How to Choose a Landscaper
Most landscaping firms will specialize in one or more of the following disciplines or service categories:
Landscape architects understand how to blend all aspects of landscaping, composition and horticultural knowledge into a customized, balanced and impressively designed space that addresses all your needs and stands the test of time. Landscape designers deliver the essential first step of any successful project: your landscaping plan. Today’s landscape architects can deliver drawings, realistic renderings and even 3D representations of your ideal outdoor living space.
This service involves preparing for, managing and executing all phases of the process from demolition to completion to physically transform your landscape plan into reality.
Once your landscape has been developed, maintenance services protect your investment, help your gardens thrive and ensure that the needs of your landscape are met at all phases of its lifecycle to keep your property looking its best.
- Always choose a qualified company with verifiable experience and expertise. It is most important that you trust your landscaper. Certified landscapers for all regions of Quebec can be easily located by referencing our list of members.
- View the landscaper’s project portfolio and look for examples of work that are relevant to your project and property.
- Ask for references. Many quality landscapers can put you in touch with their former clients: a sure sign that these clients were satisfied with the results.
- Visit sites that the landcaper has developed. Quality landscapers usually earn respect and maintain long-standing relationships with satisfied clients who are proud of their properties. They can often arrange a visit for you.
- Never work with a company who refuses to provide a comprehensive written contract that meticulously documents all of their responsibilities, nature of proposed work, installation standards, agreed upon prices, terms of payments and guarantees. This is your right as a consumer.
- Verify that the landscaper intends to implement all proposed work and installations in accordance with current landscaping standards. Failure to comply with landscaping standards leads to problems like faulty construction, uneven pavers, leaning fences, unhealthy plants, negated warranties and more. Be sure that these standards are listed in your contract.
- Ask the landscaper to clarify all guarantees. Contracts used by members of the APPQ feature guarantees that cover workmanship (construction/installation), organic elements (trees and plants) and inert materials (i.e. pavers, stones, retaining walls, etc.).
- Choose a landscaper who is accountable. For example, all APPQ member companies agree to a code of ethics, sign a commitment to quality service and are subject to a mediation services and an Oversight Committee that give consumers recourse in the event of a dispute.
- Establish a firm timeline for delivery, but be aware that the pace of landscaping projects can be influenced or even delayed by rainy weather which is not always conducive to excavation, working with soil and planting.
- Beware of amateur contractors. We have all heard stories of less than professional contractors who offer general services, change company names frequently, insist that they do not need a plan to build something nice, or start as many jobs as possible to secure payments with full knowledge that they lack the resources to meet promised delivery dates. These companies almost always compete on the basis of price. Unfortunately, their assurances that you will “save a lot of money” are usually offset by the quality of work, inconvenience, lack of professionalism and required repairs due to lack of durability.