Lawn Care Services
Given the unpredictable and oft-changing climate lately, it can be difficult to maintain your lawn the way that you want it. The wild fluctuations in temperatures, as well as unusual drought conditions or localized flooding can all wreak havoc on your yard. Sometimes it might seem like you need a Ph.D. in lawn care just to have your lawn looking like you want it to. Although such a degree may not be possible, there are people who are experts at this subject and can provide you with great, affordable lawn care services.
Although you may think that professional lawn care services are only for the wealthy, that is not the case. With a little scouting and some legwork, you can find a service that can provide you good quality lawn care, without breaking the bank. Plus, you will save money because you will have no need to shell out cash to repair that old broken lawnmower or to buy fertilizer or other products on your own, which may end up not working anyway due to your lack of expertise.
The first step is to think about what you want the lawn care service to do for you. There is a wide variety of options, starting with basic mowing, which you could cheaply hire the neighbor’s son to handle, all the way up to sculptured manicuring. Most often people’s needs fall somewhere in between. You can hire a lawn care service to mow your lawn, set up sprinkler systems, rake leaves, clean up brush, and pull weeds from your flower bed. You can also have them plant new grass seed, sod, or even artificial grass.
Once you have determined what exactly it is you want from a lawn care service, you should start researching what companies do work in your area. If you admire a friend or neighbor’s lawn, ask them what service they use or note the name of the company when you see the work truck in your neighbor’s driveway. You can also ask for recommendations at work or other places when you are chatting with people who own their own homes.
If you are completely lost at where to start, you can also consult the yellow pages or a referral service that can provide you with the names of some local companies. Ideally, you would be able to interview someone with the company in order to find out their level of expertise, costs, and limitations. You can also ask to see some of their work, perhaps in a binder of photographs they may have that shows off their lawn work.
Once you have selected the lawn care service that you think is right for you, make sure you draw up an agreement with them. It is important to lay out exactly what work you want done and how much that will cost, so that there are no surprises. You should also think about including in the agreement what kinds of products you want used on your lawn. For example, if you are worried about toxic products around your children or pets, you may want them to use safer alternatives. You may also want to include a clause in there for termination of the contract, should their work level not be what you hoped. All of this should be laid out in the contract so that there are no problems later.
If you fail to receive great lawn care services with the company you chose, it is best to move on. I personally prefer Scott’s lawn service. Keep in mind that you hired the service to improve your lawn and you should make sure that is happening. Having a great lawn is a luxury that you should relish, especially when you were able to get that lawn without too much work on your part.
How to Choose a Lawn Care Service
When it comes to choosing a lawn care service there are a lot more factors to consider than simply the price. The company you hire will be more intimately involved in your life than you may realize. Consider this: your lawn service will be on your property once a week, sometimes more, and be responsible for maintaining one of the most important features of your home—your yard. Most often they will be unsupervised, performing their job during the day when the house is typically uninhabited. Will your lawn service divulge mishaps to you for which they were responsible? A shattered window, broken sprinkler heads, or damages to the exterior of your house are not unheard of accidents in the lawn mowing profession. Even the most seasoned workers can make an honest mistake. How much trust can you place in your lawn service?
This is where a company’s reputation becomes paramount. Ask your potential lawn service the following questions:
- How long have they been in business?
- How many accounts do they have, and what are some of the more prominent ones?
- How many crews do they have, and will the same crew be on your property each week?
- Can they provide references?
- Are they licensed and insured?
Unsatisfactory answers to any of these questions give cause for concern.
Next, find out what services your potential lawn company offer. For instance, do they do tree work such as pruning, removing large branches or fronds, or cutting a tree down and grinding the stump? Do they provide fertilizing services for the lawn and the shrubbery? Can they treat your lawn and shrubbery for weeds, pests and fungus? Are they able to do irrigation work such as repairing broken pipes, adding sprinkler heads to an existing system, replacing solenoids and timers, or installing a complete irrigation system? Can they install new sod? Do they provide landscaping services such as replacing old or dead plants, designing a bed, or applying mulch, rock or other ground cover? Determine the costs of each of these services. Find out which ones are included in your monthly fee, and which ones you’ll be charged extra for.
No one knows your yard better than you. You may have areas in your yard that past lawn services have had trouble with. Maybe there is a berm that is constantly scalped by the mower, or a pool that always seems to catch the grass clippings. Perhaps you have some rotary sprinklers that protrude from the sod and have become the target of one too many mower blades, or trees that past weed eaters have scarred beyond repair. Ask your potential lawn service how they intend to deal with these obstacles. If they cannot provide a solution then their level of skill and degree of professionalism must be questioned.
Finally, the topic of cost must be discussed. This is actually the easiest of all tasks. To determine the going rate for a property of your size and technical demand, call three different lawn companies and request an estimate. By gathering this information you’ll be equipped to know who is overcharging and who is being fair. If you have interviewed a lawn service adequately, taking into account all of the above information, and you feel very confident about a particular company yet their rates are higher, remember that as long as they are not grossly overcharging you, a few extra dollars each month may be well worth the peace of mind and confidence you’ll gain.
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