Things to Consider When Selecting a Commercial Landscape Contractor

January 17, 2013 at 8:16 am
tree planting at American Trucking Association
E-Landscape crews prepare to plant a tree at the American Trucking Association headquarters in Washington, DC

Beautiful landscaping is a great way to improve the look and enhance the value of your commercial property. Clients can’t help but think that if you pay that kind of attention to detail on your plants and shrubs, you’ll care about them, too. However, finding the right company to create and maintain your commercial landscape can sometimes be a challenge. Below are just a few of the things you should look for in a commercial landscape contractor:

1.  Experience: When searching for a commercial landscape contractor, you’ll want to focus on firms that have broad experience in projects like yours. Ask them to show you a portfolio of successful projects that are similar to yours. It’s also a good idea to ask for references and to call them. True, every landscaping firm has to start somewhere, but it doesn’t have to be on your property!

2.  Range of services: Do you just need someone to grade your beds and plant shrubs and flowers, or do you want a firm to water your plants, fertilize them and make sure that they stay healthy? Do you need someone to rake leaves or remove snow? What about installing your hardscape? You should be able to concentrate on your business without having to worry about maintaining your landscaping, so make sure to contract a firm that has a diverse range of skills.

3.  Cost: Cost is always a factor when hiring any type of outside contractor. After all, you’re in business to make a profit. However, choosing a landscape contractor strictly on price could be shortsighted. The least expensive contractor might not offer all of the services you need. Instead of focusing on price, look for the contractor that offers the greatest value – meaning that combination of competitive price and strong skills and experience.

4.  Professionalism: The people who work at your business reflect on your company, and that includes outside contractors. Do the workers at the landscaping firm you’re considering wear uniforms or do they arrive in jeans and tee-shirts? Do they maintain a quiet and discrete demeanor while they are working on your site? Are they mindful of the need to have access to the building, even while they are working on the landscaping beds?

5.  Sustainable practices. Does your business practice sustainability? Do you recycle, conserve water and try to limit the amount of paper you use? If so, then your choice of landscaping firms should also reflect your commitment to preserving the earth’s resources. A landscaper that practices sustainability conserves water, uses organic gardening techniques where possible, and recycles waste, among other practices.

6. Professional affiliations: Like other industries, there are a variety of professional associations that promote the field of landscaping. When evaluating which commercial landscaper to hire, check to see whether the companies you are considering are members of organizations like the Professional Grounds Maintenance Association (PGMA), or the Landscape Contractors Association (LCA). If they are, it is a good indication that they are up to date on the latest regulations, technologies, and practices.

The commercial landscape contractor on which you ultimately decide should be one that matches the needs of your business while offering a broad range of services at an affordable price.