Finding green professionals
Don't sabotage yourself by hiring someone who doesn't share (and work by) your sustainable commitment. Instead, find a green (as in environmentally friendly) professional.
^ By far the best way to find the right professional is to ask around. Generally speaking, the good ones don't advertise; and the heavy advertisers do so ■ joj 1 because they can't get referrals. So check with your friends, knock on the door of a house with beautiful landscaping, or inquire at your favorite nursery.
When you're considering working with a landscaper, pay attention to the following:
- Check for commitment to sustainability. Not all professionals understand this stuff. Some will tell you they do things sustainably, but get specifics and compare them to the information in this book.
- Look at their work. Get a list of recent jobs that you can drive by and look at. View them in terms of overall quality as well as sustainability.
- Get references. Ask a couple of current or former clients about promptness, professionalism, prices, quality of workmanship, and reliability.
- Get detailed estimates. A proper estimate should have a line item for each aspect of the work, and it should differentiate between firm bid prices and estimates (sometimes called allowances).
- Get, and carefully read, specifications for the work. Specifications detail precisely what will be done, what materials will be used, and the outcome of the work. Get drawings where necessary.
- Check licenses. Most professionals are required to be licensed. Be sure licenses are current and in effect.
- Get a detailed written contract. Make sure everything is spelled out. That way you're somewhat protected if the professional reneges on his or her end of the bargain.
- Set firm starting and ending dates. But do keep in mind that these dates may change for legitimate reasons as the work progresses.
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How would you like to save a ton of money and increase the value of your home by as much as thirty percent! If your homes landscape is designed properly it will be a source of enjoyment for your entire family, it will enhance your community and add to the resale value of your property. Landscape design involves much more than placing trees, shrubs and other plants on the property. It is an art which deals with conscious arrangement or organization of outdoor space for human satisfaction and enjoyment.
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