BBB offers the following tips when choosing a landscaper: *Decide what landscaping you are looking for. Are you seeking a complete yard remodelling, a maintenance contract, or remedy of a problem? *Obtain at least three detailed written estimates of the work you want. Some agreements break down costs, but for most residential work it is common to indicate a lump sum, and then detail what's included in the cost. Additionally, if you have specific instructions on items NOT to be done, (for example, your prize rose bush is to be left alone) these instructions should be noted on the estimate or work order. *Ensure that the landscaper checks for specific health hazards and care of all the items in question. *Allow the landscaper to make suggestions and recommendations for your specific landscape needs. If you see an example of the way you want the job to look like on completion, show it to the landscaper, and question its feasibility for your yard. *Ask for references, and follow up on them. Many companies carry a portfolio of pictures and letters from customers. Try to ensure that the majority of the work is to be done at the same time, so that the age and condition of the yard are similar. *Check out the company's report at mbc.bbb.org and also check to see if they are listed with the BC Landscape & Nursery Association (BCLNA) at bclna.com. If the company displays either a BBB or BCLNA logo in its marketing or advertising, verify it with each organization independently. *Always obtain any expressed or implied warranty on the company's workmanship in writing. *Specifically request any refund or repair information. Ask questions about whether the company automatically renews the contract each year. *It is a good idea to be on site when the actual landscaping takes place. Oversee the job, and keep in mind that if you become concerned that the job is not what you had originally contracted for, you have the right to tell them to stop whatever it is that they are doing.