Choose Your Landscape Company Wisely – 30 Characteristics of Professional Landscape Company
As we roll into fall, many businesses and homeowners begin to renegotiate their landscape maintenance contracts. Some may start shopping around for a new landscape company, while others are just now thinking about choosing a landscape professional to take care of their lawns. How do you know if a company is “legitimate” and that you’re going to get what you pay for? In celebration of our 30 year anniversary, here are 30 characteristics of an experienced, professional landscape company that you should look for when choosing a landscape company to take care of your property:
- Every employee is wearing a uniform. A professional uniform with the company logo makes the landscaping team easily identifiable. There is no doubt who is on your property taking care of your landscape.
- Trucks and equipment are clearly marked, clean, and well-kept. There are no unmarked pickups or lawn mowers, and all equipment runs properly.
- The company performs background checks on its employees. Your safety and security and that of your property are important. Background checks help eliminate security risks.
- Phone calls are answered promptly and courteously. Someone is always there to address your questions and concerns.
- Your calls get returned within minutes. If you do reach a voicemail or have a difficult to answer, someone calls you back almost immediately.
- The company has a professional website. You can tell that they have invested in their business and are sincere about what they do.
- The company can provide references. If you want to hear some testimonials from current clients, the landscaper has no problems locating customers to whom you can speak.
- They are fully licensed, bonded, and insured. When they are going to be operating heavy machinery on your property, you want to be confident that they carry the proper licensing and insurance.
- There’s no question as to how long they’ve been in business. If they can’t pinpoint when they began the business, are they taking it seriously?
- The management staff has experience. If the managers and supervisors have no expertise in the landscape industry, they won’t be able to answer your questions accurately.
- They give you quotes (and correspond with you) on official forms and letterhead. There’s no verbal contracts or scraps of paper.
- They lay out exactly what is in their maintenance agreement. There’s no guessing where your dollars are going; the contract that you sign details all the services that you will be receiving.
- They tell you up front if they are giving you a fixed price or a quote. Not all jobs are cut and dry. If the company knows that product costs may fluctuate before the end of the project, they let you know that the quoted price may change – and how much.
- They take your ideas and needs into consideration. An experienced landscaper tries make your dreams come true – but they will also let you know if something you want simply won’t work in this area (or on your property).
- The work site is kept clean. You’ve hired them to make your landscape healthy and beautiful – there’s no room for litter or yard debris in this equation.
- They have specialists. There is a staff full of people who specialize in certain areas – like one person who works on landscape design, another who handles lawn maintenance, and yet another who specializes in trees.
- You receive a concept sketch when you ask for one. If you are comparing quotes among different landscapers, the company can provide you with a design of what they would like to do to your yard.
- They carry a broad range of certifications. Are they certified to install concrete pavers by ICPI? Are they a certified horticulturist by the Virginia Nursery & Landscape Association?
- You receive a timeline of when your project will be completed. No one wants a yard that is only half-way finished. A professional company lets you know how long the job is going to take and when they will finish it – and they stick to their word.
- There’s a guarantee on their work. Any reputable company guarantees their work. Look for warranties that range anywhere from one year to five years, depending on the project.
- They have an A+ ranking from the Better Business Bureau. There’s no doubt that their customers have been pleased with their work.
- All types of payment are accepted. If they only take cash, it may be a sign that they aren’t correctly reporting taxes. Trustworthy companies accept cash, checks, and all major credit cards.
- Billing options are spelled out on paper. Certain types of jobs may require upfront payment. A good landscaper has billing options listed on the contract.
- You are assigned an Account Manager. You never have to search for a point of contact.
- The landscaper has a portfolio of work. Whether it is on their website or in a brochure, you can see other projects that the company has completed.
- You can visit a job site that they finished a few years ago. Wouldn’t it be nice to see something they installed three – or even five – years ago?
- They have a knowledge of your area. Your Account Manager has extensive knowledge of the area. He or she knows common insect and disease issues, and plants that survive well in our climate.
- Their advertising isn’t misleading or deceptive. If they fooled you once, they will fool you again.
- They adhere to building codes, labor laws, and safety standards. You want a deck that is going to pass inspection, so make sure the company building it knows all the local building requirements.
- They are large enough to handle your big job. Two guys in a truck may be okay for weekly yard maintenance, but if you are installing something larger, you will want more employees on hand to complete the job in a timely fashion.
Sunrise Landscape and Design is proud of its reputation for integrity, quality work and professionalism. If you are looking to renew or start a landscape maintenance contract, or hire a landscape company for a design and build project – contact us! We’d be happy to show how we meet the 30 characteristics of an experienced, professional landscape company!
Sunrise Landscape and Design is Northern Virginia’s premier landscaping company offering a full range of landscaping services. Our landscape and design services include hardscapes, water features, irrigation and landscape lighting. Our property maintenance services will keep your landscape vibrant and healthy year round with mulching, edging, garden cleanups, lawn mowing, tree pruning and mosquito/deer control. Contact us today for all your landscape and lawn care needs!