Booking a landscaper can be like pulling teeth sometimes. There are many landscapers to choose from and many options that each one will present to you and many different prices. In order to keep this easy to compare make sure you are comparing apples to apples instead of apples to oranges. Before you even call a company you need to make sure that you know what you want done. The more specific you are, the easier it will be for the landscaping companies to come up with comparable estimates. If you don't know what you want done, most companies can design the landscaping for you. This will often have some cost associated with it because they will be basically designing a work of art for you and have a lot of time invested. Basic Estimates are typically free but Design work is not. Again, when you are explaining the types of things you are looking for in your landscape beds or patio, try and be specific about what types of things you want to see and how you will use the area. A patio and landscape design for someone who entertains should be very different from a patio and landscaping plan for someone who wants a secluded paradise.
Now lets backtrack a little bit. There are a few qualifying questions that you need to ask each and every landscaping company before even setting foot on your property.
1) Do they have liability insurance? If they don't, you could be liable for any damages.
2) Do you have a workers comp policy? If not, you could be liable for a worker getting hurt.
3) Check their reviews. A good company will have more then just a couple reviews. No one is perfect, so there may be a few unhappy customers, but make sure that they tried to make it right with the customer.
Alright, so now that we are all on the same page we can move on. Next its time to check some photos or videos of their past work. In most cases you are spending thousands of dollars and you don't want to just hope that they know what they are doing. If you are having a lawn installed, make sure to ask to see some photos of lawn that they did. If you are having a patio installed, make sure to ask for some photos of that type of work. If you want to see some jobs in person, be prepared to have a little pushback from the landscapers. Often times we will safeguard our past customers information because its only fair to that customer. If we just gave out addresses to our past customers, they would have people walking through their yards all the time and they would have no privacy. Not cool, right? Keep in mind we will keep your information private as well. Now with that said, if you really want to see some finished work we can touch base with a client and get their permission for a one time preview. We like to get that permission in writing so everyone is on the same page so be prepared to wait a while for us to hear back from that client.
Now that you have all your estimates and have chosen a company, its time to book them. Each company is different but for larger projects our company Appleton Lawn Snow Landscaping typically books out months in advance. So once you are ready, call fast if you want it done this season. It is very common for the landscapers to ask for 20% down at the time of booking. This assures us that you are a serious customer and that you won't back out at the last minute. It takes a lot of planning to get a job together and we like to be as efficient as possible with our scheduling. Once the job is about to start most companies will ask for up to 50% down to help cover the costs of some of the materials. Be very weary of any company that wants 75% or 100% down before the job starts. There is a good chance they will be leaving with your money and not returning. Any reputable company will have the funds to wait until after the job is complete to collect the balance.
Well now that you have a landscaping company booked, good luck! Feel free to call us with any questions.
~ The landscaping Experts: Appleton Lawn Snow Landscaping.