Here in the United States, lawns are both indicators of socio-economic character, and the physical manifestation of what a dream home should look like. A well-maintained landscape and impeccable landscape lighting are signs that you have the money and the time to invest in it.
However, how do you hire a landscaper? What questions should you ask to make sure you’ve chosen the right one?
What is a Landscaper?
A landscaper is an architect who specializes in creating outdoor spaces such as parks, gardens, and squares. They are often tasked with creating the perfect combination of softscape (plants) and hardscape (patios). While most people confuse landscapers with gardeners, there is a difference.
Gardeners specialize in plants, while landscapers work with all sorts of elements from concrete, wood, stone, to artificial brooks, streams, and waterfalls. This helps landscapers create harmonious outdoor scenery.
What Does a Landscaper Do?
Landscapers often work for design and architectural firms, where they’re tasked with creating and remodeling outdoor spaces. They can also work in firms whose sole purpose is to design outdoor spaces.
Their primary responsibilities include:
- Liaising with gardeners to grow the desired vegetation
- Advising on plant selection
- Adding extra elements such as bridges and torches to the landscape
- Monitor progress and evaluate whether everything is as stipulated in the design
- Designing, crafting and maintaining outdoor spaces
Questions to Ask a Landscape Lighting Contractor
Landscaping takes time and consumes a lot of money. Therefore, you ought to hire the right person for the job. You can do a huge chunk of the landscaping jobs yourself during the weekends, but it is always advisable to seek professional help.
Here are some of the questions you should ask the landscape lighting contractor.
- Do You Have All the Relevant Licenses, Registrations, Etc.?
Before you can embark on a landscaping task at your San Diego home, you should check if the landscaper is authorized to work on such projects. Be sure to request for the license and registration. Almost all states in the US require landscaping contractors to have licenses.
To acquire this license, the contractor needs 3+ years of experience working in the landscaping field. In addition, the contractor is also required to pass the professional exam.
With this, the contractor will have substantial knowledge of the area’s soil, native greenery, and climate.
This will also ensure that the contractor is conversant with environmental standards and regulations.
Also, be sure to ask if the lighting contractor is insured. Every licensed landscaper should be bonded and insured. Don’t hire if the contractor is not insured, as it will absolve you of any responsibility should the contractor be injured while working for you.
It will also offer compensation should the contractor damage any property on the job.
Hiring an unlicensed landscaper will cost less upfront but it will cost you more in the long run.
- Do You Have Experience with Similar Projects?
Although having a license certifies the relevant experience, it’s still important to ask if the contractor has handled similar projects. Request for photos or anything that shows the result of the projects the lighting contractor has worked on around the San Diego area.
Also, if you are looking for someone to handle all aspects of landscaping be sure to ask if they have a team to handle that. Since you want a garden lighting design, it’s only logical that the contractor will come with a team that is not only knowledgeable but also has extensive experience with landscape lighting and greenery.
An experienced landscape lighting contractor will also know the most cost-effective and energy-efficient bulbs to use for path & security lighting. They will also have a good understanding of the types of lighting fixtures to use for the different outdoor areas. If you want lighting fixtures for your pool, they will know what to use.
By hiring experienced landscape lighting contractor, you don’t have to worry about issues such as consistency. You are also assured that they will preserve the outdoor quality of your neighborhood. Which in turn keeps your resale value high.
- Can the Contractor Work with Other Professionals?
If it’s a new home, the landscape lighting designer will have to work with professionals such as architects and electricians. The contractor has to be willing and ready to work with these professionals. The last thing you want is contractors fighting on trivial issues, such as who has more authority.
The contractor should have experience working in site like yours to have an understanding of how to work on a construction site without endangering the lives of the employees. You want the construction of your home and landscaping to go on smoothly.
- Does the Contractor Understand Your Needs and Preferences?
Working with contractors can be a challenge, especially if they are trying to impose their ideas on you. You need a landscape lighting contractor who takes time to listen to what you want.
The best contractor converts your outdoor lighting ideas into a workable plan. You want a contractor who will try to maintain the overall look of your property and convert your home into a sanctuary where your family and guest feel safe.
- Does the Contractor Have Any Guarantees or Warranties for the Lighting Products?
The work of landscape lighting contractors will involve installing lighting systems. Thus, you might want to ask for warranties for the products used. You need some sort of guarantee that the system will last.
Why Should You Hire a Landscape Lighting Contractor?
While you can perform some of the common landscaping tasks yourself, landscape lighting is a little bit different. You need an expert who understands how to integrate hardscape and softscape with lighting. The contractor has to understand how to install the lighting system to illuminate the whole landscape.
This is why the questions above are very important. You want a San Diego landscape lighting designer that will actualize your idea while still conserving the aesthetics of the neighborhood.
Contact us and get a quote for interior and exterior lighting at your home.