Hiring a Landscaper in Alabama
So your yard is not looking so nice and you are in need of an affordable landscaping service in Alabama but don’t know how to find one. And since you take great pride in your home, you want to make sure you hire the right contractor. Choosing the right landscaper can not only result in a much more attractive lawn and garden, but can also add enjoyment to your summer outdoor activities. And if you should be in the market to sell your house, any realtor will tell you that a successful sale is all about curb appeal. The range of services that you have at your disposal can be as basic as having your lawn cut once a week to having a landscape designer or architect transform your yard to suit your own sense of style. Perhaps your trees need trimming and your shrubs need pruning? And in the winter, most landscaping companies offer snow removal services as well. Whatever your needs, choosing from among the various local landscaping companies can take some time and research on your part. After all, if you ultimately are not happy with the results, it’s not like you can return your yard for a refund. But there is an easy way to find highly skilled and reputable landscaping contractors in your area. We’ll talk more about that later. First, let’s discuss how to perform your due diligence when hiring a local contractor.
Not Just Lawn Mowing
For many Alabama homeowners, their first introduction to a landscaping company is when they are looking for a service to mow their lawn. From there that need often develops into requiring a full service landscaper that can offer a broad menu of services. Even in the fall and winter months, the need can continue with leaf removal for the lawn as well as snow removal for driveways and sidewalks. So it is important to select a contractor that offers the wide range of services that you will need. Many will list the array of services they offer on their websites, providing colorful pictures of projects that they have worked on. Checking out their sites can be a good initial first step to finding the perfect match. An option that is becoming more popular is to use a referral service that matches the customer with experienced and screened landscaping contractors that work in their area. Some of the services that homeowners can receive proposals for include:
- Lawn mowing and maintenance
- Weed elimination and control
- Tree trimming and removal
- Bush and shrub trimming and pruning
- Sprinkler installation and repair
- Sod installation and grass seeding
- Tree, plant, bush and shrub planting
- Water features installation and maintenance
- Snow and leaf removal
Some Alabama companies may offer additional services, such as installing outdoor lighting or brick patios and retaining walls. When making your inquiries, you will want to confirm that their main focus is either residential or commercial landscaping, depending on your needs. Also, if you have a unique project, such as a water feature, make sure that the landscaper has extensive experience installing them. Finally, you may want to inquire about seasonal contracts for your annual lawn care needs as well as fall leaf and winter snow removal.
How to Choose a Local Landscaping Contractor
Now that you know who they are and what they do, let’s take a look at some important steps you should take to find and hire a reputable contractor for landscaping at your home or place of business. The first thing that you should keep in mind is that you need to do your due diligence to protect yourself. Yes, there are City, County and State laws in place requiring minimum standards for licensed contractors. Although all contractors must follow the regulations in place, not all do. And even the most stringent laws will not protect you from poor workmanship, delays or unfinished projects. At least they won’t until after the fact when you are looking for restitution, which you may or may not receive. So it is important that you take the following steps to not only protect yourself but ensure that you are hiring a reliable Alabama landscaping expert to maintain your lawn, garden or shrubberies.
- Get Referrals. Soliciting referrals from satisfied customers is a good way to find a reputable and professional Alabama landscaping contractor. Friends, neighbors and family are always good resources to start with. Another option that is becoming more and more popular is obtaining quotes from services that pre-screen local contractors. They ensure that the contractors are licensed and certified professionals for your protection. You can obtain free quotes from local landscapers in your area by requesting a quote from the recommended service on this website.
- Be sure to verify Licenses and Credentials. It is a good idea to do some preliminary research into the background of the contractors you are considering. Confirm that they hold all of the licenses required in Alabama or your City or Local Municipality. Check with the Better Business Bureau for any complaints as well as the Alabama Attorney General. Go online and check local reviews and visit their website. Find out if they hold any designations from professional organizations. All of these credentials and citations will give you an insight into not only their professionalism but their standing in your community.
- Meet with the Contractors. Once you have narrowed down the list to two or three candidates have them come to your home to see the job first hand. Make sure that all bids are based on the same specifications and cover all of your job requirements. If their bid is unusually high or even low, ask them why. Be sure to ask all pertinent questions, such as how long will the job take, or if they anticipate there will be any problems or delays. Be wary if the Alabama landscaping contractor doesn’t ask you many questions about your requirements or concerns.
- Ask for and check References. Before making the final selection, ask for and check at least 3 Alabama references. Ask each previous customer if the job was completed to their utmost satisfaction. Ask if the job was completed on time and billed as quoted. Was there anything that the customer was not 100% satisfied with? Was there anything that they wish had been done differently? And finally, would they use the contractor again or recommend their service to their friends and family?
- And finally, get everything In Writing. After making your final selection, be sure to review all of the documents that your Alabama landscaping contractor has prepared for you. Ask for certificates of insurance for the Workers Compensation as well as the Liability Insurance. Be sure to contact the insurance company to verify that the policies are both current. Verify that they will obtain a Building Permit if required for installation projects. Make sure that all services, materials and costs are included in detail in the final proposal. Also make sure that the deposit and payment schedule is specified so each party knows what is expected. Start and completion dates, dispute resolution, and warranties all should be covered in the final contract.
A Bit More About Alabama
Alabama is a state in the southeastern region of the United States. It is bordered by Tennessee to the north, Georgia to the east, Florida and the Gulf of Mexico to the south, and Mississippi to the west. Alabama is the 30th largest by area and the 24th-most populous of the U.S. states. With a total of 1,500 miles (2,400 km) of inland waterways, Alabama has among the most of any state.
Alabama is nicknamed the Yellowhammer State, after the state bird. Alabama is also known as the "Heart of Dixie" and the "Cotton State". The state tree is the longleaf pine, and the state flower is the camellia. Alabama's capital is Montgomery. The largest city by population is Birmingham, which has long been the most industrialized city; the largest city by land area is Huntsville. The oldest city is Mobile, founded by French colonists in 1702 as the capital of French Louisiana.
From the American Civil War until World War II, Alabama, like many states in the southern U.S., suffered economic hardship, in part because of its continued dependence on agriculture. Similar to other former slave states, Alabaman legislators employed Jim Crow laws to disenfranchise and otherwise discriminate against African Americans from the end of the Reconstruction Era up until at least the 1970s. Despite the growth of major industries and urban centers, white rural interests dominated the state legislature from 1901 to the 1960s. During this time, urban interests and African Americans were markedly under-represented. Following World War II, Alabama grew as the state's economy changed from one primarily based on agriculture to one with diversified interests. The state's economy in the 21st century is based on management, automotive, finance, manufacturing, aerospace, mineral extraction, healthcare, education, retail, and technology.
Find the Right Alabama Landscaping Company
Searching for the right landscaping company is easier than you think. Just request your free estimates now! There is no obligation to receive free proposals from some of the top professional pre-screened landscapers servicing your area. Professional lawn care, snow removal and tree service professionals are standing by waiting to compete for your business. So what are you waiting for? Find the right Alabama landscaping professional at the right price now!