Landscapers are professionals who handle all sorts of issues relating to the beautification and upkeep of natural areas. They usually work on both commercial and private properties, though some may be employed specifically by a commercial establishment. Many landscapers work for companies that service a wide variety of needs. While you may be able to do much of your own landscaping work, hiring a professional not only means the job is easier for you, but that it should also be done with a great deal of skill.
In most states, landscapers may be required, or at least have the option, of registering with the state. If you live in a place where this state registration is provided, make sure to take advantage of it. At the very least, it ensures a minimum level of security. A company that registers with the state is less likely to take your money and run. While it is not a guarantee of quality, it does provide protection against scammers.
Depending on the type of job you have, the landscaper you choose may be very different. Some landscapers will focus more on physical features such as rock walls, stone paths and other such accents. Others may be more experienced in pond work or plants. Some landscapers may subcontract some work. It may be a better deal if you directly hire your own subcontractor.
As with any type of contracted work, the landscaper should be expecting you to request references and samples. Pictures are great, but also ask for addresses of projects that you may visit first hand. Often, this will show you the quality and the durability of the landscaper's work.
Each landscaper may also vary greatly in regards to how much they charge for a job. Most are happy to offer you free quotes as a cost of doing business. Therefore, do not be shy about taking advantage of this opportunity. While cost is only one of the things to consider, it is often the determining factor in which landscaper is chosen.
While many landscapers will offer lawn services, such as simple mowing, weeding and edging, you might be better seeking other places for these services. Landscapers are often very skilled professionals who will not mind doing routine yard work but that will come at a higher price than many lawn services will charge.
If your landscaping job involves planting any number of trees, shrubs or other vegetation, consider finding a landscaper with at least some of these items already on hand. Many nurseries may also offer landscaping services and may provide a packaged deal that would be hard for a more traditional landscaper to beat. Generally, nurseries will have just as much experience transplanting trees as a landscaper, if not more so.