One of the most important decisions to be made for a home landscaping project is whether to hire a landscape architect, landscape designer or landscape contractor.
There are a few combinations to consider before proceeding with your landscape or yard design or redesign; it all depends on your needs, the depth and complexity of the project, and the amount of money you wish to invest.
Sometimes you can hire a landscape architect or designer to come up with the plans, and then provide you with the contact information for preferred landscape design contractors, allowing you to utilize their design, but use another team to complete the work. With some landscape contractors, any design work is considered part of the construction package most professional landscape contractor’s supply designs. Most landscape contractors that supply designs will discount the design fee from the final contract price if they install the project.
But how do you decide whom to hire? You will first need to take into consideration your budget, timeline, project size, and complexity. However, just like with any other contractor you hire, the biggest test will be whether or not you work well with that individual or group. Is the person you wish to hire receptive to your ideas, goals, budget, and schedule?
It is important to get someone who takes the time to get to know your environment, and asks you questions about how you use your space, what kinds of plants or flowers you like, and what you are hoping to accomplish in that space.
A good way to get started is by asking your friends or neighbors for the names of good firms. You can also search online directories listing professional horticulture and landscaping organizations and businesses like Landscape Greater Toronto Area or Canadian Nursery landscape association.
Once you have decided whom to hire, don’t neglect to ask for proof of WSIB clearance, certifications, business insurance and professional affiliations, and make sure you get any proposal in writing. Before you sign any agreements, also be sure you understand the terms and fees.