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Lawn care can be difficult work for those who are older or unable to do strenuous work. Hiring a company to take care of your yard is not as simple as it may seem. There are many boxes to check before signing a contract and paying a company.
Mowing the lawn and taking care of the landscaping is not everyone’s idea of a good time. Some enjoy getting outside and working with plants, but others want to enjoy the look of the landscape without having to do the maintenance. If you are one of the latter, you are likely looking to hire a lawn care company.
Company websites and word-of-mouth advertising are often how lawn care companies find their business. Do your research and discuss the following topics before hiring anyone.
Here are 8 things to consider before hiring a lawn care company:
When looking for a company to take care of your yard, you want to find a company with a positive reputation. Many service providers will have reviews online through their website or a third-party website.
Many companies rely on word-of-mouth advertising through neighborhoods. You can often spot the same workgroup at different houses on the same street. If you are unsure who to hire, ask your neighbors who they have hired, or speak with one of the employees after they have finished their work down the street.
Those that work under lawn care or gardeners contracts do not require a license to do their work in many states. Before hiring a lawn care company, check your state regulations to see if they are required to have a license to maintain your yard.
Companies doing landscaping do require a license to work in most states. If you plan on building anything new in your yard, ensure the company has the proper licenses.
Insurance is essential for your lawn care company in case of accidents that happen on your property. If they are uninsured or your contract does not release your liability, you could be on the hook for any medical bills they accrue while working on your property.
Not only do insurance policies cover injuries, but they cover property damage as well. If the lawn care company damages your property and they are uninsured, you will be liable to pay for the repairs yourself.
Everyone wants a company that is reliable and will show up and does the work they are getting paid for every week. Before hiring a company long term, ask them for references that show their work ethic and results.
If a company is unable to provide you with references, as they may be a new company or unable to provide their customer’s information as a reference, consider hiring them on a temporary contract to see for yourself. If you are satisfied with their work, you can make the contract permanent.
Mistakes will happen when caring for a garden. A plant will get destroyed by the lawnmower, or a tree branch will damage the ceramic gnome the branch falls on. Ask the company before signing the contract if they pay for the damages or if the burden falls on you.
Be cautious if they will give you a price without seeing your lawn or asking any other questions about the state of your yard. A company will likely set up a time to visit your home and see what type of maintenance is needed and give you a personalized quote.
Cost for Service Comparison:
It is wise to get multiple quotes for the same job to ensure you are getting a good deal. If the company knows you are looking to hire a different company instead, they may lower their rates to compete for your business.
When you get multiple quotes, ensure they are for the same service and are itemized. It can be misleading if one quote covers weekly lawn mowing and plant maintenance weekly, and the other quote only covers lawn mowing every other week.
Contract or Verbal Agreement:
Some lawn care companies will work on a verbal agreement as long as they get paid for their services. Others will require a contract, and it is vital that you read the contract before signing to ensure that it states what was agreed upon by both parties.
Check to see if the contracts are monthly, yearly, or open-ended. This helps you to understand the commitment you are making both financially and for how long.
Ask to see how often they do maintenance on their tools to keep them sharp and clean them. Some plant diseases can be spread by dirty pruners, so it is essential that they clean their tools often.
Most lawn care companies will have their own tools. Ask if there is a discount if they use the tools you already have. This will take some of the burdens of their tools and cost them less in maintenance costs.
Enjoy Your Garden:
Gardening and maintenance are not for everyone. Some people like to get dirt on their hands and crawl on the ground looking for weeds to pull, but many prefer to hire a contractor. Lawn maintenance can be difficult for those who are elderly or those who do not have free time on the weekends or during the week after work.
Making the choice to hire a lawn care company can give you back the hours you spent caring for your grass and can give you more time with the family on the weekends. If you are unsure where to start, ask your neighbor for their company’s contact information or search online for companies in your area.
A few minutes of research could save you the headache of having to find a new company after only a few weeks. Many companies will be more than happy to answer any of your questions, and the ones that aren’t should be avoided. Most of all, enjoy your luscious green lawn and a few extra hours on a Saturday. You deserve it.