Hiring a Landscaper

How to Hire a Professional Landscape Contractor

Landscape companies, and landscaping in general, encompass many means and services. In your search for a landscape contractor, you will find that some companies specialize in specific areas (i.e. maintenance or paving) whereas others perform a myriad of landscape services.

A good place to begin your search is with referrals from friends and neighbors who have used a professional landscape contractor. You may consider contacting a property owner you are not acquainted with, who has an obviously pleasing, professionally landscaped property, for a referral.

It is important to remember that landscaping, particularly landscape design and installation, is not a commodity for which a price tag can be easily attached. Purchasing landscape design and installation services might better compare to purchasing art. Landscapes that are pleasing to the eye, functional, and of lasting quality require professional design and installation. This is why many people choose to landscape their properties over a period of years, rather than all at once, so they can budget adequate funds to complete their work properly.

If you expect to hire a professional landscape contractor, you need to employ the techniques of a professional buyer.

  • Ask for, and follow up on, references.
  • Require proof of liability insurance and current workers’ compensation insurance.
  • Ask for proof of a pesticide applicators permit.
  • Examine written guarantees and follow-up maintenance instructions.
  • Ask for professional trade organization membership (i.e., PLANET, ILCA).
  • Evaluate whether the president or management will be personally involved in the design and installation of your project.

Membership in professional trade organizations is a good indication of a contractor’s craftsmanship. Association memberships reflect a company’s commitment to continuing education, professional standards, and excellence.