Benefits of DIY Lawn Care
There are a lot of benefits to taking care of your own lawn that need to be taken into consideration when you are deciding whether paying a professional is the right decision for you.
This is probably the biggest reason that homeowners do the work themselves. Hiring a lawn care service can get expensive, especially if you need regular trimming, edging, or other work done. You can add even more if you have trees that need to be maintained.
This is a factor that is often overlooked because it doesn’t relate to the care of the lawn itself. Instead, it relates to the care of yourself. Lawn care, especially mowing (unless you use a riding lawnmower) can be a great form of exercise. You can burn calories, strengthen muscles, and work out your heart by just mowing your own lawn.
I also find that mowing the lawn can be a great form of stress relief. The satisfaction and repetition of mowing the lawn calms me down tremendously. It also gives me a good nostalgic feeling of Summer. It may also provide you with a sense of pride.
When you take care of your own lawn, you can cut the grass at the best time.You will also be able to cut it exactly the way you want. Consistent mowing during the Spring and Summer can help your grass grow healthy and full. It can also help you prevent pests and weeds.
Downsides to DIY Lawn Care
Even though there are some great benefits to doing your own lawn work, there are some downsides to it as well.
Taking care of your lawn by yourself can be very time consuming. The mowing frequency could be once a week at the peak of the growing season and you also need fertilization, irrigation, edging, and more if you want a beautiful, lush yard.
The knowledge you gain by doing your own yard work can be valuable, but the experience and expertise takes time and often requires trial and error. In addition, you do not have the experience for proper lawn care in your specific region so your lawn may not look as great as you would like. This may also cause you to start paying more money for expensive fertilizers, new equipment, weed prevention, sprinkler systems, and more.
Benefits of Hiring a Pro Landscaper
There are tons of reasons that homeowners pay someone to take care of their lawn.
Lawn care experts will have the best lawn care products and equipment. They also will have knowledge of the specific needs for your type of grass, the climate, common pests, and more. This means that you could have a healthier, greener, well-maintained lawn that others will be envious of. Not only will professional service increase your curb appeal, but it could even increase the value of your property.
They will also know how to solve any additional problems that may arise. This could be anything from dead patches, to grub worms, to drainage issues. If you do your own yard work yourself, you could end up doing something incorrectly that costs you more money down the line such as damaging a sprinkler system or killing your grass.
They will also know about the most common problems that arise in the lawns in your specific area. For some, this will be drought. For others, it could be grub worms or other pests. A professional in your area will know how to address these problems and more.
Hiring a professional service may also mean that you don’t have to buy additional equipment every time you have an occasional issue you need additional service for. For example, you may not want to buy a tree trimmer or pole saw whenever the limbs on your tree get too bushy or long. Also, this can be hazardous work for an amateur.
Many lawn care companies operate on a set schedule. You also will not have to use a portion of your evenings and weekends to maintain your own lawn. This can save you valuable time that could be spent doing something you enjoy more.
Downsides to Hiring a Pro Landscaper
For basic mowing and grass maintenance, you can expect to pay at least $100 per month, but can cost between $25 and $100 per visit. This number goes up if you have a larger yard. If you require additional services, such as edging, fertilizing, aeration, or winterizing, it can be drastically more expensive.
Choosing a Professional
First, if you hire an inadequate person to take care of your lawn, you could end up wasting money. Also, the care that many lawn care companies provide is standardized so it will not be suited to your specific expectations and needs. You may not want some services, but require others and the lawn care company may not be malleable to these desires.
If you do choose to pay someone for lawn care, then you need to do your research to find one that has the experience and expertise you require. Do not just look at online reviews unless you have to. Instead, you should ask friends and neighbors who they use (especially find those friends that have well-maintained and green laws year-round).
May people just look at the labor costs of hiring a professional, but do not consider the costs of doing it themselves. It is important to look at the costs, the frequency of service, and the time consumption in order to make the correct and educated decision.
The financial cost of hiring a professional versus doing it yourself isn’t just the cost of labor vs. $0. You need to factor in the cost of the equipment and lawn care products that you would use to take care of your lawn (as well as the repairs or replacement of any equipment).
For basic mowing and maintenance, a professional will typically cost between $50 and $150 per visit. To have a more accurate picture, you need to consider the frequency with which you need them to mow as well as any additional services you may require. This price would likely be anywhere from $200 to $500 a month. Whenever I have hired someone, I have paid an average of about $45 for mowing and trimming, but I never required any more than basic maintenance and care.
If you are planning on doing your own lawn care and maintenance, you obviously need a lawn mower. You can purchase one for as little as $200, but self-propelled mowers can cost up to $500. If you want to get a riding lawn mower, you will wind up paying $1000 to $3000.
However, a lawn mower isn’t the only piece of equipment you will need. A leaf blower will cost you at least $150 and a weed eater will cost you another $100 to $200. Using a weed eater has always been one of the most irritating things in my experience, so I would suggest using plastic blades instead of the wire if you do plan on doing it yourself.
You also need to consider the price of fertilizer and pest and weed control. In addition you will have to pay for any repairs or new equipment over the years. Lastly, you cannot forget to add in the cost of gasoline for the lawn mower which doesn’t seem like much, but can add up over the course of the year.
However, the costs for a grow season, when lawns need the most care and maintenance will still favor doing it yourself. To pay someone for lawn care for 5 months, it will cost you $1000 to $5000 for bigger yards or significant maintenance and additional services. To do it yourself, assuming you will require few repairs, you will need significantly less, anywhere from $500 to $1000 (or more depending on the type of mower). Plus, your equipment will likely last more than a single season.
To take time consumption into consideration you need to look at how much time you spend on lawn care and maintenance. For easy calculations, let’s assume you mow your yard once a week during the growing season and it takes you about 2 hours a week (however, this could be significantly more if you add in other lawn care or if you have a larger lawn). For our calculations, we will also use $1000 for growing season lawn care, but you could get a quote to use for your own purposes as well.
$1000 for 5 months comes to $200 a month. During the growing season, for two hours of work every week this would mean that for your time you are spending $25 per hour. Then you have to decide whether that amount of money is worth your time.
If you work a job that pays more than $25 per hour then it follows that it is worth paying the professional. However, you also have to consider what you would be doing with that free time if it wasn’t spent doing yard work. It could be spending time with your family, reading, relaxing, or a plethora of other things. Then, decide if that time is worth more than the cost of the lawn care for you personally.
Finally, you want to consider a few other things before you decide whether or not to hire a professional to take care of your lawn for you. The first thing to consider is the enjoyment, or lack there-of. If you enjoy taking care of your lawn, then you need to consider this before hiring someone. However, if you dread mowing your lawn every week, then you should consider raising the perceived value of a hired professional.
Another consideration is health. If you never find any time to get exercise except when you have to mow the lawn, then this exercise is more important to your overall health. However, if you make time to workout a couple times every week, then you shouldn’t put too much value in the health benefits of taking care of your yard.