So you are thinking about hiring a professional lawn care service to work on your property? Then these 7 tips for hiring a lawn care service are for you. This is a big decision and one you should put some consideration into before making a buying decision. Make me one promise, please… Do your homework and not just hire a lawn care service because they gave you the cheapest estimate…unless that’s the only thing you go for. Make sure the contractor you hire can put a check mark next to each of our tips below. It is unfortunate, but we hear stories of families getting taken advantage of by contractors all the time. Many times it could have been avoided.
Hiring a Lawn Care Service… 7 Things you should know
- Liability Insurance: Ask for proof of insurance from potential lawn companies. Smaller operations may claim they have insurance when they don’t. Request a copy of their insurance before they service your lawn to ensure coverage for any potential property damage.
- Workers Compensation (WCB): Do they pay for workers’ compensation for all employees? It’s concerning that homeowners hardly ask this. If uninsured workers get hurt on your property, both parties need to agree on liability, or legal action may be necessary. Contractors with WCB coverage can give a clearance letter. Note that this is for Alberta.
- Equipment: Ask the contractor about their equipment maintenance, service intervals, and blade sharpening frequency. Poor equipment maintenance can cause unexpected breakdowns, missed service schedules, and traffic hazards. Mowing blades should be sharpened every 8-10 hours of use to prevent damage to the grass and make a noticeable difference in cut quality.
- Contracts: Companies may require seasonal contracts which can be a problem if the service doesn’t meet your expectations. Consider asking for a month-to-month arrangement when signing up with a new provider. A good agreement should be cancelable with a 30-day notification.
- Services Offered: Before doing business with a lawn care company, ask what services they offer upfront. It can be inconvenient to have multiple companies handle different lawn services such as grass cutting, fertilizer application, and lawn repair. This is especially true if you’re signing a contract. To avoid having to hire another company later, make sure to clarify which extra services your lawn care provider is willing to do.
- Employee Background Checks: Many lawn care companies will hire the first individual they can find off Craigslist or Kijiji… Not good! Any individual who sets foot on your property, or has access to a gate code, needs to be of sound character. Just imagine having a criminal offender working in your backyard… Make sure the company you go with employs workers with a clear criminal record.
- Customer Service and Payment Options: Make sure the company you hire responds to emails and answers phone calls promptly. Unfortunately, the lawn care industry has a reputation for poor customer service and professionalism. You shouldn’t have to leave multiple voicemails or emails before receiving a response. Some companies use business software or an app that allows you to access your own account. This way, you can view your service history, invoices, and even make online requests. It’s important to have convenient and trackable payment options. Cash payments can cause issues such as loss, accountability, and memory. Electronic payments are convenient and provide better tracking.
Our hope is that these 7 tips for hiring a lawn care service will help you make a sound buying decision. We hear these complaints all the time and decided to compile this list of tips so you can avoid the pains of hiring a wrong provider.