by Fred Roundstone
(Angmering, West Sussex, UK)
Investing in a home landscaping project is a smart decision. Time, a budget and a properly laid out plan are things to consider
Included in the investment is the search for the best professionallandscape contractor available who can stay within your budget and yet do an acceptable job. You do not want a “run-of-the-mill job” that you see elsewhere in your neighborhood, but one that you have envisioned and suit your specific needs.
If you decided to continue with the project, you must start with a well thought-out plan. Put them into writing and identify the needs and requirements of the project. A landscape that you envisioned is entirely possible and will bring great pleasure.
Next you should prepare your budget. Will your dream garden be feasible? Is it practical or do you need to make some adjustments and/or compromises?
The best thing is that you know what you want and you are able to identify alternatives if your budget fails to accommodate your vision. Having a plan, budget, and timetable for your landscape project will make it easier for you to negotiate with your landscape contractor. He is your practical accomplice in ensuring that this project will meet your budget and assure that it will look as much as possible like you had envisioned.
With everything in order, you are now ready to choose yourlandscape contractor.
• A landscape contractor can do many jobs for you. Make sure you identify what help you want from him. If you like to work in the garden and want to do some of the work yourself, tell your contractor about it and work with him so that he will know what is expected of him. This will make the work less expensive.
• Be sure that you have already identified what you want in the landscape design. This should be in your preparatory plan before you even speak to a professional contractor. Do let him know that you would appreciate his professional expertise and input – this will put him at ease.
• Know the landscape companies that you are contacting and negotiate with them. Gauge their level of experience and the quality work by asking for photos or tours of their previous projects. You should also ask for references and their professional affiliations.
• Be sure that the company is operating legally. This will ensure you that the contractor will be accountable to you.
• Everything you agreed to must be in ‘black and white’. Never walk away without a written contract!
Do all these things and you will be assured that your home landscape will be the way you envisioned it.
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