From Dean Dowd on June 11, 2008 in Landscaping
Just last night, I took a walk and happened to notice a neighbor’s perfectly manicured, flower saturated yard. The yard was immaculate, the flowers blossoming profusely, and the lawn a thick green carpet. I couldnt help thinking how nice it would be if I could simply hire her to transform my yard. How do you choose the right landscaping contractor, aside from trying to talk your neighbor into sharing her talents?
It can be risky to call someone from the phone book without a previous reference. When trying to find the right contractor it really helps to start with a friend or neighbors endorsement. It is even better to actually view the landscapers work in person ahead of time. If this option isnt available to you, utilize the free services of a referral company such as CalFinder, which researches contractors’ backgrounds, interviews previous clients, and only recommends experts with impeccable references.
As you interview and get to know the contractors referred to you, request to see pictures of their previous projects. They should keep a portfolio of their work, allowing you to see their creativity and style. Ask plenty of questions during the interview. Be sure to cover the topics that are important to you, whether it be eco-friendly landscaping or allergy-free, you want to know if the contractor has the required expertise to meet your requirements. You also want to get a sense of the contractor’s working style to determine how well you’ll get along during the course of the landscaping project.
It may be possible to establish a trial period with the contractor. Without committing yourself to the whole project right off the bat, you give the contractor a chance to demonstrate their quality of work and reliability. However, it’s always preferable to find someone you trust, someone who is consistently reliable, from the initial phone call to the on-site estimate, to all the follow-up leading to your happily signing the contract.