Is having a nicely landscaped yard important to you? You’re not alone. A 2015 survey conducted by the National Association of Landscape Professionals found that:
- 83 percent of Americans think having a yard is important.
- 90 percent want to live in a home surrounded by grass, trees, and other living plants.
- 90 percent of those with a yard want it to be well maintained.
- 71 percent want their neighbors to have well-maintained yards.
- 84 percent base home-buying decisions on the landscaping.
- 47 percent wish they could hire a professional landscaping company to help them.
A thoughtfully designed and carefully maintained garden provides a special place for your family to relax, rejuvenate, and entertain. It significantly increases the value and curb appeal of your home. Although many homeowners believe that they are up to the challenge of designing and caring for their own yards, landscaping requires special skills and knowledge. Many factors must be considered:
- The design and architectural features of the home
- The nature of the soil
- The geographical location and climate
- The time and money you are willing to spend gardening once the landscape has been designed
A professional landscaper can help you decide if your dream garden can become a reality and then implement the plan with the resources needed to get the job done. The training and experience a pro brings to your property ensures that you enjoy both peace of mind and a trouble-free outside natural haven.
So how do you connect with the perfect local landscaper?
There are several quick ways to track down a talented and experienced professional landscaper in your region.
1) Consult the State’s Landscape Architects and Contractors Board
Most states have a regulatory agency that oversees the licensing, bonding, and certifications required for landscapers. They pass rigorous tests to obtain licensing, and additional courses and training are usually required on an annual basis. Look for candidates who are active members in credible industry groups, such as a state’s nursery association or other local organizations in your community.
2) Read Online Reviews
Angie’s List and Yelp are great places to find reviews posted by other clients of landscape companies. Check Google, and if a contractor maintains a Facebook page, you can learn a lot about them by scanning their posts and customer reviews.
A credible, established landscaping company should have at least a basic website. Poke around there, too, and try to determine how efficient and thorough the contractor is by the web presence you find.
3) Call the Chamber of Commerce
A small town’s Chamber is often the hub of business networking. Membership is a good sign that your prospective contractor has deep roots in the community and values a good reputation.
4) Ask Friends and Neighbors
Knock on the door when you see a home with an especially attractive outdoor design. Ask friends, homebuilders, architects, and property owners’ associations for referrals. Ask local nurseries about their favorite landscaper clients. All of these are great resources for referrals.
Make Your Short List of Landscapers
After you’ve narrowed your search to a few good candidates, ask them all for a bid. Request the names of current customers and past project references. Follow up to determine if your candidate came in on budget, on time, and how well they perform on an ongoing basis if they still maintain the property.
Lastly, be sure your landscaper meets all of your state and local certifications or licensing requirements for things like tree removal, pesticide use, and other specialty areas. After that, plant your dream garden!