With spring finally around the corner, landscape contractors are in high demand in Exeter, PA. However, choosing the right one for your job can be a challenging decision. Here are some important factors to consider before committing.
Do prefer a local contractor
Having a local company do the job offers a variety of advantages. For starters, most of their customers are probably in the area, making it easy to get references. More importantly, they will be more familiar with the nuances of your location. For landscaping, this means that they know the soil, climate and drainage characteristics of your area and will take these factors into account during the design and construction phases. Local companies also tend to offer much better customer support and are much easier to pin down if you have a problem after the project has been completed.
Do ask for references and portfolios
Having glossy photos and customer recommendations on a website is all well and good, but do meet and talk to previous clients, and even visit project locations if possible. This will give you an idea of the reality of the contractor’s performance, and not just the positive messages. Check the details of the work, especially the fit and finish, and ask about their customer service and accessibility after the job has been completed. Looking at the older projects would give you a great idea of how well the work holds up over time.
Do hire a specialist
If your job requires specialized work, always try to hire a contractor who specializes in it. If you happen to be dealing with a company that does a range of work, interview them thoroughly about the job and even meet the workers who will be doing it. Lastly, check with previous clients who have had similar work performed and ask for their feedback.
Don’t forget to go through the paperwork
Have a contract drafted and check it thoroughly before any work starts. Make sure all the important clauses you agreed on verbally or mentioned in the initial quote are written, as well as any details about the warranty and extra costs. Also, ensure the contractor is certified and has all the necessary permits to perform the job. Always check their insurance status, as well as that of any subcontractors they will be using for the job.
Don’t leave the project open-ended
Knowing exactly what you require from the project, as well as the budget you are willing to expend, is a necessary first step. Make sure you convey all these essentials to the contractor during the quote. Ideally, have the same company involved in the design process so they can take all these factors into account, reducing the chances of unwanted surprises during the construction phase.
Don’t forget to ask about maintenance
Landscaping projects require a high level of maintenance. If you plan on doing this yourself, go over the essentials with your contractor to ensure you don’t miss out on anything important. Or better still, negotiate regular maintenance into your contract as you are more likely to get a good deal. Having the same contractor do the upkeep can be highly advantageous, as they are very familiar with the requirements of your project.