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DIY vs. Hiring Lawn Care Companies

Posted by: Nick DiBenedetto on April 25, 2018

It’s the first warm weekend of spring and there’s a lot you want to do. Go for a walk, take a bike ride, enjoy a picnic in the park, and go to your son’s baseball game. But you’ve got yard work to do— namely lawn care. So you reluctantly begin pulling out the bags of treatment you bought at the big box store last week and wonder, “Maybe I should look at lawn care companies who can do this for me.”

The combination of YouTube “how-to” videos and the growth of home improvement stores have more and more people passing on the professionals and doing projects themselves. It’s pretty easy to find the products and instructions to perform many jobs that used to be done by skilled workers. But when it comes to lawn care, DIY is not always the less expensive option.

So, let’s compare the cost of lawn care services you do yourself to the cost of commercial lawn care.

Mastering Lawn Care Fertilizers

Residential lawn care products are sold in every big box store and garden center. There’s a variety of fertilizers, insect controls and weed-control products for all of your DIY lawn care needs. However, what you’ll find is that the devil is in the details. Each and every product comes with a product label that details application and mixing instructions that are often hard to master.

Reading Lawn Care Product Labels

Lawn care product labels can be difficult to read for the average homeowner looking to apply fertilizer. Applying the correct material at the correct rate, at the correct time is the difference between expected results and actual results. After doing all that work, the goal is to see results. If you don’t get the results you’re looking for (like your neighbor who hires a lawn care service every year) it will be a waste of time.

Lawn Care Services are Cost Effective

Buying your own fertilizer will generally save you around 10 to 15 percent when compared to hiring lawn care companies. However, if you add the cost of liquid weed control, and the cost of your time, hiring a lawn care company is actually less expensive. Your lawn care service will also send a trained professional who will apply the product correctly, yielding much better results.

Comparing Lawn Care Costs to DIY

A big box store is selling a bag of Turf Builder with weed control for $45. The bag is supposed to treat a 15,000 square foot lawn. But a closer look reveals that’s not true. To apply the material at the proper rate (recommended for the winterizer treatment), that same bag would only cover 13,000 square feet.

This is a trick big box stores use to make the product they are selling look more appealing. If you crunch the numbers you’ll find the proper rate to treat your lawn yourself is $3.46 per thousand square feet. Let’s compare that to hiring a professional lawn care company. The average price for lawn care services will be $59 to treat the same 13,000 square feet yard. That breaks down to $4.53 per thousand square feet. The total difference in cost is $14 to have a lawn care company professionally treat your lawn.

The Value of Hiring a Lawn Care Service

Now, let’s talk about the value you get for just $14. In this example, the DIY product is a granular weed and feed. Our professional application is a liquid fertilizer, and the weed control is a liquid. While granular weed control can be effective, liquid weed control will provide superior results time after time. The professional application will provide at least 25% more effective weed control over DIY weed control.

Advantages of Hiring a Lawn Care Service

Hiring a lawn care company saves you time. It’s not just the time it will take you to apply the material, but also the time you’ll spend driving to the store to pick it up and read the product label.

That will leave you more time for you to spend on the other items on your “honey-do” list.

Hiring a lawn care company also comes with a guarantee. If you’re not happy with the results, just give them a call and your trained professional will help you look for a solution.

Providing your own lawn care services comes with the disadvantage of having nowhere to turn if the product doesn’t work. Once it’s applied, it’s gone, and there’s no one at the big box store who is going to give you your money back. You already used their product.

Using a lawn care company also provides you with peace of mind. You don’t have to find a safe and secure place to store your lawn care materials. That means your kids, their friends, and your pets are safe.

A lawn care company also has all of the proper equipment needed to do the job. If you decide to provide your own lawn care services, you may need to borrow or buy the proper spreader to apply the product to your lawn. That’s an added expense you may not have been factoring into the cost of the job.

We all have projects to do and, for some, DIY is a great option. However, the next time you plan to run out and pick up some material to make your lawn the envy of the neighborhood—consider what I said, and request an estimate from a professional!

Ready to Hire a Professional Lawn Care Company?

If you’re ready to eliminate the frustration and time it takes to provide your own lawn care services, check out our lawn care prices to see what hiring a professional will cost.

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