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Educational Consumer Tips

Landscaping tips

Author: Better Business Bureau

Homeowners love to make their houses more attractive, and some of that entails hiring professional landscaping services. Here's a couple of tips to assist you in choosing the best company possible:

  • How long have they been in business - Check how long the company has been in business, what kind of work experience and training the crew has, and if the contractor is willing to stand behind the work and service provided. Question what procedures are in place to handle problems if they should arise.
  • Verify any licensing - Ask for copies of licensing, if required, and insurance certificates for workers' compensation and liability. If the company is not properly insured, you could be liable for any accidents that occur on your property.
  • Check for references - Acquire references and visit the site of the job to see the finished result. Also visit a job in progress so you can examine the crew's appearance and the quality of workmanship. 
  • Ask for contact information - Get the contractor's cell phone number and home number in case of an emergency, and beware of contractors who are repeatedly difficult to reach.
  • Know who will be hired - Ask if the contractor will enlist licensed electricians and plumbers for jobs such as irrigation pump installation, which may necessitate special hook-ups. Ask if the contractor will hire the subcontractors, and if he or she will be on hand to direct the work. 
  • Will there be down payment - See how much of a down payment is required. If the requested down payment is more than 50%, you may want to proceed with caution. 
  • Get a written contract - This contract should include an outline of all the work you want done. For example, you should know when the work should start and end, the total costs, the materials used (including the depth of rock, heights of walls, etc.), and when and what work the company will do if you want them to continue the upkeep. Before signing, read over the contract a nd make sure any warranties or guarantees are clearly outlined, and that you understand all of the information.