Tips on Selecting the Contractor for Your Landscape

Question: We are looking to contract a firm to oversee our landscape project. What should we look for and is there any landscape certifications. Peggy, Douglasville, GA.

Answer: Selecting the right landscaping contractor for the your landscape project is very important and yes there are certification programs for professional landscapers. The state of California probably leads the nation in landscape certification.

Before opening up the Yellow Pages and heading over to the landscaping section and making that first call you need to establish a few things.

  • What will be your budget?
  • What do you want to accomplish? In design, lifestyle, ease of maintenance, etc.

After going through the yellow pages and contacting a few potential landscape professionals ask for:

  • A meeting to discuss your particular job.
  • Find out what they can do for you
  • Discuss your budget
  • What items they may offer which never crossed your mind
  • References
  • Certification and business license
  • Make sure they are insured

Visit Previous Projects

Ask the landscaper for previous projects you can visit, this gives you much a better idea of what their finished work looks like and what they can do for your yard. Pictures can also work. Ask to see a portfolio of their past work as well. You’re asking them to handle your money and you need to be comfortable with their work and working with them. Landscaping is a building project and problems will come up. All this helps in making that final decision on the landscaping project and contractor to choose.

The contractor may be the one to come up with the landscape design of your entire yard both front and the backyard or implement the plan of a landscape architect. You want your landscape contractor to be creative and ready to offer ideas.

Visit Your Home or the Project Site

When you meet with the contractor, have them visit you at home. He or she should come over and review your current yard with you. They should also present you with ideas on how they can transform your yard into a design and style that meets your needs.

There are many ways and tools landscapers have in their toolbox to transform a piece of land. Slopes and hills, color, texture, lighting, bricks and pathways. Landscapers usually have their own "trademark" or signature they incorporate in all their projects.

The key as in most construction projects is planning. Plan on spending the time to come up with a realistic budget, design and take the time selecting the professional to transform your landscape.

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