March 1, 2023

How to Choose a Landscape Designer: 7 Questions to Ask

With so many different landscape designers in NJ, it can be difficult to decide which one you should hire. The options range from landscape contractors who run their own solo businesses, to local landscaping companies, to larger NJ landscape designers like High Tech.

Where do you start, and how do you make a final decision? With any landscape designer you decide to contact, asking the following questions can help you get a better understanding of how they work, what they specialize in, and whether they’re the right fit for your project.

1. Are They Licensed and Insured?
Business licenses and insurance are bare minimum requirements for reputable landscaping companies in NJ. Licenses tell you that a landscape designer fundamentally and verifiably knows what they’re doing, while insurance provides peace of mind that they’ll get the job done and a safety net if something goes wrong while they’re working on your property.

Top landscape designers like High Tech will have many licenses, and our landscape designers often pursue their own professional licenses in various disciplines of landscape design. We can also easily provide a certificate of insurance (COI), which we encourage you to request, especially for a larger project.

2. Have They Done Work in Your Area?
New Jersey has a distinctly seasonal climate that caters beautifully to certain plants but not so beautifully to others. Different parts of the state can also have slightly different climates, not to mention, totally different aesthetics. The best landscape designers in NJ know which plants to recommend as well as the codes and permit requirements from one town to the next for things like drainage, impervious coverage, retaining walls and more. See our service areas at High Tech, encompassing nine counties across NJ.

3. How Soon Can They Start?
Naturally, you’re excited to get your landscape looking its best. That said, if someone you’re thinking of hiring says they’re able to start tomorrow, it might be a sign that they’re cutting corners and/or seeing low demand for their services. The top landscape design companies in NJ all book their schedules out in advance of each season. That’s why it’s best to choose your landscape designer sooner rather than later (think a season or even two ahead) so you can have your project completed on or as close as possible to your desired timeline.

4. What Are the Payment Terms?
The traditional payment schedule for a landscape design-build project is 50 percent upfront (referred to as a deposit, though it’s essentially a pre-payment) and 50 percent upon completion. The deposit benefits both parties. As the client, you’re securing the landscape designer’s services. Meanwhile, the landscape designer is securing your business and will be incentivized to complete your project for the remaining payment. Landscape design isn’t a transaction; at High Tech, we see it as a partnership.

5. Who Will You Be Working with?
Someone or several people will be working right outside your home, possibly daily for an extended period if you’re creating your dream outdoor space or making major upgrades. You should know their name(s) and feel comfortable talking with them! The process of choosing a landscape designer is an opportunity to find the right match in terms of both personality and professionalism. Don’t be afraid to ask who your point of contact will be once the project is underway.

6. How Long Will the Project Take?
Quality, custom landscape design doesn’t happen overnight. You might be tempted to go with the company that can get your project done the fastest—but again, it’s not always a good thing if someone is able to get started immediately and complete the work exceedingly quickly. The timeline discussion is a good one to have upfront before you sign a contract so there are no surprises, and so you can hold your contractor accountable for any unexpected delays. At High Tech, we make it a point to communicate, educate, and deliver on our promises.

7. What Happens After the Project Is Done?
When your landscape designer finishes the final touches, they’ll be on their way and your landscape will be in your hands to care for. In fact, the final phase of bringing the landscape to life is often left to the homeowner. So, don’t let your landscaper leave without giving you instructions for watering, pruning, insect control, and any other plant maintenance. One of the benefits of working with a full-service landscaping company like High Tech is that you can also continue with us for ongoing residential landscaping services.

Ready to talk about your project? Contact us today and see why High Tech is one of the best landscape designers in NJ!

Get In Touch:

Contact us about your project ideas and our team will be in touch with you within 24 hours!