Hiring a professional landscape contractor, can be a complicated process. Many companies offer similar services but not all companies provide the same level of service or expertise. To help determine the right company for your project, LandscapeBC.com recommends rating your top three companies over 13 categories, including years in business, warranty and client references. A printable chart is available on the LandscapeBC.com to help research and rank the categories before hiring.
Once you’ve decided on a company to hire it’s time to sign the contract. Having a signed contract between yourself and the contractor is an important step that shouldn’t be overlooked. This contract will act as a guideline, indicating the work to be completed and the agreement you had at time of signing. Having a signed contract keeps both parties on the same page and obligates the contractor to fulfill the terms and work outlined in the agreed upon contract. The contract may be amended if more work is required or requested, however, this work needs to be approved by both parties before it can be added.
Before signing any contract, here are some of the items to look for:
- Scope of work to be done
- Type and quality of materials
- Fees, expenses and schedule of work
- Sub-contractors that will be used
- Schedule of payments (deposits, progress payments, final payments)
- Standard of work expected according to the Canadian Landscape Standard
- Communication and reporting process
- May include a drawing and plant list with cultural requirements, fertilization and irrigation schedule
- WorkSafe Clearance Letter and Liability Insurance
- Warranty on plants and work done
Ask your contractor to go on a walk-through of the project after the work is completed but before final payment is processed. Make sure all work was completed by checking the items off of your contract and if you had plants installed get a detailed list. Reconfirm the process if problems arise and if your contractor will be fulfilling future service requirements. Finally, tie up any loose ends to make sure sub-contractors have been paid and that you’ve been properly trained on all installations.
Having a signed contract from the start can help address issues after the project is completed. It’s an important step for maintaining a healthy relationship with your contractor and will keep the company accountable for completing the work they were contracted for. For more information, check out the LandscapeBC.com website.
LandscapeBC.com makes finding a professional landscape company easier. You can find a list of bonafide landscapers and resources to answer many frequently asked questions. You can also request a landscape quote from many companies with a click of a mouse.