Choosing to hire a landscape design and install company can seem like a complicated task, but in reality, all it takes is a little research and the process can be quite simple and rewarding. Your goal should be to have a yard that you are proud to call your own and a place that you can go to relax and escape the antics of everyday life. There are a few basic things to consider when choosing a landscape design and install company.
Outline your dream landscape
The first consideration is to sit down and figure out what sort of things you would like to see incorporated in your landscape design. Browse home and garden magazines, pin some ideas on Pinterest, drive around your neighborhood and take a peek at some landscaping that you find attractive. Think about if you would like a vegetable garden, what pathways you would like and where, if you want a water feature or a firepit, or both! This is the opportunity to really get creative and build your dream backyard! Make a list of the things you like so you can remember what you like and it’s easier to communicate that to the landscape designer.
Conduct a search and call your friends
Next, conduct a search for landscape design companies in your area. Do a Google search, read reviews, and browse company websites. There are many resources for homeowners looking for landscape design companies including the National Association of Landscape Professionals and the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado. Both associations can provide a list of companies that are certified in specific landscaping techniques and quality standards. If you have friends, family or neighbors that had their landscaping professionally designed and installed, ask them for a recommendation. Compare the types of features that you would like in your landscaping to the types of projects that your potential landscapers have done in the past. You will want to make sure the company you choose is capable of handling your project ideas. Narrow down your list to a few quality companies and schedule a consultation.
When considering landscape design and install companies, here are some factors to consider:
- Company education/experience – ask questions about the company’s education, safety, and training process. You can also ask to see their portfolio and references. Most landscape companies should have standards of work, which is the process in which they complete tasks to ensure the task is completed the same way every time to make sure the quality of the work is high.
- Warranty/quality assurance – some landscaping companies have a warranty and/or quality assurance programs in place to help the homeowner if their new plants die or if there is a defect in the workmanship of a landscaping feature. Timberline takes pride in our year-long quality process that includes pro-active checks of your newly installed landscape.
- Affiliations/certifications – landscaping companies should have affiliations with landscaping associations, such as the NALP (National Association of Landscape Professionals) or ALCC (Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado), which ensures landscapers are certified in certain areas of their trade. For example, Timberline Landscaping is certified in hardscaping (patios, pathways, sidewalks), softscaping (plant materials), and ornamental and turf maintenance. These certifications are important because they confirm that the landscaping company is performing these tasks with the appropriate knowledge, in a safe manner and follow state, local and federal codes, statutes and licensing and insurance requirements.
- Landscape Industry Accredited Company – this accreditation, offered through NALP, means that this company has a large number of landscape industry certified team members and have demonstrated high levels of customer satisfaction. What does this mean to you? It means that these employees are highly educated in best landscape practices and to maintain their certification, they must take several classes and training every year, and they take great care of clients. Landscape industry accredited companies are knowledgeable, safe, ethical and in compliance with state, local, and federal codes, statutes, and licensing and insurance requirements. Timberline is proud to have been among the first 3 companies in the USA to achieve this designation. For more information on Timberline Landscaping and their landscape industry certification click here.
- Licensing and liability insurance – any landscaping business should be licensed to do business from the city as well as have liability insurance to cover any incident including bodily injury, property damage, personal injury and others that can arise from business operations.
- Budget – you will want to choose a landscaper that can meet your budget. They should be willing to work within your budget or at least be upfront and honest to tell you that they won’t be able to complete the project per your specifications within what you are willing to pay.
- Trust – you should have complete trust in your landscape design and install company. The best way to build that trust is effective communication. Make sure you communicate your ideas and thoughts clearly and the designer will be able to take it from there. Once great communication is established, you can sit back and relax while your landscape is converted into your “little bit of heaven”.