Depending on the scope and construction conditions of the landscaping project you are planning, you may need to hire a contractor. If you have used a landscape architect or designer, he or she should be able to recommend one or more reputable landscape contractors in your area. If not, and you need to find a landscape contractor on your own, ask friends, neighbors and/or your local Anchor™ products dealer for recommendations.
Choosing the Right Landscape Contractor for the Job
There are several factors to consider when choosing a landscape contractor. First, determine what type of services you need the landscape contractor to provide—such as building walls, walkways or a terrace, or installing plant materials.
Once you have decided on the level of service a landscape contractor will need to provide, you can move on to hiring the right landscape contractor. It’s usually a good idea to check out three landscape contractors, if possible, to compare quality of service, levels of expertise and prices.
Finding and Working with a Contractor
- Inquire specifically about the quality of the contractor's work and whether the project was completed on time and on budget.
- Require your contractor to show documentation of licensing and bonding. Licensing guidelines vary by state and municipality. Call your city hall to determine what is required in your area.
- Ask for a schedule, with estimated starting and ending dates. If it's important that the job be completed within a specified time frame, communicate this to your contractor. Determine who will perform the work and whether subcontractors will be retained.
- Request a detailed bid and contract. If after reviewing either document you need clarification on any aspect of the project, ask for it in writing. Both parties should sign and date the contract.
- Ask for lien waivers. Lien waivers protect you from being held responsible for payment to the contractor's suppliers and subcontractors once you have paid your contractor in full.
- Look for a good fit. A compatible contractor/homeowner relationship is crucial to the success of your project. Assess your contractor's personality to make sure it’s a good fit with your own. For example, if you’re a meticulous person, you'll prefer a contractor who pays the same attention to detail.