A gorgeous and well-maintained landscape can add tremendous value to both your home and the homes that surround it. Landscaping that’s been carefully designed, much like a newly renovated bathroom or kitchen, can significantly boost the value of your property. When you get ready to sell this investment, your front yard and its landscaping features will lie at the heart of what “curb appeal” really means – it is the first thing to make an impression on prospective buyers when they pull up.
A landscaper or landscaping contractor can offer a vast range of helpful services in this respect. A landscaping contractor might perform month to month maintenance, while others can install features like decks, walkways and sprinkler systems – and others still may focus on landscape architecture and landscape design. There are also lots of companies out there that offer a variety of these service options.
Following are several steps to help you choose the perfect landscaping contractor or service for your needs.
Take The Time To Define Your Budget And Needs
Are you looking for a landscaper who can help you with weeding and mowing several times per month or do you need to replace your lawn or a cracked walkway? You may even be ready to implement a plan based on your most recent and biggest landscaping inspiration that involves completely leveling your yard to bring in the new. Define your goals and intentions in advance as well as why you feel the need to complete this project. You also want to set a clear budget for the needed work. Talk with your landscaper as well; this is someone who will have many great, budget-friendly ideas that might help. You should additionally ask your landscaping contractor which payment methods are accepted.
If you have yet to do so, take some time to go through landscape design books from the library or buy a few of your own to review. Drive through your neighborhood to see what other people are doing with their yards. Pay attention to color combinations, general layouts, driveway and walkways patterns, and different flower and tree types among other things. Even though you might feel like you know exactly what you want to do, with additional research and time spent touring the local landscape, you’ll gradually become more comfortable and confident with your ideas.
Plan Out A Rough Timeline For The Project
After you’ve found the perfect landscaping contractor to work with, you might discover that this professional is booked solid for the next two weeks, or even for the next six months. Your landscaper should have a schedule that coordinates seamlessly with your own. If you will be relying on multiple service providers such as installers and designers, and if you will be doing the sub-contracting, you are going to have to juggle multiple schedules. Ideally, depending upon your location, you should schedule this work around the rain season so set your plans according and make sure that there is plenty of time to get everything done. If you are planting new foliage and flower beds, you should find out the best time to put these in and then factor this into your schedule also. You shouldn’t rush anything unless you have, such as if you need to offload your home within the next few months. This decision alone is going to play a significant role in your choice of landscaping contractor. Even though most people want to have these projects finished as soon as possible, careful planning and plenty of patience can help limit overall stress.
Finally, find out how many additional jobs your landscaper will be handling at the same time as your project. In an ideal situation, your landscaping contractor would be on the job from beginning to end, but there are times when this isn’t possible. If your provider is juggling a few jobs at once (which is incredibly common in the landscaping industry), you might see your provider just a few days a week, and the project could end up taking far longer than you anticipated. This is especially true with Nova Scotia’s unpredictable weather. Tell your landscaper about any concerns you have regarding project delays.
Take The Time To Research Different Landscaping Services In Your Area
There are lots of ways to research landscaping companies… from web-based directories like the one offered by Landscape NS, to the phone book, to getting referrals from family and friends. More than 40 percent of landscaping contractors and landscaping companies are chosen by referrals. The second biggest part of research is conducted online, with direct mail and yellow pages tied and poised at a distant third. No matter where you start, shopping around is essential.
Key Factors To Include In Your Search
- The length of time in business
- The number of employees that a company has as well as the number of employees that will be dedicated to your project
- Services offered and any special services or skills that are available
- Get the contact info of prospective landscapers, their business hours, and the best times to call.
- Any professional affiliations that exist such as those with landscaping associations or the BBB
- Find out if a landscaper is industry certified. Being certified means that some or all of the employees throughout the company have passed special exams that distinguish them as being capable of a higher quality of work, professionalism, and all-around industry knowledge.
- Will any Journey persons be working on your project?
Is the company insured? This is CRITICAL. If landscapers in Vancouver lack proper insurance, you might be held accountable for any injuries or property damages that occur while your provider is on the job. Check proof of insurance and take a copy of insurance certificates when possible. Verify that the business name is on the insurance certificates in question, check the policy number, the date of expiration, and the contact info for the insurer. You should call the insurer before work is started to ensure that the policy remains valid.
Learn more about the guarantees that are offered, the length of these guarantees, and the specific items that are covered. You should note that some parts of these projects might not be covered even though other aspects are.
Be sure to get references. Drive by past projects or check out photos of this work. Take notes if you can. If you have an acceptable level of comfort, get in touch with past clients to ask about their overall satisfaction, the final work quality for their projects, and the company’s ability to deliver on its promises.
Always get a written contract from your landscaper that details your project and gives you a clear breakdown of pricing. Try to get an in-depth, graphical layout of the work also.
You can additionally request an estimate for changes, potential problems or any other unseen factors that might rear their heads during the work.
Try to be there for the majority of the work that’s being performed. This way, you can regularly examine the overall quality of workmanship and can make sure that your provider is doing what you requested, and that team members are there, on time, as planned. Once the work is done, perform a final walk-through with your landscaper – possibly while holding your contract and ensuring that the finished work is in line with your expectations.
This article was created by the friends at:
BUR-HAN Garden & Lawn Care
2110 Front St, North Vancouver, BC V7H 1A3