Hiring a lawncare professional may be the solution for you. If you cannot consistently take care of your lawn, this might be a good option for you.
Whether you hire someone to maintain your lawn because you don't have the time, for health reasons or you just don't feel like doing the work yourself, you still have a vested interest in how your yard looks. You are paying for a service and you want to make sure you are satisfied. You also want to keep an eagle eye on your lawn to make sure you know of any problems as soon as possible so you can correct them before they spin out of control.
Setting expectations up front rather than on the backend is of the utmost importance. Having been in the landscaping business for over thirty years and having run a lawncare service for the last twenty years, I can say it is as important to me the professional as it is to you the customer. If you and your lawncare service are both on the same page, it makes for a much smoother business relationship.
As a guide for you, I have listed a few comments and questions that you can use when hiring your lawncare professional......
First and foremost, hire a company with a good reputation in your area.
Do you have to sign a contract?
How often do they mow?
At what height are the mower decks set? Remember, you only want to remove 1/3 of the blade of grass at a time.
Are the same people going to cut your grass each week? You want to develop a comfort level with these individuals. If the personnel changes each week, this is hard to accomplish. You want these people to have a comfort level with the design of your yard. You also want to make sure there is consistency in the quality of work from week to week.
Is weekly line trimming and clean-up afterwards included? Some companies may cut corners and not provide this service. You want your landscaper to do a thorough job.
Do they edge around the driveway and sidewalks at least once a month?
Do they bag the grass clippings? You already know how I feel about this practice.
What is their policy about cutting the grass during or after it has rained? Remember, it is best for your grass not to be wet when it is cut. Wet grass tends to tear and doesn't look neatly trimmed. When hiring a lawn service they have many customers they have to fit in during a seven day period. This practice may be unavoidable for them.
How many times a year do they mow? 30 times is pretty typical in the midwest.
Are spring and fall clean-ups included or is there an extra charge? Typically, there is an extra charge. Especially in the fall when the leaves have fallen.
Upon request, does your lawncare professional provide other services other than cutting the grass (i.e. apply fertilizer, aerate, dethatch, etc)?
Do they mow weekly even if there is a drought? Do you get charged if they don't mow?
Do they charge you per mow or is a flat monthly fee charged regardless of the number of times they mowed?
What methods of payment do they accept (i.e. cash, personal check and/or credit cards). I have a funny story for you. I know of a landscaper that requires his customers to leave cash under a doormat or a rock every week. Each week when he arrives at the customers home the first thing he does, even before unloading his equipment, is to check and make sure the weekly fee is left in the agreed upon place. If the homeowner forgot to leave the cash, he gets into his truck and drives off. That lawn is skipped for the week. I don't know about you, but that is not the type of business relationship I want.
Just because you hire a professional, don't think that you are completely off the hook. The sole reason you hire a professional is to handle the weekly lawn maintenance. That doesn't mean they are going to clean up after you, your family or your pets. There is a proper etiquette that you should follow......
Use the pooper scooper before they come.
Take a weekly walk around your yard and pick up garbage.
Pick up toys or anything else that would obstruct your lawncare professionals job.
Ask for and check references. Visit other clients they have to see if the work they do meets your expectations.
Hiring a lawncare professional may be a great option for you. It may allow you to have that extra quality time with your family. Setting expectations up front will allow you to be a satisfied customer.
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