It’s spring and everyone is calling every contractor in the phone book, but how do you know which one to call? Do you go with the company with the largest advertising? Or do you go with who is a part of the BBB. Maybe they are too expensive and charge a crazy price, with large size advertisement. Maybe we should pick a contractor with a smaller advertisement! They might be cheaper. Or this is my favorite! Call all the contractors and tell them what we want over the phone and ask “how much per square foot”. Well the question I have for you is, “how much is a car” they all have wheels and drive but not created equal. Here are some tips next time you are hiring a landscape contractor. Tip number 1) if the contractor gives you a price per square foot get rid of him. He clearly does not know what his costs are and he has not given you a material range cost. This should narrow your search by 50-75% of landscape contractors. The reason we don’t charge by square foot is because every job is different. A patio in the backyard with no machine access can’t be the same price as doing a front walkway of 60 square feet. A contractor that operates at $2000 a day can’t start his trucks and send his crew for a 60 square foot walkway for less than $3000. So therefore don’t go by square foot pricing. Tip 2) if the contractor is giving you an estimate over the phone without coming to see the project get rid of him. Every project has different obstacles to overcome and you can’t account for them over the phone. This is where the homeowners get taken for more than what was proposed by the contractor.
The best way to find a reputable contractor is to speak to a few stone suppliers and ask there recommendations, than go to websites and look at the work and see what suits your taste. If the contractor does not have one get rid of him. In this day and age it’s expected to have one if you are a true professional. Next is the contractor part of any professional associations? You ask any professional if they want to better the industry and they all will give you the same answer, And are usually all part of similar associations. Next is the contractor a certified interlocking stone installer? This is a big one. I would never let a dentist do my plumbing nor would I let a non certified dentist work on my teeth. These are just a few tips on helping you find the right contractor! Don’t just ask for referrals ask to look at the project they are currently working on and see for your self. Next ask what there warranty is? Is it a two year or a five year. How long have they been in business? If they have only been in business for 2 years and are offering a 5 year warranty get rid of them. They probably won’t be in business long enough to fix there mess. Last but not least if the contractor does not give you a design to go from when hired than you really don’t know what you are getting. Also a estimate on a card! What’s that nonsense. The proposal should be so indepth that you could probably teach the other 50% of contractors how the job should be completed. Well hope this sheds some light and helps you find the right contractor for your project!