Finding the Right Landscape Contractor

March 28, 2023

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By Spencer Aaltonen, MCLP, MCA, MCH
Joyce Landscaping

When it comes time for you to need Landscape installation or service at your property, it can be a daunting task to find the right contractor to deal with. It only takes one time dealing with the wrong person, to make you very conscious in all future endeavors. Often times, there will be a considerable investment in your property and you want to make sure it’s in the right hands. With so many contractors in the marketplace today, it can be challenging to find who is right for you. How do you know you are comparing apples to apples when it comes time to choose? Let’s review a couple of ways that you can dissect potential contractors, and choose who is right for you.

Finding the Right Landscape Contractor

Just a few ways to protect yourself and your investment:

  • Word of Mouth – One of the most important and helpful tools in your arsenal is the word of other customers. These people will be a very good indicator of how a company operates, and if they are right for you. This is really the bread and butter of your search, and should be utilized as much as possible. Being able to see the company’s work first hand would also be an excellent indicator of the quality you can expect from your project.
  • Internet – In today’s day and age, you can find almost anything with a simple search on the Internet. This applies to contractors, and is certainly a tool to be utilized. It has been said that you cannot believe everything you read on the internet, so make sure you give a reasonable amount of weight to your research. Not only can this be a great tool to find a contractor, but it can also be very helpful to do research. It always helps to be an informed consumer, so you are able to select someone who is knowledge and well versed in their trade.
  • Vendors – Vendors can be another great tool, which are another form of word of mouth. Vendors deal with your contractors on a regular basis, they know who is reliable and who can be trusted. Many will have seen or know what quality of work can be expected from each, and who can be recommend. Further, if someone isn’t current with their accounting, then they probably won’t be first on their vendor’s referral list. Another benefit from visiting these vendors, is a rough idea of materials cost which will help you during the bidding process. Not only that, but it gives you a chance to see materials first hand and give you ideas to discuss with your list of potential contractors.
  • Homeowner Shows – These are not as commonly used, or readily available in some cases, but can be very helpful. Check to see if there are any Home and Garden shows that might be in your area. This gives you the chance to discuss your project with a handful of different contractors in a short span of time. Often the companies will have set up a display of some sort which can be a reflection of their work as well. This can be a great time to ask some general questions you may have so that you are prepared for more personalized meetings at your property to follow.

Once you have a list of contractors that seem suitable, set up a few meetings with them to discuss your needs. The more information you can give them on what you have in mind, the better. After all, they are there to offer not just their services but their expertise. You will want to make sure that they have a clear idea of your scope of work from the start. This will be helpful as many companies put together pricing, to give you an idea of the true cost differences between them, and not just different interpretations of your needs. Now is a great time to get an idea of things like how long the company has been in business, where they’re located, if they are insured and so forth. As you review proposals, be sure that the scope of work is both the same as what you outlined in your meetings and as close as possible to the other submittals. With material cost being relatively fixed, as long as all of their scopes of work are similar you will have a true apple to apples comparison. At this point, you will want to make sure that anyone you decide on has a detailed contract for both of your benefit. This benefits both the consumer, and the contractor and defines clearly what is to be expected. At this stage, I would hope that you have been prepared to make an informed and smart decision to move forward and be confident in the contractor you have chosen. Best of luck in your search!


Joyce Landscaping Awarded "Best Places to Work" 2022 by Cape & Plymouth Business Media:
Awarded Best Places to Work by Cape & Plymouth Business Media
Planet Landcare Network Massachusetts Nursery and Landscape Association Better Business Bureau Cape Cod Chamber of Commerce Massachusetts Association of Landscape Professionals Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute
Plymouth Area Chamber of Commerce Hyannis Chamber of Commerce National Concrete Masonry Association Massachusetts Arborists Association Massacusetts Association of Lawn care Professionals Cape Cod Landscape Association