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What to look for in a professional landscaper

 In Garden Design, Landscaping

Protect yourself from rogue traders and make sure you get real value for money by hiring a professional landscaper. Here are 10 things to look for in a professional landscaper

A professional landscaper is a highly skilled individual with a passion for improving outdoor spaces.  Some so called landscapers overestimate their abilities and leave clients disappointed. So how do know who to hire? Here are our tips

  1. Membership of a trade organisation
  2. Experience, trained and competent staff
  3. Positive reviews and testimonials
  4. Can show you a portfolio of work
  5. Works to a garden design plan
  6. Fully Insured
  7. Insists on a comprehensive Site Survey
  8. Understands CDM regulations
  9. Offers a well set out, written quotation
  10. Pleasant personality

Landscaping Trade Organisations

Just as you would expect electricians, plumbers etc to have some sort of qualification, it’s wise to select a landscaper who is accredited by an independent body.  The Association of Professional Landscapers (APL) is one such organisation.

logo for Association of Professional Landscapers

SilverBirch Gardens is a member of the APL, a trade organisation who ensures that their members work to the highest possible standards.

Training and Experience

Find out where your landscaper trained and how long he or she has been working in the industry. Because landscaping is such a multi-skilled craft, it takes time to become skilled in all of the disciplines.  As well as project management a day in the life of a landscaper involves carpentry, paving, drainage, operating machinery and keeping an eye to health and safety.

Daniel Richards of SilverBirch Gardens

Daniel Richards.  Garden designer and landscaper with SilverBirch Gardens in Bridgewater Somerset.
Click here to find out more about his training and experience.

Reviews and recommendations

Before you even contact a landscaper, it pays to check out their work.  The internet is a wonderful research tool. Websites and social media provide a wealth of information. Images of completed projects will also help you to decide if you like the style and quality of a landscaper’s work. It’s also wise to check online reviews to gauge other people’s opinions.

Works to a garden design plan

Any landscaper worth working with will insist on working to an agreed design. A clear, illustrated design plan accurately describes the size and position of features. It also makes sure the correct materials are used at every stage of the build. In short, it takes away any confusion and avoids glitches in communication.  Which is why Dan at Silver Birch Gardens offers a complete design and build service. If you are working with a garden designer, he or she should be able to recommend a good landscaper.

Insurance

Is your landscaper fully insured? Insurance is crucial and it’s  one thing that really does differentiate a responsible landscaper from the rest.

Site surveys

A professional landscaper needs to fully understand your garden before he or she starts work. That’s why, the more measurements that are taken the more confident you can be that this person knows their  job.

CDM Regulations

Ask your landscaper if he or she is compliant with CDM (Construction Design and Management) Regulations. Because, CDM outlines legal responsibilities, it’s worth learning more about it yourself.

Download a copy of the regulations here

Written Quotations

Nicely presented, well thought out and comprehensive quotations are the mark of a professional. However, jotting down a figure on a scrap of paper can lead to dispute later on in the landscaping process.

And finally….

Equally important as any of the points we’ve already mentioned, it’s important that you actually like your landscaper. A garden makeover can take several weeks – will you feel comfortable with this person being on your property all that time? Could you trust them to work hard? be considerate? not upset the neighbours?  If you’ve answered “no” to any of those points then you’ll not enjoy the landscaping process as much as you could.

Useful links

Find a reputable landscaper near you

Tips for creating a stylish contemporary garden

Some of the beautiful gardens created by SilverBirch Gardens

 

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