So, you are looking for a Landscaper. You have google searched your local area and found 3 that seem to be a good fit for your project. You have recieved written quotes from all 3 and you are now pondering which one to choose.
All 3 presented well at the quote, all 3 were on time, so how do i know which one to choose?
Presenting well and arriving on time to the quote is a good start. They know they have to create a good impression to be considered for your job. This is how to break things down and allow you to make an informed desicion;
1. Do your research
With the power of the internet, information is at our fingertips 24/7. It will only take a few minutes to engage in some research for each of the Landscapers in question. And we dont mean a quick facebook search, we mean Government websites that are here to help you with this free information about all business's.
A simple 'Asics' search (https://asic.gov.au/online-services/search-asics-registers/companies-and-organisations/) using a companies ABN number will reveal some valuable information about the business and it's owner;
How long the business has been in operation.
Has the owner ever been banned from operating a business.
A simple 'Fair Trading' (https://www.fairtrading.nsw.gov.au/) search using the registered business name at Asics, will reveal some more information about the Landscapers;
Does the business hold the appropriate qualifications and a current Contractors licence for the type of work they are undertaking.
Does the business have any disputes lodged by previous customers on record with Fair Trading, meaning a customer has taken action against the business or has had a dispute with the business.
2. Why research your potential Landscaper ?
To research these 3 business's would have taken no longer than 10 minutes. Considering that regardless of which Landscaper you choose, you are going to hand over a good chunk of your hard earned money, and you can now be reassured, at the very least, that you are not dealing with a rogue operator.
And in the Landscaping industry, sadly, rogue operators are very common. Meaning unqualified, uninsured, rogues offering prices well below reputable contractors, and generally cutting corners for a quick buck, while taking you for a ride. The good news is, generally they last 1 to 2 years and dissapear. The sad bit is, every Spring many new rogues venture out into the market for a quick buck. Buyer beware!
An important note: If a business does not hold the appropriate licencing through Fair Trading. Did you know that if you engage that business and you are not happy with their work, basically, their is not a thing Fair Trading can do to help you as they were not licenced. Do your research!
Ask your 3 Landscapers if they hold current policies in Public Liability Insurance. Then ensure you have a copy of the policy before any work begins. You can ring the insurer direct but usually the policy document is sufficient.
This insurance is cover for any damage to your property, vehicles or belongings. In a trade where earthmoving machinery, trucks and heavy duty equipment is used. You would be mad to let any business near your property without this insurance, as if they do not have it, any damage may be your responsibilty.
Ask your Landscapers if they hold current policies in Workers Compensation through 'Icare'. Icare is the government authority that runs all workers compensation policies.
This insurance is compulsory by law and protects you from being liable for any injuries that may happen on your project. In an industry such as Landscaping, where injuries are common, you would be mad to put yourself at risk if an unisured contractor was to get injured while on your property.
So you have conducted your research and all 3 Landscapers are Licenced, insured with no Fair Trading complaints or claims against them. Looks like you picked 3 reputable business's.