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Choosing the Right Contractor

November 13, 2014 1:52 pm Published by

What’s the best use of your money?

choosing the right contractorPerhaps you want to beautify your home or you’re trying to sell your home. Or, you want to make sure your home will have the best resale value when it’s time to sell. Where do you get the most bang for your buck? According to SF Gate Home Guides, “Landscaping can add tens of thousands of dollars to the value of your property. In fact, it is one of the few home improvements you can make that not only adds value immediately, but also increases in value as the years go by; while interior decor and design concepts regularly go out of style and mechanical systems wear down, plants grow fuller and more robust as the years go by.”

If you’ve decided to invest in your landscape, the next step is to decide if you’re going to do it yourself or have someone do it for you, which may depend on your budget. The problem is that while a beautiful yard can add value, a poorly executed or poorly planned yard can easily detract from your home’s value! If you’re having someone else construct the project, it pays to have a landscape architect design it. If you’re doing it yourself, it’s even more important to have a professional plan, so when it’s finally installed, it will look well thought out and implemented. Here’s the deal: You don’t have to install the new yard all at once — you can do it in stages — and spread the expense out over a few sessions (do the front yard, but not the back. Do the lawn but not the flowerbeds, etc.). When you’re all done, though, it will look better if it’s professionally designed.

At SNYDER LANDSCAPE AND ASSOCIATES we have an in-house landscape architect who will work with you to make an attractive landscape plan that includes the hardscape (masonry, structures, swimming pools and walkways) as well as the softscape (plants, trees and flowers).

Do you do it your self or hire someone?

choosing a contractor

In the areas of swimming pools, spas, and larger outdoor features, like barbecue islands, outdoor rooms, patios and fire pits, your best bet is to hire someone like our company to design and install these features for you. You may be able to do some plantings yourself, but trees and lawns are still best left to the experts, especially if irrigation is involved.

When you hire a contractor, what do you need to know, and how do you know if they’re good at what they do?

In the state of California, all contractors must carry a current contractor’s license for the work they are doing.

Choosing the Contractor(s)

If you’re going to invest in your home, you need to do some homework. In addition to deciding your budget and gathering some preliminary ideas for your outside design, you’ll also be wise to research contractors and contracts. SNYDER LANDSCAPE AND ASSOCIATES suggests starting with the following:

  • Know what types of contractor(s) you need
  • Find a licensed contractor through the Internet or from friends, or ask us!
  • Understand contracts and binding agreements
  • Ask if you need a building permit for your project
  • Be aware of special considerations for swimming pool construction

After making sure of the type of contractors you need, you have more work to do to make sure you have the best experience. Here are some more tips for choosing the right contractor for your project.

  • Make sure the contractor is licensed (they must renew every 2 years)
  • Shop around before hiring a contractor
  • Ask for personal recommendations
  • Confirm the contractor’s business location and telephone number
  • Verify the contractor’s workers’ compensation and commercial general liability insurance coverage
  • Learn about contractor bonds

CONTRACT TIP: Disagreements over home improvement projects generally cost time and money. Besides producing ill feelings, they also can lead to lawsuits or other legal actions. A well-written contract can prevent that. For lots more information on contracts and contractors, please visit www.cslb.ca.gov

The Bottom Line

SNYDER LANDSCAPE AND ASSOCIATES wants you to enjoy your outdoors. We urge you to research all the contractors you engage, and we hope you will obtain no fewer than three quotes for any project you’re considering. We are a licensed, insured, award-winning company that has filled our clients’ dreams for over 27 years. Let us know how we can help you achieve yours.

Categorized in: Construction, Design, Landscaping, Outdoors, Landscapes, Landscape Architect

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This post was written by Snyder & Associates Landscaping Inc

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