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Choosing a qualified contractor for your outdoor space project can be a daunting task. Regardless of the project size, you want to be sure your contractor is qualified to do the work, and with so many contractors out there, it is easy to be led astray. Follow these simple steps, and you’ll be sure to find a great contractor.

1. Define your outdoor ‘program’. Before you can choose a contractor, you want to be sure you understand exactly what it is you are trying to accomplish. Will your space be used for entertaining? How often will the space be used? What other projects are you considering in the future? Know what you want before ask someone to build it for you.

2. Define your budget. (and then plan to spend 20% - 30% more!) In all seriousness, it’s important that you have a budget in mind when you start your project, and it’s also important that you have a contingency if you go slightly over budget. Unforeseen conditions and client requested changes are not unusual in landscape construction. Just be prepared for it!

3. Find the right professional. Recommendations are always nice, however a contractor for a friend or family member might not be the right contractor for you. Consider using Service Magic or Angie’s List. Both Service Magic and Angie’s List have a huge online data base of prescreened contractors and landscape designers, and connects you with multiple contractors based on your specific project and needs. You can read online reviews, and decide which contractor you’d like to contact.

4. Receive Bids. No matter how much you fall in love with one particular contractor, it’s always good to get a minimum of three prices for your project. While price may account for some of your decision, it’s always important that you take into consideration other factors such as experience and availability.

5. Payment Agreement. Depending on the size of your project, your contractor may require a materials payment or intermediate payment during construction. This is normal, however be sure to only pay for work that has been completed.

6. If all else fails, send us an email with questions. We will do our best to steer you in the right direction.