One of the most important choices you will make in regard to your home improvement is hiring the right landscaping company. There are so many options when hiring a professional landscaper. You have designers, architects, contractors, and your everyday “fly by night” companies. To help you make an informed decision we’ve put together some details on what each has to offer, and which might be a fit for you. This is something you are going to look at every day, spend days and nights hanging out with friends, and use as your personal getaway. Your yard is an important part of your dream home, so we want to help you do it right.
First off, we have “fly by night” companies. There is one definite pro to this company, they are cheap. This is the company the quotes you THOUSANDS of dollars below the rest. While the cost is attractive and of course is an option, you might want to consider the following before you hire them just to save a few bucks. These companies are called fly by nights because they fly under the radar. They are not properly structured, they are not licensed, bonded, or insured. Since these companies do not have proper structuring, it is dangerous to have them do work on your property. Without the proper insurance, if there is any accidental damage to your property you will likely not be able to recover the cost from the company and will be left holding the bag. Also, if a worker was to get hurt while doing your job you may end up paying the medical bills or getting sued. Lastly, these companies are typically run and staffed by underqualified individuals. Their work may even look good on the surface, but the quality of work and materials is usually not the best. The last thing you want is a yard you have to redo in a year. You want it done right, the first time.
Most legitimate companies guarantee their work to some degree or another and you may get a “guarantee” fly by nights. However, there is no guarantee they will fulfill their guarantee when you call upon in. First, they may not be around anymore. These companies usually don’t last long as the Board of Contractors is extremely strict and is always looking for and shutting these companies down. These companies also do not have proper funding or structuring so the likelihood they will be around for an extended time is low. Lastly, they do not have a reputation to protect and therefore are not required to provide quality customer service. In summary, these companies may look attractive based on their low price but in the long run, they could very likely end up costing you more.
Now that we have that out of the way let’s talk about designers, architects, and contractors. Each area of expertise is somewhat the same in some areas, however they a very different in others. To make the decision more difficult, some firms have landscape designers and architects on staff so they can develop the total design, installation, and maintenance of every the most intricate and beautiful landscape design project. Some landscaping companies have one and will outsource the other. Few companies have a designer, architect, and contractor all in the same company. If you can find a company with all three it can prove to be a seamless process and a great experience. If you don’t have a company in your area with all three it would be wise to vet, the companies that are being outsourced in addition to the initial company. The last thing you want is a master designer who outsources to a second-rate contractor. Some companies are able to make the process easy when they have to outsource but often times it becomes an elongated and tedious process.
Once you find companies you are interested in you have to decide which to hire. There are several factors to consider including timeline, complexity, and project size. Really, we recommend finding a company you WANT to work with. Are you able to effectively communicate with them? Do they answer your calls? Do they listen to your needs and feedback? If you are going to undertake a major landscape design, you want to do it with people you like working with. You want a company with great customer service and work quality.
A great place to start is asking friends or neighbors that have a great landscape design who they used and asking for a referral. As you look at companies be sure to look at their galleries and see what kind of work, they have done in the past. Does it look like they can handle your job in terms of design and architecture? Also, considering the size of the company and their equipment, can they handle the construction? Always ask for proof of licenses, certifications, and professional affiliations. You should always get proposals in writing and make sure you understand the terms and fees.
Professional Vs. DIY
You may be incredibly handy or be a wonderful gardener but before you start the demolition it’s a good idea to get with a landscape designer for a consult. Designing and executing a landscape design can be far more complex and backbreaking than you might think. It requires expertise that few amateurs’ gardeners have.
Once you have a plan in place you may feel confident about doing some planting or similar work on your own but it would be in your best interest to hire a professional to take care of things such as outdoor lighting, irrigation, lawns, swimming pools, hardscapes, outdoor kitchens, and grading.
Overall, the landscape design process can be wonderful. You just have to get with the right people to get it done. Here at JTB Landscapers, we have a comprehensive team of designers, architects, and contractors. We are fully licensed, bonded, and insured and we guarantee our work. We would be honored to make your dream yard a reality. Contact us today for a free, no-obligation design consult at 702-425-5581 or submit a form at jtblandscapers.com. We look forward to hearing from you and collaborating on your project!