How To Hire A Landscape Contractor

Hiring the correct Landscape Contractor is the first step to achieving your landscape dream
Stuart J. Sperber Memorial Sweepstakes Trophy - Richard Cohen Landscape & Construction, Inc.

Need a professional to help you achieve your landscape dreams? Let the California Landscape Contractors Association help you find the ideal landscape contractor!

Through word-of-mouth referrals or on-line recommendations, you probably have a list of potential professionals.

Here are some questions to consider to help you find the professional that’s best for you:


Are They Licensed?

If your project costs more than $500, the contractor must be licensed by the state of California. To verify a license, use the California State License Board’s Instant License Check or call  them at (800) 321-2752.

Contractors must demonstrate a minimum level of competency and financial responsibility to be licensed. All CLCA member-contractors meet this requirement.

Many of California’s cities and counties require business licenses.

The California Environmental Protection Agency requires landscape firms applying pesticides in California to have a pest control license. License check>


Are They Insured?

Workers’ compensation insurance protects you in case a worker employed by a contractor is injured on your property.

General liability insurance protects against not-so-natural disasters. These policies typically offer a minimum coverage of $300,000 to $1 million for residential and at least $1 million for commercial work.

Automobile insurance provides additional protection when a contractor’s vehicle is involved in an accident on your property.


Are They Members of the California Landscape Contractors Association?

Membership in the association demonstrates a commitment by the landscaper to promote the professionalism and creativity of their company and their industry. With on-going education and professional development, CLCA works to ensure that all members provide their clients with a professional and cost-effective landscape experience.


Do Their References and Portfolio Inspire Confidence?

Expect to be provided with a reference list and examples of completed projects. Ask to tour projects similar to yours. Visiting a project in progress can be instructive as well. A “track record” of accomplishments can be demonstrated using:

  • Photos of completed projects
  • Letters of appreciation
  • Examples of community work
  • A biography
  • Articles the contractor has written
  • Awards won


Do You Feel A Connection With The Contractor?

Your relationship with your landscape and your landscape professional is more than a business arrangement. Guided by your vision and your budget, your landscape professional will transform your landscape into your dreams.

A landscape contractor may coordinate many specialties to create your landscape, including:

  • Clearing /grading the land
  • Ensuring that there is proper and adequate drainage
  • Creating decks, patios, masonry walls, rockscapes, water features, paving and other creative effects
  • Installing and managing irrigation systems
  • Crafting interiorscapes and specialty gardens
  • Installing lighting for safety and enjoyment
  • Selecting and planting everything from the most delicate of flowers to massive trees
  • Managing your garden to promote environmental health
  • Auditing water use to eliminate waste

It’s imperative that you and your landscape contractor are able to communicate clearly to make your dreams a reality.


Are They Certified?

CLCA Certified Water Managers must pass a written test and complete a rigorous year-long field performance test that documents their ability to use water wisely.

Landscape Industry Certified Technicians must pass a rigorous written examination demonstrating a thorough knowledge of installation, maintenance and irrigation.

View companies with certified employees