There's a lot of eye candy at home and garden shows. But if you look past the pretty displays, there's a good chance you'll meet that special contractor.
“I think it's a great place to start a relationship,” says Donell Heberer Walton, a home and garden show producer. “Not everyone gets along and works well with everybody, so it's nice to start a relationship here, so you can talk with 35, 40, 50 different landscape contractors or whatever your project might be, and create that relationship.”
Experts say home and garden shows are also a great place to find a contractor who understands your vision.
“Take pictures of the area of your home you want to tackle with your project and take them with you,” says Angie Hicks of Angie's List. “You can take them on a tablet, a laptop –and that way your contractor can really see what you are talking about.”
“Everybody has pictures on their smart phones nowadays, which is so great, and it gives us just that little clip that will give us a lot of information,” says Tom Fellegy, a landscape architect. “I mean, they say a picture is worth a thousand words, and that really is true.”
Experts say you can still pull off a big project on a tight budget if you have time to break the project up into phases.
“Typically we like to say ‘Dream Big,' and then we'll dial it back,” says Fellegy.
Many of the contractors at these shows are familiar and friendly with one another, so if you want something done that they don't specialize in, they will often send you to the right company just across the aisle.
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