So you’re starting the search for a landscape contractor to maintain your property by cutting your grass and clearing the snow, or you want to have a new walkway or some raised garden beds installed. Great!
We know you’re going to look around before settling on a contractor. But do you know exactly what you’re looking for? What information matters and what qualifies a contractor as the best overall value?
6 questions to help you get the best value
Broadly, you can compare contractors and their bids for your contract with these 6 questions
- Is price all that really matters?
If so, you don’t need to read any further. The lowest price is the lowest price. But know by ignoring the other factors, like service and quality, you may be shortchanged on them. If you want to find the best complete package, the best value for your investment, read on.
- Is everyone bidding on the same design or service?
You can guarantee every contractor is bidding on the same overall project scope if you provide the same drawing to each. Not much of an architect yourself? Most of us aren’t. You can ask each bidding contractor to create a drawing with their vision for your instructions. Some may charge for the drawing, but that charge is likely a drop in the ocean compared to the investment you plan to make overall; it’s worth the cost. You can compare designs to see that each is in line with your expectations. If booking a service, simply get a list of exactly what’s included.
- How long has your potential contractor been in business?
Does the crew chief have the experience to manage a project like yours? Has the company been around 10 years? 20? More? Experience matters, and the quality of that experience matters too. Find out how long your potential contractors have been in business and get a few customer referrals to talk to about the quality of previously done work.
- How will the work get done?
How will the contractor actually complete the work? Will they dig your new patio out by hand, or use a backhoe? What type of base material will they use and how do they make sure the surface is level? If you’re evaluating contractors for property maintenance, do they fertilize by hand? How do they bag grass clippings? Do they use salt or some other deicer for slippery sidewalks? There are plenty of details like this to impact the quality and level of service you get. Think deeply about what the contractor could do throughout your contract and ask how, specifically, it will get done.
- Is the work guaranteed?
If your contractor provides a guarantee on any installation work (services like grass cutting and general property maintenance are difficult to guarantee), it means they stand behind the quality of their workmanship. Your contractor doesn’t want to lose money on a job, and revisiting the same property to repair a poor installation would cost them. So if they provide a guarantee, they’re betting the quality of their work will endure.
- How easy are they to talk to?
You’ll be communicating with your contractor regularly, either through email or face-to-face. How quick have they been to respond so far in the process? How accommodating? If you have easy and amicable communication through the vetting process, you’ll continue likewise throughout your contract.
Remember your project is unique
These 6 questions give you some valid info to base your decision on. But your project is your project, and likely has some unique elements to sort out.
When you’re ready to start looking for a landscape maintenance contractor, start with us. We’ll give you a good baseline to begin your search. After you’ve talked to a few other contractors, we’re confident you’ll end up choosing us.