Selecting the right landscaping company for your landscape project can be a daunting task. To help guide you through this decision, we’ve outlined the five most common red flags that people can easily overlook as they consider their different landscape options.
Whether it is a simple backyard refresh, or a full landscape design and construction project, avoiding these things can help to ensure that your dream is executed to the highest possible standard, while providing you with a positive experience throughout the process.
Avoid the “Jack of all Trades”
Almost all well designed landscaping projects require a range of tasks and associated skill sets. This can include hardscaping, equipment operation, carpentry, softscaping, etc. Its never a one man job.
To ensure your project is executed to the highest possible standard, it’s best to hire a company that has a well-rounded team that specializes in each of these areas. A good crew should include, at the very least, an experienced landscape professional and equipment operator, as well as a certified journeyman carpenter. This will guarantee that your retaining walls and patios meet engineering requirements and stand the test of time, while your decks, stairs and railings are built for quality and longevity, while following proper building code.
Beware of startups
How long has the company in question been in business? A landscape company operates with high overhead, and has a short window of time to operate in because of the short building season in Canada. The result? A high rate of insolvency within the landscape industry.
Landscaping companies often require large up-front deposits to cover labor and material, often long before a project is scheduled to start which exposes property owners to high levels of risk. Be sure to select a landscaping company with several years of experience under their belt, as they will be significantly more likely to have control over their overheads and cash flow.
Steer clear of the “figure it out as we go” design
A well-executed landscape is detailed and complicated. It most definitely deserves the same thoughtful and detailed design process as the interior of a home. When selecting a landscaper, be sure to closely question their design process. Hopefully it isn’t just a concept scribbled on the back of a napkin.
Landscaping companies that can offer professional, in-house design services will produce a better end result. Having an in-house designer is also hugely beneficial for overall accountability throughout the project, as it negates the potential for finger-pointing between a third-party design firm and the company doing the actual work. Follow the link to view an example of what you should expect your Landscape Design to look like.
Be weary of poor communicators
Good landscaping comes with a large price tag. As with all the quality products and services you’ve encountered, you deserve, and should expect, clear, descriptive and good quality communication throughout the entire process. Avoid companies or individuals that are unable to provide you with cohesive emails and use text as their primary form of communication, or are unable to provide professional quotes or ask you to answer the same questions multiple times. Chances are, if their communication is poor on the front end, it will be even worse throughout your project.
A large landscape project requires a team of professionals, one of which should be tasked specifically to communicate with you before, during and after the project. Clear updates and good communication throughout your project are a must, and will ensure you have a positive experience, and that the end result is something that you are 100% content with.
Don’t Lose Your Priority Status
The landscaping season is short, and landscaping contractors are typically very busy throughout the tight window available to them. In spite of this, you should never get the feeling that your job is less important than a landscaper’s schedule. Make sure that your job is being treated as the priority it deserves to be. And ensure that your landscaper has allotted proper time to deal with your job, as well as the inevitable changes that arise throughout the process. It’s also a good idea to verify that your landscape contractor has a number of competent employees, and that they’re not just a one-man show. This puts too much weight on just one person to accomplish the quality, timeliness and attention that your project deserves.
At Solkor Landscaping, we’re here to to turn your dream landscape into a reality. Specializing in landscaping in Canmore, Banff, and across the Bow Valley, we can help you with your landscaping project, get in touch with us here.