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Hiring a lawn care service isn’t as easy as one would think. Where does one even start? What questions do you need to ask? Do you hire a neighborhood kid or a professional? Who plants the grass? Who decides when a service is needed?
Is it time to hire a lawn care professional?
Lawn care is a very important curb appeal of a home. Lawns need to be regularly mowed, weeded, edged, controlled for pests, reseeded and fertilized. Often the amount of time needed to properly care for a lawn can be extensive. With today’s busy schedules, people often are busy with work and family, to care for their yard properly.
We used to have our three boys care for our yard so we had a plethora of options in maintaining our home and now they are all grown up and the last one is moving out. Now we have to start looking for someone to maintain our yard so that we can focus on the things we do best. I never thought that I would hire someone but I run out of time and it really is an inexpensive way to keep the yard looking nice without taking up any of my time.
Types of lawn care professionals
There are several types of options for lawn care services from large professional organizations, small family ran business, to the neighborhood kid making a few extra dollars. Who you choose will depend on the size of your lawn and what type of maintenance you’ll need.
For weekly or bi-weekly mowing of the lawn, it is quite acceptable to choose someone that is less expensive. Maybe that neighborhood kid. However, if you are looking for more in-depth maintenance. One that might need some training and an artistic eye then one might need to look for a more professional landscaper.
Most people who opt for using a neighbor to do their regular lawn upkeep will not ask for a service contract. For this type of work, it is not necessary and even if they don’t show up, you can get another person or professional service without too much hassle. Make sure though, that you pay after the work is completed so you can inspect the job and ensure quality work. You may need to occasionally hire a professional to do some more sophisticated things like pest control or landscaping.
Tips on hiring a professional lawn service
If you are hiring a professional lawn service company, there are several things you should look for.
- Ensure they have experience and the ability to do full-service lawn care. This would include mowing, weeding, edging and fertilizing.
- See if they also provide services such as pest control, seeding and landscape design.
- Choose only the services you will need on a regular basis and obtain quotes for additional items as necessary.
- Ask them if it is done month to month or on a contractual agreement. If you sign an agreement then make sure it specifies what days they will come, how often they will provide service, and what services are included.
- What are the cancellation process and terms for service?
- Find out what steps need to be taken to ensure you are able to change things if needed.
- Get proof of insurance. In case the company damages your lawn, you want to be sure you are covered.
- Check how long they have been in business, and always check referrals.
- Many will give discounts if they are already working in the same neighborhood. So be sure to ask and track down professionals that are already working on your neighbor’s yard.
Tips on hiring a neighbor kid
Hiring a neighbor kid to mow and weed eat your yard is much simpler than hiring a professional and much more affordable. However, remember that you get what you pay for. A neighbor kid may do a great job but you will probably only get them to mow and weed eat. They are not professionals. But it is great to help them develop that and earn money.
Make sure that you are fair with them and don’t take advantage, but don’t overpay either. I strongly believe that some kids have unrealistic expectations of real life. Example being that they mow my 200 sq ft lawn for $100. Or pay $35 an hour. Is that something they would get as a professionally trained lawn specialist? Probably not…at least not for a mow and weed eat job.
Some kids come and ask to mow lawns and a very inexpensive…too low price. Be fair. If they say they will mow a 200sq ft yard for $5. Offer more or give them a good tip.
A realistic cost is $10-$15 an hour. Or $25 a lawn depending on the size.
The downfall of hiring a neighbor kid is that they are kids and learning so you can’t be too picky. Do you have what it takes to give constructive criticism or accept your yard with the quality work they provide?
The great thing is that you will be providing an opportunity for them to be an entrepreneur and gain skills, earn money, and learn some valuable lessons.
Finding someone who can maintain your yard is an easy and fairly affordable to free up time. And if you ask your friends, family, and neighbors it’s fairly easy to find someone that can help keep your lawns curb appeal all while freeing you up to focus on the things you do best.
Now, will you hire a professional or a neighbor kid?
Check out more landscape tips and ideas on Handyman Larrys Pinterest