This article on South Dakota landscaping services is packed full of information. Please consider using the key points links to the left to navigate quickly to the information you are seeking. The video below may not address your exact situation or landscaping services specifically, but it contains priceless tips for hiring any construction trades professional.
Beware of any online service (or salesperson) that offers you a flat rate price without telling you upfront who is performing the services; especially, if they are not the actual company that is doing the work. Also, flat rate pricing given to you before performing an onsite inspection is a crafty sales technique used to "get in the door." There are many variables to consider with any landscaping project. Getting a flat rate price before having an evaluation can leave you and your South Dakota landscaping service feeling stuck with an amount that is not realistic or one that they can not honor.
You may receive an offer at a flat rate price or a price that includes "time and materials." Be aware that there are many variations of the "time and materials" pricing methodology. Here is the most important thing to keep in mind, "BEWARE OF THE HIGHEST AND LOWEST BIDDER." In both cases, a very low or a very high bid can tip you off that the South Dakota landscape contractor may not truly understand their costs to complete the job. They may just be guessing.
In all cases, a company must make a profit. If the landscaping service offers a warranty but does not make a profit, they will soon be out of business and not able to honor any warranty. So be very careful concerning low bidders. Significant variations in bid pricing is one of the most important reasons to get at least five bids. Many years ago, in South Dakota, three bids were recommended, but now with services like Quality-Trades.com, it is a straightforward process to get five or more bids.
Look for South Dakota landscaping services who offer a Maintenance Plan (as a subscription service) - it is a WIN-WIN situation. For any company, the cost of acquiring a new customer is expensive. As such, most maintenance plans offer a discount on services, since the company knows you will be a loyal patron. Additionally, building a relationship with a local landscaping service you trust will give you peace of mind. It is also important to note that managing a good maintenance program is not easy. Therefore, when you ask about the detail of a landscaping service's maintenance program, you will be better able to distinguish between a quality organization and a less optimized company.
Many local tradespeople and business owners are South Dakota State University or University of South Dakota graduates; please consider buying local.
Keep in mind that you live in Climate Zone 6. The entire state of South Dakota exists within zone six. This area of the United States is considered "Cold". If you are new to this region of the country, there may be special landscaping considerations for this climate that you will want to learn about, so be sure to ask.
Repair: a repair fixes or replaces the existing items, equipment, or fixtures as-is or with like-kind replacements.
Renovation: also known as a reno or remodel, involves redesigning and, in most cases, upgrading an existing space (i.e., bathroom or kitchen).
Addition: also known as an add-on, consists of constructing a new space that is attached to an existing building (i.e., a new deck or sunroom).
Also, your project could be a New Construction or merely a demolition.
Once you have determined your project type, write it down so that you remember to communicate with your landscaping service exactly what you are looking to accomplish.
If you have a problem or something that needs a repair, take a few minutes to look it up. You may find that there is an easy do-it-yourself fix. Even if you can't complete the fix yourself (for example, if you do not have the right tools), at least, you will have an idea of what needs to get done. If you are looking for an upgrade, be sure to use Pinterest. Especially since your free project planner on Quality-Trades.com connects directly to your Pinterest boards.
Use the internet and ask friends for their advice to make sure you know what you want. Take good notes that you can transfer to step three.
Did you know that you can significantly reduce the cost of your landscaping project by getting organized? Many factors of your project depend on excellent communication. Concisely sharing your desires can make a big difference in the total amount of time and money that you will spend to get a set of accurate bids.
Use a Project Planner to organize your thoughts. The free project planner offered on Quality-Trades.com also allows you to easily share the details of your project with the landscaping service of your choice.
Now begin the process of searching for your landscape contractor. You can start by using your zip code. You can also look for landscaping services in the nearest large city, where it may be easier to find more reviews online.
Look through the listings, websites, and Facebook pages of ten or more landscape contractors to get a good sense of who is in your area. Although this may take some time, it is worth it.
Star ratings do not tell the entire story! Remember that for every positive review, there could be ten or more who didn't take the time to give a good rating. While this principle also holds for negative reviews, the best review services allow companies to reply to comments. This gives you a chance to hear both sides of the story.
When you are checking reviews of any landscaping service, take the time to read the comments. This way, you can quickly spot negative reviews for people who have completely unrealistic expectations.
Having a good understanding and realistic expectations for yourself is the reason why steps one and two are necessary. Many people hire a landscape contractor before doing any research. Most of the time, this is the cause of up to 5% of negative reviews. If a landscaping service has more than 10% negative reviews, pay very close attention. You may want to avoid that company altogether.
A serious contractor will also be a serious business person. Therefore, they will set up a proper business entity. This important business step protects their employees and customers.
Ask the contractor if their business is set up as an LLC, S-corp or C-corp. This should give you additional confidence that they are serious about being a legitimate South Dakota landscape contractor.
Furthermore, you can also check with the South Dakota Secretary of State to validate their corporate status. https://sosenterprise.sd.gov/BusinessServices/Business/FilingSearch.aspx
Remember that time is money, and your time is valuable. Using your well-organized project plan will save you a lot of time. Even for a simple repair, you can share pictures before setting an appointment.
Set a time to meet with each landscaping service and plan for a little extra time, just in case you discover something new during the walkthrough.
Take good notes and DO NOT agree to any contracts until you have met with all your pre-qualified landscape contractors.
Here is another area where your research in step two will pay off. Also, with each appointment, you will learn more about your specific situation. As you ask each question, listen very carefully and take notes. Even though you have done a lot of research previously, remember that you are now asking a professional.
Beyond asking questions about your project, be sure to ask questions about project completion details. Who will do the actual work? When do they expect to start? How long will it take? What are the payment expectations? What forms of payment do they accept? What warranties, if any, do they offer?
One of the most critical set of questions that you should ask is about any negative reviews. If they give you a very defensive response, that could be a meaningful warning sign to stay away!
All trustworthy South Dakota landscaping services carry valid insurance; so, ask them to include a copy of their insurance certificate with their bid proposal.
Additionally, requiring proof of insurance in writing will quickly scare off anyone who is doing business illegally.
Get at least three references who have had the exact same work performed for them.
However, do not punish new contractors who are just getting started. Allow them to provide previous employers as references. Also, make sure to ask about any relationship between the South Dakota landscape contractor and the reference. Most importantly, ask if the reference would ever use the landscape contractor again.
Next, compare the most recent 2022 rates information data for South Dakota landscaping services, from the top home improvement professional websites.
HomeAdvisor lists average landscaping rates to be $1,433 - $5,303 per landscaping project, nationwide, HomeAdvisor Landscape Project Costs.
Fixr lists average landscaping rates to be $1,320 - $29,200 per project, nationwide, Fixr Landscaping Costs.
Thumbtack lists average landscaping rates to be $320 - $20,000 per landscaping services contract, nationwide, Thumbtack Landscaping Services Costs.
Cost Helper lists average landscaping rates to be $50 - $100 per hour, nationwide, Cost Helper Landscape Design Average Costs.
As mentioned in the video at the top of the page, how do you feel about each of the landscape contractors that gave you a bid? After you have completed all of your due diligence, to include, elimination of the highest and lowest bids, you ultimately need to make your final decision based on your instinct.
Finalize your agreement and get everything in writing.
Asking friends, family and neighbors for a list of landscaping services in South Dakota can be very helpful, especially if they have previously hired and recommend any particular one on the list. Online searches are very helpful, as well as using online listing services, such as Quality-Trades.com.
Proper insurance is critical. General liability insurance protects you, the landscaping service and the landscaping service's employees.
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