How to choose the right landscaper

Gorgeous landscaping dresses up your home instantly and can enhance your lifestyle with expanded outdoor living spaces. Whether you want a more welcoming facade to add charm in front, or a full-scale resort-like atmosphere in your backyard, there’s a landscaper waiting with a shovel in hand to help. Here’s how to choose the right landscaper for the project.

1. Determine your landscape needs

If your home is new and you need everything — gardens, trees, walkways, deck, patio, fencing, lighting and more, you’ll need a landscape company that has construction experience and access to heavy equipment.

If you only want to renovate your existing landscaping with tree and shrub trimming or removal, some new plantings, rocks, solar lighting and relatively minor features, then a landscaper who has workers with shovels and wheelbarrows may suffice.

2. Where to look for landscapers

One of the easiest ways to guarantee you’re working with high-quality landscaper or lawn maintenance company is to use the HeyBryan app and select from one of their approved Experts.

Your local garden centre staff may also be able to suggest landscapers based on the project you describe.

Also check websites of local companies and contact those who appear professional, experienced and suitable to the work. Make sure to read reviews thoroughly.

Friends and family may also be able to make recommendations of landscapers they have used or know of from their contacts.

Questions to ask landscapers

Find out how much experience they have as well as any certification, designation or landscape association membership.

Ask to see their portfolio of work and check references and testimonials.

Ensure they are bonded, insured, licensed and ask if they offer a guarantee of their work. Everyone needs to be protected against accidents, injury, theft and damage to you and your home, as well as all workers on the job.

Insist on detailed plans, drawings or at minimum, a written project description. Ask what permits are necessary and how these will be obtained and their costs.

Call city officials and utility companies yourself so that no digging is done that could damage gas, water, electrical, drainage and many other underground lines nearby. These representatives will come out to your home and mark the hazardous areas. This step should not be missed or you could be liable if damage is done.

Which landscaper to choose

Get at least three estimates of your landscaping project and ensure every aspect is itemized in detail — from the height of trees right down to the depth of mulch. That will make comparing estimates easier.

Does the landscaper appear professional, have a truck that’s in good repair, a track record of satisfied homeowners and good communications skills? Who will be doing the work — summer students, seasonal workers who may, or may not speak your language, or full-time staff who have lots of experience?

Find out what suppliers they use, such as tree farms or garden centres, and call them to ask for a reference to ensure they are in good standing.

Finalizing the landscape agreement

When you’ve chosen a landscaper, make sure the work is outlined in writing with drawings, plans, permits and product descriptions. Also ask for a timeline and don’t pay any money up front in full.

If it’s a large job, consider payment based on work completed — as long as it’s to your satisfaction. For example, if the first stage of your project is planting large trees and they are placed just the way you want them, or a huge patio of interlocking stone is laid, your landscaper may want this part of the project to be paid. Determine whether you are comfortable with in-progress payments and include it in the job description.

Plants and trees usually come with a one-year guarantee to make sure they thrive in the right soil and sunlight conditions during all seasons. An experienced landscaper will know which trees and plants will prosper based on your property. Ask what guarantees are included.

When the project is complete you’ll probably be surprised as to how much great landscaping brightens up a home’s appearance, as well as how newly-created beautiful outdoor living rooms enhance your daily lifestyle.

Once your landscaping is done, book a HeyBryan Expert to cut and maintain your lawn on a regular basis to keep it looking great.

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