There’s one thing the Washington DC area definitely isn’t missing: diversity.
You have a wide range of choices between where to eat, shop, visit, relax and do business. With all of the options, it can be hard to know where to start, especially when it comes to choosing a commercial landscaping company for your property.
There are several local landscaping companies that may seem similar, so it’s important to know what you want and need to narrow down the search.
Here are six ways to choose between commercial landscapers in Washington DC.
1. Check the List of Commercial Landscape Services
It’s easy to think all landscaping companies offer comparable services, but that can be a mistake.
Each commercial maintenance company is different, with some handling all of the work in-house and others using subcontractors. That’s something you’ll need to find out beforehand.
Also, you’ll want to get a breakdown of what all their services include. Here are some of the top ones you’ll want to make sure they offer in-house:
- Landscape Maintenance: Mowing, trimming, blowing, pruning, chemical sprays and edging
- Landscape Enhancements: Install annual color, replace dying plants and create new landscape designs
- Construction and Landscape Design: Retaining walls, sidewalks, plant beds, seating areas, patios and foliage focal points
- Irrigation Management: Install, repair, upgrade and maintain systems
- Snow and Ice Management: Clearing walkways, stairs, parking lots and roadways to prevent slip-and-fall accidents
- Turf Care: Spray and apply chemicals such as fertilizers and herbicides
Think about what your landscape will need now and possibly in the future. You want a company that has the capabilities to grow with you.
2. Make Sure They Follow Sustainable Practices
Having a sustainable property might not be at the top of your list, but it is for many tenants and customers.
According to research by MSL Group, 83 percent of global millennials want brands and companies to become more active in solving the world’s challenges — including conservation efforts like creating sustainable, energy-efficient landscapes.
The landscaping company you choose should have sustainability at the forefront of everything they do, from the materials and plants they use to their water management plans for your site.
You can see how environmentally friendly the company is by asking questions like these:
- Do you use native plants, which require less water and maintenance?
- How do you incorporate sustainability into your projects?
- Do you locally source materials when possible?
- What would you recommend to make my site more efficient?
Having a sustainable landscape will also help you cut costs and prevent wastage. Features like LED lighting and irrigation systems can play a big part in your efforts.
3. Research Company’s Experience and Qualifications
Find out as much about the company beforehand as you can to prevent future (unpleasant) surprises.
Do your research to find out what types of industry qualifications, affiliations, certifications and licenses they hold. Many companies will list these on their websites. Here are some important ones to look for:
- Certified Professional Horticulturist (CPH)
- Certified Landscape Technician (CLT)
- ICPI Certified Concrete Paver Installer
- Certified Pesticide Applicator (in your state)
They need to be qualified and insured to handle your specific types of projects.
Another important thing you want to check is the company’s background. Look to see how long they’ve been in business by doing a Google search. The company’s website might tell, but you can double-check that information on sites like Manta.
You can also look up the companies on the Better Business Bureau's site to see the company’s grade and if there have been any complaints filed against them. Or, call the Local Business Bureau to check the company’s record.
It’s also important to ask the company about their hiring process. Do they perform background checks and regular drug screenings on employees? You want the people working on your site to be top notch.
4. Talk to Their Commercial Landscape Clients
One of the scariest parts about hiring any professional is the unknown: How good are they, really? What will my site look like after they upgrade it? Are they up for the challenge?
While you probably don’t have a crystal ball to see into the future, you can get a glimpse into what you can expect by talking with the company’s past and/or present clients.
See if they have any clients who have properties similar to yours. Ask to talk with them or visit their site. That can be a great way to see first hand what you can expect from them on your site. Plus, it shows they have the experience needed for your project.
Looking at their project photos will give you a good idea of what they’ve done in the past, but if you’re able to, it’s even better to stop by their sites to see them in person. That will give you a better understanding of what all they can do.
5. Find One Point of Contact
No one likes getting the runaround, so make sure you will be working with one account manager if you were to choose the company.
That keeps you from having to call, email or text different people about your property — which can easily lead to confusion. You don’t want too many cooks in the kitchen.
Having a main person you work with will also ensure they are familiar with your landscape and know exactly what it needs and when. If you choose a company that hires subcontractors to handle the work, you may be confused on who to talk with and who is really in charge.
You want to be able to pick up the phone and get directly in touch with the person managing your site, not spend valuable time trying to figure out who that person is.
6. Be Careful How You Compare Prices
Have a budget in mind when you begin the search to find a landscaper — but remember, not all prices are created equal.
Be wary of companies that offer you a cheap rate compared to what you’ve seen from others. They may be lowering it because they are desperate for customers, meaning they probably aren’t that great. Or, the low cost could be because they aren’t paying for the proper insurances or to have quality equipment.
Price is an important part of the decision-making process, but it shouldn’t be the only thing you look at.
You don’t want to have to pay a new company to redo the work from the low-ball one: That’s just throwing away money, and you won’t actually be saving any in the long run.
Choose the Best Washington DC Landscaper
You have several choices when it comes to finding the right commercial landscaping company for your property. Hopefully, these tips will help point you in the right direction during your search.
Choose the company that best fits your expectations, budget and landscape’s needs — and also one you’re comfortable working with.
We encourage you to give our commercial landscaping company the drill down as you’re looking for a landscaper. Level Green Landscaping welcomes all of your questions, and we are happy to show you our past and current projects.
Our service area includes Washington DC, Maryland and parts of Virginia. We focus on commercial property maintenance for offices, retail spaces, mixed-use sites, HOAs/condominiums, distribution centers, municipalities and institutions.
Our in-house team of experts has made our commercial landscaping company one of the most trusted in the region.