How to choose and hire a landscape gardener
dominoman Posts: 150
Does anyone have any advice and tips on how to hire a landscaper?
I have a good idea of what I would like done in my garden, along with drawings (self-drawn) and dimensions.
I have broken it down into elements of work:
- Replace fence with 6 foot panel fencing
- Remove old patio, replace hardcore and lay new patio
- Build small retaining wall
- Lay new brick edged path
My plan was to get quotes from landscapers. My dilemma is that I don’t want to be too prescriptive, because I am an amateur who knows what he wants but not how to do it.
Should I say I will buy the materials, like the patio and fencing, so they just have to do the labour?
I think you are doing right there Domino man, if he is a good bloke he will respect your wishes and go with what you want, ask about supply, he may be able to get trade prices. Ask for references so you don't get a bodge job, or ask around for recommendations.
I'd agree, ask around .
There are lots of websites like checkatrade etc. They might be worth a look.
I have used checkatrade to get reviews on contractors and it also shows pictures of their work. Although you have decided what you want done it may be a contractor comes up with something you had not thought of doing. If you have several things you want doing it may be that the contractor can fit it in with jobs for other people and you can negotiate on the price. I am about to start my garden shortly, already cleared all brambles etc and had new fencing put up. I know the slabs will not be cheap
To me that sounds like you need a good gardener or even a builder/labourer that's not afraid of hard work rather than someone who is a landscape gardener as such.
I'd ask around. There's no substitute for referrals and recommendations. If you're on facebook possibly start there by asking your friends if they've ever had similar work done and who would they recommend.
If possible I would try for a personal recommendation.
As you have a definite idea of what you want and you know your design I would be inclined to go for a builder to do the work you have listed and a gardener for any planting.
Its just a personal thing but I think the title landscaper just adds to the bill as this person is then likely to get a builder and gardener to do the work, fine if you don't know what you want or want more design ideas. Either way, see who you can get trusted recommendations for.
Do you know the website Streetlife.com ? You join your local one and it's a brilliant way to get recommendations from your neighbours for local tradesmen etc.
I've also got good plants/tools etc for nothing or next to nothing or swapsies.
Sort of like Gumtree but less money oriented and more friendly. There's also a Lost & Found page for pets and stuff like that
Gardening in Central Norfolk on improved gritty moraine over chalk ... free-draining.
I posted on ratedpeople.com when I wanted some work done. I gave a fairly detailed description of the work and the site allows 3 people to contact you by e-mail. The people who came to me were all very professional, although 1 of them was more used to coppicing woodland than garden landscaping.
When we we're having our garden done I stated the intended size of the patio. The reaction was "Are you building a patio or a helicopter landing pad?". He thought the patio would be too big, and thankfully I took his advice. It's still about 20 x 15!