Choosing the right landscaping company is paramount in creating a perfectly planned, outdoor living area that is custom-designed just for you. Merit and reputation are the first qualities to consider. It is also helpful to ask friends and coworkers for personal recommendations. Many reputable companies with relevant reviews can be found online. After choosing several that look the best, set up an appointment with them to learn more. All landscaping companies should be properly trained and licensed. Make sure you feel comfortable talking with the contractor and that they are genuinely interested in your specific needs and ideas regarding your landscape project. Request several references and look at their portfolios of past projects. In such a saturated market it can be difficult to sort through the legitimate, skilled businesses from the untrained.
Critical questions to ask your landscaping company before signing:
What type of formal training and / or certifications does your company have?
All landscaping companies should have proof of certification or professional training in landscape design and installation. This helps to ensure the proper installation techniques, quality of the work as well as their reliability. This information can usually be found online or by request.
Has your company had any legal claims filed against it? If so, what was the nature and how was it resolved?
As a paying customer looking for a reputable landscape company, it important to know the legal history of the business before entering into any sort of agreement. A quick look at this information may be enough to start considering another company.
Do you offer warranties on your materials and service? If so, for how long and what is covered?
Certain aspects of a newly installed landscape can change due to the nature of working with an array of natural materials. Plants are susceptible to weather and environmental threats. Severe storms can cause erosion and settling of the earth which can also affect a newly installed landscape project. A good landscape company stands behind its work and will still be there for you after the final payment is sent. It’s important to ask any new landscaping company what type of warranties they offer and for how long.
What does your company offer that the others do not?
Don’t be afraid to have the landscaping company ‘sell’ their services. A new landscape project can be a big investment, it is critical to know who the best company is for the job. If this particular group can’t articulate what makes them better, than maybe a different company should be considered.
How many projects have you completed similar to what I’m interested in and can you provide photos, a design and 3D imaging?
A seasoned landscape company will have had years of experience constructing projects similar to yours and will be happy to discuss the best possibilities for your specific landscape. It can be challenging and even a little stressful trying to picture how your yard will look after a large landscape project or renovation is complete. To help provide a better vision, an experienced company should provide photos of past similar projects, a hand rendering and even a 3D design of what they are suggesting for your yard.
Can you provide 3 customer references?
Customer references from recent landscape projects are extremely important and can offer a peek into the experience and results you can expect to have yourself while working with the contractor.
Is your company licensed and bonded to perform this work?
In addition to being licensed and trained for landscaping in general, some areas of the project must be installed by a trained specialist such as stone work, electrical, plumbing and gas. If your renovations include any of this work, it is critical to ensure the landscapers are trained, licensed, and certified.
Is your company a licensed General Contractor?
A landscape projects that involves hardscaping, demolition, grading, electrical, plumbing and/or gas should be handled by a licensed professional for. General Contractors are trained, board certified, licensed bonded and insured. An experienced GC can easily handle the complicated process of pulling the right permits and scheduling inspections. A general contractor also understands which components of your project need to be completed, when and how. They can seamlessly coordinate installation for a cost effective and smooth process.
How long have you been in business?
Anyone can grab a shovel and a truck and call themselves a landscaper. However, a new landscape project can be a big investment. The last thing you want is an inexperienced landscape company learning the complicated process of proper project installation while you pay them. What is worse is, if there is any type of failure you may not be able to get in touch with the company to remedy the problem. Only consider hiring a landscape company that has been in business for at least 5 years or longer. This information should help you rest assured that the job is being handled with competence and they will still be around for additional help if needed.
A quality landscape company will provide intelligent insight and thoughtful solutions for a beautiful end result.
Contact Coogan’s Design Build for a free consultation today. We make landscape projects easy!