10 Tips on How to Hire a Landscape Contractor
Your landscape master plan is drawn and finished. Now, you need to hire a landscape contractor to excavate and construct your hardscape and landscape plans in Morris, Somerset or Hunterdon County, NJ. Who are you going to call?
You can ask your family and friends who they’d recommend. You can also ask your landscape architect or landscape designer who they recommend. They’re all good sources.
But your job to hire a New Jersey landscape contractor just got started.
First, what is the difference between a landscape designer and a landscape contractor?
The designer takes your ideas, budget, and your property’s measurements to draw up a master plan that includes hardscape features, such as spas, swimming pools, outdoor kitchens and living rooms, as well as plant placement in your landscape for a complete look.
Next, a landscape contractor will do the nitty-gritty part of building your new landscape or hardscape project. A landscape contractor’s job can include mulching, buying and installing plant media, excavating, and building your hardscape features.
What You Need to Know Before You Sign that Contract
If you hired a landscape designer to draw up plans for your outdoor living space, you’ll need a landscape contractor to do the labor piece of making your landscape master plan a reality.
As the landscape networker, we recommend the following 10 tips to avoid getting burned by an unscrupulous contractor:
- Pick a couple of landscape contractors that match your landscape design goals. What’s their experience? How long have they been in business? Go to their websites and check out their portfolios and galleries to get a feel for their work. Also, check out the Better Business Bureau, Angie’s List, and other places where landscape contractors are reviewed for their work.
- Meet with your candidates. How much do they charge? What’s the estimated time to complete your landscape build job from start to finish?
- Make sure that they carry liability and workman compensation insurances. Ask to see proof and even consider calling their agent to make sure the insurance is updated.
- Make sure that your landscape contractor knows and understands local municipal codes and that he/she can pull permits needed to complete your property’s project.
- Make sure that your contractor is licensed to operate and work in New Jersey. Their trucks should carry their license numbers. And of course, make sure that you see proof of their licensure.
- Do they make safety a top priority? Ask about their safety record and how they reinforce safety practices with their work crews.
- Are they customer-focused? In today’s world, customer service is sometimes put on the back burner, but it does show your contractor’s character if they answer your questions, reply to your inquiries, and will address problems that occur.
- Do they provide a warranty for the plants and hardscape projects they complete? A reputable landscape contractor will instruct you with the after care of any plants that they install on your property. Yet, if your new plants unexpectedly die, did the contractor provide you with a warranty? What about cracks in your new patio or some other problem that occurs on your new hardscape project? Does the landscape contractor back up his/her work with a warranty?
- Know who’s in charge when the project is underway. Who’s the point person overseeing the work crew? Also, know who your landscape contractor uses for subcontracting work. Make sure that these companies are also licensed and insured to work on your property.
- Don’t be afraid to ask questions. Even though it’s time consuming to interview three or four different contractors, you’ll be thankful that you did your homework when your outdoor living space is beautiful and professionally built to last a long, long time.
At the Land Design Network, we’re a full service, landscape design/build company. Not only will we partner with you to design your outdoor paradise, we’ll also build that dreamscape.
Are you ready to hire a landscape contractor to complete your Hunterdon, Morris, or Somerset County outdoor living space? Then call us at the Land Design Network to schedule your appointment today at 973-476-4863 or fill out our contact form at https://landdesignnetwork.com/consultations/.
Kaiser, Laura Fisher. “How to Hire Landscaping Contractors,” HGTV: http://www.hgtv.com/remodel/outdoors/how-to-hire-landscaping-contractors.
Landscaping Network. “How to Hire a Landscape Contractor,” http://www.landscapingnetwork.com/how-to-hire-a-landscaper.html.
National Association of Landscape Professionals. “How to Find a Professional Commercial Lawn and Landscape Company,” Fact Sheet: https://www.landcarenetwork.org/PLANET/Media-Press/Fact-Sheets.aspx.
Pickett, Marcus. “How to Hire a Landscaping Contractor,” Home Advisor: http://www.homeadvisor.com/article.show.Checklist-How-to-Hire-a-Landscaping-Contractor.13233.html.
Robert, Chad. “10 Tips for Hiring a Landscaping Professional,” Landscaping Network: http://www.landscapingnetwork.com/landscape-design/hire-landscaper.html.