By Tara Fodor
OSU Ext. Master Gardener Volunteer
Need a landscaper? Choose wisely.
Whether you are planning to add a new, elaborate outdoor living space or adding curb appeal to your home, the success of your project can weigh a lot on the landscape contractor you choose.
There are a few steps you can take to ensure you choose the best one for your project.
To begin your search, consult with friends, family and neighbors. Decide on what you like and find out which contractor did the work. Don’t be afraid to ask questions about quality of work, timeliness, costs, follow-up services, or any other factors that are important to you and the successful completion of your project.
Also review photos and plans from previously completed projects. This may reveal the level of work they provide and if it is a good fit for your landscape needs.
Another key factor is how well you and your prospective contractor can communicate effectively. It’s very important to have a good working relationship with your chosen contractor, as they will be on your property and transforming your landscape ideas and dreams to reality. Therefore, it is important to have drawings, estimates, etc. completed before making a decision to see if you and the contractor are on the same page. Is the prospective contractor going to give you what you asked for, in the amount of time, and does it fit within your budget? Does the prospective contractor return calls within a reasonable amount of time for you?
Other factors to consider before selecting one:
Does the contractor belong to any professional trade associations?
Are any required licenses up to date?
Can they provide proof of liability and worker’s compensation?
Does their appearance (equipment, company image, etc.) portray professionalism?
A landscape project could be a great investment, but also add great benefits to your home and lifestyle.
Minimize risks by doing your homework and making sure the company you choose is best suited for your project.
Although this seems detailed and a little tedious to some, I hope it gets you thinking about spending time on this decision.
A little time up front will help you hire the right company, saving you lots of time down the road.
You can find out more about landscape companies all over the Mahoning Valley through the local trade organization website at www.mvlna.org
Tara Fodor is both an OSU Extension Master Gardener Volunteer and secretary/treasurer of Mahoning Valley Landscape and Nursery Association.