Finding the right company to handle your commercial landscape needs can take time. The best approach is to treat the process as if you were hiring an employee—with due diligence—and then make sure that your contract spells out any expectations of what you want done to your landscape. Here are eight items to ask about including in a commercial landscaping contract in Glen Ellyn, IL.
1. What services are included?
This question defines the scope of the contract. If you require landscape design, hardscape installation, drainage, irrigation, or other specialty services, your contract will be much more detailed than one for simple lawn mowing, edging, and leaf removal. Every service the landscape contractor will be providing could be listed in the contract. Instead of a catch-all “landscape maintenance services,” you could inquire about having every task spelled out: mowing, leaf removal, snow removal, trimming, edging, fertilizing, pruning, and so on.
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2. Are you qualified and have the resources to perform the work I need?
Different companies specialize in different services. Just because you have turned to one company to mow your lawn and weed your flower beds doesn’t necessarily mean that same company is equipped to construct a walkway or install a new paver entrance to your business. You could see about having the contract spell out exactly what the company will be doing and whether they will do the work themselves or subcontract some or all of the work.
3. How often will you perform the services?
The answer could depend and it may be something you want spelled out, whether it’s weekly or monthly or (such as in the case of cleanups) seasonally. Each particular service may be on its own schedule, which may need to be clearly defined.
4. What materials are needed?
If your project involves construction of hardscape features or plantings, the contract could specify exact quantities of all materials.
5. How will you communicate?
Do you require weekly or monthly reports from your landscape company to keep you abreast of any developing issues? Who is your point of contact at the company? These are details that could be included in the contract.
6. Are you covered?
A reputable landscaping company will be insured, and will carry workers’ compensation and liability insurance. Avoid working with companies that cannot produce a certificate of insurance, also known as a COI.
7. What is the payment structure?
Some companies break down maintenance program payments into convenient monthly payments—but that doesn’t mean that the work will be performed each month (for example, you could have an annual lawn care agreement that stipulates that you can pay a certain amount per month, but there won’t be much lawn care happening in the middle of winter). This could be outlined in the contract.
8. How will changes to the contract be handled?
No one goes into a contract expecting changes and problems, but they can and do sometimes happen. The contract should outline a course of action that will be taken if there is a problem or a change in the scope of services, and who is responsible for that action.