chapman house maine

Hiring a Qualified Landscaping Expert in Maine

Hiring a qualified landscaping expert in Maine, as well as any other state, involves several essential steps if you want to ensure the job is done correctly and efficiently. No one wants to deal with a disaster, let alone one that involves their home. 

In business since 1976, Davis Landscape is a well-qualified, second-generation landscaping company based out of Lisbon. In this article, we’re here to help you do your homework on hiring a landscaping expert! Ever hear the term “measure twice, cut once”? While that may seem like a no-brainer, you’d be surprised how many folks end up hiring supposed landscaping “experts” who are not only under-qualified, but sometimes aren’t carrying proper licenses and insurance to fulfill the work. Let’s get your job done right the first time and avoid the costly disaster of needing to do the same job twice.

But in the internet age where anyone can claim to be an expert, how can you tell if someone is really an expert? Furthermore, even with the right qualifications, how can you tell if they’re dependable and honest? Let’s dive in.

chapman house maine

The Chapman House, located at 41 Pleasant Street in Auburn, ME, contracted with Davis Landscape to design a landscape plan for the property. The Chapman House is a retirement home for senior women. As such, the main goals were safety and accessibility for the residents, along with improved curb appeal from the surrounding neighborhood streets. View project details.

Determining Your Landscaping Needs

First, you need to determine what you need your expert to do. There are different areas, such as landscape architects, landscape designers, landscape contractors, landscape managers, horticulturists, and arborists. Some of these areas sound similar, but there are differences:

Landscape architects and landscape designers: will help you plan your landscape design, ensuring you have the right greenery for your design, your environment, and your budget. While both perform the same job, many landscape architects have earned an academic degree in landscape architecture.

Landscape contractors: install your softscape and hardscape features. Softscape refers to things such as flowers, trees, and soil (it’s essential to have the right soil for your environment and your softscape). Hardscape refers to things such as fencing, patios, and decks.

Landscape managers: will perform the maintenance on your landscape. Maintenance is about more than mowing and edging the lawn. Not everyone has time to manage a landscape and landscape managers will help in this area.

Horticulturalists: are experts who know the ins and outs of plants. Horticulturalists can help you plan the right greenery and they can help if you have problems with greenery such as pests and disease.

Arborists: We’ve heard about Arbor Day so you probably already know arborists deal with anything related to trees including planting them, maintaining them, and dealing with issues such as pests and disease (much like horticulturists do with greenery).

maine granite patio

A 2015 project for the Maine Mineral and Gem Museum that included every aspect of our firm. The hardscape crew worked tirelessly to create a rock garden where the stones, minerals, and gems used were all locally produced, here in Maine, albeit a few billion years in the making. The landscape, irrigation, and site work crews also had integral parts to make sure the end result was seamless. View project details.

Determining Your Budget

In a perfect world, you’ll have an unlimited budget for building the landscape of your dreams. However, most people don’t have this luxury. That doesn’t mean your landscape options are limited. A qualified landscaping expert can help you design a beautiful landscape that still fits within your budget. They can also help you develop a plan where you add to your landscape over time, allowing you to incorporate new features to existing ones as your budget and needs allows.

How to Find a Qualified Landscaping Expert

You know what you want for your landscape (or at least have a basic idea). Now, it’s time to find a qualified landscaping expert. Whether you’re dealing with one specific area (such as landscape architecture) or looking for a variety of services, these guidelines will help you make an informed decision.

  1. Assess Their Qualifications

Is your expert qualified in their field? Whether they’re a specialist or a generalist, check their qualifications. You may need to do some research to see if these qualifications match your landscape needs. A reputable and qualified landscaping expert will be happy to share their qualifications.

Also, don’t forget to ask your landscape expert if they belong to any professional associations. These associations generally keep members updated on the latest developments in the field (no pun intended) and require them to follow a code of ethics. This isn’t a guarantee against problems, nor is anything in this article, but it is another layer of protection.

damariscotta retaining wall

Davis Landscape handled the demolition and subsequent reconstruction of a Mega Block retaining wall, located in Damariscotta. View project details.

  1. Assess Their Professional Licensing

It’s essential to make sure your qualified landscaping expert is properly insured for the tasks they are performing. notes:

Maine law requires every professional pesticide application firm to carry general liability insurance.

Regrettably, Maine does NOT have a licensing requirement for “landscape contractors.” This means you must investigate every available aspect of their work.

  1. Assess Their Work

A qualified landscaping expert will have a portfolio of their work for you to examine, with before and after pictures. Preferably, they will also have references from satisfied customers you can contact!

  1. Work with a Contract

Don’t work without a contract. Landscape work requires details that need to be specified in a contract, whether you’re looking for lawn maintenance or an overhaul of your landscape. Ensure your contract specifies cost (including a complete cost breakdown), your payment schedule, start and completion times, and responsibilities such as who must get the required permits and who performs cleanup.

Finally, make sure the contract specifies any warranties and remedies for problems. Check the fine print to ensure your rights aren’t compromised if you are unhappy with the work. 

  1. Get to Know Your Expert

Personalities sometimes clash, and chances are, you and your landscape expert will have an extended relationship, much as you do with other professionals such as doctors or plumbers. Clear communication will help preserve these type of relationships.

Also, this is a given, but experience is huge! Make sure your landscaping expert is qualified for the specific needs of landscaping for Maine’s environment. Whether it’s knowing how the seasons affect softscapes and hardscapes or a familiarity with Maine’s soil types – an expert must be qualified to deal with Maine’s environmental factors, and experience tends to be the biggest factor with this. Did you know that Davis Landscape has been in business since 1976?

st marys lewiston

At St. Mary’s Regional Medical Center in Lewiston, Davis Landscape built two enclosed planters to surround the new signs. We were entrusted with building the “pillars of identity” for the area, and an invitation to enter a healthy environment. As with every project, we also added a little bit of color and texture where it was needed. View project details.

  1. Check Their Reputation

No matter how qualified or competent a landscaping expert is, they are useless if they are unreliable or, worse, dishonest. The delicate nature of your landscape means you need to know your qualified landscaping expert in Maine is available when you need them. More importantly, you must know they will perform their tasks when you pay them.

Word of mouth is often an effective way to check someone’s work. You should also check with agencies such as the Better Business Bureau to find complaints. Another quick option is to look up online reviews in places like Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Unfortunately, this isn’t exactly a cut and dry situation as some firms will go as far as purchasing phony five-star reviews. Sometimes fake reviews are not difficult to spot – run for the hills if the reviews all sound similar in nature, offering little substance about the actual services received. Fake reviews aside, if there’s a boat load of one and two-star reviews, you may find more peace of mind by bringing your business to a better qualified candidate. 

Landscaping Expert in Maine

Davis Landscape is a well-qualified landscaping expert in Maine. In business since 1976, our expert team is ready to get to work! We’re also well-prepared to share our staff’s qualifications, references, and a portfolio of our work. Whether you have a residential or commercial project, big or small, contact Davis Landscape today!