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Cheap Lawn Mowing Service In Cumming, GA

Cheap Lawn Mowing Service Cumming Ga

I was reading through some posts in a lawn care group on Facebook and one conversation in particular was about cheap lawn mowing service.

I am always humored by complaints about “lowballer” lawn care guys who charge ridiculously low prices to cut grass, because I know from experience that these guys won’t be able to sustain those prices and stay in business. Basically, I don’t even worry about them, but this post got me thinking about the hidden costs of cheap lawn mowing service you may not realize.

Here’s the post in question:

Cheap Lawn Mowing Service

[box type=”info”]Transcript:

Customer: Hi. This is [John]. How much would you charge to mow my yard?

Lawn Guy: My minimum is [$X], but I need to see your yard first before I can tell you for certain.

Customer: Well…the last guy did it for $20 and I haven’t heard from him in a month.

Lawn Guy:    ………..

Customer: Can you match his price?

Lawn Guy: Probably not.

End Transcript [/box]

Presumably, the poster, who I do not personally know, is recounting a conversation he had with a prospective customer.

This simple post highlights some common misconceptions about lawn mowing service in general, and the general attitudes of customers and service providers toward cheap lawn mowing service.

All Lawn Mowing Services Are The Same

A common misconception, and a omplete and total myth. As you’ll see outlined below, the skill level, plant knowledge, and commitment to being a long-term legitimate business to it’s customers varies widely. There is so much more to lawn maintenance than just pushing a lawn mower.

All Customers Are Cheapskates

This is simply not true. A smart business owner will realize that everyone wants the best price for the value they are receiving. Given two affordable choices, most people will select the choice that provides the most value, not necessarily the cheapest. All else being the same (as far as the customer is concerned), the lowest price wins. It’s not the customers job to uncover a company’s value as and how they’re better than their competition. It’s a business’ job to display that value in an understandable manner to you.

Everyone Wants The Best Price

Duh. Every lawn mowing service provider knows that you want the cheapest price possible. Reputable companies also know that there is a very real floor to how much they can charge and still maintain enough profit to run their business and provide reliable service year after year. Those same companies have also learned that it’s better to turn down “cheap” business than pay the customer for the opportunity to mow their lawn. How does that happen?

Simple. Once a service provider accounts for labor, repair, fuel, overhead, liability insurance, works comp insurance, licensing, and all the other small details that go into running a real business, the minimum price to perform the work is going to be higher than your handyman neighbor who just wants some spare cash.

Where Can You Find Cheap Lawn Mowing Service?

There are a three main places you’re likely to find cheap lawn mowing service:

1)     Neighborhood kids will mow for cheap

2)     Neighborhood handymen will usually mow for cheap

3)     New startup companies that don’t understand their costs will almost always do it for cheap.

And all of these guys are legitimate people who do not likely have the overhead of a professional lawn maintenance company and may be able to provide lawn mowing service inexpensively.

But there are risks.

Why Can Some Folks Provide Cheap Lawn Mowing Service?

As I mentioned before, a legitimate lawn maintenance company has overhead costs that your neighborhood “lawn guy” doesn’t have, such as:

Liability Insurance

Used to protect you if they damage your property. Lawn mowers and trimmers are dangerous machines that cause property damage throughout the country every year. Accidents are more common in inexperienced hands.

Commercial Equipment

Most lawn maintenance companies have professional equipment designed for commercial use. Inexpensive “homeowner” grade mowers are designed to be used much less frequently and for less hours per day than commercial grade equipment. A good commercial mower can easily cost between $7,000 and $15,000.

Maintenance Costs

Lawn equipment breaks down. A lot. And one of the main reasons a cheap lawn guy will quit on you without warning is because he can’t afford to maintain his equipment. For starters, he’s probably using low quality equipment that is more prone to breaking, and then he’s not charging enough from his customers to be able to maintain or replace that equipment. As soon as it breaks down, he disappears. If I was a betting man, I’d guess that’s what happened to our friendly customer up there.

