Once you’ve decided to hire a landscaper, you need to find the right fit. This helps you avoid surprises and costly mistakes throughout the project. Before you reach out to a landscape company, write out a wish list of what you’re looking for in a new garden or a garden upgrade.
When writing out your wish list, think of the design as well as the types of grass, plants, flowers, trees, and shrubs you’d like. Diagram out where you envision things being in your yard or garden. Once you’ve come up with a concept, make sure you plan out a budget and write out things you may want to do yourself to save money.
Now that you have your wish list in hand, let’s see what questions you should ask before hiring a landscaper.
1. What Services Are Offered?
Each landscaping company has its own unique service offerings. During the first call about your landscaping needs, ask if the company is experienced with the type of work you want and if they design and manage the landscaping.
Most landscape designers fall into one of three categories:
- Design Only – Some companies only specialise in the design process. They generally perform a site analysis, discussion of your needs, and provide a final master plan for your yard or garden. From that point, they expect you to take it to a landscape contractor to have the design implemented.
- Design-Build – Other landscape companies offer design as well as plant purchase and installation. A contractor is needed for permits and hardscape installation. There are times when the designer is also a registered contractor. If not, most Design-build landscape companies have contractors on their team or a list they recommend.
- Full-Service Design-Build & Maintenance – Full service provides the highest-touch landscape service available. They employ designers, contractors, and maintenance crews to make your garden or yard dreams come true.
2. Ask For a Consultation
Most landscape companies will provide a one — to two-hour consultation to visit your property and inspect the area. They listen to your design ideas and determine if their service fits your vision. This is also an opportunity for you to determine if the designer is a good fit.
While asking for a consultation is a “must-do” when you’re finding a landscaper, don’t expect the initial consult to be free. It’s one or two hours of that person’s time. Some designers will put the consult fee towards the cost of the design, but ask beforehand.
3. Where Do You Get Your Plants, Shrubs, and Trees From?
Most people opt for native species of plants, shrubs, and trees, but ask the landscaper if they use local plants. You don’t necessarily have to only choose native plants, but there are a few things to consider before asking for exotics:
- Native plants usually cost less. When plants have to be shipped in from other parts of the country, landscapers have to pay more to have them delivered.
- Local plants are more likely to thrive. They don’t have to adjust to new growing conditions. Exotic plants are more susceptible to disease and pests while getting accustomed to the new climate, soil, and water availability.
- When you use native plants, they require less maintenance. Your landscaper already knows how much water and attention they need. Exotic plants may take more water, pesticide care, and other maintenance required to get them to thrive.
4. Does the Landscaper Have Ideas For Your Lawn or Garden?
While you may have a specific design, type of plants, trees, and flowers that you’ve put on your wish list, the landscaper can provide more information about what may or may not work for your area. Ask them what ideas they have and come up with a compromise. You can still get what you want, but by allowing them to provide ideas, you may get more than what you thought was possible.
Designers generally provide ideas using a collage board with inspiration images or with a two-dimensional scaled drawing using a CAD program or by hand. When you review this design, identify things that are missing from your wish list or identify areas where you’d like something done differently. Don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. The landscape designer is there to make your vision come true!
Find a Professional In Your Area
Based in New South Wales, our crew at The Garden Men know all the ins and outs of maintaining any kind of lawn. Our services include landscape design, garden maintenance, strata maintenance, and other gardening services. If you want to put the health of your lawn or garden in capable hands, reach out to us today.
The Garden Men is a leading landscaping and lawn maintenance company, beautifying and protecting residential and commercial properties around the Sydney region for over 20 years. Our expert property and garden maintenance will add to your home’s value and appeal while keeping it looking great. If you’re ready for the best lawn care in the Sydney area, contact us today!