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What to be prepared for when a landscape construction project begins on your home. (what you should be expecting from your contractor)

April 2, 2019

If you are planning on having a job done in the near future how to prepare for your job may be something that you are wondering about. What should you do before hand and what should you be expecting from the crews that are coming to your site?

 

 

 

First off, good practice when you are planning to have a landscape construction crew coming to your property is to inform your neighbors that you are planning to have landscaping done on your property and roughly when you are expecting to have the crews arrive at your place. This can be very important for things to be as stress free as possible. Construction crews will often have materials, bins, machinery and trucks all on the road when they are working on your site. Often the space directly in front of your home is inadequate for everything they will require in order to do their job. There fore space in front of neighbors in close proximity will be used. It would be good practice to make these people aware that there may be people parking in front of there home especially if the project is expected to be large and take several weeks. The second important reason to be in communication with your neighbors is because the crews will create a certain degree of dust and noise when completing your project. Nothing is worse for neighbor relations than having your construction crew cutting in your patio while the neighbor is having a pool party, and trust me this does happen. Good communication can help everyone have the most stress-free experience possible. If there is a party planned that you know about let the company office know or your foreman know in advance, odds are it won’t be an issue for them to find something to do elsewhere for the day.

 

 

If you have any questions or concerns about your project feel free to ask your foreman. Our foreman are happy to answer your questions. Our foreman and other foreman from other companies should be highly knowledgeable about the landscaping installation process and the materials used on your site. They may not know everything about certain aspects i.e. the perfect requirements of every plant in your gardens. Some designers will choose from hundreds of different plants for your gardens and add new ones every year to their list of plants to choose from. They would be a better person to ask for specifics, however the foreman should have a good base knowledge on plants and be able to give you some basic recommendations. If they don't know feel free to ask the designer or the foreman can inquire for you on specifics for a particular species.

 

 

If you have something that you wish to add to your project or change once the crew arrives and you tell your foreman they will have to get a hold of the office. A Foreman does not have the authority to make changes to your project without it being reviewed by the office staff and a form for a contract change has been signed.  Unfortunately, long have the days been over where verbal or handshake agreements can be trusted. Unfortunately for the majority of good meaning people out their others have taken advantage of crews asking for them to expand patios or add gardens then refused to pay for the extra work as it was not previously written in the contract. Don’t be offended or irritated when a foreman refuses to change something on your project initially. They are there to make you happy and will be more than happy to change it once the correct procedure for the change has been followed.

 

 

 Arrival times

 The company you hire will often not know the exact time a crew will be at your home for a landscape project. Typically, they will let you know which month they expect to be able to do your project. Then when it is closer they will give you a call and let you know which week they will be there and say something like “We expect them to arrive Wednesday afternoon or Thursday morning or they will say we expect them to be there near the end off the week.” Companies keep the time the crew will be arriving vague for a reason. We are in construction and things happen. The ground may be rock solid at the site before yours, a truck may break down, part of your material order couldn’t be delivered and the crew had to find it elsewhere before starting. It might be pouring rain on the expected start date. On the previous site the customer may have asked for an addition the day before the crew was going to leave. These things happen which makes it impossible to know  in advance exactly when a crew will arrive. 

 

Wash out video

 

 

Delays

Delays on your job site for a professional landscaping crew should be very rare but they do happen. The most common time for landscaping delays in southern Ontario is April and November. In April we always expect several days where crews won’t be working simply due to the amount of rain expected to fall during the day. Similarly, in November this does happen as well and cold nights which can freeze the ground making it difficult to complete certain tasks on your landscape. Rain days do occur throughout the rest of the year however they are sparse. Without including weather delays a professional company should have there crew working on your site from the start of the job right until the end five or six days a week.

 

 

 

Quality

With out a doubt you should be expecting a quality project and professionalism from the company you hire. The long days and poor weather do cause crews to make mistakes on occasion. You should not in any way feel bad letting a foreman know that something on your project is not up to what you were expecting.  Calmly approaching them and pointing it out is the best way to let them know and they will be happy to change any mistakes or imperfections shown to them. Most often it is an easy quick fix and the foreman may have seen it before leaving in the evening and been prepared to address it when they arrive in the morning. Start with a calm conversation with the foreman or an office member about any problems. If they do persist don't hesitate to ask for a Manager or owner to come to site. A few small errors is one thing but constant persistent problems or a poor crew attitude toward calm requests for changes is another. This is your project and you should be the one happy in the end.

 

Daniel Hogenbirk

Landscape Foreman

Birk’s Landscaping Inc.

(905) 404-0602

www.birkslandscaping.net

birks@rogers.com

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