There are many reasons to hire a professional lawn care contractor. Of course, you’ll want to interview several contractor candidates before you turn over that mundane-but-necessary outdoor chore.
But with so many possible lawn care vendors to consider in practically any geographic area, how do you go about narrowing down your array of available choices? As with any service-based business, you’ll want to hire lawn care professionals who take pride in their work, are committed to quality work, and strive to achieve customer satisfaction.
Start by asking around. What service do your friends and neighbors use? The idea is to compile a “shortlist” of possible lawn care providers in your service area to use as a starting point. Read on for six key things to keep in mind up-front, before further narrowing down your list or making any hiring decision.
What Experience Do They Have?
A chief consideration when choosing a lawn care service is whether they’re thoroughly trained and ready to handle your job. Does the company focus on both commercial and residential lawns or do they specialize in one or the other?
Is the company locally owned? Are they licensed and insured? Do the workers know how to analyze the health of your lawn and make recommendations for what it needs to become lush, healthy, and reach its full potential?
If you’re in an area of the country that experiences especially harsh winters, you’ll want a service that knows how to rejuvenate your turf grass in the spring. Even the healthiest of lawns can succumb to damage caused by extremely frigid temperatures.
Experienced lawn care professionals can offer tips and advice for your specific property and its unique challenges. Pros will be on top of the optimal methods for dealing with grass mold, pests, or other problems that can keep your lawn from looking tidy and well-kept.
You want 100% confidence the experience the service brings to the equation is a great match for your lawn’s characteristics.
What Equipment Will They Use?
Maintaining and storing your own lawn care equipment, plus supplying the power or gasoline, can be a homeowner’s headache. Luckily, professional lawn care services transport and use their own equipment and tools.
Do the lawn care service candidates you’re considering have the right equipment to handle the turf on your particular property, whether you have a relatively flat yard, gentle slopes, or even steep hills?
Ask about maintenance, particularly how often mower blades are sharpened to ensure a consistent quality of cut. Homeowners generally don’t remember to change or sharpen their own mower blades very often. In contrast, a professional lawn care service will have a set number of mowing hours, 10 hours is fairly common before they change or sharpen blades.
What is the Price and Payment Terms?
A quick rule of thumb is to get written estimates from at least three different companies to have points of comparison for the lawn work you want to be done. Are the lawn care services offering to do the work for a fair price in your area? Is a service contract required? If so, what are the terms of the contract?
Be sure to do your due diligence around how the billing and payment process works for each candidate on your shortlist. Will your charges be automatically billed to a credit card attached to your account? Or will a paper invoice be generated and left behind? Can your payment be made by check?
Does the lawn care service offer discounts for customer referrals? Figuring out the terms and pricing can be crucial to decide on which lawn care service is right for you. Some lawn-care services also offer snow removal in the cold months, so be sure to ask and negotiate accordingly.
What Do Their Loyal Customers Say?
Before you make a decision and hire a particular lawn care service, you’ll want to learn about the company’s reliability, work ethic, and attention to detail. Look online and read the company’s published reviews for starters.
Ask the lawn service how many of their customers are repeats and request a list of reference names. Reputable lawn care services will be strongly rooted in service and be more than happy to provide names of references for you to call.
Be sure to check each company’s provided references. Ask the references to talk about whether the lawn care company is dependable, consistent, affordable – and whether they follow through on what they say they’ll do. Also ask the references about how quickly the lawn care professionals respond to their questions.
And always check the Better Business Bureau (BBB)’s website for their impartial rating of the company to add to your own research. Doing some up-front legwork to research the reputation of different lawn care services will pay off when it’s time for you to whittle down your list of candidates and make an informed decision.
What Standard Services Are Offered? What Services Cost Extra?
Outsourcing lawn care services will undoubtedly save you time. And professional lawn care services supply their own equipment, additionally saving you money and storage space.
Does your potential lawn care service offer spring/fall clean-up services, mulching, weekly mowing, fertilization and weed control, shrub/tree trimming, aeration and overseeding, leaf blowing, and removal of debris and clippings?
How about trimming around obstacles, such as fire hydrants, raised garden beds, or mailboxes? How many workers would service your lawn? Find out what’s standard and what extra things could be done on request and billed as add-on services.
Then get specific estimates from your vendor finalists. For instance, how many applications of fertilizer and weed control treatment should be expected per season if you’re interested in that offering? There are many services that could help your lawn stay healthy but they may not be considered standard.
What, exactly, is included with weekly lawn mowing and what services get done with every single mowing visit? Power blowing of clippings from all hard surfaces? Edging? Find out what’s included in the quoted price for standard visits so there are no surprises.
How Does The Process Work?
Before hiring a lawn care service, you’ll want to know the ins and outs of how the process works for each potential vendor. Do you get to pick your preferred day and time, or will a “normal” day/time be assigned to your property? Many lawn care services do their work in the morning so if you like to sleep in late you may prefer to know that ahead of time.
Do you need to be home when the lawn care work is done? Are Saturday hours available? What happens if it’s raining on your scheduled service day? Finding out the answers to all your questions should be easy to do, but if you find a service reluctant to answer that could be a red flag.
Is a service contract required? If so, does the contract automatically renew the following season unless you take action and cancel, or will your contract be strictly season-by-season? What’s the contract cancellation policy if you move away, lose your employment, or are dissatisfied with the vendor’s work?
You need to know the specifics for each lawn care service candidate, and how they vary before you can make any final decisions.
When you engage lawn care service professionals for your lawn, you’ll get a team of well-trained professionals ready to tackle your ongoing chore and free up your time for other things. They can help tackle crabgrass, moss, and weeds – and turn your lawn into a neighborhood centerpiece.
Plus, they’ll help make sure your lawn flourishes and looks its very best so you showcase your property to others and create a strong first impression of your home.