I think we’d all agree it’s difficult to select a good contractor from the Yellow Pages (what’s that?) or any business listing service.
You can look at their ads, call a few and have them come by to look at the work you need done. And then keep your fingers crossed.
How the company representative presents him or herself and, of course, their level of knowledge are certainly good indicators – or are they?
Let’s face it, there’s no better way to select any professional person or service than by “customer” referral and reputation. That usually reveals what quality work they do and what quality company they are.
As far as “references” go by companies, I’m always a bit skeptical.
Obviously the references you’re given will be select ones. Certainly they’re worth checking out.
Sometimes a conversation with a reference can be revealing in that one customer’s standards of workmanship may be vastly different than yours.
In the picture below there’s a tool truck that this landscape design/build company brings to every job. It carries every tool they might need and just look how organized it is.
If you are working with someone who you’re just not sure of, watch for obvious signs of their skill, preparedness and neatness.
This also works if a contractor is working in the neighborhood or at a friend’s house
How organized and methodical a contractor works speaks volumes of their professionalism.
This is more of a character trait rather than a skill, but it is still a major attribute of a good contractor.
It simply comes down to “does the contractor do what he or she says they’re going to do”? This is another trait that speaks volumes.
Sometimes a smooth talking salesperson with an embroidered logo on their shirt doesn’t necessarily mean the best job.
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Landscapes are complex, and shortcomings anywhere in the process can affect the project… and your peace of mind.
My approach is process-oriented. I break things down from planning to implementation — and make sure everyone is kept informed.
My goal is to alleviate concerns such as design decisions, costs, workmanship and material quality. I want folks to stress less and actually enjoy the process.
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