Choosing a landscaper is very much like choosing the contractor or reno-partner to do your kitchen, bathroom, flooring or other interior projects. In this series, we offer a few tips to help you hire your landscaper contractor extraordinaire, bringing your vision to life, on time and within budget.
1. Make an appointment - get some face time.
In today's age of technology - you'd be surprised how many contractors simply use google maps to estimate the scope and cost of your outdoor project. Sure, google maps could give a 360 degree view, saves on fuel and the estimate is emailed in a snap. But wait - if someone won't take the time to come out personally - how much can they be relied upon?
Block some time and make that appointment. Together you can discover that vision, solve the problem, and most of all, assess the scale of your project. A professional will welcome a personal meeting and perform a walkthrough. The details you unearth together could potentially save you hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.
2. Comparison shop
So you've met a contractor and discussed your vision. When do you expect to have the written quote? Were all your points addressed? How responsive were they to your follow-up questions? What if you've changed your mind? Sounds like you're not quite comfortable...yet. Talk to your local landscaping suppliers, home hardware pro-shops, neighbours or online reviews.
A reliable professional would welcome all your questions and concerns, making sure to take ample time to discuss every detail and encourage you to get other quotes.
3. Ask for referrals
Every great landscaper is proud to showcase the quality of their workmanship. Plus, a professional landscaper would be more than happy to provide you with referrals. Consider asking these insightful questions:
Was the project completed on time and on budget?
If not, what were some of the items to be aware of?
Is the contractor easy or difficult to get a hold of?
For the duration of the project, was the site kept tidy?
During the course of a project, were there unexpected delays or changes? If so, how did they deal with them?
Beyond that, a professional may even encourage you to visit their current project (provided it is safe to do so).