5 Things Customers Should Know About Landscapers
1. Know how you will be able to communicate with them (contractors/company.
All types of electronic communication are at your fingertips, you may have some ideas about how you would like to receive information about your project. Your contractor likely has specific ways on how to communicate too like emails, cloud-based schedules or just phone calls. Make sure you understand how you will be contacted and receive information. Weekly meetings at a specific time are an effective way to make sure you see your contractor in person to get your questions answered.
2. Make sure the landscaping professional you hire offers a warranty for plant material and workmanship. Be clear on how long the warranty is and what exactly is covered.
There’s always something unknown about a project, or an area that is most likely to trigger an immediate change order. Odds are, your contractor already knows what that is. What happens when the specimen saguaro you just paid $5,000.00 for falls over? Who will end up paying for a replacement? If there is no warranty, you will have to absorb that cost. If there is a warranty then you are not liable for the cost to replace it. Companies that do not warranty their work don’t believe in either quality of their work or materials. Warranties are essential in reassuring clients that designers, architects and contractors stand behind their product.
Knowing how to reach your contractor on during an emergency is just as important as your contractor being able to reach you. Exchange all your numbers — work, cell and landline — so that contacting each other won’t be a crisis in itself.
4. Be informed about the kind of documentation they provide.
Contracts frequently call out end-of-project paperwork — lien releases, marked-up plans with as-built on plumbing and other utilities, copies of inspection reports, etc. But there may be additional items you will find valuable: a full set of mechanical photos before insulation is installed, the operating manuals for installed equipment (and a personal lesson in their operation if you don’t know the basics), a list of subcontractors and contact info, care for things such as countertops and tile and a well-marked electrical panel. Confirming that you will receive these things before you get started will help ensure that you finish the project with all the information you need.
5. Make sure your landscape professional has proof of Workman’s Compensation and Liability Insurance.
You can avoid being held liable for accidents or damage to your property when you have this proof. Workman’s Compensation protects you in the event a worker has an accident. Without it your home and assets could be at risk if someone is injured on your project. You could be held liable. The contractor should also carry an insurance policy that has a general liability aggregate limit of a minimum $1,000,000. This protects your property should something happen to damage it, like a fire.
A client should never assume the proper insurance has been obtained, and should always perform due diligence on their projects. If your landscape contractor does not have this insurance you could be held liable for any accidents that happen during your project; hospital costs, law suits, etc. Insurance claims could be filed against the property owner, producing significant risks to your assets.