Labor Costs

While mowing seems like easy work, there is a level of expertise that is developed among lawn technicians and the industry is competitive. It’s not uncommon for a lawn technician to be making $12, $15, $18, and depending on his leadership skills, over $20/hr plus benefits or he may find another company to work for.  This drives up the costs of professional lawn care.

Why Should You Choose Professional Lawn Mowing Over Cheap Lawn Mowing Service

Lawn mowing service is definitely one of those areas you get what you pay for. The biggest benefit to paying for quality lawn mowing service is reliability and consistency.

You want your lawn mowed every week without fail. A good lawn company can deliver that. Before I started Lawnshavers, I was taking care of a few lawns for friends. Then my appendix burst unexpectedly and I was stuck in the hospital for more than two weeks.

Do you think my friends just let their grass grow while I was gone? Of course not! They couldn’t.

With a professional operation, there will almost always be someone there to pick up the slack and get the work done.

What happens when your uninsured lawn guy accidentally backs his zero turn mower into your $6,000 air conditioner. He’s only charging $20 a cut. If he had to replace your air conditioner it would take him 300 yards to pay for that repair. A highly skilled two main team may cut 100 lawns in a week. Do you think your guy even has 100 lawns to cut? Chances are he has 6 or 7. Maybe 10. Do you think he can afford that repair out of pocket? Do you think he’s going to pay for your air conditioner before he feeds his family? Obviously that won’t happen. So you’re left to fix it yourself and take him to court. He’ll take his chances you won’t sue him.

In any case, with all the problems that come with cheap lawn care, you’re always left holding the bag. You pay for their mistakes, and you pay when you have to spend unnecessary time and take an unknown risk in finding an entirely new lawn service provider. Plus, when you do find a professional service provider to help you out, they generally charge you more than a weekly maintenance fee to get your lawn back into manageable condition. You lose all around simply because your last lawn guy was unprofessional.

How To Choose A Professional Lawn Maintenance Company

The first step to choosing a good lawn mowing service instead of a cheap lawn mowing service is to stop making your decision based on price alone. Instead compare total service offerings and seek the most value.

A few value items to look for are:

1)     Insurance – this should be obvious by now, but you’ll be surprised how many lawn companies don’t have liability insurance. $1,000,000 should be the minimum policy.

2)     Service Packages – What else can your lawn maintenance guy do that your handyman neighbor couldn’t do. Do they trim shrubs that he didn’t, do they take care of leaves, but he didn’t? Chances are a professional operation can provide you with more services than a cheaper alternative. How much easier is it to just call up someone you already trust than worry about finding someone new.

3)     Better Referrals – Your professional lawn maintenance company will know good fertilization companies, tree trimming companies, pool companies, pest control companies, etc and probably who to avoid as well.

4)     Service Guarantees – Do they guarantee their work? Some do, some don’t.

5)     Reliability – Lawn companies are notoriously unreliable. But some maintain strict scheduling a routes to insure consistent service.

6)     Credit Cards – Does your lawn company offer you the convenience of paying by card? Chances are it’s a pain to go to the bank for cash or to remember to leave out a check.

7)     Communication – Goes with reliability, but do they tell you when your schedule is affected by a weather delay or when they’ll make up service.

8)     Fence Gates  – Do they check fence gates to make sure they’re shut before they leave?

9)     Legal Employees & Background Checks – Are their workers legal and speak Enlish? Often the answer to both questions is no. Shouldn’t you have the ability to speak with someone working on your property? Have they been background checked for past history of burglary, theft, violet crime or any other significant risks.

A few other questions you may think to ask are:

Do you offer fertilization and weed control?

Small and medium sized operations may not, and that’s ok. Larger operations probably do. What you don’t want is a small operation trying to do both mowing and fertilization and providing bad service at one or the other. You can learn more about why this can be an issue in this post about different types of lawn care service.

