How to choose a reputable landscaper?
Written By Glen Hubick
Let’s face it, there are a lot of landscapers out there. How to choose the right one is a tough decision. Is
it price, personality, word of mouth, reputation? Most landscapers have an reasonable understanding of
texture and structural elements in a yard. Knowing how to build a nice patio, retaining wall or deck is
important. Knowing how to build these elements properly and with correct substructure is even more
important. The trick is to understand how the underlying elements in a garden, if done properly, will
result in longevity, balance and beauty.
Unfortunately, price can often be the sole determining factor when making a choice of landscape
contractors. This may be a mistake. The past few years there have been many ‘landscapers’ out there
whose work we’ve re-done as a result of inexperience and poor execution. 60 -70% of our work the past
year alone has actually been re-doing and fixing of work done by other landscapers! Yes, there are folks
that have a shovel and a pickup truck that call themselves landscapers, but there are also professional
designers, growers and craftsmen that have experience and passion for creating amazing outdoor
spaces. A good quality landscape is in the bones, the initial layout and design, the substructure and then
of course great plants. When landscapes fail sometimes people believe it’s the plants or the trees that
are the issue but most of the time the problem starts with the very foundation of the landscape itself
which can often include issues with drainage and poor soil. Take the cake analogy; you must have all the
best ingredients and a good recipe to create a quality product. With the landscape- soils, structure,
design and plants all work together to product the best product. The finishing touches , like icing on a
cake, are the plants and visual appeal that comes together with the execution of a great design. Quality
product comes from quality elements.
So back to the question how to choose a landscaper? Price should definately not be the final
determining factor, as we can attest to the fact that re-doing a poorly executed job can end up costing
much more than a solid initial investment. We suggest getting a few different estimates, compare
websites/ portfolios, ask important questions such as where do you get your plants from? Do you
subcontract any parts of the work? What is your warranty? What is your experience/background? How
long have you been in this industry? Does your business have an actual office or location? How long
does it take to get the work done? Referrals and testimonials are great! Ask your neighbors for
recommendations! Think of your yard as an investment, an extension of your home. Properly executed
by a reputable company a great landscape will and should be enjoyed for generations.