Checklist: How to Hire a Landscaping Contractor
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Landscaping contractors are one of the most vague and most easily misunderstood contractors in the home improvement industry. Small, independent contractors might focus on small projects like delivering and spreading mulch, helping out with your spring planting, installing lawn drainage, or a sprinkler system. Larger companies are more commonly referred to as design/build firms, and these professionals will create and implement a comprehensive landscaping design that will transform your yard into head-turning, envy-of-the-neighbors, residential oasis. But most people still refer to them as landscaping contractors.
Depending on the type of service you need, landscaping can get expensive. The average cost to install landscaping for residential properties is $4,000, according to data collected by HomeAdvisor from homeowners all over the country. That said, your particular project and its cost may bear little resemblance to this average. Some landscaping contractors install in-ground as part of their services. A new concrete swimming pool alone might cost $40,000 or more. Yet, there are several ways to get the most value for your money. The following can help you save money on your next landscaping contractor call:
Before you call:
Compare hourly rates or job rates of several landscapers.
Make a list of possible landscaping options. You might only be able to have a portion of it done, but let the professional make the call on what should come first. Also, your landscaping contractor might cut you a deal for having it all done at once rather than in phases.
Some landscapers will allow you to buy your own trees and shrubs. You can often save money this way.
Consider skill and experience over a cheaper hourly rate. Having an inexperienced, inexpensive landscaper who doesn't do his job properly can require you to have another landscaper out to fix his mess. Avoid those mistakes by hiring quality first.
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Depending on the size of your yard and what you want done to it, you might need to hire a landscape architect to design your landscaping. Be sure to include the cost of the architect into the total cost of your landscaping.
If you and your landscaper can secure a little time, talk with the professional about current trends, options to save you money, plant options that need less water or work better in the shade, not to mention are a compliment to your yard and home.