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Here's some helpful tips from your BBB on Landscaping Contractors:

If you are considering the services of a landscaper for planting a new lawn, shrubbery or trees, BBB suggests that you first visit nurseries to see the variety of greenery available, compare costs, care of greenery, and get a general design in mind.

To choose a contractor for new design as well as continuing maintenance of your present landscape (trimming trees, bushes, fertilizing your lawn, etc.) you should check with friends, neighbors, and co-workers who have had their property landscaped, or have a maintenance contract for their property. Check the companies out with BBB and also check with the Department of Commerce-State Board for Contractors. In Virginia, for new landscaping, a contractors license is required for any single job that exceeds $1,000. Call this office at 804-367-8511 to check the company's license and see if there have been any complaints filed against them.

For both new as well as maintenance landscapers, if the company representative is applying "restricted use" pesticides, the operator must have a license with the Department of Agriculture- Office of Pesticide Management. You can call this office at 804-786-3798 to check the pesticide, the operator's license, and the company's complaints. Make sure to ask for and follow up on customer references. Also, get at least three written estimates, and do not sign a contract unless you completely read and fully understand it. A written contract should include a written guarantee of at least a year for new greenery, all services specifically listed on the contract-including dates of service, amount of service, and types of services to be provided. Call your local Virginia Co-operative Extension Service for planting specifications as well as information about the Certified Nurserymen's Association.


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