How to hire a Landscape Contractor

Everything you should know to choose the right company.

After surfing the web and comparing a few companies the difficulty of choosing one to go through the landscaping process with can be unclear.

The landscaping industry is evolving with the emergence of the Canadian Landscape Standard, Canadian Nursery Association and the ACSA (Alberta Construction safety Association) that set ground work for construction.

Professional landscaping companies adopt these practices and further the development of the industry but without a governing body it is still largely up to the consumer to separate the pros from the cons.

What is the CLS?
Canadian Landscape Standard

The must have

It seems obvious, but being in the landscape industry for close to a decade and a half we have found that some people forget to ask if a company is licensed to do the work. Each contractor who comes onto your property should have a valid license.

They are offered by the City of Calgary or jurisdiction you live in and expire yearly, so make sure you check to see if their license is valid. A license doesn't insure quality but it is one of the first steps in investigating your contractor.

CreateEscapeLogo OUR LICENCES.

  • City of Calgary - BL 159968
  • Town of Okotoks - BL 126305
  • M.D. Foothills - 14L/1059
  • Town of Canmore - NOR-05742

Watch out below!

When it comes to safety and injury who is responsible for the people on your property? Well, you are of course. If the contractor doesn't have WCB insurance the homeowner is ultimately responsible for the welfare of people performing work on the property.

It is your right as a homeowner to demand that your contractor carry valid WCB insurance to cover you in case of any accidents on the job site, if not don’t hire them.

CreateEscapeLogoOUR WCB AND SAFETY

  • WCB# 509473-8
  • Member of the Alberta Construction Safety Assocation

Provincial Licence and Bonding

In compliance with the Alberta Fair Trading Act and Government of Alberta licensing requirements, all landscape contractors that Solicit, negotiate or conclude contracts in person at any place other than the sellers’ place of business are required to place a 25,000.00 General Surety Bond to secure a Provincial Licence.

Prepaid contracts are for construction, maintenance, repairing, altering, adding to or improving private dwellings, or real property used in conjunction with a private dwelling i.e. landscaping services.

If a contractor does not have a provincial licence there is nothing to protect the client's deposit or any money disbursements during the project. If a company has not bothered to get this or cannot get a bond there is a reason, don't hire them.

CreateEscapeLogoOUR PROVINCIAL LICENCE

Provincial Licence number 332786

You are who you hang out with.

Affiliations, associations, suppliers and customer testimonials reflect well on how a company conducts business. Good contractors have a good work history. It is always good to know who will be "hanging out" on your property for the duration of the project.

Some contractors will book your job and then find sub-contractors or summer students to "build" your dream property. Ensure the person you meet with for landscape planning and design will be the person on site overseeing the construction 100% of the time.

Ask to view a portfolio of jobs that have been completed by the contractor and read testimonials other people have written about their experience.

CreateEscapeLogoOUR AFFILIATIONS

Get it in writing

Before you agree to have work done on your property know that it is the contractor's responsibility to provide a contract containing all the relevant information. It should detail the work which will be completed on your property, the buyers right to cancel, a payment schedule and possibly a landscape drawing.

Never pay a contractor up-front unless they have a provincial bond in place that can be verified with the province of Alberta. When payment is required for completed work always pay by cheque and ensure you receive a receipt for the payment.

On completion of the job ensure you receive warranty information and care instructions for your new landscape.

CreateEscapeLogoCREATE ESCAPE

  • Detailed Landscape Drawings
  • Accurate Estimation Process
  • Detailed Writen Contract
  • Warranty on All Workmanship
  • Constant Communication

Make a Professional Choice

Don't be persuaded by a marginally lower cost or quick time line. This is one of the 7 pitfalls of landscape planning. Make a professional choice you will be confident with.

Create Escape believes in honesty and integrity in the marketplace. Our work and references speak for themselves.

When you're done your search give us a call.

LANDSCAPE PLANNING PITFALLS

Discover 7 Landscape Planning pitfalls and how to avoid them.

read article

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