How To Hire A Landscape Contractor
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 (such as CLCA’s Find My Contractor search), 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.
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.