The landscaping industry has increased steadily over the years with an average annual growth of 3.3% since 2015. Currently, the industry’s market size has reached $98.7 billion, with it increasing faster than the Administration, Business Support, and Waste Management Services sectors combined.
The National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) estimates that there will be over 100,000 people starting new landscaping businesses by 2025, so you are quite literally spoiled for choice. But how do you choose the right landscaping company for your particular needs? Well, the right landscaping company should be able to tell you the following:
1. Where do you get your plants?
While it would be beautiful to have the Japanese red maple and British ivy, these are risky to have in your yard. Using native plants in your garden would be more budget-friendly and have more longevity. Native plants will most likely cost less because they don’t have to be shipped from another country. They also have the highest chance of surviving. Foreign plants might struggle to acclimatize to their new surroundings, making them susceptible to pests and disease. Therefore, native plants don’t generally need as much maintenance as foreign plants.
2. What do you do with dead plants?
A good landscaper will know whether or not it’s time to remove dead plants, trees, and shrubbery, but a great landscape company can also tell you exactly what they do with these dead plants. Remember that dead trees can be made into organic mulch, firewood, or even sanctuaries for local wildlife, and dead plants can also be used for compost. If a landscaping company tells you that they just toss these in the bin or can’t tell you what they do with them at all, then you know they’re not as sustainable or eco-friendly as they may claim.
3. How long have you been in business and how big is your firm?
The longer a company has been in business, the more experience, manpower, and skill they should have to handle projects, so take into account the projects they’ve completed in the past. Check their portfolio. The size of the company also matters because the bigger it is, the wider their reach is as well. But this is good only to an extent. Ask about how many crews are under a single manager and how many communities they are in charge of, as it might so happen that one manager is overlooking five to eight crews that are servicing maybe 10 communities. This isn’t a very good ratio as the amount of work they have to do might make them impact their attention to detail when taking on your project.
4. Is your company bonded and fully insured?
A company that is both fully insured and bonded will give you the best service because they financially protect both themselves and the client, so go ahead and ask for documentation to put you at ease. A bonded landscaper takes care of the customer as it gives the client a feeling of security that the job will somehow be completed. An insured landscaper protects the contractor. If ever your property is damaged during the work, the insurance company will pay you. Insurance also covers worker’s compensation, such as medical expenses, if they are injured on the job, and wages.
Landscaping does not have much room for error, as any mistakes could cost you and the contractor both time and money. So don’t be afraid to ask your contractor questions until you are satisfied and confident that they can get the job done in a safe and timely manner.