Hiring the right contractor increases your chances of completing your project on time and on budget. It can be tempting to consider the cost savings by not hiring a contractor however, there usually are monetary and time costs you have not considered. Failure to identify all the requirements can prove to be more costly in the long run.
Once you decide on hiring a landscape contractor the following items will help you choose the right one:
- Have a plan or design with specifications.
- Verify name address and telephone numbers.
- Verify how long they have been in business.
- Verify license and insurance are current.
- Look at photos of like projects completed by contractor.
- The contractor must show interest in your project and display a positive attitude.
- Verify contractor uses top quality products designed for your applications.
- Verify contractor’s reputation (BBB, Chamber of Commerce, local suppliers, other contractors, past clients, etc.)
- Get a written contract that is clear, complete and firm, stating all materials, work to be done and amount to be paid with pay schedule.
- Never pay more than 50% up front and never give final payment until job is 100% complete and you are satisfied.
- Get a start date and a completion date.
- Make sure that everything you and your contractor have agreed to is in the contract.
- Make sure all prospective contractors are bidding the same job. (Having a plan helps to ensure this)
- If you find your favorite contractor has a poor credit history but excellent workmanship, you may purchase all materials yourself and contract labor only. (Give no money up front in this case.)
- Put “while you are at it” projects on a separate list and ask for a separate estimates. This give the contractor an opportunity to earn a little extra money while filling in idle time.