How to Choose a Great Landscape Contractor...and the Warning Signs of a Bad One.
Choosing a great landscaper can be challenging for many reasons. First of all, most landscapers are great technicians, they know how to do the work, but have trouble managing people, finances and customer expectations. Secondly, decent landscapers get booked up fast so it may be a few months to a year to get scheduled. Third, most landscape contractors don't know how to operate with more than one crew and project at one time. But luckily for you, you will soon be on the fast track to finding that special contractor that will build your dream and provide you with a great experience at the same time.
Response Time and Call-Backs: When contacting a professional contractor it is expected that if you leave a voicemail or send an email, that someone will get back to you ASAP! Unfortunately, this may rarely be the case. Most landscapers are too busy doing the physical work during the day, estimating during the evenings and catching up on all the other necessary business operations during the weekend. This leads to a severe lack of customer service right from the beginning.
Asking the Right Questions: If you are lucky enough to get ahold of a contractor, check to make sure they are asking the right questions. If the contractor truly cares about your project they should be asking questions such as your budget, your intended use/purpose of the project, soil conditions, durability requirements, timelines, low maintenance products and general expectations.
Keeping Commitments and Promises: An early warning sign of a bad contractor is when they are not keeping their commitments and promises. If you schedule a time to meet with a contractor and they don't show up, be concerned. If they are making lots of promises but are not following through then get out now, because it will only get worse.
Trust your Gut: If the contractor experience doesn't feel right, then it probably isn't. You should be feeling confident that the landscaper will be providing you with a great experience, that they are professional and will leave the project completed to your satisfaction.
Does the Contractor carry insurance and pay WorkSafeBC premiums:
Did you know that hiring a contractor that does not have WorkSafeBC coverage means that you are personally responsible for paying on their behalf? It is quick and easy to ask for a WorkSafeBC clearance letter or receives one online yourself here. You will want to make sure that the contractor carries the necessary insurance in case of damage down to your home, neighbours or injuries caused during the course of construction. This is another document that is easily requested from the contractor's insurance provider.
Will the Contractor be Providing a Detailed Written Quote?: Never start a project without a written quote that details the price, timelines, scope of work, tolerances and payment terms. If you end the project and are unhappy with the result it will be almost impossible to make a claim if you don't have documentation the original expectations and how to measure the success of the project.
To easily schedule a consult with Northern Earthworks Solutions and begin a great landscaping experience click here.
Cory Klein is the Founder or Northern Earthworks Solutions and prides himself on creating great landscaping experiences for our customers. To contact Cory directly you can email or call (250) 961-2703.