Looking to create a space that provides ultimate relaxation throughout the warm summer months and beyond? Before you decide to take on this new, exciting venture, make sure you are connected with the right outdoor professionals to get the job done. Here are our best tips to consider when selecting a professional for your outdoor project:
Have a Clear Plan In Mind
Before you consulting a local contractor or landscaper near you, have a strong idea of what you’d like to achieve in your dream project. Planning out the materials, making a few sketches, or gathering photos of what you envision for your space are the first steps in making your design come to life. Be confident in your ideas and vision for your space, because no one knows your home like you do.
Part of the planning process is also anticipating a lead time on when a contractor can start working on your project. The season and area you live in will ultimately dictate how quickly you can get your outdoor home makeover started. The farther ahead you prepare and do research, the more likely you’ll find a designer or tradesperson who is best for the job.
Pro tip: Reach out to professionals as soon as possible to get a quote before the busy season hits and weather warms up.
Find the Right Person for the Job
While it may take some time to narrow down your ideas, it’ll set you up perfectly for finding the appropriate candidate for the job. Anyone operating on your backyard or home should be competent and knowledgeable in what you’d like to accomplish with your project. For example, an expert in painting does not necessarily qualify the same person to build a 20-foot deck. Here are a few “Dos and Don’ts” when considering the right person for the job:
- Do interview at least 5 professionals. Taking the time to find someone who aligns best with your project goals is crucial for a desirable outcome.
- Do ask friends and family for references. Learn from the positive—or negative—experiences of others when it comes to home renovation projects. You might even get a friends and family discount if you mention the connection when reaching out.
- Do ask how long they think the project will take. Working with someone who communicates clearly and is organized will ease your worries as a homeowner. Find a professional who has a clear idea of the timeline and is willing to update you when anything might change.
- Don’t hire the cheapest option. Perfecting your space is a sprint, not a marathon. Don’t compromise on quality when bringing your dream design to life. Shopping for the right candidate at a fair price for your project will pay dividends in the long run.
- Don’t fully pay for the project until it is done. The last thing you need in your life is a project that gets walked out on halfway through completion. Paying some of the cost up front and the rest when it is finished is a good way to build mutual trust between you and the industry professional you’re working with.
- Don’t hire someone who isn’t insured. We saved the most important "Don't" for last in this short list. Safety and liability should be major concerns for a company when it comes to outdoor renovation projects. If a contractor or landscaper isn’t insured and gets hurt on the job, you may be liable for the damages inflicted.
Be Involved in the Project
Check in with your professional on a continual basis to ensure what you’ve envisioned is getting accomplished. Nothing’s worse than looking at a finished project you’re not quite satisfied with. Be sure to ask your designer, landscaper, or contractor questions to understand the creation process as you see your design come to life. This will benefit you in the long run if there is ever a need for upkeep or repair in the services they provided.
Do I Need a Designer, Landscaper, or Contractor for My Outdoor Project?
Unless you are an expert in outdoor renovations, it’s highly recommended to consult with designers, landscapers, or contractors when piecing together your dream backyard. Most workers in these fields have the education or years of experience under their belt to provide the most logical and appealing look for outdoor living amenities. While you may have the “design eye” or enjoy building projects, it never hurts to bring someone in who practices these skills on a regular basis. Let’s explore who these industry professionals are and when they might be important to pull in for your start-to-finish outdoor makeover endeavor:
A designer or architect is the one to assist in the planning phase of your project creation. Their roles primarily help narrow down your vision for the ultimate design of your outdoor living space. Most designers go to school for landscape or architect design, which is a great thing to look out for when considering who to work with. Refining the color, shape, style, and overall theme are a few things they do to connect an appropriate style to the layout of your backyard area. Plan to work with a designer or architect before any actual building begins.
Landscapers are largely responsible for implementing the design to make your outdoor space look beautiful. They serve as the master planner in making the idea of your project come to life. Allocating the necessary materials, labor, and timeframe is a focus of their responsibilities in the creation process. Since there is a wide variety of categories in the landscaping industry, consider the landscaper’s experience level and area of expertise for what to look for when hiring a landscaper.
Contractors will generally come in on a situational basis depending on what is needed for the project. For example, a gas technician should be contracted out to assist in installing a gas fire pit burner, ensuring all components are correctly configured and working for safe and optimal use. Similar to a landscaper, it’s important to verify the person you are working with is licensed and operates at a professional level, especially when the project involves fire or electricity.
Professional Means Professional
Whether you plan to install a gas fire pit, modern garden, or custom outdoor kitchen, it’s extremely important to find a professional who is licensed and capable of fulfilling your needs. Taking a chance on someone who is cheaper, but underqualified, is the wrong way to go when trying to find a good contractor for outdoor home renovations. Look for a professional in your area who understands local codes, installation requirements, and has experience with the landscape and terrain you need them to work with.
Ready to get your project started? Let us help! The Outdoor GreatRoom Company™ offers unique custom capabilities with gas fire pits, fireplaces, and outdoor kitchens. We can also help connect you with industry professionals in your area. Contact us for more information.