Landscape design plays an important role in the look of your home, adding to the overall appeal and its potential resale value.
Here at J&S Landscape in Longmont, we know how challenging it can be to put your trust and money in the hands of a contractor. So if you’re ready to get started on a project for your yard, use the following tips to help you select a contractor that will deliver on quality, price and customer service.
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 for 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.
And if your landscaping design installation is complex, it may be best to work with a landscaper who has a contractor’s license. At J&S Landscape, for example, we’re licensed to do all the work we advertise.
It is important that your landscape contractor or professional can provide proof of Liability Insurance and Workers’ Compensation. This combination will keep you protected if a worker is injured while on your property and ensure that your property is protected should something unexpected go wrong.
Never assume that the proper insurance has been acquired. If your landscape design company 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.
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 design 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 landscape design 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.
Finally, have a clear understanding of how payment will work. They should be structured and allow you to ensure that work is done to your satisfaction before a penny is handed over. Never work with a landscaping contractor that expects full payment for the project up front. This is a serious red flag.
Maintenance and Warranties
You absolute should 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.
The professional you hire should provide care instructions for any landscape design plants, ponds, pools or other features 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.
Relationship and Connection
The landscape designer contractor you choose should be on the same page in regards to the plan, how updates will be communicated, as well as aesthetics. Trust is important for projects that can be a hefty investment. Having a good rapport from the getgo is essential.
Square One, Scope of the Project
Before looking for a company to bring your landscape design to life, it’s important to know what the scope of the project will be so that you can ask the right questions and find a contractor with the skills and experience to get the job done right.
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.
Once you have a general idea, 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 landscape design can be considered a project in and of itself.
Hopefully, you now have a better idea of how to hire the right company for your landscape design job. If you think J&S Landscape might be able to help you with your future landscaping project, contact us to discuss how we can help you achieve the look and features you want. We serve the Longmont, Boulder, Niwot Superior, Lafayette, Broomfield, Louisville, as well as Fort Collins areas.