If you’re considering hiring a lawn care company, you may be trying to decide what lawn care should cost. Your home is an investment and your lawn is an extension of your home. Sure, you want it to look good, but how much is the right amount to keep it looking sharp? The team at Heritage Lawns and Irrigation has looked into it and hopefully this information will help you decide on that amount.
Consider Maintenance Costs on Other Items
Lawn maintenance is not that different from other types of maintenance. According to AAA, average new car maintenance costs are $1,186/yr. An average new minivan costs about $35,000. So if you spend $1,186/yr on $35k van that is 3.4% of the value per year.
A nice lawn and landscape creates curb appeal when selling your home and can increase the price of your home’s value by up to 20% . (Numbers range from 5%-20%.) Let’s take a $300,000 home. Your lawn and landscape is worth somewhere between $15,000 and $60,000. So the question is how much should you spend on maintaining your investment? Let’s use the typical car maintenance costs for comparison. If we go with 3.4%, it looks like this:
$15,000 x .034 = $510/yr.
$60,000 x .034 = $2,040/yr.
The average of those two would be a $37,500 lawn value. That means you should spend, on average, $1,275/yr in maintenance. That’s just a bit over $100 per month.
Comparing Lawn Care Can Be Tricky
So now you at least have a ballpark number to work with. But, when deciding what kind of lawn care you need, you must know what you need and how to compare apples to apples. Here are some things to look for:
Service vs. Applicator Companies
There are two kinds of lawn care companies – service companies and applicator companies. Applicator companies simply come and spray for weeds, and fertilize in the spring and the fall and spray for weeds. They have a set program that is usually based on a particular set of applications per season. They don’t really treat your lawn much differently than the next. They simply see the weed, spray the weed, and repeat. They don’t see your lawn as an individual case. They treat all lawns the same way. If you’re just looking for someone to apply fertilizer and spray for weeds, an application company will do. And they are usually the cheapest too. A lot of the bigger companies are applicator companies.
A service company, on the other hand, will look at your lawn and its unique problems and come up with a plan to improve it. It may include some scheduled applications, but they will also be able to diagnose and treat lawn funguses, grub problems, and diseases as they appear. The very best service companies focus on more than just weeds. They focus on your lawn’s overall health. A healthy lawn can withstand rainy periods, summer drought, and infestations. But healthy lawns don’t just happen. They are planned.
Materials Make a Difference
What they spray on your lawn makes a difference too. Too many chemicals kill off the good microbes in the soil leaving your grass plants lacking. Weed killers are not great for your grass. An ugly cycle begins – weeds…spray chemicals to kill weeds…microbes in soil die…more weeds take the place of grass…and the cycle continues. Getting the soil healthy is the secret to a lush lawn.
Organic-based, earth-friendly lawn care is best. It may take slightly longer, but it focuses on healthy soil which yields healthy grass, which keeps weeds at bay…for good. The best defense against weeds is a thick, healthy lawn. While other lawn care services start with the weeds and work their way down, we offer earth-friendly lawn care so we start with the soil and work our way up.
Look for a Guarantee
What if you aren’t happy with your lawn care? Do they offer a guarantee? If they say they’ll come back and spray again, don’t confuse that with a guarantee. Look for a money-back guarantee if you’re not happy with the treatment.
Compare Annual Costs Not Application Costs
Ten treatments at $40 doesn’t beat 5 at $70. Be smart and compare the costs of the program for the entire year. That’s what you’ll really be paying.
Finally, ask around. Check with neighbors, friends, and family. Read reviews online and ask for customer testimonials. You can’t return this to the store. This is your home, so make sure you know what you’re buying.
Lawn care is not just a luxury, it is maintenance on a major investment – your home. Keep in mind that we didn’t even touch on the physical and mental benefits of green spaces (that’s for another post) just the cold hard numbers.