Do you sharpen mower blades daily?

Dirty and dull mower blades cause grass to rip instead of cut cleanly. Ripped grass will look yellowed and is more susceptible to disease. Professional lawn maintenance crews will have fresh blades every day.

How often do you switch mowing direction?

Every service is the correct answer. This prevents heavy lawn equipment from leaving ruts in your yard.

What is your policy for broken sprinkler heads?

If a lawn mowing company breaks your sprinkler heads, they should fix it. They are inexpensive and easy to replace.

As you can see, there are many more services and value propositions to consider than just price. Not everyone performs the same services for the same price or provides the proper amount of protection for you and your property.

So, when your cheap lawn guy flakes out on you, and you’re griping through the process of finding a replacement, consider spending a few extra dollars per week (it’s usually not much). Your sanity, grass, and shrubs will all be better for it.

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The 4 Types Of Lawn Care Service

Types Lawn Service

You probably haven’t thought about it much, but did you know there are actually 4 different types of lawn care service companies? Depending on your needs and budget, you may only use one or two but it’s important to understand who to call to get what you need.

The 4 Types Of Lawn Care Service

Within the residential lawn care business, you generally have four types of lawn service:

  1. Lawn Maintenance
  2. Fertilization & Weed/Pest Control
  3. Irrigation
  4. Landscaping

As a general rule, each of these categories is a business unto itself. Among smaller companies it’s rare to see a lawn maintenance company that also does good fertilization. Or you may find a good fertilization company, but they don’t do landscaping, and so on.

Some larger companies are able to perform more than one service at a high level, but even then they usually perform one service better than all others.

Lawn Maintenance

Lawn maintenance consists of maintaining the week to week basic physical needs of your lawn. Common maintenance tasks include:

  • Mowing (includes edging, trimming, and general clean up)
  • Small and medium shrub trimming & pruning
  • Mulch installation
  • Leaf clean Up
  • Hand weeding
  • Small tree pruning
  • Aeration (optional)

Commercial Or Residential

These tasks need to be completed on commercial and residential property on a constant basis and within the lawn maintenance niche some companies may strictly perform commercial maintenance or, like Lawnshavers, may be focused squarely on residential service.

Season

For most lawns in the Cumming, GA area, the growing season is approximately March Through November, with March and November both requiring less than weekly mowing.  Additional tasks such as leaf clean up and pruning can be completed over the winter months. If you have a lawn with cool-season grass, you will need additional maintenance through the winter.

Equipment Setup

All maintenance crews use the same general tools. One ore more lawnmowers of various sizes, string trimmers (weedeaters), and edger, leaf blowers, and various hand tools and smaller equipment. For more efficient operations, trucks outfitted for maintenance will generally consist of a specially modified bed designed to hold all of the equipment. Many operations may also utilize open and enclosed trailers to store and haul equipment.

Skills Needed

While general lawn care may not seem like it requires much skill, truly professional lawn maintenance providers must know proper mowing and trimming technique and know how to prune various shrubs and decorative plants.  Most maintenance companies do minimal if any installations, but GA requires a license if you are selling or distributing live plants as a “landscaper.”

Lawnshavers falls squarely in this category.  In fact, we even specialize in particular types of lawns within the lawn maintenance category.

Fertilization and Weed Control

Fertilzation and weed control consists of keeping your lawn and landscape healthy and thriving.  The primary applications include:

  • Periodic fertilization applications
  • Pre-emergent weed control applications
  • Identifying disease and pests
  • Miscellaneous pest control

Commercial Or Residential

Like maintenance companies, fertilization and weed control companies often serve commercial and/or residential accounts with some companies focusing on one or the other.

Season

Fertilizaton and weed control applications occur throughout the year at periodic intervals based on your grass and plant types.

