Dec 23, 2015

How To Choose A Portland Landscaper

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Weighing all the factors in choosing a Portland landscaper can seem overwhelming. There are so many to choose from, what’s important in making your decision? We have simplified what to look for making your research a little easier. Keep reading to find out how to properly choose a Portland landscaper by avoiding common mistakes.

1. Going With The Cheapest Option

While it is always wise to watch where your money is going, some cuts are not worth it. Estimates you receive that are well below their competitors, should be a red flag. The first question you should ask your potential landscaper is, "are you licensed, bonded and insured"? Make sure you get that information before hiring. If the answer is no, pass on their services, as hiring them would make you responsible for any injures which occur on your property. Also, hiring a licensed contractor will help you avoid liens. Homeowners are ultimately responsible for payments to subcontractors and suppliers, even if they have paid their landscaper in full. Another common occurrence is product skimping. All too often we see homeowners get sub-par products and service. For instance, what type of soil are they using for your project, has it been sterilized? If their price is too good to be true, chances are, they are cutting corners somewhere.

2. Not Properly Planning Your Project

Clearly communicating your vision as well as the desired outcome of your project will ensure you have an outdoor oasis. You can do this by avoiding generalizations, ask for photos of materials and plants to be used. If you are considering ongoing maintenance, make sure you clearly communicate your overall expectations for upkeep. In your landscape, what really gets under your skin? Ask questions about their pruning schedule, how weeds are controlled and the services included in the maintenance contract.

3. Skipping Your Investigation

First stop, online reviews. While online reviews should not be used solely in your decision, they can provide insight into your potential project. Read thorough the positive and negative reviews to gain a comprehensive idea of what the company is about and what questions to ask. Next stop, LCB website to research if there are any appeals or grievances filed against the company. Using the LCB website will also ensure they are properly licensed

4. Not Getting A Written Contract

There is nothing more frustrating than a "he-said-she-said" conversation. A landscape company should automatically offer you a contract, upon approval of an estimate. Read over it carefully before signing to ensure everything on the contract is what you talked about with your estimator.

5. Miss Communication

Issues that do arise are often from a lack of communication. Don't be afraid to discuss questions or concerns with your landscaping company. Your landscaper should be a resource to you, which is full of knowledge and helpful insights for all your landscaping needs.

6. Overlooking Years In Business

You are excited to hire a new landscaper, but after a few months they simply stop showing up with no notice. This scenario is a common one we come across with some our new customers. Unfortunately, fly by night companies are an ongoing problem in the Portland landscape industry. Look into how many years a company has been in operation. Finding an established company with a good reputation, will greatly reduce the chance of a mile high lawn when you get back from vacation.

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Erica Mooney

Erica is an avid lover of the outdoors, and transformed that love into a partnership running Valley West with Ryan 2012.

Portland, Landscape Advice

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