How to Avoid Landscape Disasters: 10 Tips To Help You Get Your Dream Backyard
Take the time to hire a reputable landscape contractor. That’s how to get quality work for a fair price advice advises the Washington Association of Landscape Professionals.
If you’re thinking of doing a big landscape project that includes a hot tub, check out these tips from WALP before you sign a contract and write a check:
#1 HIRE ONLY A LICENSED & BONDED CONTRACTOR.
Your options include:
A Landscape Architect. A professional who can develop plans that can be put out to bid by landscape contractors.
A Design/Build Landscape Contractor. A professional who can design and then create your landscape.
Landscape Designers. Individuals, which provide ideas, conceptual plans, and planting plans.
Check out the WALP website to find a member who meets tough standards for education, skill and quality work.
#2 WORKER’S COMPENSATION & LIABILITY INSURANCE.
Be sure that anyone you hire carries worker’s compensation and liability insurance. You don’t want your homeowner’s insurance to foot the bill if anyone is injured on the job.
Consumers are also encouraged to select a contractor who has earned his Certified landscape Technician (CLT) and/or Certified Landscape Professional (CLP) designation. These certifications exemplify WALP’s members’ dedication to professionalism.
#3 WHAT’S YOUR LANDSCAPE DREAM?
Landscape construction, maintenance, irrigation, etc. It is also helpful to ask the question, “Why Are You Landscaping?” To increase your property value? To enhance your enjoyment of your property? To provide a safe place for your children or pets? To create an outdoor room with hot tub for entertainment? Clearly, the first step toward a professional landscape is to clearly identify what your landscape dream is.
#4 SET A BUDGET IN ADVANCE.
The cost of your project will vary depending on: the overall size of the area to be landscaped, the features to be included, the state of the current terrain, and the choices you make regarding materials, details, and level of craftsmanship.
#5 GET AN ESTIMATE.
An estimate is a good “guess” as to what a project will cost. In order to give you a firm price, a contractor will need a design to work from. You should expect to pay for design services.
#6 MEET WITH SEVERAL FIRMS IN PERSON.
Meet with prospective firms to review their portfolios and make sure you’re on the same page design-wise. Ask for references and check them.
#7 GET SEVERAL BIDS IN WRITING.
It’s a good idea to obtain more than one bid so that the prices and work offered can be compared, such as plants, soil, mulch, edging, etc. Insist that all bids be in writing.
#8 BEWARE A TOO LOW PRICE.
Remember that the lowest price may not always be the best. The contractor may have made a mistake or may not have included all the work quoted by competitors or has a history of poor workmanship. You get what you pay for.
#9 CHECK THE BID FOR WHAT’S COVERED.
Be certain that each bid lists all the preparatory and finish work that the contractor has suggested. What about electrical hook-up for the hot tub? And, a base for the hot tub? Now’s the time to ask all of your questions!
#10 BEFORE YOUR SIGN THE CHECK.
Make sure you understand any contract before signing it. This is the time to see a step by step schedule for completion of every item listed. When will the hot tub go in? Will the contractor coordinate with Olympic Hot Tub to make sure the delivery goes smoothly? Do not make a down payment before signing a contract.
Now you can relax knowing you’ve taken the right steps to get your dream backyard landscaped the right way. Send us the photos of your completed project. We’d love to hear from you.
RES SEVERA VERUM GAUDIUM. Latin for Pleasure is serious business.