A Guide for Homeowners: Planning, Hiring and Paying for Your Project

Hirescapes was specifically designed to help customers plan their project, protect them from overpaying, and improve their overall project experience. In order to achieve these goals, Hirescapes built a platform that streamlines the entire project from start to finish, allowing both customers and contractors to save time, money and frustration.

Guide for Homeowners

Once your project is posted on our platform, contractors will submit estimates (bids) directly through our platform. Using Hirescapes’ detailed project briefs, the contractor will see all the essential project details, allowing them to provide the most accurate estimates, without having to go onsite first. When you have selected a contractor / estimate for your project, the contractor will be notified and will be required to complete an onsite visit, and then complete a final proposal. All of this will be done through Hirescapes. This simple two-step process saves both the homeowner and the contractor time, money and frustration.

When it comes to planning, hiring and paying for your project, the entire process is simple and streamlined. This allows customers to quickly get back to their busy lives. In order to fully understand what goes into each step, we suggest reading our Homeowner’s guide below.

Planning Your Project

Inspiration Board

Filled with thousands of photos from the best local contractors, Hirescapes inspiration board is a priceless tool that helps homeowners get ideas, visualize their dreams and choose materials for their project. When you see a photo that you “like”, simply click the photo and it will be saved on your personal board in your account. If you need additional help, your project consultant can help you design your project and select materials based on the collection of photos you’ve liked.

Tell Us About Your Project

Whether this is the very beginning of planning your project, or you know exactly what you want; We ask homeowners to fill out a brief questionnaire about their project and to schedule a call to speak with a project consultant. This helps ensure we can guide homeowners in the right direction. Don’t worry if you’re missing any details, your project consultant will be able to help you fill in the blanks, and address any questions or concerns you may have during the call.

Site Visit with Project Consultant

This is one of the biggest assets that Hirescapes provides customers. Whether you know exactly what you want or if you're looking for ideas, an industry expert will help you design the perfect project for your yard. The project consultant will also take all the measurements, site pictures, and complete a detailed project brief. This allows contractors to be able to accurately bid on your project. To learn more ways “How a project consultant can save you money”, read this.

Approve Your Project

After your project consultant finalizes your project brief, it will be submitted to you for approval. Please read the project brief thoroughly to ensure all the details line up with what was discussed during the site visit. Once you approve the project, it will be posted on Hirescapes and interested contractors will submit their bids. You will start to receive estimates from contractors typically within 24 hours of your project posted date.

Hiring a Contractor for Your Project

Reviewing Estimates

Rather than pricing projects out with a “grand total”, estimates are broken down between core projects and accessory projects. For example, a fire pit, sitting wall and patio would all be priced separately so that customers have more transparency when comparing estimates. We encourage customers to review contractors profiles and past work, and not just the contractor’s bids. You can schedule a site visit with your favorite contractors and decline estimates from contractors you aren’t interested in. When you click “Schedule Site Visit”, you will see the days and times the contractor has available and can select the date and time that works best for you.

Contractor Site Visit

Prior to contractors submitting a final proposal, it’s required that the contractor completes a site visit with the customer to confirm all the details from the project brief. This ensures the customer is comfortable working with the contractor. Within 48 hours of completion from the site visit, contractors will be required to submit their final proposal. When the contractor has submitted their proposal, Hirescapes will send you an email notification.

Reviewing Proposals

Similar to estimates, proposals are easy to understand and compare. However, proposals provide much more details about the project, including the timeframe for completion, approximate start date, warranty information, and final pricing including tax or discounts. We encourage customers to read proposals thoroughly. If there are any questions, you can message the contractor for clarification. Once your happy with the proposal, you can hire your contractor by clicking “Accept proposal”. The contractor will reach out to confirm a start date as soon as they approve the proposal.

Paying for Your Project

Payment Types

You are not required to pay contractors through the platform, but its is encouraged. You will be able to pay with a credit card or through your linked checking/savings account. We encourage customers to use their bank account for larger purchases to ensure smoother transactions. You can easily and securely pay with your bank account by using your banking login information.

Payment Milestones

Our escrow-like payment process follows industry standard payment milestones of thirds (⅓) . All milestone payments are preset and are linked to the accepted proposal.Contractors will submit a request for payment when each milestone is complete.

  • Milestone 1: This is the first milestone payment. This deposit is the first ⅓ of the total project cost and secures a date within the contractor’s schedule. Homeowners are prompted to make their first milestone payment upon accepting the contractors proposal. This is the only payment that will be requested until the project starts.

  • Milestone 2: This is the second milestone payment. This payment will represent ⅔ of the project and will be equal to your first payment. When your project is started, the contractor will request this second payment. You will receive an email and notification letting you know the contractor has requested payment.

  • Milestone 3: This is the final milestone payment. This payment will be equal to the last 2 payments, unless your contractor has requested a change order. We advise contractors to conduct a walk through with homeowners to ensure satisfaction. Once it has been determined that the homeowner is satisfied with the completion of the project, contractors will submit a request for this final milestone payment.

Change Orders

We understand during construction, some project scopes may change. Whether you add to the project or decrease the project size (and are owed a credit), this will be represented as a “Change Order” when the contractor submits their final payment request.

All change orders need to be approved by customers. You will notice the change order attached to milestone 3. If you approve of the changes, you can submit your final payment to close out the project.

Project Consultant / Support Team

If you have any questions or concerns throughout the planning, hiring, or payment process, please reach out to us. Our highly experienced Support Team can help guide you in the right direction, or connect you with the Project Consultant managing your project.

You’ve now completed reading the Homeowner’s Guide to planning, hiring and sending payments. This blog covered everything you need to know if you are new to using Hirescapes! If you have any additional questions, please reach out to our Support Team, send us an email or contact us via LiveChat. We look forward to working with you and helping you create the outdoor living space of your dreams!

Keywords: Hirescapes, hardscape, milestones, secured payment, project consultants