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Landscaper working in yard

Hiring a landscaper

Whether you are hiring a contractor to install a new landscape or to maintain an existing one, potential landscapers should:

  • Hold both city and county business licenses
  • Be insured and properly bonded
  • Have several current and past references with work samples
  • Have access to a certified arborist and certified landscape irrigation auditor, either as a consultant or on staff
  • Be aware of local watering laws
  • Be knowledgeable about proper landscape maintenance within a desert environment
  • Maintain good standing with both the Nevada State Contractors Board and the Better Business Bureau

When hiring a qualified contractor to maintain your landscape, ensure:

  • Your maintenance proposal includes a schedule of work to be performed and the type of chemicals and nutrients to be used.
  • Your estimate includes specific monthly charges, how often service will be provided, and a detailed schedule of all maintenance to be performed.
  • Your landscape maintenance program includes plant maintenance, appropriate removal of tree staking, pruning, grass maintenance, and pest control.
  • Your irrigation maintenance program meets individual plant needs, irrigation system maintenance, proper irrigation scheduling.

When hiring a qualified contractor to install a new landscape, ensure:

  • You read the closing contract thoroughly, and that it is clear and in writing.
  • Plans and/or drawings are checked for accuracy.
  • Payment and performance bonds are secured.
  • The appropriate permits are obtained through the building department.

Other tips:

  • Your irrigation system should be designed for your landscape at maturity.
  • Be sure of the following: similar plants are on the same watering station, shrubs and trees are using drip irrigation, an efficient spray system and a backflow prevention unit is assembled properly.
  • During landscape installation, make frequent walk-through inspections and require unconditional "waiver and release" forms when you make a payment for any completed phase of your project.
  • When complete, your landscape should include proper plant selection and appropriate plant groupings. Be sure to file a notice of completion with the County Recorder's office within 24 hours of project completion and ensure you receive "as-built" drawings for your records, including hand-noted changes on the copy of originals.
  • Ensure warranties cover installation and start-up adjustment and winterization of all equipment, include specifics about individual parts used and system performance, please be sure to spell out exactly what the contractor covers.

Note: Consumers should always check with the Nevada State Contractors Board and Better Business Bureau before conducting business with a contractor.