A professionally landscaped property is an essential feature of the American yard, and a foundational part of suburban life. A well-maintained yard raises curb appeal and property value. A perfectly manicured lawn with unique accents and exotic features is as much a part of your property's overall value as your home itself, and it can make or break you if you decide to sell. That's why it's crucial to find a skilled landscaper who can handle all your yard’s quirky features and bring your landscaping vision to life.
Asking the Right Questions
Before hiring a landscaper, it is important to ask purposeful questions to make sure that the prospective landscaper is the right fit for your needs. A good landscaper isn’t necessarily a good fit for you. You want to make sure that the landscaper you choose has the skills and professionalism necessary to help you bring your vision to fruition. Here are five questions you need to ask before you hire a landscaper:
Do you have a portfolio of past projects?
While good landscaping can help you take care of serious property issues like poor drainage, overgrown sections, and eroding slopes, its primary purpose is to create an aesthetically pleasing yard. Ask to see a portfolio of the landscaper's past work to be sure their skills suit your visions and expectations.
Are you insured?
Aesthetics are important, but don't forget about the importance of good business practices as well. Landscaping is a physical job, and accidents can happen. You need to protect yourself, your landscaper, and his or her team by making sure your landscaper’s company has the proper insurance. It's also worthwhile to find out if they’re bonded. When a company is bonded, they take an extra step to assure protection, beyond insurance.
Is your company scalable to larger jobs?
The size of the job matters. It dictates the time, resources, and cost. It's important to establish the scope of the project before work starts. Smaller landscaping companies may only be able to accommodate properties of a certain acreage, and you might need to contact a larger firm if you have a commercial property. Make sure that you are upfront with your landscaper about your needs, or you might get an inaccurate quote.
Does your team have members with special certifications?
A general landscaper can handle most of your needs, but if you have a particularly complex vision or eclectic taste, a company that engages in professional development and specialization may be better equipped to handle your landscaping job.
What is your project process, from beginning to end?
By the time you hire a landscaper, you should have a clear picture of what to expect, including a timeline. Ask what steps are involved, from planning to implementation, so there are no surprises. You should also ask your landscaper if they work on several jobs at once, or if all their resources will be dedicated to your project.
A beautifully groomed yard can really make a difference in the look and feel of your property. You need the right professional landscaper to translate your vision into reality. Don’t rush into anything. Your newly landscaped yard is something you’ll have to live with for a long time. And remember, you’re footing the bill, so you’re in control. A good landscaper should see you as not just the client, but also the head of the design team. If you’ve asked all the right questions and you’re still not sure, ask if your potential landscaper can connect you with past clients. No one can offer more honest, valuable details about a landscaper than the clients who have worked directly with them.