Having a beautiful lawn and landscape can dramatically improve the appearance of your home and even raise its value, and hiring a professional landscaping company can be the quickest and easiest way to achieve that. But before you sign a contract and fork over some of your hard-earned cash, you should make sure the company you are about to do business with is reputable, knowledgeable, and reliable. Hiring the wrong landscaping company can do your home more harm than good and can put a serious strain on your finances.

Asking these 10 questions before the lawn care truck ever arrives at your home can help you get a clearer picture of the company and whether or not they are a good fit for you.

  1. 1. Ask how long they’ve been in business. Landscaping companies are easy to start and easy to disband. Most of the time, they only require a truck, a few pieces of equipment, and a handful of workers. Because of the low startup costs, there are lots of unqualified companies working in people’s yards, giving them poor results while charging too much. Choose companies that have been in business for at least five years, and for the best results, you should choose ones that have 10-15 years of experience.
  2. 2. Ask about the actual cost of the work, and then negotiate. If you have to sign a contract with a landscaping company, inquire about any extra fees or costs that you may be obligated to pay down the road. This can include anything from the cost of supplies and fertilizer to extra costs tacked on for maintenance. And as with any home service, negotiate the price. Most landscaping companies will be willing to bargain with you if it means getting your business – particularly for long term projects and regular lawn care.
  3. 3. Ask about their design philosophy. A good company will devise a strategy that is specific for your house and lawn, ensuring the job gets done right and is complementary to your house and neighborhood. A bad landscaping company, on the other hand, might work without regard to the design of your home, your neighborhood, and the surrounding environment. The best landscaping companies will create a design that is subtly beautiful and looks completely natural.
  4. 4. Ask about their employees. Illegal and immigrant workers are a huge problem in the landscaping industry, and companies that employ these types of workers should be approached with caution. Due to language barriers, their employees may be undertrained. Additionally, the company may fall into legal trouble and be shut down before they can complete work on your lawn. A reputable company will only hire legal workers and will perform background checks, ensuring that your lawn and your home are in safe hands.
  5. 5. Ask about the services they provide. Are they more of a landscape design company or a lawn care maintenance company? Do they install sprinklers? Do they plant trees? Do they install lighting systems? The best companies will provide a variety of services, allowing you to utilize them exclusively for all of your lawn and landscaping needs. This will save you time and money and will ensure you get the best services possible for the best prices.
  6. 6. Ask about their guarantees or warranties. Due to the unpredictability of nature, even the best landscaping companies can’t ensure that all of their plants will survive indefinitely. However, a good company should have some sort of a guarantee system for the work they do, and they should be eager to work with you to resolve any problems that may arise in the future.
  7. 7. Ask for references or testimonials. A reputable company will be glad to offer you a list of former or current clients. Asking for photos of completed work or even asking to see completed landscapes in person can be helpful when deciding which company to hire. You can also do an online search for the company and see what kind of reviews they have received online.
  8. 8. Ask how long the job will take. Some companies work more quickly than others. If you want a specific timeline for completion, make sure you mention that upfront. If it is a reasonable request, a good landscaping company will be able to complete the job on time. If it’s too soon, they should be able to provide you with a clear estimate as to when they can finish the job to your satisfaction.
  9. 9. Ask if they are environmentally-friendly. If a company does not make it a point to be environmentally-friendly, you may be subject to higher costs due to inefficient equipment and higher water costs. You should also inquire about their pest and weed control practices and the types of chemicals they use. If you have pets, make sure they are aware of this as some of the chemicals can be harmful to animals.
  10. 10. Ask about maintenance. Because lawn care and landscaping require constant maintenance, you should find out how much of this work can be done by you and your family. Reputable landscaping companies will take time to teach you how to properly care for your plants and grass and will let you take on as much responsibility as you want. Beware of companies that rush through this process, as they trying to keep you in the dark and leave you dependent on them for even basic upkeep.

Investing in a good landscaping service can be one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make when it comes to the looks and value of your home. A poorly designed or manicured lawn can significantly detract from the appearance of even the most beautiful homes, while a masterpiece of a lawn can elevate transform the average into extraordinary.

Choosing the right landscaping company to achieve this is simply a matter of doing your research and asking the right questions. Don’t skimp and pay for your mistakes later – pick the right company and get it right the first time!  Gold Star Landscaping has been the top landscaping company in Nashville for over 25 years!