Today we’re looking at everything you need to know about hiring a landscaper, from how to tell if they’re good at their job, to what to expect during the build.
Just like having improvements made inside your home, hiring a landscaper to give your garden a makeover involves a temporary disruption to your lifestyle. Here are a few tips on what to expect during the landscaping process. These are some common concerns that clients have – if you can’t find the answers to your questions in this list – please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us for a chat.
- What does landscaping cost?
- Do I need a garden designer and a landscaper?
- How do I know they’ll build the garden I’m expecting them to build?
- Do I need to be at home all day?
- Will the landscapers need access to my home?
- Should I expect the landscapers to make a mess?
- Is there a possibility that my neighbours might be disturbed?
- How long will it take to landscape my garden?
- When will the landscapers expect payment?
- Can landscaping be done in winter time?
- Who orders the landscaping materials and organises delivery?
- Will I be able to tell if the work is being done properly?
A professionally landscaped garden really is a thing of beauty
What Does Landscaping Cost?
The cost of hiring a landscaper will of course depend on the size and complexity of your garden makeover. It’s always a good idea to obtain more than one quote for the work, but please don’t be tempted to award a landscaping contract based solely on the price.
Always do your homework carefully. Is the landscaper a member of an organisation such as the Association of Professional Landscapers (APL)? APL members periodically have their work and their business practices checked for quality workmanship and honest trading.
Do I Need A Garden Designer And A Landscaper?
For a sizeable project with more than one element to it, you will need a professionally drawn garden design. Firstly, it will mean that all of the landscapers you ask to price the work will be quoting like for like. But also, a garden design ensures that your landscaper will build what you expect to be built…there is no room for crossed wires.
Some landscapers offer a design and build service, others can put you in touch with a garden designer who has experience with similar projects to yours. Again, garden designers come in all shapes and sizes. Please don’t be afraid to interview more than one designer so that you find the best match for your personality and style.
When you are hiring a landscaper, expect some disruption while work is carried out, but a professional team should always run a tidy site
Should I Stay At Home While The Landscapers Are Working?
Good landscapers are very independent. They are happy to keep working away in your garden whether you are at home or not. The team leader will take care of project management, and they will all have made their own catering arrangements.
Before work begins, your landscaper will ask you about things like access to the garden, toilet and hand washing facilities, electricity supply, outside taps and the like. And anything the team will need on site will be organised in advance. Hire toilets, generators etc.
The only reason that you may need to be at home is if there is no access to your garden other than through the house and that you would prefer that the landscapers weren’t in your home alone. Rest assured though, that if you have chosen your landscaper wisely – your property is perfectly safe.
Will The Landscapers Make A Mess?
As my Granny used to say, you have to make a mess to clear one up. Unfortunately, landscaping does usually involve moving soil, mixing cement and creating dust. BUT a good landscaper will always leave the site tidy and safe at the end of each working day.
As part of CDM regulations, the contractor has a responsibility for ensuring that anyone on the site is as safe as possible. So please, if your landscaper has left off for the day, don’t go crossing barriers or lifting boards to take a closer look at what’s been going on.
What About My Neighbours? Will They Be Disturbed By Landscaping Works
Some aspects of landscaping work are noisy and dusty. That’s unavoidable. But, at Manor Landscapes we do encourage you to talk to your neighbours and let them know what to expect. As for our staff, they are all very polite and respectful and won’t fire up noisy machinery at unreasonable times of the day.
When hiring a landscaper expect a little bit of noise and dust while the work is carried out
How Long Will It Take To Landscape My Garden?
Once the garden design has been agreed, your landscaper will be able to give you an approximation of how long it will take to landscape your garden. If you have a deadline to meet, make your landscaper aware of it before you sign any contracts….if he or she can’t meet the deadline they should be up front and honest about it.
Bear in mind, that landscaping is very much at the mercy of the British weather. It’s quite possible that a job may over-run because work has been halted by frost or torrential rain. We landscapers though are a stalwart bunch. We have developed ways and means of adapting to all but the most extreme of conditions.
When Will The Landscapers Expect Payment For Their Work
Every company has their own terms and conditions but it’s usual for professional landscapers to ask for a deposit to secure a time slot for the work. This may be followed by a pre-payment just before work begins to cover materials for phase 1 of the works. For a large project, you may be invoiced in weekly or monthly stages with a final payment on completion of the job. Always check the t’s and c’s on your contract. No contract? Are you absolutely sure you’ve chosen the right landscaper for the job?!
Can Landscaping Be Done In Winter Time?
Absolutely it can -in fact, from your point of view it’s the best time of year to get work done. Can landscaping be done in winter time?
Who Will Be Responsible For Procurement And Project Management?
Unless you have agreed differently, your landscaper will source all of the materials and organise their delivery. Hiring a landscaper means that you have nothing to worry about. All of the work will be done for you.
Naturally, when it comes to the choice of pavers and other decorative materials, your landscaper will show you samples and allow you to make the final decision. However, as part of the project management role, all of the procurement will be done for you. That way, the team can make sure that there is room on site to safely store the materials for the next phase of the job.
Too many materials on site at once can be a nuisance. What if the sand is tucked out of reach and all the pavers need to be moved to get to it? Who will look after plants if they arrive a month before they are needed?
Sit back and relax safe in the knowledge that your landscaper will take control of procurement and project management
Will I Be Able To Tell If The Work Is Being Done Properly?
If you are hiring a landscaper you want to know that your investment is safe. Nobody wants to hand their money over to a rogue trader who leaves your garden in a bad way. And I understand that you might want to do your research and keep a close eye on the methods your landscaper is using.
However, with all due respect, if you don’t have confidence in your landscaper, you’ve chosen the wrong person for the job.
When your landscaper is a member of a trade body such as the APL, you can have every confidence that he or she will build your garden to the very highest grade. Industry standards and planning regulations will be strictly adhered to at all times, and although they may not be the lowest bidder for the work, you know that your garden will be built to last. Rest easy, you don’t need to spend your evenings researching landscaping techniques so that you can check up on the team. Choose your landscaper wisely and lose your worries.
Got A Question About Landscaping?
Need an independent advisor? Talk to a member of the Professional Garden Consultants Association.
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