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With every home project the first considerations are usually; What needs to be done, who will do it & most importantly how much will it cost??? Landscaping is no different and navigating this process, depending on who you hire, can either be a nightmare or a dream come true. This blog will include some key points and things to look out for that will help you make your next landscape project a dream come true!

Understanding your landscaping goals

It’s very important to understand exactly what you are wanting to have done so when getting quotes, you are comparing apples to apples. Take photos of the area you are having landscaped and make wish lists of what you would like to see there. A good old-fashioned trip through Pinterest is a great idea. Get inspired, make a page entitled “My Garden” and start dreaming! This way you will have visual aides to help guide the landscape company that you hire. They will also have the expertise and plant knowledge to let you know if what you are seeking is even possible in your area.

Comparing the numbers

Although cost is important, it’s not everything. A beautifully landscaped piece of property that no doubt will boost curb appeal is certainly worth the due diligence. Start with setting a budget & get at least three quotes, keeping in mind that old adage - you get what you pay for. If it seems too good to be true, it usually is. Having numbers from three different companies will give you a good idea of what your project is truly worth and what is possible.

Experience & Reputation

Now more than ever, it’s easier to get a good sense of a company’s reputation and what kind of work they do. Never hire a professional of any kind without first checking out their google star rating and reading the reviews. Keep in mind of course that some people just can’t be pleased and will review out of spite and those ones need to be taken with a grain of salt. Ask your neighbours who they use or when you see a beautifully landscaped yard, ask the owners who did it. People are normally more than happy to share this information. A great landscaping company relies on word of mouth as their best form of advertising. Ask for references. A good company will have a list of references ready and proud to share.

Estimated time & Warranties

We’ve all heard stories of contractors coming to start a project, working for two days, and then not returning for three weeks. Don’t let that happen to you. Ask upfront for an approximate finish date with your estimate. Having a signed and agreed upon contract is so important for both the client and the landscaping company. It’s written protection that should be laid out in a clear and concise manner, leaving nothing up to interpretation. Ask what kind of warranty is offered. This will give you the greatest sense of how much the company believes in the quality of their work and if they will stand by it.

The difference between Landscaping & Hardscaping

To better understand how to design for a landscape, the two main elements that make up outdoor living spaces are known as hardscape and softscape. The easiest ways to remember the differences: Hardscape and softscape are the complete opposites of each other, yet both are necessary to make a landscape fully functional. 

Hardscape is the hard stuff in your yard: concrete, bricks & stone. Softscape is the soft, growing stuff, like perennial flowers, shrubs, succulents, and trees. Softscape is living; hardscape is not. a well-designed landscape incorporates a balance between the two elements. 

If you require hardscape and softscape for your project, be sure to hire a company that specializes in both.