Hiring a landscape lighting contractor can be a daunting task!
Here is a list of questions to ask as you navigate through the process ensuring you make the right choice when hiring your lighting expert.
I would start when looking for a landscape lighting expert to ask your neighbors and friends if they have contractors in the area they would recommend. If you are new to the neighborhood, your architectural review board, local builders, or adjacent neighbors may be an excellent place to start for recommendations. Once you have a few lighting companies' names in hand, head over to a review website such as "Google My Business," Houzz, or Facebook, and spend some time combing through the reviews.
Additional Tip: Search for low ranking reviews on these sites and read the owner's response. If the owner is apologetic and willing to make things right, that is typically a great indicator of a contractor that cares about their clients and the quality of work they provide. You would be surprised as to how many contractors respond to such reviews with animosity.
Once you have found a few potential lighting contractors, it's time to see if your styles match. This is an excellent opportunity to spend some time reviewing their recent projects to see if their "lighting style" harmoniously flows with the expectation you have for your property. Once your project is underway, you will want to make sure you have a professional who understands your style and shares your project's excitement from inception to completion. Another critical factor in regards to style is how the contractor communicates with you, the customer. A good communicator will be able to hear your wants and desires, understand what you are looking for, and ensure you get exactly what you are hoping for. Spend a few hours calling each contractor to see who seems to be the best fit.
A great question to ask a prospect is what services they provide. This can often be a revealing question to understand further who it is that you are working with. It is my experience that you will always get the best price and outcome by hiring a specialist than hiring a landscaper that offers a full-service landscaping solution. This is also a great time to ask the contractor what services will be completed "in-house" and what will be "subbed-out" to other contractors or day laborers. This is a great way to see how the company operates on a day to day basis. Personally, I would only hire a company that offers complete in-house lighting design and installation.
Make sure that the same designer/associate that has been working with your project from the beginning is the one that will be managing the process of bringing your lighting design to life.
Before signing any proposals, it is essential to get an idea of the company's schedule and estimated time for completion. You should also ask the prospective contractor if any projects have gone over budget and why. An experienced company will rarely if ever, go over the discussed budget.
Make sure the company that you are hiring is licensed and insured and ask for proof of both. Checking for license and insurance is essential before hiring your outdoor lighting professional.
Any lighting professional you hire should outline a warranty in their proposal. Hiring a contractor that warrants their work will give you peace of mind knowing that things will be constructed right the first time, and in the small chance something fails, you are covered.
While low-voltage lighting systems require minimal maintenance, it is a good idea to have a contractor managing your system to ensure the longevity of the system and keep the design exactly as intended. Plus, landscapers and other contractors are notorious for driving over lighting fixtures, bumping them, and altering the fixtures, so it’s nice to have the same contractor who installed them easily stop by and readjust or fix any issues. Companies that offer a maintenance program after project completion are typically interested in having a client for life. This often equates to a superiorly installed lighting system.
We had a wonderful experience from beginning to end with Cory and Beacon Lighting. He was patient, courteous, and professional. Beyond that, Cory was able to take the vague ideas of how we wanted our home to look, and come up with a vision that well exceeded our expectations. The installation was seamless, and the final result is amazing. We absolutely love our new lighting and the extra beauty it brings to our home and landscaping.
Cory is simply the best! If you are looking for a company to help you with outdoor lighting, you have found the best. We had a great experience with Cory, he is a hard worker, very professional, and is respectful about keeping to a budget. I would give him 6 stars if I could!
We are here to answer all of your outdoor lighting questions. We are committed to excellence in all that we do, and we look forward to hearing from you soon.
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