Turn your landscaping dreams into reality
Landscaping is the art of beautifying the outdoor area of a home, and it is just that – an art form. While many people take on their own landscape projects, others simply lack the creativity and vision for the art of landscaping. That's when landscape contractors are a good idea. Contractors have tons of experience with landscape design in a variety of environments, and they can help you find the perfect look for your yard.
How Big is the Project?
The first important thing to keep in mind when hiring an outside party for landscape design is the scope of the property in question. If you own a small yard in a suburban community, then that requires a different level of commitment than, say, owning acres of land in a rural area. It can be a good idea to get a sense of previous landscape projects that the contractor has undertaken. If they have only worked on small properties previously, it may be a good idea to look elsewhere for your huge backyard design project.
How to Choose the Best Landscape Contractor
There are a number of other ways to get an idea of the best landscape designer to use. Friends or family who have recently had landscape design work done may be able to point you in the right direction. Failing that, you can talk to people at a local nursery or garden center. They've likely got contact information for different designers, and might have also heard reviews from their customers.
Once you've narrowed down the list of contractors, you should interview each one. In most cases you'll be able to see samples of their work, and you may be able to get references from past clients. By contacting references, you can get a sense of whether or not the landscape design professional can execute on his or her vision and work within deadlines. The latter is especially important if you plan on hosting an outdoor event in the near future.
Fees for landscaping are almost always high, but the prices for individual contractors can vary quite a bit. It's always a good idea to speak with several different landscapers to find the best quality work for the lowest price. Be aware that not all landscape designers actually perform the installation work or maintenance for their landscape design. You may need to contract additional services for these landscape projects.
Get a Contract
When purchasing services that are this expensive and involved, it's always in everyone's best interest to have a contract. A contract can protect both parties from getting into a dispute. It should specify the scope of the work to be done, the timetable for the work's completion and an estimate of the costs. It may also specify what is needed from you, the client, throughout the course of the landscaping project. Be careful, however, as in some cases a contract can bind you to more than you'd like. For example, if you want to take over maintenance of the landscape, make sure that there is no provision in the contract that forces you to retain the landscaper for maintenance services.