Choosing the right landscaper is vital to ensure your dreams of an aspirational outdoor space becoming a beautiful reality. Get it wrong and your vision of a tranquil, backyard retreat might end up resembling a sandy hole from your local ‘pitch n putt’ golf course.
A good landscaper is integral to your project’s success. They need to be able to visualise your goals and ideas before breathing life into your plans. Hopefully you’ll be spoilt for choice in your area and if so, how can you pinpoint the right landscaper for you?
Large or small companies? Both have their merits
A large design firm may tempt you with its renowned nationwide reputation, whereas a smaller family-owned company could have specific local knowledge which may place it ahead of the game. Certain landscapers will also specialise in individual fields of landscaping.
If your concept is focused on ‘softscaping’ you’ll need to make sure your chosen landscaper has green fingers. If they’re a maestro in paving, that’s great, but it won’t be an asset to you if you have big plans to reshape your lovingly manicured lawn.
A garden can often become a reflection of your personality and a good landscaper will understand that. They should be tuned in to your way of thinking and present a high level of attention to detail in their planning approach.
Don’t lose sight of the fact that you are the customer and should feel in control of the process. The right landscaper will see themselves as the vessel through which your outside space must travel to reach its full potential.
Qualifications and reputation
Experience is crucial in landscape gardening. Mistakes can be expensive to rectify in terms of time and materials so ensure that your chosen firm has the expertise required. Ask to see a portfolio of previous projects which they’ve recently undertaken, preferably including ‘before and after’ photos.
Make sure the company is licensed and certified for the work you require. Degrees and diplomas in landscaping vary in their worthiness so a bit of background research in that area won’t do any harm.
In case things go wrong
Ask if the company provides a guarantee for the work they intend to undertake, and don’t be afraid to request details such as duration and warranty for any repairs, should they be needed in the future. Also make sure they have public liability insurance which at least covers the value of your home.
This may sound extreme but keep in mind that landscaping work can result in costly mistakes such as the cutting of a gas line or a tree falling on your house or apartment block. It’s the worst case scenario but you’ll be safe in the knowledge that you won’t be paying for any blunders.
Landscaping can have adverse effects on the local environment if not undertaken correctly. Water conservation and avoidance of chemicals during your work may well be important to you, so seek assurances from your landscaper of their methods in advance.
–Owen Fulda is a content marketer at hipages.com.au, Australia’s number one site to hire tradies and the perfect place to get quotes for your landscaping project.