While some people may find a lawn care service company that by just using their neighbor’s, picking randomly from a phonebook or taking the lowest quote, often this can lead to work being done late, poorly or not at all. You can avoid the hassles and the headaches by choosing the right lawn company instead of just the most convenient or cheapest.
References. While getting referrals from family members, friends, neighbors and co-workers is a great way to find a company that others have had a good experience with, always follow-up on those recommendations. Ask the lawn care service company to give some references from satisfied customers and always check with the Better Business Bureau for a history of customer complaints, especially ones that remained unresolved.
Reliability. One of the most common complaints made about lawn service companies is that they do not show up when they say they will or do not do the work they said they would. When you check references, be sure to ask about this issue.
Licensed and Insured. Not all companies are properly licensed and have liability and worker’s compensation insurance. Instead, you will be responsible for damages or injuries caused when they are on your property, so it is a good idea to hire only those companies that are properly licensed and insured. While not an sign that they will do quality work, it does suggest that they took the time and spent the money for licensing.
Communication. Like being unreliable, failure to communicate is another frequent problem. Note whether the company gets back to you with promised information on time. Make sure that services, agreements, pricing, etc. are all put in understandable, clear language. Also try to get an idea of whether will listen to you. You want to trust that they know what you want and will provide that instead of just agreeing with what you’ve said without really listening.
Services. The services provided will vary. Most offer mowing, edging, trimming and fertilizing. Additional services can include application of pesticides or fungicides, liming, aeration and dethatching. They may do more extensive lawn repairs, re seeding, trim hedges and bushes, mulching, and even sprinkler installation and maintenance. Think about what lawn care you want the company to offer and make sure they offer all those services.
Job Details. In addition to what they offer, request information about what each job includes. Some will just mow the grass, while others include edging and weed trimming after each mowing without any additional charges. Also find out how often they offer each service you need and their recommendations for the frequency of different lawn care processes.
Value. Some people just pick whoever has the cheapest quote, but then find out they are spending a lot more to get the extra services they want or because the company is over-servicing the lawn to make more money. Spending a little more upfront often costs you less in the long run.
Quality. No matter how cheap it is, poor quality work will just leave you frustrated and may create more problems and costs. You want to hire a company whose employees are committed to doing good work every time they care for your lawn.
Experience. Ask how long the lawn service company has been around and the experience of both the owner and those who will actually service your lawn. New companies with newer employees can give you great service, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask. Also ask about any training and education, including membership in and certification from a local or national lawn care association. Those with on-going training and continuing membership are more likely to be up-to-date on the best lawn care practices, tools and products. This is especially important for services that go beyond just cutting the grass.
Scheduling. While this isn't a major issue for many people, if you have a particular time of day you don’t want the lawn mowed (like when someone is sleeping) or a certain day that you prefer, not all lawn service companies will accommodate your schedule or will only do that for an additional fee. Be sure you know what it will cost you to have your preferred time and day.
*Learn more about lawn aeration.