People hire a lawn care service for different reasons. Some seek to regain free time. Others are physically unable, or don’t know how to care for their property. Many do not want to be burdened with the equipment, fuel, storage and maintenance costs that go with keeping up a lawn.
All of these reasons are certainly legitimate. Most cities have a multitude of companies to choose from, and the decision can be daunting. With so many choices, how can a homeowner or business choose the proper lawn service company to fit their budget and needs? Below is a list of frequently asked questions and answers to help in this process.
Q: Where do I start to find a service?
A: As with many other services, referrals are your best bet. Start by asking family, friends and neighbors. Ask your insurance agent, plumber, electrician or other service providers. Once a referral(s) is in hand, do your research. A qualified lawn service professional should have a web site to visit.
Q: How long should a company have been in business?
A: A minimum of three years is recommended. This shows commitment to the industry and sufficient time to garner references. Also, contact the Better Business Bureau to check the company’s track record.
Q: After my initial contact, what should I expect?
A: A company should respond to your inquiry within 24 hours or on the next business day. This demonstrates the company’s commitment to communication.
Q: How do I check the company’s knowledge of the industry?
A: Ask questions. How and when was the company started? What type of education and professional training do they have? At the least, some type of schooling and/or licensing should be documented.
Q: Should I get more than one service quote?
A: Yes. Each company is different. The service and cost should fit your needs and budget.
Q: Should I accept a verbal or phone quote?
A: No. A qualified company will want to meet you on-site to survey the property. A comprehensive quote will take into account the property lot lines, the equipment to be used and your specific needs.
Q: Should the company provide proof of insurance?
A: Yes. A qualified company should have no less than $1 million in policy coverage to protect you from any personal or property damage that might occur.
Q: Do I need a contract?
A: Yes. A contract will protect you, and should describe exactly what is included in the service. It should also contain an exit clause if at any time you are not satisfied.
Q: Is it important that the company provides other services?
A: Yes. Other services should be offered to fit your current and future needs.
Q: Is the equipment used important?
A: Yes. Large riding equipment can compact and damage a property. Ask if different size mowers are available for different conditions.
Q: How often should my lawn be cut?
A: During normal growing conditions, a lawn should be cut once per week to a height of 3 inches. The company should guarantee a weekly visit.
Todd Ruedt is a Horticulturalist and has owned
Grounds Maintenance Service, LLC.
since 1999. You can contact him through his website at
www.groundsmaintenancewi.com or at 262-784-8219.
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