How do you go about looking for a good landscape company? We are planning on having some bushes planted next spring and need some landscape advice.
There are basic rules to keep in mind. Define exactly what you want the contractor to do and where. Make a list to organize your ideas and even a thumbnail sketch. Ask yourself how involved you will be with the installation and maintenance. Do you want to observe from the sidelines, or get in there and dig? Will you handle the annual maintenance of your new landscaping, or pay for that service? A single contractor who offers both installation and maintenance has greater continuity with your property than two separate companies. Know your budget and prioritize the areas you want planted. You may decide to do your plantings in phases. Once you determine these conditions, make a list of contractors that fit them. Two excellent sources are the Michigan Green Industry Association and the Michigan Nursery and Landscape Association. These professional trade organizations will have lists of companies who fit your criteria. Also ask friends and neighbors whose yards you admire how they accomplished it. You can learn a lot about the working relationship between contractor and homeowner that way. Then start calling. Be patient as most good contractors are very busy. Get at least three bids or plans, and get them in writing, with details about timetables, unforeseen changes, site repair from heavy equipment, etc. Ask them for references of completed projects and follow up on them. The more informed you are as a homeowner about the work you want done, the happier you will be with the end result.