Equipment Setup

One of the reasons lawn maintenance and fertilization don’t go hand in hand is because fertilization requires it’s own setup separate from a a maintenance rig. For smaller operations, it’s simply not practical to own a fertilization equiped vehicle and only use it periodically throughout the year. It’s much easier for a company to specialize in one or the other and then refer other quality service providers to their customers.

Skills Needed

The second reason maintenance and fertilization companies are separated is simply due to the knowledge required for each.  Chemical application requires the company to be licensed as a pest control contractor and spray technicians require very specific training on the needs of ornamental plants and turf.  Applicators must also require specific knowledge about various pesticides and their affect on plants, animals, and humans.

As a lawn maintenance company, Lawnshavers does not currently offer fertilization and weed control, but we will happily refer you to a competent company that can. We do plan on offering fertilization and irrigation services in the future.

Irrigation Service & Maintenance

Irrigation service includes the installation and/or maintenance of your irrigation system (generally sprinklers).  Common tasks include:

  • Installation of complete watering systems
  • Maintenance of watering system
  • Irrigation repair

Commercial Or Residential

Like other services, both commercial and residential customers require service, though less specialization occurs. Many commercial outfits have their own onsite repairmen as well.

Season

Sprinkler and irrigation needs occur year round with both repairs rising with use in the spring and summer. Installs can be completed year round, weather permitting.

Equipment Setup

Like maintenance and fertilization, irrigation service is best served with it’s own vehicle setup. A irrigation technician needs tools and supplies on hand to complete their work.

Skills Needed

Knowledge of irrigation, plumbing, and Low Voltage Electrician’s License.

Lawnshavers does not currently offer irrigation installation or repair, but we plan to in the future. We will happily refer you to an irrigation professional if needed.

Landscaping/Hardscaping

Landscaping consists of anything that would change the overall appearance of your yard and goes hand in hand with hardscaping. Landscapers handle:

  • Landscape Design
  • Landscape Installation

Commercial Or Residential

Again, landscapers and hardscapers can do both and often specialize in one or the other.

Season

Most landscaping work occurs during the growing season when weather is nice, but some projects can be completed in the winter. It also depends on the company. Hardscaping projects, such as water features and patios, may be more common, but irrigation and new plants projects can be done. Obviously winter weather may affect any planned winter projects.

Equipment Setup

Equipment needs vary based on the type of landscaping work being done and the varied equipment needs are another reason you see some lawn maintenance companies who don’t specialize in landscaping. Dump trucks, large trailers, and even heavy machines like back hoes or skid-steers be required for many landscaping projects.

Skills Needed

Many landscapers and hardscapers will need a contractor’s license to stay above board with the state. Knowledge of equipment, plant life cycles, plant needs, erosion control, and ability to manage large projects and crews are needed.

Many landcapers may have lawn maintenance divisions as well though some don’t and those that do tend to cater toward commercial accounts.

Lawnshavers does not provide large landscaping projects. We will happily refer you to a landscape company if needed.

Choosing A Service Provider

Sometimes you will see a lawn maintenance company that also provides fertilization or vice versa.  At a certain size, a company can afford to outfit multiple trucks and will have a customer base that can support both services. However, it is still common for them to be more proficient at one than the other, at least in the early stages of such an effort.

When in doubt, hire a specialist for each type of project you need. Many lawn companies say they “do it all” when in fact they simply do not have the equipment, skill, or people to adequately do the job in question. Less than 10% of lawn care companies are truly large enough to be able to adequately serve multiple types of clients. Often this is because they are trying to do too much.

Hire Separate Companies To Minimize Your Overall Concerns

Unless you know your company has dedicated people to serve each individual sector of the lawn care industry, hire a lawn maintenance company to handle your grass and shrubs, hire a fertilization company to make your grass as green as you want, hire an irrigation company to manage your sprinklers, and hire a landscaping company if you want to redesign your landscape.

You will be better served and ultimately happier for it.

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