What to Look for in a Landscaping Company
With over half a million landscaping businesses in the U.S. alone, finding the best company for your needs can be a challenge. You want one who will treat your new home with the care and respect it deserves. Not every successful seeming company will do the kind of job that you’ll be thankful for ten or fifteen years down the line. Before you commit to a company, you should consider the following tips.
Landscaping is a Broad Area of Knowledge
Not everyone in the landscaping business knows or specializes in everything. While some have large teams to take care of a variety of different jobs and tasks, many have natural strength. What type of work you’re looking to have done will largely influence who you want to hire.
For example, if you require structures built, including retaining walls, ponds, or a significant amount of earth to be moved, you may need to look for a licensed landscape architect. This will help ensure that the work that is done will remain stable and not erode over time or cause drainage issues, etc. Companies that do work of this nature are often referred to as “full service.”
If all you need is minor sculpting, new trees and plants, or a stone walkway installed, then a landscape designer or “landscaper” may be sufficient.
In either case, make sure that whichever company or individual you hire has the right qualifications. These are usually outlined by the law in a given state. While most landscape architects have both a degree and are certified by a recognized institution, many landscape designers may have little to no formal training, depending on state requirements.
Ask About What Works in Your Area
Before beginning the landscaping process, you may have an idea of what you want in mind. During the initial consultation with a landscaping company, you may learn that certain things you would like may not work in your area. However, they should be able to offer alternatives or workarounds. The landscape professional you speak with should be an expert on what will work in your location.
References, Guarantees, and Safety
There are three questions you must ask during an interview with a landscaping company:
- Are you fully bonded and insured? No matter what type of work this company will be doing, they must answer “yes” to this question to be worth considering.
- Do you have any guarantees? Many landscaping companies will offer to fix small issues that crop up over the first year after a project is completed. They may offer to repair cracks, replace frost-shattered pots, and remove and replace any plants that hadn’t made it over a season or two.
- Do you have any references or plans and pictures for completed projects? To make sure that the company you choose has done similar work to what you envision, it may not be a bad idea to ask for proof.
Do They Offer Services Other Than Major Landscaping?
Will the landscaping company you choose be available for maintenance work? If not, who would they recommend for this type of thing? Not everyone is capable or has the time to take care of their landscaping once it has been installed. Occasionally, a specialist will be needed in case of disease or unusual weather. Before work begins, it’s important to have care plans in place.