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Angie’s List: Hiring Out for Yard Work

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For some people, yard work is a labor of love. But these days, it’s just as common to see a professional crew instead of your neighbor out mowing and clipping.

It used to be that everyone cut their own grass. Not anymore.

“For many people, the days of mowing the lawn might be in the past. According to a recent Angie’s List survey, 48 percent of the members said they’re going to outsource their lawn care this year.”

Some people are simply too busy to keep their yard looking nice. Others, like Tammy Futa, want an expert in charge.

“We were wanting to make sure that we had green grass. That was the objective," Futa said.

The Futas moved from a condo three years ago to a home with a brand new yard that needed a lot of help.

“It’s hard to take care of a lawn, even though it’s not a huge yard, it’s a lot of work and time to maintain and to understand what’s going on with your lawn and what it needs.”

Matt Colwell had the Futas’ soil tested and then developed a detailed plan for mowing and fertilizing, the two most common services his company provides.

“A lot of times we can apply an application for less than what it would cost you to go down and buy the product and the equipment to do so," Colwell said.

Most companies offer seasonal contracts for mowing and fertilizing. Get on-site quotes from three different providers and ask if additional services like grub control and aeration are included or cost extra. Also, find out if the same person will be servicing your yard each visit.

“It’s very important to have the same technician on your lawn each time. They know your expectations, they know what you’re expecting. They know the property – high spots, low spots where there may be some troubled areas.”

Because services are often provided when homeowners are away, Angie says you need to find a company you can trust, so check references from long-term clients. You should also ask to have an invoice after each visit detailing the scope of the work done, and inquire about the company’s insurance policy in case something gets broken or damaged.