Hiring a Toronto landscaping contractor can be a nerve-wracking process, especially if you’ve never done it before. How do you know who to trust? How can you be sure you’ll get the quality results you’re paying for? And how can you be sure the contractor won’t just take your deposit and disappear? The best and most common way to ensure you wind up working with a reputable and talented landscaping contractor is to conduct face to face interviews before deciding which company to choose. This will enable you to get a feel for the contractor’s bona-fides as well as whether you think they’re someone you can personally work with.
Interviewing the Toronto Landscaping Company
When you sit down to interview a prospective landscaping contractor you’ll of course want to ask the usual questions about references and insurance. But it can also be valuable to dig beneath the surface a bit in order to get a more well-rounded picture of exactly who you’re dealing with and how they operate. Below we’re going to suggest 7 questions you should ask a Toronto landscaping company that you might not have considered.
1. Why should I hire you?
A lot of people don’t think about asking this question or else they decide against it because it seems perhaps a bit aggressive and off putting. But if the Toronto landscaping company you’re talking to can’t make an argument as to why you should hire them it may indicate they’re not really so confident in their landscaping ability. And the last thing you want is someone who’s unsure of themselves reshaping the way your property will look for years to come.
2. Do you do background checks on your employees?
People who work for landscaping companies are typically a diverse lot. Some are college students, some are relatives of the contractor, some are people who truly enjoy landscaping and want to make a career of it and some are just out of prison and couldn’t find any other type of work. The fact is the people who implement the landscape design are going to be working around your home and loved ones perhaps for weeks. As such you have a right to know if they’re dangerous. Ask the prospective landscaping contractor if they conduct background checks on the people that work for them. If they don’t you might want to take a pass.
3. Who does the actual designing?
When interviewing a Toronto landscaping company you shouldn’t just assume they have a landscape architect or designer on the payroll. It’s entirely possible that the guy you’re talking to also does all the designing as well. Either way it can be helpful to find out who is doing the designing and exactly what their qualifications are. If the designer turns out to be someone other than the person you’re interviewing then you might want to arrange for a sit down with that person as well before you sign any contracts.
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4. Who will be overseeing the project?
Sometimes a homeowner will hit it off with the Toronto landscaping contractor during the sit down interview. They get excited because they think they’ve found someone they can build a good rapport with. But when work commences a different person shows up to take control of the project; someone that’s not nearly as friendly or accommodating. Ask the landscaper who is going to be overseeing the project on site. If they say it will be someone else ask for the opportunity to talk to that person as well before signing any contracts. They’ll probably be fine but there’s always a chance that they’ll be oil to your water.
5. Do you use subcontractors to do the work?
Most landscaping contractors have regular employees who work with them on every project. Sometimes, however, in an effort to save on overhead, a landscaping contractor will keep only a skeleton staff on the payroll and bring in subcontractors to execute large projects. While this is a fairly common business practice you have a right to know if your Toronto landscaping company operates this way. Since they only have indirect involvement in the project and no experience with you the subcontractor may be lacking in motivation or simply not care to answer questions or address concerns you have while the work is being done.
6. Which job are you most proud of and why?
This question gives the landscaper a chance to crow a little but is also a subtle way to test their landscaping knowledge. If they can lucidly discuss the job their most proud of and explain in clear, simple language why the project stands out to them then it’s a pretty safe bet they know what they’re doing. If they stumble over the answer, find it hard to pick a single job that stands out to them, or can’t explain why a particular job holds a special place in their memory then maybe you should try someone else.
Finding the right landscaping company in Toronto can take time but if you ask the right questions it can go a long way toward ensuring both a successful outcome and your peace of mind.