BBB Offers Tips on Hiring Lawn And Landscaping Contractors

  
     
April 11, 2017

Mowing The LawnSt. Louis, Mo., Apr. 13, 2017 – For many consumers, flowers and trees in spring bloom mean it’s time to hire lawn care and landscaping professionals. Better Business Bureau (BBB) advises consumers to research their options thoroughly before hiring a crew.

Last year, BBB St. Louis received more than 400 complaints against the landscaping industry. Many complaints alleged dissatisfaction with the services provided and performance of the business. Other complaints reported problems with contracts, on-time completion and billing issues.

“Although many lawn care and landscaping specialists may have an impressive green thumb, for some their talents may not translate into professionalism,” said Michelle Corey, BBB St. Louis president and CEO. “BBB Business Profiles include detailed information on companies that can help consumers narrow the field and choose a lawn care and landscaping service to fit their needs and budget.”

According to the American Society of Landscaping Architects, a well-maintained lawn and landscaping plan may add as much as 20% to a home’s property value, through before making an investment, consumers may want to consider the following tips:

  • Ask at least three companies for bids based on the same requirements. Discuss the bids in detail with each contractor and ask them about variations in pricing. The lowest-priced bid may not be the best.
  • Remember the rule of thirds. If you’re getting a new patio, deck or major landscaping, consider paying a third of the contract amount to secure the contract, a third when the work is half done and the final third only after the job is completed and you are satisfied with the work.
  • Ask for a lawn inspection and free estimate. Lawn care companies that quote a price without seeing your lawn cannot be sure of what you need. A landscaper will need to measure the area where the patio or deck will go and consider access to the yard. Quality companies will offer an estimate only after they see the condition of your property.
  • Ask about the company’s insurance. Does it carry worker’s compensation, property damage and liability insurance? Ask for proof of insurance or for the name of an insurance agent you can call to verify the coverage.
  • Check with local authorities to find out whether permits are needed. The contractor should be aware of any permits or inspections that may be required.
  • Ask for a contract and read it. Get any verbal promises in writing. Make sure the contract includes the start date and expected completion date.
  • Are you looking for fall and winter outdoor services? If you’re thinking of getting help with snow removal and fall and spring cleanup, you may be able to bundle services with the same provider. Many landscaping professionals spend their winters hauling snow and plowing driveways in the off season. A few also provide cleanup services to trim trees and shrubs or haul away fallen branches.
  • Are you alright with chemical treatments lawn and landscaping maintenance? If you have young children or pets, you might want to choose a green, pet-friendly lawncare services on the market.

 

Consumers may obtain BBB Business Profiles or post customer reviews by going to bbb.org. Assistance also is available by calling 314-645-3300.

 

To learn more about substandard business practices in your area, keep up-to-date with BBB’s most recent press releases:

  • Read about BBB “Shred Day” here.
  • Read Student Loan Forgiveness Agency here.

 

St. Louis Area Media Contacts: Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, (314) 584-6743 or (314) 681-4719 (cell), cthetford@stlouisbbb.org

Shellie Kreter, PR & Communications Manager, (314) 584-6723 or (314) 348-5451 (cell), skreter@stlouisbbb.org

Columbia media contact: Sean Spence, Columbia Regional Director, (573) 886-8965, sspence@columbiabbb.org

Cape Girardeau media contact: Joey Keys, Cape Girardeau Regional Director, (573) 803-3191, jkeys@capegirardeaubbb.org

Quincy media contact: Mara Clingingsmith, BBB Quincy Regional Director, (217) 209-3972 or (217) 242-6272 (cell), mclingingsmith@quincybbb.org

About BBB

BBB is a nonprofit, business-supported organization that sets and upholds high standards for fair and honest business behavior. Most BBB services to consumers are free of charge. BBB provides objective advice, free BBB Business Profiles on more than 5.3 million companies, 11,000 charity reviews, dispute resolution services, alerts and educational information on topics affecting marketplace trust. Visit bbb.org for more information.