There are many lawn care companies throughout the country and you can’t always judge these lawn care service companies by their appearance. After all, a company with a beat up old truck and equally beat up equipment might provide the best service, while that shiny new, professional looking truck may be filled with amateurs who have little real skill. How, then, do you evaluate a lawn care business before making a selection? It can be difficult to find a lawn maintenance service that meets your expectations if you don’t have some pointers to help you decide among all the companies offering professional lawn care services. So here are a few points to consider.
The first thing you need to do is to decide on what landscape services you need. After all, you might want to do some of the work yourself, so you need to know exactly what you want to have done. Of course, you also want to keep yourself open to suggestions when companies come out to give you an estimate. After all, typical services offered can run the gamut from simple tasks such as fertilizing, weed control, and re-seeding to more sophisticated tasks such as sodding, aerating, and soil testing—just to name a few. Given the range of tasks, keep in mind that many lawn care service providers offer tiers of service that differ in price. Considering this, here are some questions you should ask.
- When a problem arises, who do you get in contact with and how?
- Who will actually be doing the work and who will be doing the supervising?
- Will you have the same crew doing the work consistently throughout?
- What kind of experience and training do they have?
- Will there always be someone on the job that speaks your language?
- Will you be able to request a different crew member if you have good reason to do so?
Always get a written quote or estimate that’s detailed enough so that you know exactly what services you will be paying for. The quote should specify whether fees are weekly, monthly, or per visit, and how changes in the number of days in a month affects your billing. Be sure that it specifies who pays for what. You may want to provide your own lawn care products and just have the company apply them, especially since some lawn care companies charge more for products than you might pay at your local retail outlet. Also, remember that if they charge tax for materials, all of those items should be listed separately, since products are taxable but labor is not. Here are some questions to ask.
- Can you pay a flat monthly fee that includes all the work needed?
- How long will the fees be valid and, if they change, will you be notified prior to increases?
- What are their basic service packages and what services are considered extra?
- Will they charge separately for products like fertilizer or are they included in their fees?
- What extra fees or unexpected expenses might you incur?