Find a trusty landscaper this spring

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April is national Garden and Landscape Architecture Month

As the April showers begin to dwindle, we start to look forward to green lawns and May flowers. As the sun begins to make its Spring appearance, many of us begin to receive calls or flyers regarding landscaping.

An eye-catching yard has many benefits. It can increase the resale value of your home and strategically placed trees and shrubs can help cool your home in the summer. Landscaping can also provide privacy and reduce noise. But, sometimes you need a professional to help you attain your goals.

Depending on the type of service you need, hiring a landscaper can be an intimidating task. It is important to be attentive and do thorough research before hiring a landscape contractor.

BBB offers these tips to help find a trustworthy landscaping service:

• Get recommendations. Ask friends and family for recommendations. BBB can also provide a list of BBB Accredited landscapers or Business Profiles on ones you’re considering. Visit www.bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.

• Consider your future design. Depending on the size of your yard and what you want done, you may need to hire a landscape architect to design your landscaping. Different companies provide different services. Know what you want done before calling.

• Get at least three estimates. Compare hourly rates or job rates of several landscapers and have different landscapers visit your home to check out what the job requires.

• Review the company’s credentials. Make sure the landscaper is properly licensed and insured to perform the tasks at hand. If any subcontractors will be present, they should also be licensed and insured as appropriate. Determine if the landscaper has worker’s compensation insurance, which protects you in the event of an accident.

• Ask for references and photos of past work. In addition, ask references to see if they were satisfied with the service provided.

• Discuss a payment plan. A landscaper may ask for a 30 percent deposit before the project is started. Be cautious if the landscaper is asking for 50 percent or higher. Determine a payment plan that will work best for you and get everything in writing. Make sure all details of the job and payment plan are included in a written contract. The contract should include the start and completion date, materials being used and all costs, fees, oral promises and warranties/guarantees.

A beautiful yard gives us a sense of pride in our homes. A trustworthy landscaper should have the same pride in their work and ensure it will stay healthy. He or she can help you fully enjoy your summer months out in the sun.

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