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.
- 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.