Are they a good Landscape Gardener?
It seems like an obvious question, but the correct answer lies deeper than a convincing advert. In an ideal world, you would use a known and recommended tradesman whose work you have seen and liked, but this is not always an option.
Here at Heath Landscapes, we provide photos of our work and give potential clients an insight into what we do. We try to provide before and after shots partly to show the impact our work can have but also it goes a long way to proving we really did the work.
It is important to note that some designers may be using stock images, not provided by them. By this, we mean if a photo looks like something out of a magazine, the chances are that they aren’t genuine.
If we use a stock photo we will make clear that it’s for inspiration or example and not our work. We also offer every customer the opportunity to come to a project we are working on to see how the team operate. The aim is to show you how the business works, not just tell you.
Although we have mentioned this above there is something else to mention. When looking through their previous work, make sure it is in line with the type of design you want. If the photos are of small patios and fence repairs, it could be that the company are not right to take on a large scale build.
Are they a professional?
By this we mean when you speak to them do they talk knowledgeably about their trade? Can they advise on all aspects of the job layout, design, construction process and materials and more?
Can they put forward ideas and solutions? You should also make sure that when the quote is received, detailed, clear and the job specifications are laid out appropriately.
Do they care?
This is almost as important as the work they carry out. If you are working for someone, you have to care about the project, as this in turn will encourage better work.
Obviously, we do this to make a living but we are passionate about landscape and design so creating the best job possible and building on both our portfolio and knowledge of our trade is always the priority, even if this means reducing profit margins. This leads to the next point.
Is it for the right price?
We emphasise correct price rather than a cheap price. If you want a high-end job then you have to expect to pay more in order to get the outcome you want. For example, you may want something cheap for utility paving to get by short term.
On the other hand, you may want a beautiful York stone patio with weather struck pointing to last for years to come. If you make sure all tradesman are pricing for the same job with the same slabs, base material and depths and laying standards then you can compare like for like.
The exception is the standard of finish, but unfortunately, the proof is in the pudding which is why we invite people to see our work. What we are saying is don’t go to a Ferrari dealer and expect to compare the price to a Ford Focus. Both have a role to play, its about deciding which is right for you.
Although it may seem tempting, it would never be advised to ask a tradesmen to reduce their prices. A drop in price invariably means a drop in quality. That said there is nothing wrong with asking if there is a way to adapt the job to come within budget, we pride ourselves on a design to budget service where we find a way to deliver the best garden possible at your budget point.
There are usually compromises that can be made where you still receive a great job and the tradesman can earn a living. On the other hand, a straight price drop with no compromise on the customers part leads to an unhappy tradesman working on your project and potentially standards dropping and corners being cut.
Go with your gut
Sometimes what’s most important is that you feel comfortable with the contractor- do they give of a good vibe? This person and their team are potentially going to be in your garden for weeks or even months.
You need someone who you trust, someone who makes you feel confident, someone who makes you feel like your job is important to them. Most importantly, you need someone that will carry out the job to the highest standard.
Get recommendations if possible. View photos, but also ask to see the work in person. If the tradesman doesn’t make you feel confident and at ease then seek another one. Get the specifics on the work so you can be clear on quote comparisons.
Don’t pick the lowest price because it’s the cheapest. Pick the tradesman that best ticks all the boxes above that is within your budget.
Contact Heath Landscapes Today
If you would like to discuss your next garden design and landscaping project with us then please contact us today for more information.