How To Hire Landscaping Contractors

Updated October 4, 2023
12 min read
How To Hire Landscaping Contractors


In the quest to transform your outdoor living space, the decision to hire a landscaper can be pivotal. The right professional can turn your vision into reality or, if chosen hastily, might make the project more of a challenge than you'd like. Understanding how to find a landscaper who suits your needs is just as important as the decision to hire a landscaper in the first place.

Definition of a Landscaping Contractor

A landscaping contractor is a professional who offers an array of services associated with enhancing your outdoor living spaces. When you decide to hire a landscaper, you're essentially employing an expert proficient in various facets, including garden design, hardscaping, and overall garden upkeep.

For example, on a complex landscaping project, you might need services like walkway or fountain installation, which require specialized knowledge. Per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, contractors involved in hardscaping and water feature installation may need to comply with specific state regulations. For instance, in California, a contractor performing landscaping work that totals $500 or more in labor and materials costs must hold a C-27 Landscaping Contractor License.

Therefore, understanding these landscaping services and their relevant legal requirements can assist you in specifying your search for landscaping contractors, ensuring you hire individuals who not only meet your aesthetic goals but also comply with established statute laws.

Range of services offered by landscaping contractors

When making the decision to hire a landscaper, understanding the range of services they offer is crucial. Landscaping contractors can truly transform your outdoor space, offering a vast array of services such as:

  • Landscape design: This involves crafting a comprehensive and cohesive plan for your outdoor space that aligns with your vision and aesthetic preferences.

  • Hardscape installation: The hardscape aspects of your landscape, such as patios, walkways, or retaining walls, are expertly handled when you hire a landscaper.

  • Garden maintenance: A well-maintained garden not only looks beautiful but also augments the overall value of your home. Regular maintenance, ranging from weeding and pruning to pest management, is another service to expect when you hire a landscaper.

  • Water feature design: Tranquil ponds, fountains, or waterfalls can become the centerpiece of your landscape, providing it with a unique charm.

  • Garden health and aesthetics management: Promoting and maintaining the health of your plants and lawns fall under the remit of landscaping contractors — another reason to hire a landscaper.

Having this knowledge at hand will aid you in making an informed choice when you're going to hire a landscaper.

The Process of Hiring a Landscaper

The process of hiring a landscaper involves several key steps, each playing an essential role in ensuring a successful outcome. Every step, ranging from analyzing your needs to reviewing contracts, qualifications, and licenses, is geared towards a successful engagement with the right landscaping contractor.

The first crucial step when you hire a landscaper is analyzing your needs. Understand what your specific project requires — whether it's hardscaping, softscaping, or regular maintenance. Determining the size, scope, and aesthetics of your project can give you a clear vision of what you expect from landscapers. For example, if you have a sprawling lawn to remodel, you might need a landscaper experienced in extensive projects.

Researching potential landscaping contractors is another vital facet when you hire a landscaper. This would involve investigating their backgrounds, perusing their portfolios, and examining client feedback. A contractor who has successfully executed a scope similar to yours would be a potential candidate.

Then follows the stage of an initial consultation and estimate. Here, you discuss your project details with the landscaper, who will provide an estimate and a project plan. Transparency is critical at this phase. Ensure you ask all your queries about the project and the landscaper thoroughly understands your vision. For example, you plan to install a water feature in your garden. A skilled landscaper should be capable of considering all aspects — design, materials, labor, and any municipal regulations.

The penultimate phase before you hire a landscaper involves reviewing a contract. A standard landscaping contract is a legal document outlining the details of the project, payment agreements, the responsibilities of both parties, and dispute resolution methods. It's key to safeguarding your rights and interests as a client. In the U.S., for example, a contract might stipulate that the landscaper will follow guidelines set by the American Society of Landscape Architects for all installations. 

Lastly, the landscaper's qualifications, certificates, and licenses require evaluation before finalizing your decision to hire a landscaper. In several U.S. states like Virginia and North Carolina, landscaping contractors are required to hold a specific state-issued license for any project above a certain price. Also, they should be bonded and insured for the protection of both parties. Hiring a landscaping contractor who meets all these prerequisites ensures a secure and successful relationship.

