Americans enjoy the largest number of consumer options and service providers than ever before. People have a wide variety of choices in all arenas, whether they are car shopping, buying groceries, shopping at a clothing store, choosing insurance or even looking for service providers. Sometimes the abundance of choices and options can be overwhelming, so it's important to carefully examine all available options before making a decision. One area where Houston consumers have a wide variety of choices is with tree and landscape contractors. Today's blog post will look at three ways commercial property owners can choose the best landscape or tree care contractor for their specific property needs.
Avoid Choosing Contractors Solely On Price
One of the most popular phrases consumers hear is, "If it's too good to be true, it probably is." Property owners and managers should avoid simply choosing the lowest bid because they are often provide the lowest quality project results. These low bid contractors will often use the cheapest materials, along with unsafe equipment and poor workmanship. In addition, lower bid contractors will often tack on hidden fees or charges for materials, extra labor or specialized equipment rentals. For government entities and HOAs required to accept the lowest bid, by-laws should be amended to include disqualifying criteria to ensure the best results.
Check All References
Legitimate and professional tree and landscape maintenance contractors will gladly provide a list of references and clients satisfied with both their work and price. Before choosing a tree or landscape contractor, first check the references of jobs performed in the last year that are at an equal or greater dollar value than your current project. This helps ensure that you make the most informed and best choice for your property's needs.
Create A List Of Contractor Criteria
Property owners, government entities, HOAs and municipal property managers should also develop a list of criteria for all potential landscape and tree contractors to meet before awarding a project. This criteria list can be used to evaluate all submitted Requests for Proposal bids and provide additional factors to consider besides the bid price. This list may include: • Liquidated damages or penalties for projects not completed, or completed well past the original deadline. • Require proper certification and licensing, especially regarding work near utility lines. • Prohibit the use of subcontractors unless they are fully vetted by the same insurance and quality standards as primary subcontractors, and they should also approved by the property owner. • Require full RFPs that include all details related to materials, service methods and specialized equipment. Partial bids or business cards with general estimates will not be accepted or considered as legitimate bids.