Questions to ask your landscaper before you hire them
Are you thinking about landscaping your garden soon? Landscaping your garden can be a significant investment for your property, so you want to ensure that you are hiring the right landscaping company for the job. But how do you know which landscaping company is right for your project? Well, our landscape gardeners in Chesterfield have compiled a list of all the questions you need to ask your landscaper before you hire them. After all, you need to ensure you get the best service for your money.
Ask to see their portfolio
Any good landscaper should have a decent landscaping portfolio. Before hiring anyone, ask for a portfolio of their previous work. When looking at a landscaper's portfolio, you must consider two things. Firstly, have they completed anything similar to your project before? You want to hire a landscaper with experience doing the work you require. Some landscape gardeners specialise in different areas such as paving, joinery or soft landscaping; make sure your landscaper specialises in what you want.
Secondly, how much work is in their portfolio can give you a sense of how long they have worked in the industry. Of course, with experience comes expertise. The more work they have completed, the better they might be at the job. However, be bold in hiring a new landscaping company. Although the company may be new, the individual landscapers could have years of experience. Also, new companies will often have lower prices in an effort to increase their portfolio.
Ask how long the project will take
Do you need to complete your project by a deadline? Before you start your landscaping project, make sure you ask for a realistic timeframe of how long the job will take to complete. You may plan on selling your property and need your garden completed as soon as possible. Or you may not want your garden to look like a construction site for an entire summer. Of course, there are always things outside a landscaper's control that could delay a project. Ask your landscaper where he gets his supplies from and whether he thinks there may be a delay from the supplier.
However, it is worth remembering that you want your landscaping company to feel free from rushing into completing the project. You must be realistic with your project deadline - ask your landscaper if they think you are being realistic or not. You and your landscaper should establish an approximate end date for the project before you sign any paperwork. Doing this ensures you have accurate expectations of the job.
Ask to see their insurance
The most vital part of hiring a landscaping company is to ensure they have insurance. Although accidents are rare, unexpected mistakes can occur. For example, if any damage is caused to your property by your landscaper, it is their responsibility to put it right. Most landscapers will make a claim through their insurance to get the funds to rectify the issue. However, if a landscaping company does not have insurance or the money to put things right, you will likely be waiting a long time to resolve the problem.
Also, turning your garden and/or driveway into a construction site creates a health and safety risk for anyone walking to your property. Perhaps you have been without a path to your doorstep for a few days, and your mailman has had an accident trying to post your parcel. More often than not, it is the landscaping company's responsibility to handle any legal repercussions from this incident. However, make sure there is an explicit contract/agreement from the start of the project that states you are free from any liability caused by the ongoing work on your project.
Ask for some references
The best way to understand how well your landscape gardener works is to speak to some of their previous clients. Ask your landscaper if they have any references. Your landscaper should be able to give you a number or two of some previous happy customers who can vouch for their work. When you speak to one of their customers, ensure you ask all questions you may have.
However, make sure you are mindful of the fact that it is easy to provide false references. Anyone can ask a friend of theirs to pretend to be a previous customer and answer some questions on the phone. Although there is no way of really knowing whether a reference is fake, you can sometimes get a feeling they don't know what they are talking about by asking detailed questions about landscaping.
Although hiring a landscaper may seem scary, there are many reasons to landscape your garden, so don't let fear stop you from the garden of your dreams.
Look for online reviews!
Another way to hear about other people's experiences with your landscape gardener is to look at their online reviews. Whenever anyone has had a bad experience, they shout about it online. Does your landscape gardener have dozens of bad reviews? Or do they mostly have positive reviews and only the odd negative comment? It is rare to find a landscaping company with no bad reviews, so be aware before looking at their online presence.
To look for the company's reviews, first look on Google. Most businesses will have a Google business profile, allowing people to comment on them. The next best place to look is their social media accounts, particularly Facebook. Check the comments on their latest posts. Are there any negative remarks? Also, check any local Facebook pages in which they might advertise their services. Usually, members of the community whom they might have annoyed in the past will write about it there.
Hiring the right landscape gardener for you can be intimidating; however, you must research the landscaping company before you commit to hiring them. Landscaping your garden can be a heavy investment, so you want to ensure you are not putting your capital at risk. At Chesterfield Landscapes, our landscapers are committed to being transparent with their customers from the start and are happy to answer any questions they may have.
If you are looking for a landscaping company in Chesterfield, do not hesitate to contact us for a quote.
Do you want to read more about landscaping and get some inspiration for your project? Check out our blog, where we write about all the latest landscaping trends.