Ask these questions to ensure you hire the right contractor

By Tony Gullo

If you are considering getting landscape work done at your home or business, it is important to ask the right questions. There are many different companies to choose from, and finding the right one will ensure that the job gets done right and you have a beautiful landscape to enjoy for years to come.

1) What landscape services do you offer?
First and foremost, determine if the landscape company you are contacting offers the service that you are looking for. Ask if they are experienced in this category and can handle the scope of the project. This is especially important for hardscape landscaping – patios, walkways, and retaining walls, where Unilock Authorized Contractors such as Gullo’s are a must.

2) What certifications do you have and how long have you been designing landscapes?
There is a broad range of expertise within the landscape field. Knowing the designer’s credentials and how long they have been designing landscapes helps you make a more informed decision on who to hire. Our designers have an average of over 25 years of experience in the field.

3) How long has your company been in business?
Is the company you are contacting a respected, reputable, and established part of the community? Are they new to the game? Gullo’s Professional Landscaping has been landscaping since 1994, when we opened our garden center for business.

4) Can I see examples of your past work?
As the idiom goes, “A picture is worth a thousand words”. Ask to see examples of completed work. Viewing a company’s portfolio will give you a good idea of the quality of work they do. The best will be eager to share them with you. You can find our portfolio on our website, or simply ask your designer.

5) What ideas do you have for my landscaping?
The best designers will not only listen to you and create a plan based on your vision, but also make professional suggestions and share their ideas with you. We want to exceed your expectations and give you the best-looking landscape possible.

6) Will the plants you selected for my plan thrive in the areas you placed them?
Did your designer include a good mix of evergreens and deciduous plants in your landscape plan? Do the flowering plants flower at different times of the year so that there is year-round interest? Did the designer account for the sun and shade requirements of each plant when designing? These are important considerations that we factor when designing your landscape.

7) Are there any ways to reduce cost?
A good designer will work within your budget and suggest ways to reduce costs. They will maximize what you can get for your money. We work with any and all budgets to give you the most for your dollar.

8) How long will it take for my landscape to grow in and how much maintenance will it entail?
There are many variables that can significantly affect how long it takes for your landscaping to grow in and the maintenance it will require in the future. Fast-growing shrubs such as viburnum will grow quickly and fill in an area, while boxwood will take longer to mature. Ornamental grasses require more yearly maintenance than a dwarf weigela. A good designer can customize your landscape plan to account for these factors and your desires – it is a central tenet of our design philosophy.

9) Do you offer flexible payment options such as 0% financing?
Do you need to pay money up-front before the job even starts? Can you pay with a credit card, or do they offer a 0% financing program? These factors can give you flexibility and options when deciding on a project. Ask your designer about our 0% financing for 12 months program.

10) What kind of warranty do you offer?
Are you on your own once the job is done, or will the company be there to stand behind its work? A reputable company will warranty not only their work, but the materials they installed. Gullo’s Professional Landscaping warranties all work and material for not just a single year, but two years after installation.