Do it yourself landscaping work can be challenging and tiring for one individual to have to maintain and complete. Hiring a landscape contractor to help keep their yard in good condition year-round is a common practice, but make sure you don’t lose money on the wrong type of contractor.
There are four categories that make up the most popular lawn care needs by consumers. These include: landscaping, lawn maintenance, interior plant maintenance, and sprinkler systems. Having a clear and concise understanding of the work that needs to be done before hiring will help in the long run.
Landscaping: Companies that do this type of work modify an area, hand select plants, and position them to make the specified area look unique.
Lawn Maintenance: Lawn Maintenance is the art of keeping a yard looking beautiful and in the best condition possible. Services that fall under this include: mowing, edging, weeding of flower beds, weed control, treating to make sure there is no insect disease, shrub trimming, and fertilizing.
Interior Plant Maintenance: Get ideas for designs, watering plants, and all your basic indoor plant needs with companies that offer this service.
Sprinkler System: Companies will design, install, maintain, and repair any sprinklers on your property.
Once you have determined what you need done and are ready to check out a company, be sure to check on the company at BBB.org before hiring. Also consider the following tips before hiring a lawncare or landscaping company:
- “Ask for a lawn inspection and free estimate.Services that quote a price without seeing your lawn cannot be sure what your lawn might need. Some companies will charge you to discuss the landscaping plan.
- Make sure you have a clear scope of work before asking for estimates.This includes defining the area to be worked on and what you want done. Make sure that each company has included the same services in the estimate. Also, be sure that each company breaks the cost down in the same way (per visit, month, year).
- Be sure to check that the lawn care provider has the proper licensing to work in your state or province.Specifically, they may need a license to apply pesticides. Does the company provide liability and workman’s compensation insurance to protect you in the event of an accident on the job? Ask for a certificate of insurance from the company’s insurance agent.
- Get everything in writing and read all agreements and contracts carefully before signing.Make sure the contract contains all topics discussed, promises made and the duration and expected results of the lawn care service. Some contracts are open-ended, meaning they renew until the client specifically terminates. Make sure you understand how that works and what you must do to cancel. Check for guarantees and refund policies. Some services may offer a guarantee of performance, while others may offer refunds if they fail to meet your expectations. Be sure to keep a signed copy of all agreements and contracts.
- Ask about timing and safety.Will the work be done while you are home or when you are away? Are there any safety precautions you need to take during or after the work? If pesticides are being used, do you need to do anything to protect your family or pets?
- Get receipts for any money paid.If you make full payment in cash, be sure to obtain written verification from the company with a list of labor and material charges covered by the payment.”