Custom landscaping can make a huge difference in the appearance of a home and bring great joy to homeowners. It can be quite a daunting task and homeowners may be intimidated on how to start and who to hire. It is important to hire a quality Sacramento landscaping company that will help you design and execute your dream yard. Below is some advice on how to go about hiring a custom landscape contractor.
A homeowner should not be held liable for accidents that occur during landscaping or damage to their property due to a landscape contractor. In order to avoid this liability, be sure the landscape professional has proof of Workman’s Compensation and Liability Insurance. A workman’s compensation protects the homeowner in the unfortunate event that a worker has an accident on the property. Without this insurance, it is possible to be sued if someone becomes injured. Liability Insurance will protect the home in case there is any damage, including fire. A good policy will have a general liability aggregate limit of at least $1,000,000.
It is important for a homeowner to ensure that their landscape professional holds these insurances for their own protection.
Every homeowner wants to be sure the work that is done to their home is done thoroughly and to the highest degree of quality. A Sacramento landscaping company that is not licensed is not held to the standards of the state’s licensing board, meaning the quality of work may suffer. Also, if you are unhappy with the landscaping work of an unlicensed company, there is no recourse for complaint.
It may be tempting to hire a company without a license and not all unlicensed groups will do bad work, but there’s no guarantee they will do a good job or even complete the job. The following is a nonexhaustive list of complaints that may not be filed against an unlicensed contractor:
- Failing to do what is in the contract
- Poor workmanship
- Failing to pay subcontractors or material suppliers
- Abandoning the job
- Not complying with building, safety, or labor codes and laws
- Failing to pay taxes or fees
- Failing to stick to the project plan
- Using false or misleading advertising
Even if you choose a licensed landscaping company, it is important to be sure the company is in good standing with the California Better Business Bureau.
Experience is an extremely important aspect of a Sacramento landscaping company. It is important to know that the company that will be transforming the landscape has extensive knowledge in their craft. A good way to determine this is to check references and compare previous examples of their work to what you have in mind. Even though a company may claim to have many years of experience, this may be an exaggeration or may not be relevant to your exact needs.
A Sacramento landscaping company hired to do the landscaping work should be familiar with the local codes and should pull all necessary permits. It is very important that the relevant permits are acquired as working without them can cause serious problems throughout the project, such as:
- Fines from the city
- Requiring new permits
- Delays to the project
- Increased cost of the project due to delays – When a landscaper is caught working without a permit, the city can scrutinize the work. The costs of adding or removing elements to comply with city codes could be placed on the homeowner.
It is very important that the contract signed includes all relevant information to the project, such as:
- Scope of the work
- How changes will be handled if they arise
Costs should be discussed with the designer, architect, or contractor to determine whether the quoted cost is fixed or if it can be expected to vary depending on changes that may occur during construction. It also should be determined how changes to costs will be handled once the project starts and to sign an agreement that outlines these policies.
Payment options will vary depending on the company, including down payment and the timing of billing, which can range from full upfront, upon completion, or down payment and balance upon completion. Companies that require full payment upfront or a very large down payment may not be incentivized to do a good job or to complete the project.