St. Louis, Mo., April 4, 2012 – Sunny spring days have many homeowners thinking about getting their lawns in shape. Some may want to get their lawn mowed while others may be considering a major landscaping project, such as a patio, deck or fence.
The Better Business Bureau (BBB) can help you find a reliable company. Free BBB Business Reviews provide background on thousands of local companies, including how they handle complaints and how long they’ve been in business. And the BBB Request A Quote option (accessible from BBB reviews or the BBB Accredited Business directory) allows you to request information directly from BBB Accredited Businesses.
“Recent warm spring days have many people itching to get to work on their yards or homes,” said Michelle L. Corey, BBB President & CEO. “Consumers need to know a company’s background before they ask for a bid. Checking companies out with the BBB is a good first step.”
Consumers can save themselves a lot of hassle by considering their budget and any deadlines they have for completing a project. You should ask contractors whether they have done work nearby and ask for addresses so you can inspect the work and ask other homeowners about their experience working with the company.
If you’re hiring a lawn service company for the season, make sure you and the lawn service have clear, written expectations for what the company will provide for the agreed-upon fees. Does the lawn need reseeding? Do you expect the company to sweep up clippings or do you want them left on the lawn to enrich the soil? Are there areas of the yard where extra care is needed to protect landscaping plants?
The BBB offers the following advice to help consumers find a lawn care or landscaping company:
- Know what you want. Lawn care and landscaping companies provide many services, so it is important to decide what services and products are appropriate for your needs and budget. What do you want the yard, patio or deck to look like when the job is complete?
- Ask around. Ask friends and family what lawn care companies they use. If you’re considering a major project like a deck or patio, ask friends if you can see their projects and ask how it was to work with the contractor.
- Check the company out with the BBB at www.bbb.org. BBB Business Reviews provide important background on businesses, such as how long they’ve been in business, who owns them and how they resolve complaints.
- Ask for a lawn inspection and free estimate. Lawn care companies that quote a price without seeing your lawn cannot be sure what you need. A landscaper will need to measure the area where the patio or deck will go and consider access to the yard. Quality companies will offer an estimate only after they see what they are working with.
- Request a written contract. A contract should clearly state the services you will receive, as well as how you will pay for it. If you are contracting for a recurring service, it should state how often the company will mow your lawn and when you will be billed.
- Remember the rule of thirds. If you’re getting a new patio, deck or major landscaping, consider paying a third of the contract amount to secure the contract, a third when the work is half done and the final third only after the job is completed and you are satisfied with the work.
Before you do business with a charity or company, check its BBB Business Review
or by calling 314-645-3300.Contacts:
Michelle Corey, President & CEO, 314-584-6800, email@example.com
, or Chris Thetford, Vice President-Communications, 314-584-6743 or 314-681-4719 (cell), firstname.lastname@example.org