What questions should I ask my landscape contractor?

Q: How long have you been in business?
Tip: Look for a company with an established business history in your community. 
Villa: Villa has been in business for more than 30 years.

Q: How many employees does your company have?
Tip: A year-round staff indicates a stable, credible company. 
Villa: Although our installers work seasonally, Villa's professional staff of landscape designers is available year-round for consultation, estimating and design work.  Don’t hesitate to contact us any time with your questions or concerns.

Q: Can you provide a list of references for projects you have done?
Tip: A contractor should be able to supply you with a minimum of three references. 
Villa: Each Villa designer has a list of five references.

Q: Are you insured and covered by workers compensation?
Tip: You can ask for copies of the insurance certificates to verify coverage of your contractor. 
Villa: We have current copies of all of our contractors’ insurance certificates on file.

Q: Does your company provide a written warranty?
Tip: A reputable company should warranty its work and material that is installed. 
Villa: Villa Landscapes provides a two-year written warranty on material and services and a one-year replacement warranty on plant materials.

Q: Is your company a full-service or specialty firm?
Tip: If you’re planning on replacing a fence or building a gazebo, you might be better off hiring a fence installer or a carpenter. However, if your project involves multiple aspects, consult a full-service or design-build firm. 
Villa: Villa landscapes is a full-service design-build firm specializing in hardscapes.

Q: Will we need a permit for this project?
Tip: A qualified contractor will be knowledgeable about the local permit process and whether it applies to your project. 
Villa: Your Villa designer will make sure all permits are obtained and underground utilities located before any work is done on the property.

Q: Who will be assigned as project supervisor for the job?
Tip: Get names and contact phone numbers for all persons who will be involved with your project. 
Villa: Villa Field Supervisor Greg Smedstad oversees each project along with the designer.

Q: When can you start?
Tip: Find out what time of day their crews will start and finish. 
Villa: Our lead time varies during the season anywhere from three to five weeks. Our crews will start between 7 a.m. and 8 a.m. and end between 3 p.m. and 4 p.m.

Q: When will you finish?
Tip: If you have specific events or deadlines to meet, make sure that is in the contract. 
Villa: An average job will take 2 to 3 days; some more complex jobs can take up to 2 to 3 weeks. Once we start a job, we will stay on it until it is completed. The designer will contact you about delays or changes in the schedule.