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Tips for Hiring a Landscaping Contractor

Whether you’re dreaming of lush gardens, tranquil water features, or vibrant outdoor living spaces, or just a nice and tidy lawn, choosing the right landscaper can make all the difference. If you’re thinking about enlisting someone to help with your lawn and garden, BBB has a few tips to make sure you spend that money wisely.  

“Your lawn is one of the first things people notice when they visit your home,” Mechele Agbayani Mills, President and CEO of BBB Central East Texas said. “If you’re hiring a professional to help you make it beautiful, it’s important to do your homework and make sure you’re hiring the right contractor for the job.”

Better Business Bureau offers the following tips to help you love your lawn:

Research and gather information. Once you have decided what services you need and your budget, get recommendations from friends and neighbors with lawns you admire. Then search for the profiles of those businesses at BBB.org to get an overall view of customer experience.  

Ask for a lawn inspection. Without physically coming out to your property, it will be difficult to get an accurate price on your project. Quality companies will offer an estimate only after they see what they are working with. Lawn care companies that quote a price without seeing your lawn can’t be sure what you need. A landscaper will need to measure the area and consider access to the yard. 

Ask for references. If possible, visit these locations to get a first-hand view of the quality of their work. Ask the references about their experiences before, during, and after the work was done

Get everything in writing. Make sure all details of the job are included in a written contract. The contract should include the start and completion date of the project, the materials used and all the costs and fees broken down. Ask the contractor to provide a lien waiver, especially for larger projects, to prevent yourself from being held responsible to pay the supplier when you have already paid the landscaper in full. Read everything thoroughly before signing. Never sign a contract that is partially blank.   

Be home when the work is being performed. It’s a good idea to be on site when the actual landscaping takes place, particularly for larger jobs, to oversee the work, and to be available for any questions the contractor may have. 

Remember the rule of thirds. If you’re planning on having some major landscaping and/or sprinkler system installation, consider paying a third of the contract amount to secure the contract, a third when the work is half done and the final third only after the job is completed and you are satisfied with the work. 

Shop around. Get written estimates from at least three different companies. Keep in mind that the cheapest estimate is not necessarily the best option. You may have to invest a little more for higher quality products and services. 

Learn more tips on hiring a contractor working in or around your home. Need help with your project? Find trusted, vetted landscape pros near you, and get a quote from a BBB Accredited Business. See BBB’s landscaping HQ for more tips and resources.

Remember, to find businesses you can trust, look for the BBB Seal. It’s the sign of a better business. Always look for businesses that follow BBB Accreditation Standards and BBB Standards for Trust

ABOUT BBB®: For more than 100 years, the Better Business Bureau has been helping people find businesses, brands and charities they can trust. In 2020, people turned to BBB more than 220 million times for BBB Business Profiles on 6.2 million businesses and Charity Reports on 11,000 charities, all available for free at BBB.org. The International Association of Better Business Bureaus is the umbrella organization for the local, independent BBBs in the United States, Canada and Mexico. BBB serving Central East Texas opened their Tyler office in 1985 and serves 19 counties in East Texas

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