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Choosing a Landscape Contractor

See section on selecting a Sub-contractor

Landscape contractors are masters of many crafts and skills. Some carry out concept design while all look after the practical work of creating the landscape. They will be able to suggest imaginative ways to solve the practical design challenges that may be encountered.

Practical work can range from earthworks, new contours, paving, building pergolas or retaining walls, importing new soil or rocks, water features, lighting and electrical through to selecting and planting the species of plants which will adorn the garden.

The contractor needs not only to be the master of these practical skills, but also to have the artistic ability and judgement, and the experience to know what works best. The landscaper has an in-depth knowledge of the material options and plant species available to achieve the effects sought; the right scents, textures, colours, foliage, blossom and size.

Typically the landscape contractor is not an individual who works alone. They require the support of an array of people to provide specialist skills in areas such as stone masonry, bricklaying, lighting, estimating and design. The contractor may be a firm with a few employees or a big landscape company employing dozens of workers.

To ensure against poor workmanship and to achieve a professional result overall you should always contact the Landscape Association of your State who can provide you with a list of members either within a certain geographical area or who can carry out a specific type of landscape work. Members are also very aware of and understand the constraints that builders often work under, such as contracts with tight time frames and provision for liquidated damages for jobs that are not completed on time.

There are clear advantages in ensuring that you deal with a member of the LCA. The LCA is a self regulating industry body formed by professional landscape contractors. Its charter is to set professional standards, foster the industry and look after the interests of consumers. Members have to comply with quality standards and a code of practice. The LCA requires members to have been in business for a minimum of 12 months prior to joining and they must pass a credit check. Association Board members physically inspect and check 4 or 5 recent landscaping jobs completed for quality of workmanship before approving any application to join. Members must also hold the relevant licence issued by the Office Fair Trading for their scope of works.

To be granted their licence applicants must have a minimum of 4 years practical experience in carrying out structural landscaping, or have attained an approved qualification such as the TAFE Landscaping Certificate or Associate Diploma in Applied Science (Landscaping). In addition all licence holders are required to have some form of business management skills obtained through a course of formal study and may be asked to show evidence of their financial resources before being granted a licence.

Landscaping can dramatically improve the value of a property and choosing the right landscaper for the project is the key to achieving the required results. Call the Landscaping Association in your State for your landscaping needs.


Landscape Contractors Association of NSW Limited PO Box 1226 BANKSTOWN, NSW 2200 Ph. (02) 9790 5151 Fax. (02) 9796 2726


Landscape Industries Association of Victoria & Landscape Industries Association of Australia Unit 4/1 Outlook Drive BURWOOD, VIC 3125 Ph. (03) 9889 0078 Fax. (03) 9889 0645


Queensland Association of Landscaping Industries Unit 1, 407 Logan Rd STONE CORNER, QLD 4120 Ph. (07) 3847 8365 Fax. (07) 3847 8359


Landscape Industries Association of Tasmania C/‑ Post Office GAWLER, TAS 7316 Ph. (004) 255 253 Fax. (004) 245 555


Landscape Association of South Australia Inc. PO Box 108 GOODWOOD, SA 5034 Ph. (08) 8210 5211 Fax. (08) 8231 4173


Landscape Industries Association of Western Australia PO Box 778 SUBIACO, WA 6008 Ph. (09) 244 3560 Fax. (09) 244 3560

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