Since landscape renovations are often a big investment, it’s vital to work with companies that will deliver on your expectations. But comparing bids isn’t enough. To find the best landscape construction companies in Croton, NY, you need to ask the right questions:
Are They Licensed?
Only hire licensed landscape construction companies. This is one of many signs that you are more likely to achieve the quality results you want. A company must demonstrate proof of insurance in order to receive a trade license. This includes workers’ compensation, which protects the company in case a worker is injured on the job. Licensed companies must also be bonded. Surety bonds ensure that a project will be finished to the customer’s satisfaction. This prevents substandard work, failing to complete the project on time, and protects you from liens on your property in case the contractor fails to pay suppliers or subcontractors. Essentially, bonding compensates you for any breach of contract. Liability insurance covers damage to your property and injury to non-employees.
Bids from unlicensed contractors are often lower than their competition. But beware, this is not always the case—always check if a contractor is licensed and check that their insurance is current. If not, do not accept their bid.
Is Their Work High Quality?
Ask to see their work in person, preferably both in-progress projects as well as completed work. A portfolio is great, but when possible, it’s ideal to see the work for yourself. If past customers will be happy to show you around, this is a good first indication of quality work. When you’re onsite, examine the details as well as the big picture. Look for the kind of craftsmanship you would want repeated in your own backyard. You could ask about why certain decisions were made about the placement of the patio, the choice of pavers, and when certain features were built during the construction process. If you can’t personally see examples of completed and in-progress work, ask to speak to past customers.
What Do Their Customers Say?
Don’t rely on letters of reference. They don’t give enough details. Ask to speak to past customers, and ask them detailed questions, like: did the landscape construction company show up on time, were they respectful and polite, were they pleasant to work with, how did they manage problems, did they protect your property, did the crew look professional, did they clean up after themselves, and so on. After all, the landscape construction crews could be at your home every day for several weeks. This can be disruptive and messy, so make sure they minimize their impact while performing quality work.
What Do Your Gut Instincts Tell You?
Never underestimate the importance of your gut feelings. If you see red flags like a company’s refusal to provide references, or something just feels off, don’t let slick sales presentations, promises, or low bids sway your decision. You want to focus your search on landscape construction companies that have done a range of projects similar to yours, that come to your project with smart ideas, and that have the experience and expertise to carry out your landscape project successfully.