. I would never trust a contractor that can’t show me their proof.
My parents want to hire a landscaping company to work in our yard in the spring. I like how you recommend hiring a professional who is familiar and experienced with a variety of landscapes. I will be sure to recommend that my parents find a company that knows what they are doing and can provide the best result possible.
It really helped when you mentioned how a good landscaping contractor needs to have the proper job certifications. My sister is thinking about starting a landscaping project in her home. And she wants to get the help of a professional, but she’s worried about getting deceived. I think that if she follows your advice, she’ll find a reliable one. I appreciate your information about what to consider when hiring a landscape contractor.
cIt really helped when you said it’s important to hire a certified landscape contractor. My wife and I have some friends visiting from abroad in a few months, and we want to throw a big party in our backyard for them. That’s why we want to do some upgrades to it before they get here, and we need to find a contractor for it. We think your article will help us out. Thanks for the tips about what to look at when hiring a landscape contractor.
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I’ve been having a hard time getting my property to look nice, and I’m not sure how to do it. It makes sense that getting a professional to help me out with this would be beneficial! I can see how a certified professional would know what to do in order to maintain the appearance of my property.
Thanks for the tips on hiring a landscaping contractor! I would like to find someone who can help me pick out flowers. I want to have a colorful yard in the summer.
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I like that you mentioned how you should find a landscaping professional who is familiar with various different kinds of properties. My uncle wants to hire a landscaper. Hopefully, he can find someone who has plenty of experience.
Thanks for the tip to ask a landscaper about their memberships to professional association. I want the best landscaper I can find. If that means they need to be a part of certain groups then so be it.
I’ve gotten some plans together to upgrade my landscape, but I don’t know how to carry them out. It makes sense that hiring a landscape contractor would be really helpful for this! That seems like a good way to ensure that everything is sorted out correctly.
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I appreciated it when you shared that it is great to find out about the potential landscaping service by visiting sites like Angie’s List or the Better Business Bureau. My mother just mentioned the other day that she is thinking of improving the look of our garden since she wants to make it look more appealing and beautiful. I will suggest to her hiring a reliable landscaping service that can offer to do so by checking through the Internet.
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It really helped when you talked about the importance of hiring an experienced landscaping contractor. Recently, my wife and I tried to start a little gardening project in our backyard. We now realized that we don’t have a green thumb, so we want to find a landscaping professional to help us. Thanks for the tips to help us find a landscaping company for our gardening needs.
My sister has been thinking about getting some bushes installed because they will look a lot nicer on her lawn. Getting them installed by a professional could allow them to be placed in the right area. I liked what you said about how she should make sure that they have a license, background, and experience that would allow them to be a lot safer.
Thanks for the information on hiring a landscape contractor. I want to design a patio for my home. I’ll make sure to hire a landscape contractor that can help me with designing a patio.
It’s great that you mentioned that it is a good idea to find a landscaper that has the right experience. I would like to have a fire pit built in my backyard. I will have to find a landscaper that has created plenty of fire pits in the past.
I do love that this post pointed out that when choosing a landscaping company, it is important for us to consider their certification. It makes sense as in doing so, we will be certain that we are choosing an experienced and qualified company. I will definitely look at their credentials before hiring them.
My yard is in pretty rough shape, and I think a landscaper could fix it up. I love how you said to look into your state’s licensing requirements for landscapers. It makes sense that one would want to find a landscaper with the proper credentials. Thanks for the great tips on hiring a landscaper!
Your advice to find a landscaper that is committed is a good idea. My cousin wants her yard to look nicer this summer. I’ll let her know that she should find a committed landscaper.
It really helped when you said that it would help if we check sites like the BBB or Angie’s list to know about the company. I will definitely do that to find a landscape designer that we can trust. We just need their help to design our backyard since we plan to hold our garden wedding there this year.
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I want to make my landscape look really nice, but I’m not sure how to go about that. It makes sense that I would want to work with a landscape specialist to help me out with this. They would know the best ways methods I could use to make my property look much nicer.
I like that you mentioned checking out their reviews on the Better Business Bureau. I know that that is where people go when they have big grievances with the company. My dad never leaves reviews online but I remember one time he was so angry with this contractor that he had that he went to the BBB to file a complaint.
I like that this post highlighted that it is important for us to consider their qualifications when I look for a lawn service. It makes sense as in doing so, our lawn will be maintained properly. I will definitely look at their qualifications when looking to hire a service.
My mom has been thinking about putting together some better landscapes for her front yard because she wants the area to look a lot better. She would really like to get some help from a professional to make sure that it can look a lot better. It was interesting to learn about how they should have a license for the state with the right background, and experience in order to be a lot better.
My dad has been thinking about getting some serious construction done on his extra property because he has big plans for it. He would really like to get some help from a professional in order to be safer with fewer problems. It was interesting to learn about how he should remember that he gets what he pays for, and they should have a contractor’s license.
My mom has been thinking about getting the right kind of landscaping for her garden because she wants to have a path made. She would really like to get the stones from the path from a professional in order to be better. I liked what you said about how they should have the right kind of specializations with the right qualifications from a portfolio.
Very Informative post. Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us.
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It’s good to know that you should find a service that has their contractor license. My husband and I are wanting to look into redesigning our landscape in a couple of weeks, and we want to make sure that we can find the right service to help us. We’ll make sure to keep these tips in mind as we search for a landscaping contractor.
The other day my wife mentioned that she is looking to have landscaping done at her office as a part to help her employees unwind. I do agree that it is important to hire someone who is experienced in commercial landscaping as they are skilled and under the space better. When I speak with my wife later, I will remind her to look for a commercial landscaper who is reputable and has a strong portfolio.
I liked how you recommended asking your contractor to provide you with a portfolio of their work. My sister is thinking about hiring someone to help with her landscaping. I think it could be helpful to see an example of his work so she knows if they have a similar style that they could work with.
I want to get a nice landscape put together. It makes sense that I would want to get a professional to help me out with this. I’ll be sure to find one that has a lot of experience with this kind of thing.
I love how you mentioned that when hiring a landscaping service, we should always check the company’s experience because a only landscaping service with experience will be able to proves us with the results we are seeking for our property. My mother asked my help to look for landscaping services for her home. I will be sure to check the company’s experience before hiring one for my mother’s house.