Here at J&S Landscape in Longmont, we know it can be difficult to figure out how to hire the right landscape contractor for the job. Landscaping plays an important role in the look of your home and can add to its overall appeal as well as its potential resale value. Here is some great information to help you decide the best landscape contractor for you and your project.
Scope of the Project
It is important to know what the scope of the project will be. Will you be looking for a major overhaul of your landscaping or a minor addition? Are you in need of a retaining wall or fence? What plant do you know you want to incorporate? Gathering your thoughts in advance is important in helping define the scope of your project. Collect pictures or photos to help clarify what look or style you are trying to achieve.
If you are uncertain, consulting with a potential landscape contractor is a great way to solidify your expectations and at the same time, get a feel for whether your prospective contractor will be a good fit for the project. Often, an experienced professional can help you determine project possibilities if you are uncertain, but a full design can be considered a project in and of itself.
A good landscaping contractor can also provide options that may not have occurred to you, like unique crevice gardens or going with a faux stone like the ClifRock Panel System. Consulting in advance can help you define any areas of uncertainty before finally solidifying the scope of the project. A good conversation about scope can also give you an idea of whether the landscape contractor is professional, knowledgeable, and enthusiastic about your potential project.
It is important that your landscape contractor or professional has both Liability Insurance and Workers’ Compensation. This combination will keep you protected if a worker is injured while working on your property and will ensure that your property is protected should something unexpected go wrong. Never assume that the proper insurance has been obtained because if your landscape company or professional is lacking this insurance, you could be held liable when something happens and a claim can be filed against your property for damages. This can be a serious risk to your assets.
An unlicensed contractor may not have met any of the state’s standards and you will have no recourse if you have a complaint about the landscape work done or not finished. With a licensed contractor, you can file complaints about poor workmanship, unfulfilled terms, abandoned contracts, violations of codes, and more. It is important to ensure that they are licensed to do the work you want to be performed. Sometimes, if your landscaping work is complicated, it may be best to work with a landscaper who has a contractor’s license. We here at J&S Landscape in Longmont, for example, are licensed to do all the work we advertise.
Experience and References
It is always important to check references for previous work completed. Find out what the work they’ve done looks like and take a moment to review their landscape portfolio. Inquire as to whether the work met and still meets the expectations of their previous customers and use web sources to search for potential problems, complaints, and for additional satisfied customers. Pay attention to the number of projects the company has completed that are similar in scope to what you want to be done and to how long your prospective company has been in business. Checking with the Better Business Bureau can also ensure that you are hiring a well-respected company with an excellent rating.
Costs & Contracts
Be sure to discuss and understand the potential costs of your project. If you have a budget, it is important to be clear about your budget expectations. Understand whether an initial quote is a fixed price or an estimate and be sure to find out how any cost changes will be approached and handled. Signing an agreement about terms of the costs and how any changes will be managed is a good way to avoid any confusion.
Be sure to understand what happens in the case of unexpected situations with respect to cost and to the project itself. And be sure that the scope of the landscape project meets your budget expectations in advance of work being done, so that any changes you might want to make are addressed and well understood by way of a signed contract.
Also, have a clear understanding how payment for the project will work. Payments should be structured and clear and should allow you to ensure that work is done to your satisfaction. Never work with a landscaping contractor that expects full payment for the project up front. This is a serious red flag.
Maintenance and Warranties
The professional you hire should provide care instructions for any plants that have been installed. There should be a care plan in place after the contractor leaves. Knowing how the transition will take place will ensure your ultimate satisfaction with the project. Some companies, like our own, offer maintenance landscape care, which frequently allows for a very easy transition from the completion of the project. It is also good to know up front about any warranties on the work that will be provided. Without a warranty, you are stuck absorbing the cost if something goes wrong after the installation.
Be sure that you feel you trust the landscape contractor you choose. You should feel that they are going to do the job that you want and perform up to the standard you are expecting. Trust is important for projects that can be a hefty investment.
We here at J&S Landscape in Longmont hope you now have a better idea of how to hire the right landscape contractor for your job here in Longmont, Boulder, Niwot Superior, Lafayette, Broomfield, Louisville, as well as Fort Collins. If you think we might be able to help you with your future landscaping project, contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve the landscaping project you want.