Actual updates
9 pages
17.8K created templates

Enhance your property with our comprehensive landscaping contracts

Create & Download

Tips To Choose the Right Landscaper

When the decision to hire a landscaper has been made, it's important to find the one that best suits your project requirements. A landscape contractor should possess the necessary qualifications and relevant experience and offer the range of services you need for your outdoor space. 

Below are some tips to consider when you decide to hire a landscaper:

  1. Project needs: Choose a landscaper who understands your project's vision and can handle its scope effectively.

  2. Qualifications and experience: It's crucial to hire a landscaper with proper qualifications and extensive experience in the field.

  3. Portfolio review: Request to see a portfolio of their completed projects. This can provide a practical demonstration of their expertise and style.

  4. Client references: Client references can give you insight into past clients' experiences and the contractor's workmanship and professionalism.

  5. Services: Ensure the landscaper offers the specific services you require.

  6. Legal consult: If uncertain about any aspect, don't hesitate to consult business law experts. They can guide you toward understanding any complex legal aspects when you hire a landscaper.

By considering these aspects, you should be better poised to make an informed decision about which landscaping contractor is the right fit for your project.

Common Pitfalls in Hiring a Landscaper

As you hire a landscaper, it's critical to be aware of potential pitfalls. One of the most common mistakes people make is letting their budget dictate their choice of a landscaper. While it may initially seem attractive to hire the least expensive landscaper, it's crucial to remember that both quality and expertise have a price. Balancing your budget with the need for quality work will help ensure a successful landscaping project.

Moreover, another frequently encountered issue when hiring landscaping contractors is neglecting to establish a formal contract. Proper documentation is an integral part of any business transaction, and landscaping projects are no exception. 

To hire a landscaper successfully, it's vital to establish a detailed, mutually agreed upon business contract. This legal document outlines the responsibilities of both the homeowner and the landscaper, ensuring transparency and safeguarding the interests of all parties involved. Avoiding these typical mistakes when you hire a landscaper can vastly improve the outcome of your landscaping project.


The decision to hire a landscaper can greatly enhance the overall appeal and functionality of your outdoor spaces. By being careful and systematic in your approach to hiring landscaping contractors and utilizing resources like Lawrina, a reliable legal tech ecosystem, you can ensure a successful and satisfying project outcome.

Frequently Asked Questions

What qualifications should a landscaping contractor have?

When you're looking to hire a landscaper, it's essential to find one with the right qualifications. Ideally, a landscaping contractor should have professional certifications from a recognized industry organization, such as the Landscape Industry Certified Technician certification. 


An impressive project portfolio showcasing their variety of work and aesthetic style can give you an idea of their craftsmanship and commitment to quality. 


Lastly, positive reviews and high client satisfaction rates add credibility and validate their reliability, reinforcing why you decided to hire a landscaper in the first place.


How much does it cost to hire a landscaper?

Several factors influence the cost of hiring a landscaper. The complexity of your project is the main cost driver: extensive projects that require design, installation, and maintenance will be more costly compared to simple maintenance jobs. 


The level of expertise and experience of the landscaping contractor also influence cost; a seasoned professional may charge more due to their extensive knowledge and skills. Finally, regional rates affect landscaping costs, with prices varying based on labor costs and living expenses in your area. It's always a good idea to obtain quotes from multiple landscaping contractors before deciding to hire a landscaper.

Is it worth paying a landscaper for maintenance, or could I do it myself?

Deciding whether to hire a landscaper for maintenance or do it yourself hinges on several personal factors. If you have a passion for gardening, some basic landscaping skills, and sufficient time, you might enjoy maintaining your landscape yourself. 


However, complex maintenance tasks might demand professional expertise due to specialized equipment or knowledge needs. Furthermore, maintaining a landscaped area can be time-consuming and physically demanding. So, if your schedule is tight or you prefer spending leisure time in other ways, it can be absolutely worth the investment to hire a landscaper for maintenance.