Like buying your first car or navigating superannuation companies when you first start paid work, deciding on a landscape contractor can be a daunting process when you’re not familiar with our industry. There’s a lot more to discover than whether one can mow a lawn. So how do you find the best landscaper for the work you need completed? Are their certain red flags to watch out for? We’ve compiled some tips below to ensure you have the knowledge to choose the landscaper for your needs.
What types of landscapers are there?
A commercial landscaper focuses on commercial properties. This could be anything from a business park, or a new residential development to a school, aged care facility or public park. It encompasses a wide range of project types. A commercial landscaper will often specialise in either landscape maintenance or construction works. Or they may take a multi-faceted approach and offer a wide range of services. Commercial landscaping can also include specialist irrigation and sports turf works. Commercial landscaping is our area of expertise here at Landscape Solutions.
As the name suggests, residential landscapers focus on residential spaces. While smaller in scale than the spaces a commercial landscaper works on, they can still be extensive in their complexity. Residential landscapers can also be further broken down into construction and maintenance professionals.
What are the factors to consider when choosing a landscaper?
There are a few things to consider when selecting a landscaper to work with.
- Whether they have the appropriate license – Any reputable landscaper should be able to provide you with their contractor licence number. For example, in NSW you can search a company name or licence number via the NSW Fair Trading website. This way you can be assured that they have the appropriate qualifications and that you have some protection in the event of problems should they occur.
- Are they insured? This is crucial to ensure you are protected in the event of something going wrong.
- Are they accredited? Having a third-party accredited landscaper means you can be confident knowing their processes and operations have been verified by an industry body, and that their procedures are implemented correctly. They offer a higher level of assurance that their service meets the relevant safety, quality and environmental regulations in Australia.
- Previous work – It’s important to know that your landscaper has the skill and expertise to deliver your project. Look at their past work, and assess the demands and scale of such properties. Request a portfolio showcasing their previous commercial landscaping projects to gauge the diversity and quality of their work. We’ll touch on this more below.
- Are they a partner? Look for a company that will partner with you, a team that aligns with your strategic direction and your values, not just a contractor.
- Communication – It’s crucial to hire a contractor who is proactive in protecting your landscape asset, a team who will also implement continuous improvement. Whether you are looking for a landscape maintenance or construction partner, or a specialist team to look after your sports turf, there are always improvements that can be made.
- Capabilities – When you engage a landscaper, the chances are you need a team who can do more than simply mow grass. Ask them whether they can provide whole asset protection, to meet your needs now and into the future. This could include turf management, high-end garden and horticultural work, small building work and handstand maintenance.
- Is their pricing too good to be true? Cost transparency and adherence to budget limitations are critical, so obtain detailed estimates and enquire about any potential additional charges. If you’ve done your due diligence and received several quotes from several contractors, and one is significantly cheaper than the rest, it may be worth investigating further. They may have left something out of their pricing that you will be hit up for at a later date.
- Consider industry involvement – You may like to search your relevant state landscaping industry body to see if they are a member. While this is not a requirement, it is a good indication that they are a reputable company.
Checking a landscaper's past work
It’s important to look at a landscapers previous work and ensure the quality, creative aspects and delivery meet your expectations. A great place to start is the experience page on their website. These pages usually give you a great overview of their capabilities, whether they have completed projects local to you, and it may also give you some ideas on things to include in your project.
Another way is to simply get in touch with the landscaper and ask them if you can look at some of their past work. Commercial landscapers for example may have completed the construction of a public park that you are free to go and look at.
Look through state industry websites to see which companies have won awards in recent years. While not every company enters these, it can be great to get an idea of the companies available and the standards that you should be able to expect (depending on your budget, location and time frame of course).
Choosing the best commercial landscaper
In addition to all of the factors we have listed above, it is a great idea to consider the availability and responsiveness of the company you are liaising with. Timely communication and efficient project management are a good indication of how successful their commercial landscaping endeavours are.
Ask about their current work and the resources they have available to deliver on these projects. If you don’t feel comfortable that, for example, the number of employees meets the needs of the workload, it may be best to look elsewhere.
Client references are another good way to gain insight into the landscaper’s reputation, reliability, and ability to meet deadlines, thereby making an informed decision for your commercial property landscaping needs.
Choosing a team who can offer whole asset protection
When you engage a landscaper, the chances are you need a team who can do more than simply mow grass. Ask whether your team can provide whole asset protection, to meet your needs now and into the future.
This could include turf management, high-end garden and horticultural work, small building work and handstand maintenance.
Here at Landscape Solutions we provide our customers with comprehensive landscape solutions, saving you the trouble of managing multiple teams.
Choosing the best lawn mowing service
Choosing the best lawn mowing service can differ greatly, depending on how big your green space is, whether you are looking for a commercial or residential contractor, and the complexities of your location.
Consider the state, age and environmental impact of the machinery and equipment your contractor is using, and whether they can be flexible around your changing needs. Choosing a contractor here really depends on the requirements and complexities of your space. You may need a commercial lawn mowing service company who specilise in large open spaces, difficult to access spaces, or a team who specialise in the delivery of impeccable sporting surfaces.
Choosing the best residential landscaper
While we don’t deliver residential work here at Landscape Solutions, we believe much of what we recommended above for choosing a commercial landscaper is also true for residential landscapers.
Why Landscape Solutions is the best for commercial landscaping services
Our commitment to creating great places runs deep, and with 30 years in the landscape industry behind us, you can be confident knowing we have the skills, capabilities and experience to deliver projects both large and small.
We make every effort to ensure you receive results of the highest quality, and that we do this safely, within your time frame and budget. Our comprehensive range of services means you have a team who can deliver on all aspects of your project, and we know how to do this with the best long-term results in mind.