Before You Sign That Landscape Maintenance Contract
7 Important Questions For Your Landscape Company
Your commercial property is an extension of your brand, and often represents the first impression your company makes on new customers. With all that on the line, it pays to find a commercial landscape contractor who can design and keep your property looking exactly the way you want it to season after season, year after year.
But it’s also important to know exactly what you’re getting from that contractor before you commit to a relationship with them.
What To Ask A Potential Landscape Company
Here are seven questions you should ask a landscaping contractor before signing on the proverbial dotted line.
- Do you have the right experience for my job? – Make sure your prospective landscaping company has handled a commercial property with similar needs to your own. Ask to see a portfolio of recently completed work, and always ask for references. If possible, visit some commercial properties your prospective landscaper has worked on.
- What services are included? Be sure that all services discussed – from landscape maintenance tasks such as mowing and pruning to design and installation services and more – are expressly spelled out in your contract. The contract should include a service plan that details a schedule for mowing, turf application, planting, and any other ongoing maintenance so you can compare apples to apples with other landscaping options. It’s also important to know what services, if any, will be subcontracted by your landscaper – and how that process works.
- Can you handle my future needs? Many landscape service companies can handle your maintenance needs now – but can they grow with you to provide what you’ll need in the future? For example, your current needs may only include lawn care and tree maintenance, but your landscape plan may include major construction and installations down the road. Can they handle the additional work?
- What happens if there are issues after the contract is signed? In landscaping, as in life, it pays to expect the unexpected – and to have a contract that outlines clear provisions for what to do when it happens. Each landscape maintenance company’s terms and conditions and policies are different, so make sure you have a clear understanding about what happens if the unplanned arises. Be especially clear about how and when a contract may be terminated.
- How can changes to the contract be made? A contract is binding, but it doesn’t have to be set in stone. If you or your landscaper (or both) decide to make changes to the contract, you can – just remember that both parties will have to consent to the change! If the changes are significant enough, you may need to void the original and create a new contract.
- Do you have insurance? Never do business with a landscaping company that cannot provide proof of insurance. Always request a certificate of insurance (COI) from the landscaper that shows that they provide worker’s compensation and liability insurance – if they don’t provide this coverage and one of their employees is injured on your property, you will be responsible! Make sure all Insurance coverage information is included in the contract.
- What is your safety record and plan? – Talk with the company about their safety record and procedures. Ask specific questions, such as:
- What kind of protective gear does your crew wear?
- When was the last time one of your crew was injured, and how severe was it?
- Do you conduct regular safety checks, audits, and meetings?
If the company is registered with OSHA, you can also check the OSHA website to see if they’ve had any accident citations filed against them.
The Bottom Line In Commercial Landscape Maintenance
Finding the right commercial landscape maintenance company takes time – but it’s time well spent. Do your diligence and find the right fit for your needs so you can enjoy the value of your commercial property for years to come.
Need comprehensive commercial property design and maintenance services in Connecticut? Leave it to the pros at Diamond Landscapes and Athletic Fields. Contact us today to learn more!