Spring is almost here and you might be debating whether or not to hire a lawn care service to take care of your weekly maintenance. Maybe your equipment is in the dumps, you don't have the time to worry about the lawn, or you have a little extra cash and want to relax on the weekends instead of working your butt off in the yard. As a professional lawn service provider, I would suggest thinking about the following three items so you can feel confident in your decision. Whether you are hiring the local high school kid down the street, or a professional "big boy" service, here are my two cents on what to consider.
You don't have to waste your time looking through the yellow pages, radio/TV ads, or mailer discounts when your best source is your neighbors and/or friends. Ask around your neighborhood (or just keep an eye out) for what services are already around you. If you find a service in your neighborhood, ask the sweet lady down the street if she is satisfied with her service provider. This is always a perk because it is a good sign to see a company that does several homes is your area. In fact, you might get a cheaper rate because they are already providing service in your area, and it's a good bet that people are satisfied with their service if they do several homes in your neighborhood.
If you are the sheltered type and don't feel like asking around, then Google search "lawn care service" in your area and see what people online are saying about local companies. Good sources for this are Yelp, Google +, and Google places. Look for services with several positive comments and high star ratings.
If this is your first time hiring a lawn care service you might want to get a couple of FREE quotes before hiring anybody. Just because a service might have all the bells and whistles as far as equipment goes, they might charge you an arm and a leg because they are trying to cover their overhead. Also, some services require you to sign a full year contract when they will only be mowing for 6-7 months of the year. Other services can charge up to $60.00 an hour to do any extra work that you did not originally sign up for; like weeding, hedge trimming, and fertilizing. Find a service that fits your budget and your needs.
3.) Meet the Lawn Service Provider
I don't care if you are about to hire a high school kid or a large company, the most important thing is to make sure you can trust the people that are going to be on your property. Consider this both for safety and reliability. You want to know that the job is going to get done when the provider says it will get done, and you want to make sure that you are not exposing yourself to criminal activity. Make sure the owner/crew manager is easy to communicate with, reliable, and trustworthy. The last thing you want is to be paying for a service that disappoints you week after week, especially if you sign a one-year contract.