7 Qualities to Look for in a New Lawn Care Provider
After dealing with the movers and unpacking all of your stuff, you may not feel like taking care of basic household chores, like mowing your lawn. LawnStarter suggests these seven things to look for when you’re looking for a new lawn care service:
1. Fully Licensed and Insured
When you’re looking for a quality lawn care company, one of the first questions you should ask is whether they are licensed and insured. Using an uninsured provider means that you could be liable for any damages or accidents that occur on your property. It’s best to take the safer route by hiring a company that’s licensed and insured in your area.
2. Customer Service
Quality customer service is so hard to find these days, especially in the lawn care industry. Finding a lawn care company that will communicate with you regularly is a great thing. A company with strong customer service is also a way for you to have a clear channel of communication in case of delays or issues. Image by Benjamin Chun/Flickr During your search, find out if the company has a website or social media account that they can be reached through. Also, read through other homeowner’s reviews to see if there are any complaints about lack of communication or bad customer service. Google’s built-in review tool is a great place to start, but you might also look at Angie’s List (paid service), Yelp!, or HomeAdvisor.com.
Fertilization is one of the most important things for your lawn. Proper fertilization helps keep your lawn healthy and thick throughout the year. Ask lawn care providers what type of fertilizers they use and whether they outsource the job to another company or not. Some lawn care providers say that they will fertilize, but end up sending out a different company without your knowledge. If you have kids running around barefoot in the yard or pets that use the yard frequently, you want to make sure that you know exactly what’s been used, including whether it was organic or not.
4. Equipment Maintenance
Sharp blades are crucial for proper lawn care and lawn health. Dull blades rip and weaken grass, leaving your lawn susceptible to fungal growth and diseases. Sharp blades not only help maintain a healthy lawn, they also decrease the time it takes to mow a lawn. When you start looking for a provider, make sure that you ask how often they sharpen their mower blades. A lot of quality lawn care professionals will sharpen their blades at the end of each day. Image by Sharon & Nikki McCutcheon/Flickr
Contracts are pretty normal in the lawn care industry, but you still don’t want to sign a yearly contract with a company that might be a bad fit. Some companies will offer a trial run before you get tied into a contract, which can help you figure out if they will be a good fit. Be sure to still check online reviews and testimonials about the company so that you get a good sense of the quality of work and customer service that you will receive once you become bound by contract.
6. Different Service Offerings
There are a lot of different services that a lawn care company can perform on your yard. Make sure to discuss what lawn care packages and services the provider offers prior to beginning a recurring program. Some service offerings you’ll want to ask about are: mowing and edging, aeration, overseeding, soil testing, and grub and disease control. If you’re not quite sure what kind of care your lawn needs, have the company come out and take a look at your lawn. They can typically give you a better idea. Inquire, too, about their local expertise: do they understand watering regulations in your city, do they know plants and shrubs that are native to the region, and so on.
7. Services Worth the Price
Price doesn’t always mean quality. Some companies will inflate the price of a service without having the added level of quality. Ask the lawn care provider for referrals to see if they are really worth the extra money. A quality provider will have no problem sending you referrals and will typically stand behind their service. Jake Lane is a growth analyst for LawnStarter, an Austin-based company that provides homeowners with quality lawn care service in their area.