Choosing a Landscape Contrator

"Would You Cover My Yard in Daylillies?"

by Mike Dooley

Over a decade ago, I moved to New Mexico and one of the first things that happened to me was I got “ripped off” by someone in the Green Industry. After that I was scammed by a contractor who stole $6,000 in cash and another $6,000 in fraudulent purchases on my business accounts. I must admit that since he was “in the business,” I didn’t do what I recommend… CHECK THEM OUT!

Keep in mind scammers know that many of you can be seduced with a super low price. John Ruskin put it best, “The bitterness of poor quality lasts longer than the sweetness of low price.” AMEN!

Luckily, we now have the Internet and checking out contractors is a lot easier. Start with the Better Business Bureau (www.bbb.org ), but remember that just because someone has a complaint doesn’t mean that they were at fault. Be sure to see how it was resolved. Then go to the New Mexico Construction Industries Division website, http://www.rld.state.nm.us/Look_Up_a_License.aspx . Follow up with Angie’s List online at www.angieslist.com.

You may also want to check a contractor’s history with the Attorney General at 1-800-678-1508, or go to www.nmag.gov .

Choose well-known businesses for your needs, and read the contract completely. Assume that what is on the contract is ALL THAT WILL BE DONE. If you want something done that’s not on the contract, add it and have the contractor initial it!

Happy Gardening!