To avoid being the victim of a rogue trader always follow these simple steps:
Try and use companies and contractors who are part of a registered trade organisation as they get vetted for quality of their work and the health of their business. Members of The Association of Professional Landscapers are vigorously checked every year.
If you are using social media platforms to find your contractor, try and use recommendations and do as much research as you can.
Always try and see the contractors’ last two or three jobs. If possible go and see a project from previous years; discuss with the clients about the contractor you are looking to use and find out as much as you can to see if they are right for you and your project.
Avoid anyone that targets your doorstep and says they can start tomorrow.
Always get three individual estimates and make sure they are all pricing against the same specifications, plans and information you provide to avoid ambiguity.
Make sure you check that the contractor/individual you employ has up to date public/employers liability, professional indemnity and/or a full contractors policy in place before engaging into any contract.
If you’re planning on doing any work on a boundary line, if you are in a conservation area or think you might need planning permission get the information & consent before work starts on site to avoid incurring any unnecessary or unexpected costs.
It’s always polite for you and the contractor to discuss works with neighbours as there will be noise, dust and deliveries arriving for your project which may affect them.
Always have clearly set out payment terms for the project, along with start and finish dates, and anything that’s not included in your project.
There might be a lot of questions you have for the company so don’t be shy and always ask as any good organisation will be more than happy to discuss every step of the project.