Choosing “The Right” Landscape Contractor

Choosing the right contractor can be difficult, whether the project is large or small or whatever the need may be – plumbing, electrical, roofing, etc.  However, when it comes to finding a Landscape Contractor, the choice can be even more difficult because a good landscape contractor must have a diverse set of qualities.  A landscape contractor must have a good designer with vision and creativity, have skilled and knowledgeable installation crews for a number of different tasks, have access to necessary equipment and tools, and have a reputation for excellence. And that’s not all! A good landscaper must also provide a high level of service and communication with the client.  

It’s true – a good landscape contractor must wear many hats.  Years of experience and challenges will strengthen a good landscape team. Good communication skills are also critical in order to guarantee a great finished landscape product and experience. When choosing a landscape professional, look at samples of previous work and testimonials to assure the landscape professional is as good as they say they are.  A good contractor will stay in communication with you and answer any questions you may have before they even start the job. They will also have experts on site once the job has started, making sure it is going in as planned and promised.

If you are looking for a design as well as a landscape installation, you will want to make sure to find a landscape contractor that has skilled Landscape Designers on board. A good Landscape Designer will possess the skills needed to incorporate all of the elements you are looking for including proper plant placement and spacing, hardscape design, special elements and making sure the whole plan is integrated seamlessly with nature and your home using design principles such as balance, repetition and unity. This process starts with asking the right questions and keeping the lines of communication open.

Next, a good landscape contractor will also have skilled, experienced crews.  An organized contractor with experienced crews will save you money and give you piece of mind. Does the crew have the supplies and tools they need on the job? Do they wear uniforms and show up to the project on time?  Do they work efficiently and professionally? Do they clean up daily and leave the project safe and free of debris? These are important questions that separate the good landscaper contractors from the not-so-good ones. An organized contractor with experienced crews will get the job done on time and on budget.

Next, a good contractor seeks out the best products for your landscape.  This includes plants, stones, pavers, lighting and any other elements necessary for your landscape.  A quality landscape contractor will use high quality products because they take pride in what they do.  They will also stand by their products and offer warranties of their workmanship. Many quality products come with extended warranties of their own that should be taken advantage of. Quality contractors rely on word-of-mouth referrals, and this will not be effective if the contractor cuts corners or uses low quality materials.  You, as a consumer, should also want the best available because as the saying goes – “You get what you pay for!” A higher quality product will cost a little more up front, but a good landscape contractor should be able to recommend and stand behind the products they work with. A higher quality product offers a high level of aesthetic appeal as well as durability.  Over the long run, a quality product should really save you money, not cost you more. Logically, high quality products will last longer and require less service than low quality ones. Also, your landscape contractor should be able to offer you a variety of products at different price points to meet your budget and be able to tell you the pros and cons of each option.  A good landscape contractor is always working with your best interest in mind.

When making your final decision about choosing a landscape contractor, don’t just choose the cheapest bid.  Decide what are the most important aspects you are looking for in your landscape project?  Is it a well thought-out design? Is it open communication with a contractor you can trust? Is it getting “more bang for your buck” by going with a product that will last for years to come? Look for all of these things when choosing a contractor, and ask plenty of questions! Look at websites or portfolios to see samples of previous work.  Ask around for a recommendation! Make certain that the contractor you choose has a good reputation, many years of experience, has good sources for quality products, good current references and will incorporate your goals into the project.  Choosing a good landscape contractor is a big decision because the finished product is an extension of your home, and something that will be seen by all for many years to come!

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