I am primarily concerned about hiring landscape gardeners in Bristol, my own area; but as this advice is general in nature, it can be applicable to others areas and countries. I hope you can follow my English spellings and idioms!
Taking on a landscaping project in your garden can be an expensive one. Of course you could save yourself a lot of money if you undertake the project as a large DIY one and have the necessary skills. Failing this you will want to consider employing a professional landscaper. You certainly dont want to waste time and money employing the wrong landscape gardeners. Bristol, like all areas in England, has lots of landscaping companies and individuals to choose from and this wealth of choice can make selecting the right one difficult.
As we dont hire a landscaper too often, we have very little past experience to rely on. Act upon recommendations from friends, family or trusted neighbours, of a good landscaper if you can get one. You simply cannot beat a word of mouth recommendation.
Consider the following pointers when making your initial contact with a potential landscaper.
Questions to ask on the phone:
1. Enquire what type of services they provide. Some may offer only as basic service, e.g. with lawn care. These are basically gardeners. Others offer a more complete service. Ask if they offer building projects like pathways, building walls, erecting fences, drainage services, installing ponds, swimming pools etc. Do they offer an all in one package or do they sub contract other trades people?
2. Will they use your existing plants, transplanting them if needed? Will they work around any existing feature you already have i.e.
trees, patio area? If you have a steep sloping garden how will they use this, to create a garden feature. They will want to see your garden to gauge the severity of the slope or other features, but all these questions and the answers they provide will give a good indication of their experience and interest in your project.
3. Enquire if it is possible to have copies of testimonials from past and satisfied customers, get these details and phone the past customers, to ask further questions. Ask if they have photographs of their previous landscaping projects - With before and after shots? Can you see these photographs? You are not rushing blindly into this project. Take your time, to select the right landscape gardeners in Bristol or your own particular area. Save yourself time, money and possible heartache from a poor decision.
4. Will they provide you with a no obligation and written quotation? Is the quotation free of charge or are fees involved?
5. How are payments made? An initial deposit, payment in stages as work progresses, balance on completion etc. You certainly dont want to pay 100% up front before the project is started! Shop around for alternatives.
6. Ask what professional qualifications they hold? In todays economic situation it seems just about anyone can set themselves up as a landscaping company. Be forewarned and dont get ripped off!
7. Enquire with Landscape Gardeners Bristol for more information on selecting the right landscaper for you.