How to Hire a Landscaper for the First Time

A landscape design for a garden

A landscape designer can transform your garden.

You’ve finally purchased the home of your dreams, but it’s lacking the beautiful garden, manicured lawn, and white picket fence that you always imaged. Why not let a pro handle it? You can hire a landscaper to deal with the little details and get your gardening and lawn care started right. Before you know it, you’ll be able to hold your head up high when people ask, “Who owns that house with the beautiful landscaping?”

Finding the right landscape designer for your needs, however, can be challenging. Here are our tips for hiring a landscaper.

How to Find a Good Landscaper

Check with Professional Landscaping Associations. Those landscapers who are true professionals will belong to local or regional professional associations. These groups maintain lists, often on their websites, of available landscapers in your area. Bonus points to landscapers who belong to more than one of these associations. One example is the Association of Professional Landscape Designers, which has local chapters in many states and regions.

Ask Around. Your friends, family and coworkers are often the best source of leads for professional services. They’ve already been through the process of hiring a landscaper and will happily share their experiences, both good and bad. Even if they can’t give you the name of someone that is available to work on your property, they can certainly tell you who not to hire, and that’s half the battle.

Check the Web. Many people today hire professionals from referral services like Angie’s List or Yelp. These types of websites allow people who have hired a contractor to leave feedback so that others will know about the level of service the landscaper provides.

Questions to Ask Potential Landscapers

A landscaper in a garden

A great landscaper will be your partner in creating a beautiful garden.

Now that you know how to find a good landscaper for your property, you should compile a list of questions to ask each landscaper you interview. (You weren’t thinking about hiring the first person that answered the phone, were you?) Aside from establishing pricing and availability, you need to know that the person you’re hiring is properly licensed and that they have the right equipment to perform the work your landscape demands.

Licenses and Certifications: Not all landscapers are created equally – hiring a landscaper means asking probing questions of the person or company you’re interviewing. Many municipalities and states require licensing for selling plants to customers or applying pesticides, for example. Other laws may govern who can use certain titles, based on licensing or certification. It’s good to know that your soon-to-be landscaper can legally perform the tasks your landscape requires long before you bother with pricing.

Professional Services: Some landscapers specialize in specific areas of plant or grounds care, such as organic pest management or tree health. Make sure that your potential landscaper is not only able, but willing and knowledgeable in areas that are vital to your job or has someone available with this skill set. You don’t want to be the customer that even the best landscaper uses to learn a new technique.

References: Even though you’ve checked online and asked friends and family members about the landscapers that you are seriously considering, it’s good to ask the landscaper for references. If they can demonstrate a long history of satisfied customers, it’s a good bet that you’re going to be happy with the services they have to offer.

Get It In Writing! No matter how big or small your needs, your landscaper should be a professional that is able to clearly communicate information and understand what you wish to accomplish. Make sure to get a contract that outlines payment terms, including milestone payments, as well as the estimated completion window and any warranties or long-term care agreements. This will protect both you and your landscaper, should a disagreement arise later.

You always know a good professional by the tools he or she uses. If you love our products, direct your landscaper to HooksAndLattice.com for a wide selection of planters, window boxes, garden decorations, and more.

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