19 Sep Things You Should Hear From Your Landscape Contractor!
Hiring contractors is the most expensive part of any home improvement project, and landscapers are no exception. When it comes to finding the right landscaper, you not only need one that can do the job, but one that will do it well, on time, on budget to your specifications. Here are five things to listen for when interviewing potential candidates.
Your Ideas Matter
While a good designer will have ideas and concepts to share, the best will never lose sight of the fact that this is your outdoor space they are creating. A contractor who spends at least as much time listening to your ideas and needs as they do sharing their own concepts is more likely to be attentive to details, and produce results that will work well with your space and lifestyle.
What Will and Won’t Work In Your Landscape
Plants and other landscape features, like most things in home design, tend toward trends and fads. While having a current look in your landscape is not a bad thing, working with your home’s style, the existing topography and knowing which species are best for your region are essential. Many landscapers have a one-size-fits-all approach. A good landscaper will not only point out potential problems, but should provide you with workable solutions.
Weaknesses in Your Current Landscape
Whether it be issues with drainage, plants that are less than ideal for your region, or other potential problems, a good landscaper will inspect your existing landscape for conflicts or issues before recommending plants or other features. Their main concern should be providing you with outdoor living spaces that create the aesthetic that you want without endangering your home or causing other issues. Choose a landscaper who takes surrounding landscape into account when planning additions.
What You Can Expect for Your Budget
There are two main approaches landscapers take to budget. The first is the “What can you afford or what to spend?” approach. In this instance, the contractor will typically design an installation that will take most or all of your budget. While this is not necessarily bad, the second approach is the “If money were no object, what would you do with your landscape?” approach. This approach may seem contrary to saving money, but in reality can open up creative problem solving. The landscaper hears what you want, then works to fit the feel and look you desire into your budget. Whatever the approach, it should come down to your actual budget. A good contractor will also factor in your ability to maintain the installation as a part of the budget.
Last but not least, a contractor should not be afraid to share former projects. Avoid those that brag, but a contractor without a book, website, or other gallery of past successes is a risk. While they may be completely competent, their design style may not suit your needs. Ask about awards, professional certifications (not required in Oklahoma), insurance and bonding. Take the time to get to know the contractors work and don’t be afraid to ask questions.