What You Should Look for When Hiring a Landscape Design Company in Phoenix

There are a lot of landscape design companies out there, especially in Phoenix. The desert landscape of Phoenix requires a very specific skillset. When you’re looking for a landscape design company for your hardscaping or backyard design needs your issue will be quality, not quantity. Finding your perfect landscape design company can be a combination of friendly recommendations and personal research. There are a few things you absolutely must look for when hiring a landscape design company in Phoenix. From skill and style to certifications and accreditation, you should make sure the landscape design company you’re working with has the right stuff. 


In Arizona, there is a specific organization that contractors have to get licensed through. The Registrar of Contractors—or ROC—distributes licenses to qualified contractors for commercial and residential work. Having this registration and licensing means that contractors in the ROC have gone through the proper channels for certification and training. Members of the ROC have been vetted and that takes a lot of the work out of researching their history. 

By law, anyone charging over $1000 for landscaping services in Arizona must be licensed. Despite that, there is a whole list of individuals still operating around Phoenix unlicensed. Working with an unlicensed landscape design company can be dangerous for several reasons. Because they were operating outside of the ROC there’s no proof that they have the proper training or certifications to get your backyard design job done safely. There’s also the financial risk. Landscapers will often ask for a portion of the payment upfront to cover material costs, this is a common way people get swindled by non-ROC members. The ROC helps to hold contractors accountable and keep tabs on their work history. 

Staying in good standing with the ROC is an important factor in your landscape design company search. The ROC is the equivalent of a professional reputation. They may have a decent word of mouth, but it’s important to review what the ROC has kept track of their jobs as well. Hiring a licensed landscape design company is a safe and easy way to get your job done. 


When you have a person or a team of people working on your property, you want to make sure they are responsible and trustworthy. There are several ways for landscape design companies to prove their dependability before their job even begins. Being a member of the ROC means much more than just a corporate seal of approval. 

The ROC is just one part of landscape designers getting the proper paperwork. A legitimate landscape design company should also be bonded and insured. Having small business insurance, like any other form of insurance, is a sign of responsibility. You never know when something might go wrong, or how, so having insurance is the only way to peace of mind. Insurance for small businesses is particularly important because it is so often the only safety net they have. Being bonded as a business is more for the assurance of the client. To be bonded, or have a surety bond, means that the company has certain client guarantees in place. A bonded landscape company will take responsibility for debt, default, or failure while on the job. 

These two accreditations are required to be enrolled in the ROC. If a landscape design company has one, they are likely to have the other. Because such a large percentage of landscaping jobs are done by unlicensed companies it’s clearly easy to operate outside of the ROC. But these companies are putting their workers and your property at risk. Make sure the landscape design company you are hiring takes your job, as well as your property’s safety seriously. 


Having a knowledgeable contractor is an obvious draw. But a solid landscape design company will be able to explain their process as well as do it. Going with a company that has been around the block will almost always be the safer bet than a newer company, but everyone has to start somewhere. To get a grasp on how knowledgeable a landscape design company is on things like backyard design and hardscaping we recommend asking questions and looking at previous jobs. 

A landscape design company doing business today should really have a website. No website is a bit of a red flag in this day and age. Take a look at a few different galleries to make sure the company can execute what you’re looking for in your own project. Set up a meeting and ask them questions about all of the elements you’re interested in. Phoenix landscape design is a unique style, so you should make sure that any company you’re considering has experience with hardscaping, river rock, proper paver installation, backyard design, and the like. 

A good landscape design company should have the confidence in their knowledge to be able to explain their process to anyone. Effectively explaining a method or process is a true test of knowledge and expertise. ROC enrolled landscape design companies should be able to perform certain elements with their eyes closed and explain them in a succinct and easily understandable way. Your ideal landscape design company should have the knowledge to back up their work and keep you up to speed on the entire project. 

Quality Material

The quality of the materials being used isn’t always up to you, especially if you choose the wrong landscape design company. To untrained eyes, all bricks, river rock, mortar, and similar landscaping supplies are all the same. But ROC certified and experienced landscapers know that that is never the case. Being able to source quality material is one of the main responsibilities of your landscape design company. You have to be able to trust their judgment. Picking the right material, in part, is a skill that comes from experience and lessons learned from previous jobs.  

As a general rule, materials purchased from big box stores won’t be of top quality. Experienced and qualified landscape design companies are much more likely to go for more reliable brands. They know that brands that offer warranties for professional installation are worth it. Understanding the importance of a reputable brand and the long-term benefits that come with quality. 

If subpar materials are used for your job everything could fall apart. One of the biggest obstacles of landscape design in Phoenix is the summer weather. The heat in the desert takes a toll on everything, having materials that will weather intense heat and storms is important. Using the proper materials is as much a part of the finished look of the project as it is the overall safety of the space you are creating.   

Material purchasing is where a majority of the cost-cutting comes from in landscape design. If you contract with an inexperienced or untrustworthy company you will certainly get what you paid for. 


There’s one thing that’s for certain: a landscape design company with a good reputation has done the work to earn it. Good landscaping and landscape design aren’t something that’s easily faked. It’s an aesthetic business, so it either looks good or it doesn’t. It either holds together or it falls apart. By reputation alone, you will know which companies are worth working with. A landscape design company that values its reputation is always going to put in its hardest work. 

Good word of mouth is so important to any company, and this includes landscape design. In landscaping, the work someone does will speak for itself, but it says nothing about work ethic. Client endorsements and testimonials are worth their weight in gold to both the company and future clients. As someone looking for a landscape design company, you can get an idea of who you’re dealing with before even contacting the firm. A reputation is a hard thing to build back up after it’s been tarnished. So it’s important for a company to do everything they can to keep up those positive reviews. 

ROC is essentially a professional reference and way to maintain a solid business reputation. ROC keeps track of complaints and issues from a company’s past and how it was resolved. Having a record like this is invaluable to people shopping for the best landscape design company. A good reputation can’t be overstated when you’re hiring a contractor. There are too many landscape design companies in Phoenix for you to waste your time with one with a bad reputation.

Landscape design in Phoenix really is a league of its own. When you are in the market for a landscape design company there are a few key things you should consider. Don’t take a gamble on an unlicensed company when the ROC offers so many benefits to its contractors and their clients. Making sure that the landscaper you have chosen is insured, certified, and bonded is the best way to ensure the best results for your project. Get to know the landscape design companies you’re considering in every way you can. Check out the company website, its rating online, customer testimonials, its gallery, ask around your neighborhood about it. 

Hiring a landscape design company can be an intense process, depending on what you want. Luckily, it has never been easier to research, contact, and consult with top firms in the area.

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