Finding the right landscaper does take a little bit of research. I’ve worked in the Pacific Northwest area and specifically around Mukilteo, Edmonds, Lynnwood, and parts of King County and Snohomish County for several years now. I love landscaping, dirt, plants, and everything that adds to the curb appeal of your home or the comfortability of your backyard. If you’re looking for a new landscaper or doing some due diligence and research, here are 10 questions to ask when hiring a landscaper.
#1. Are you a full service or maintenance landscape company?
If you’re looking for a full landscape restoration or design you don’t want someone that simply is going to mow the lawn from time to time. You want someone that understands the design factor of landscaping. Think of it as an interior decorator for your grounds. If you just need someone to mow the lawn, chances are most landscapers, even landscape designers will do this, but make sure you get the landscaper for your needs and your budget.
#2. Are you licensed, insured, and bonded?
The last thing you want is for something devastating to happen to your property and not have the landscaper insured. While this has never happened, you want to make sure that you use a licensed and qualified landscaper.
#3. Ask about any industry specialists on staff.
Depending on what you are looking for, landscapers may have specialists on staff that deal in irrigation, plumbing, water features, grass installation, or design. At First Fruits Landscaping, we do a little bit of all and can help you from mowing the lawn to a complete drip irrigation system, water feature, and extensive landscaping design.
#4. Where do you get your plants, shrubs, and trees?
If they’re getting them from the local Home Depot, you may want to rethink your landscaper. A lot of these plants are given harsh treatments once they reach big-box stores so it’s important to know where you’re getting your plants so that they last a long time and are not difficult to get established in your own soil.
#5. Who will handle maintenance?
Most people that choose a complete landscape restoration or design will also want ongoing maintenance so ask about maintenance, how often you will need maintenance, and if maintenance will be concerned before you even complete any major landscaping design.
#6. How well does the landscaper understand your vision?
If you speak to a landscaper and they simply talk over you or feel like they know way more than you making you feel embarrassed to even have that type of design vision, they’re probably not the best landscaper for the job. You want someone that’s going to take the time to listen to your needs, what you envision the property to look like, and offer tips and suggestions to benefit the property with your design.
#7. Ask about how long projects will take.
If one landscaper says your specific design project will take one day while another will take two weeks, there’s something fishy going on. Ask about the time it will take to create the landscape design you are looking for. While completion dates for landscaping projects can be hard to pin down, it is important to understand any deadlines that you have or require.
#8. What can you do if there’s a problem?
Ask about any guarantees or what to do and who to contact if you notice a problem. If there’s a mistake happening and you catch it halfway in between, what can you do about it and what happens if the project is completed with the mistaken place?
#9. What does the design process look like?
How involved do you want to be in the project? Some landscapers love it when homeowners are completely hands-off while others need the communication so that everyone’s on the same page. It’s important to set those boundaries at the beginning before any work is completed so you know where you stand and how involved you want to be.
#10. Is there a guarantee?
Reputable landscaping contractors and designer should be willing to guarantee their work for at least a couple of years. Ask about any separate warranties for plants, paver and wall installations, and any guarantees on water features or yard installation.
At First Fruits Landscaping we want you to love your yard for years to come but that also means choosing the right landscaper at the beginning. Regardless of what stage your property or landscaping is in, give us a call. We love to discuss your needs and vision and answer any questions you might have on the ideal landscaping for your property.