Choosing the Perfect Landscaping
Contractor for You
Investing in a home landscaping project is a smart decision.
Time, a budget, and a properly laid out plan are things to
Included in the investment is the search for the best
professional landscape contractor available who can stay
within your budget and yet do an acceptable job.
You do not want a “run-of-the-mill job” that you see elsewhere
in your neighborhood, but one that you have envisioned and
that suits your specific needs.
Start with a well thought-out
plan. Put it in writing and identify the needs and requirements of
Prepare your budget. Will your
dream garden be feasible? Is it practical or do you need to make
some adjustments and/or compromises?
Identify alternatives if your budget fails to accommodate your
vision. Having a plan, budget, and timetable for your landscape
project will make it easier for you to negotiate with your
landscape contractor. He is your practical accomplice in ensuring
that this project will meet your budget and that it will look as
much as possible like you had envisioned.
With everything in order, you are now ready to choose your
• A landscape contractor can do many jobs for you. Make sure you
identify what help you want from him. If you like to work in the
garden and want to do some of the work yourself, tell your
contractor about it and work with him so that he will know what is
expected of him. This will make the work less expensive.
• Be sure that you have already identified what you want in the
landscape design. This should be in your preparatory plan before
you even speak to a professional contractor. Do let him know that
you would appreciate his professional expertise and input – this
will put him at ease.
• Know the landscape companies that you are contacting and
negotiate with them. Gauge their level of experience and the
quality work by asking for photos or tours of their previous
projects. You should also ask for references and their
• Be sure that the company is operating legally. This will ensure
you that the contractor will be accountable to you.
• Everything you agreed to must be in ‘black and white’. Never
walk away without a written contract!
Here are some of the pertinent things that you should remember in
making your selection:
1. Ask for referrals
The best way to find a good landscaping firm is to ask friends,
neighbors and family members. One can get more information in an
hour talking with his neighbor or others who have had experience
in hiring a landscaping firm than a whole day trying to search the
Internet for information.
Although the Internet is a good way to look for prospective
landscaping firms, it might not be able to answer many of the most
important questions that you might have.
2. Check the services offered by the firm
Different landscape firms offer different services. Check if the
landscaping firm has all the services that you will need to
complete your project.
3. Contact the Firm
Try contacting them by telephone and ask some basic questions. You
should also set up a personal meeting with the landscapers. An
initial assessment of the firm's customer service should be made.
Small things usually reflect the general attitude of a firm toward
If personal referrals won't give you security, you may want to
check to validate the firm's authorization and licenses. Don't
forget to ask if they are offering liability insurance since you
might need that information in the future.
Finding a good landscaping firm is not that hard if you take the
necessary steps to do so. In the end, it's a matter of assessing
the over-all package that is offered by the firm against your