Your lawn is the first impression people have of your house, and like any first impression, it’s important that you make the right one. Hiring a professional lawn care service ensures that you always will—as long as you hire the right company.
Ask the following five questions before you purchase a lawn care service:
1. What services do you want?
Do you enjoy lawn care and want to do some of it yourself? Or is the company going to do everything from fertilization to mowing and shrub/tree maintenance? What about winter proofing and other seasonal maintenance?
Some companies only offer basic mowing and tree/shrub maintenance, whereas others offer any lawn care related service you can think of. Lawn care companies that offer more services also frequently offer bundled service packages, and many will negotiate individualized service packages.
2. How would you like to pay?
Would you like to make a single annual payment and not have to worry about lawn care for a whole twelve months? Are small monthly payments better for your budget? Do you want to be able to cancel your service at any time?
Many companies offer both a lawn maintenance service with a monthly fee and one-time services that require a single payment. Some also allow you to make a single annual payment on maintenance services. This costs more up front but often saves you money in the long run.
3. What companies serve your area?
Now that you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to begin the search. Start by asking your neighbors for recommendations. They’ll likely be able to give you an insight into how the services actually work, rather than just a company name.
Once you’ve got a list of names, take the time to research each one individually. Look through the company’s website, and if you’re impressed, search for reviews on third party websites. A company will always curate only the best testimonials on their website, so the information on third party sites is the most trustworthy.
4. What kind of licensing do they have?
States, provinces and even some municipalities have their own local bylaws governing licenses for lawn care services. Research what the licenses are in your area, then look for that licensing on company websites.
Using an unlicensed company is often more affordable, but licensing implies a certain level of training and competence in the field. If you want the best possible care for your lawn a licensed professional is always the way to go.
5. What kind of insurance do they have?
You don’t need to know every little detail of their policy, but you do need to know that you won’t be held financially responsible for injuries workers receive on your property. A good company should at least have insurance covering injuries and damage to equipment on your property. This keeps everyone involved safe.
You probably won’t be able to find this information on the company website, but don’t be afraid to ask during your initial consultation. If they hesitate to answer or can’t provide an answer, run the other way. The last thing you need is a lawsuit from an injured lawn worker.
Most lawn care companies now offer some kind of free consultation/estimate service, so you can get specific quotes from various companies and compare. Always get quotes from at least three companies to make sure you’re really getting the best deal.