You can’t stand having the worst front yard in the subdivision. You’ve tried and tried. Now there’s nothing to do but get some help. But, where? The best way to learn what local landscapers are available is to check the yellow pages. Depending on where you live, simply flipping the page to the “landscapers” section can potentially lead to dozens. Even small towns should have at least a few. Don’t be fooled by fancy advertisements. All this means is that those landscapers could afford to take out a bigger ad. All landscapers with a business telephone number will automatically be listed in the yellow pages. Of course, advertisements do not mean the landscaper is bad, either. You just need to be sure to give everyone listed a fair chance.
After finding out what local landscapers you have available to you, start making some phone calls. If you have a unique job that you need done or if your job contains a special feature, you may be able to eliminate some potential landscapers based on this fact alone. For example, if you are looking to have a large pond dug on your property, you might want to ask them immediately if they are capable of doing this for you. If not, cross their names off your list. If your project is not particularly unique, but you have a tight budget, you might sort through the contractors in this way. For example, you might ask a potential landscaper about their hourly rates. If the rate is too high for your budget, then you should eliminate that one, too. Keep in mind that rates can be deceiving because some include certain services in their hourly rates while others do not.
While making phone calls to the various local landscapers, ask them for a few references. If they are unable to give you references, cross them off your list. Next, take a look at the places they have worked. At first, you only need to drive by the properties. Make a note of whether or not you like the landscaping at these sites. If at all possible, you should also ask if you could visit a work in progress. This will give you a good idea of how the landscaper operates. You can also talk to the homeowner to see how he or she has felt about the process up to this point. You have narrowed your list down to a few whose work seems to suit you best. Drive by the references you were given; take a moment to talk to the homeowners. Also, ask whether or not he or she would recommend that landscaper to a friend. You are ready to take the final plunge of interviewing and checking the business references to make sure they have the financial backing for the job. At this point, it’s time to talk about the job and bids. Getting more than one comprehensive bid will allow you to make an informed choice and put your new landscaper to work.