A well-manicured landscape can enhance both the aesthetic and monetary value of a residential or commercial property. A proper landscape design encompasses functionality, aesthetics, symmetry, unity, and harmony. Although there are many landscape design companies out there, not all of them have the experience or skill to create a beautiful landscape that meets your needs.
Therefore, you have to diligently vet the landscaping company that you pick to ensure they have experience and technical know-how to deliver high-quality services. If you are looking for a reliable landscaping company in Calgary, below is a rundown of some questions you should ask potential contractors to avoid undesirable surprises.
What is the scope of your services?
Landscaping contractors can range in the scope of services offered. Those that only deal with landscape designs don’t get involved in installation and maintenance. While there are others who only do installation and maintenance, which means they will cut your lawn and care for your garden once it is already built. Lastly, there are also design-build landscaping companies, which offer full or turnkey landscaping services.
A full service landscaping company will help you with everything from designing your front or back yard, to building retaining walls, outdoor kitchens and decks, installing irrigation systems, to maintaining your manicured lawn. Depending on how complex your landscape ideas are to realize, they can offer the most comprehensive services as they often have more skilled staff (landscape architects, horticulturists) to ensure your garden is always healthy and blooming.
Therefore, it is imperative to know the scope of services that a contractor offers to avoid getting frustrated down the line.
Can you offer some examples of your work?
Landscaping can be quite an involving and in some cases extensive job that requires a keen eye for detail and meticulous implementation. Otherwise, you can end up with cracked foundations, sunken pavers, shifting stones in your walkway, soil erosion, poor edging, water infiltration and more. Therefore, it is best to ensure that you get a professional with a good track record.
Doing your research prior to hiring a residential landscaper doesn’t need to be daunting. You can start by looking at examples of their complete projects and even the ongoing ones from their website. Once you are relatively familiar with the services they offer, give them a call and ask them for examples of their previous work. Most knowledgeable landscapers would be happy to walk you through their work and even proud to showcase their craftsmanship.
What is the estimated Cost of my Project?
Of course, you don’t want to start a project that will stall halfway due to costs that you couldn’t foresee. You have to ensure that you get rough estimates of how much a given landscaping project is going to cost from beginning to completion. It is also imperative to know how much maintenance will be necessary so that you can take that into account when budgeting your project.
How long will the job take?
When you start working with a landscaping contractor, the time that the entire project takes should not be indefinite. There must be clear timelines for the various stages of the project to help you plan ahead and keep track of the progress. The amount of time it takes to design and finish your home’s landscaping depends on how complex your project is, but any factors that could impact that timeline should be taken into account by your landscaper. Therefore, it is wise to have a clear idea from the beginning of the estimated duration of your landscaping project and to be comfortable relaying your questions and concerns.
Do your research – Although time consuming, this is the most important part of your landscaping project. Get to know the landscaping companies you are considering for the job and feel free to ask as many questions as possible.
Plan ahead – Don’t try to wing it and deal with issues as they arise. Create a plan beforehand and take into account the scope of your project, cost, duration and possible maintenance.
Don’t forget functionality – Having great curb appeal can increase your property’s value, but other than being aesthetically pleasing, your front and back yard also need to be functional. Think about your lifestyle, what activities you and your family would like to engage in, and how much time you can realistically assign to taking care of your yard.
Communication is key – Most importantly, you need to have a landscaper you can trust who will continually communicate with you if any changes arise and will keep you in the loop at all times. Your landscaper should provide you with expert advice to help you make informed decisions and find the most efficient and cost effective way to bring your vision to reality.