How To Avoid Nightmare Landscaping Experience?

This guide will give you some great advice on how to vet your landscaping contractor and make sure your renovation goes according to plan!

Landscaping is a fantastic way to expand your living space, increase the value of your home and enhance your life.  There are lots of landscaping companies in Ottawa who have the best intentions but just can’t deliver what you dreamed of.  How can you ensure you get exactly what you want and deserve? Follow this advice and you will be better prepared to ask the right questions.  

Budget, budget, budget!!!

We can’t stress this enough. You have to be honest with yourself and set realistic expectations for what you can achieve with $5,000, $10,000, $25,000 or more.  Look for a contractor that is transparent with their price and is willing to work with you either re-designing or substituting pavers, textures, size, etc.
But, a good designer can work with you to achieve an amazing space on a budget.  Things like:

Switching to lower cost pavers
Using less labour intensive materials like stepping stones
Using scalable material like aggregates and gardens to extend budget
Designing a project according to the size of pavers
Constructing areas that are square instead of curved
Inexperienced contractors bid on jobs they barely break even on.  I wouldn’t want my contractor cutting corners and rushing to complete to avoid losing money on the job. You want to make sure your contractor has a history of success and will continue to be in business and able to withhold their warranty.  So make sure the numbers are accurate and above all make sense. If it sounds too good to be true….

Planning Early

Designs will change as they percolate over time.  Planning your design early means there is time to think things over and reconsider ideas before breaking ground.  Even though there is snow on the ground you can consider square footage, budget, flowers you want, and how you want to use your yard (the most important part).  Our designers work to make sure you have time to consider all choices available and that you are truly happy with what you choose.

Research Contractors

Making sure you are working with a professional is one of the best ways to ensure a smooth project and complete your outdoor living space with the workmanship and professionalism you deserve.  
When choosing a contractor it is important to check the following:

Portfolio:

Look into their work and see the finished product.  See how the contractor cleans the yard to give back to the homeowner.  When spending this kind of money don’t feel shy about asking for references from customers.  When asking for references, see how forthcoming the contractor is – this can be a big clue into who you are working with.  

Check for insurance!

Imagine hiring a contractor who has a great portfolio.  They are just starting out but haven’t invested in liability insurance.  There is an accident and a worker breaks his hand. Who is responsible? You don’t want to be caught in this situation.  Don’t take our word for it, ask to see proof of insurance.  Providing that proof should be a non-issue for any legitimate business.

Professional Certifications & Licenses

Make sure the contractor you hire is part of professional organizations that vet, train and work to ensure contractors you hire are reputable.  For Interlock projects we recommend:
ICPI – Interlock Concrete Paver Institute
Techo Bloc Certified Pro
MTO – Ministry of Transportation (Licenses)
Liability Insurance
You want to avoid working with a company who hires a dump truck driver who doesn’t have the correct license.  You shouldn’t feel bad asking for proof of these documents and doing so will help make sure everything goes smooth on your project!  

We look forward to working with you and despite there being snow on the ground we are working on designs that are going to be installed in the early spring!  Give us a call and let’s create something together.