Landscaping Contractors - Designers - Hiring a skillful and reputable landscaping contractor needs to be addressed in the same way as any other type of construction project. Acquiring several different quotes for your design and project is a good idea. Hiring a landscaping designer and contractor based completely on the lowest bid price isn't generally the smartest way to go. In all areas of construction, credibility and reputation matters and really should be given the same regard and weight as the quoted price.
Finding a design build company with a perfect reputation may not be as simple as you may think. Nevertheless, a contractor that finishes landscape and garden design projects on time, has good service following the sale, quality, and original design ideas should really be considered as a prospect.
Any extremely low bid should be looked at with some reservation. But even still, reputation should still come into question. If the landscape designer in question has a radiant reputation and design, you might just have the right designer. But usually, with any quote that's way below the others, there's a chance of some cutting of corners if the landscape project does not go as planned. Just be aware of that.
Always ask for references from every one of the landscape designers you prospect. In my own company I display a list of past designs, pictures of past landscaping designs, and the opportunity of a
personal tour of my finished landscape design projects.
Once you've narrowed down your prospects, you'll be set to make an informed decision that's based on far more than only price. Your decision is going to be based on your gut feeling, the most appealing landscape design, the company's reputation, and of course, price.
Realistic and reasonable estimates usually will be in the same or similar price range. I believe we should spend slightly more for ingenuity and credibility but I do not think anyone has to get burned.
The most popular landscape companies in my area aren't those that regularly bid the lowest. Typically, they're the ones that have long-established themselves because of high quality, impressive landscaping design plans, and reputation. And yes, they regularly do cost more. But, of course, the price is relative when you factor in follow up and service after the sale into the cost. Credibility and reputation really does pay for itself.