You are new owner or you have chosen to redo the landscaping of your home. Of course, you can take out your tools and do it yourself, with the risk of mistakes that entails. You can also call on a professional contractor or landscaper. But how to choose your landscaper?
Before choosing the professional who will realize your dream, you must define your needs.
Would you like to find rare plants on your land?
Do you want a playground? Swimming pool? A spa?
Do you prefer a large terrace?
Do you bet on a beautiful intimacy?
It is important to identify your own expectations, because each element is important in the choice of a landscaper, and the bill that you will pay.
Go around your neighborhood, your city. Observe the amenities you like. Write down the names of the landscapers and companies that did the work. If necessary, do not hesitate to knock on doors for this valuable information. In general, people are proud to talk about their garden.
Back home, check out magazines or websites, including those of the Quebec Association of Landscape Architects and the Association of Landscape Architects. You will find relevant information.
Make the right choice
Here are some tips to help you choose your landscaper or landscape architect:
Your landscaper or landscape architect will propose to work with a team he knows well, or with whom he is attached. It is important to trust the latter. If this is not the case, consult another professional.
The choice of plants
Your landscaper will make suggestions of plants according to the hardiness zone. It is useless to want to plant a palm tree in your yard. He will not survive. However, some native species, well adapted to the area that you live, will be proposed to you.
Nothing prevents you from choosing plants yourself. A lilac, a magnolia, bulbs, astilbes, a groundcover, ancolies or miscanthus, for example, to liven up your development.
That's it, your choice is made. All you have to do is wait for D-Day and watch the operation, keeping in mind these basic rules.
The plants to be preserved have been well protected?
Do you have a formal contract in hand that provides for the nature of the work, installation standards, price, terms of payment and warranties?
Is the contractor (or his representative) often on the premises?
Are the materials and plants of good quality?
At the end of the day, is the yard safe for you and your neighbors?
Have you been notified in writing of any significant changes and associated costs?
Does the chosen professional frequently check the progress of the work, to avoid mistakes?
Generally, it is the employees of the selected company who carry out the planting. However, you can negotiate your participation before the start of the work.
At the end of the construction site, review the estimate given to you and make sure all the planned plants have been planted on your property. Has the plan been respected? Have the additions been done in the state of the art? These are all questions you will have to answer.
Once this final check has been completed, go around your lot with the contractor and / or the landscaper. Check to see if all the planned work has been done, inquire about warranties, and pay the bill.
Your contract will probably include a maintenance program. You want to protect your investment. Once the work is done, make sure that:
maintenance is entrusted to professionals;
he respects the work done;
fertilization and weeding are done correctly at the right times;
in the fall, your maintenance department does the necessary work to protect your plants and maintain your land;
in the spring, the team is back to repair the damage caused by the winter season.
All transactions under the contract have been completed.
Applying to a professional team (s) involves significant costs. Generally, they reach 10 to 15 percent of the value of your property. However, it is possible to negotiate agreements that will result in an expenditure of $ 5,000, $ 10,000 or $ 15,000. In fact, the invoice is directly proportional to the work done and the needs expressed by the contractor. This is why it is important to define your expectations before starting operations. An error at this stage can be expensive. You probably do not want to go back to work.
Landscaping done by a professional will ensure a better quality of life for years. It will contribute to the added value of your property and could appeal to more than one potential buyer. It must be well done and professionally maintained. It is therefore necessary to make an informed choice, even before its realization.
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