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Lawn service prices
Old 03-14-2014, 05:30 PM   #1
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Lawn service prices

Tried a new lawn service today... I'm not a DIY'er and haven't been for years.

About 15 years ago a man knocked on our door with his high school age teenager in tow and said they were mowing lawns on the weekend for his son's college fund. Since that first day that he and his son cut our grass, we saw him recruit his son's friends as helpers, quit his regular day job and expand his lawn business into a fleet of trucks, multiple crews, landscape design, irrigation services, etc.. He's got the best equipment he can find and has always done a good job and he's become a good friend. He's also increased prices by a mile.

Yesterday a young man knocked on our door and offered to mow, trim and blow for 44% less than our regular crew. I thought we'd give him a try. We can save about $1,000 a year if he works out. Can't hurt to try him out. He's got good equipment, but not the top of the line stuff. A 2 man crew vs 3 men. I think he runs two crews.

First time out and he's done a great job. Hope he's dependable and consistent. I think it will be good to give this new young man a shot at success... my other friend will understand.

Have you shopped lawn services recently?
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Old 03-14-2014, 05:48 PM   #2
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Don't forget that price isn't everything!

I pay $35 for my 50'x100' lot to be mowed. I have a terrific lawn service -- the elderly black man who mows is extremely reliable and responsible. Percy has been mowing for Frank's family for over half a century. Now that he is getting older, he has young assistants that do the edging and other work, and he rides around a little on a rider lawnmower and oversees them.

Percy has terrific judgment about when to mow. He doesn't mow too frequently, or leave too much time between mows. He doesn't require anything from me but his $35 and the mutual respect that we have for one another.

Now, the previous guy who mowed for me only cost $25. Sounds better, right? But it wasn't. That guy was a spoiled brat who hadn't mowed for a living for very long. His wife was making him mow because he couldn't find another job, and he hated mowing. He mowed when he felt like it, not when the lawn needed it. He went on vacation with his wife and kids during the entire month of August, when the grass grows the fastest, without even telling me in advance. The grass was over a foot high by the time he got back and that is simply not allowed by our Parish (=County) so I was worried silly. Overall, he was such a hassle and so immature, requiring so much supervising and reminding, that I feel like my present lawn guy is a better bargain.

I'm stickin' with Percy.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:03 PM   #3
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I use a man who graduated from high school with my husband 43 years ago. I pay $50 a cutting for my small plot but extra for spring and fall clean up and also weed and feed application. He hauls away the cuttings and takes notice of my shrubbery and replaces them when needed. He plows my driveway in winter and shovels my walks and applies de-icer. He does have several young fellows who do the work with him. I like having a known entity working around the place...the same for any other work I have done in my home. This man and my husband worked together as groundskeepers on a golf course when they were teen-agers.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:06 PM   #4
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This topic always makes me chuckle when I think about an incident that happened about 12 years ago. I was newly ER'd and I was in the habit of routinely mowing the lawn and doing other assorted yard work for an elderly neighbor, just because he was a nice guy and past the age of doing it himself.

One day I was cutting his grass, wearing my grubbiest old clothes, and a new neighbor (I hate to say "typical yuppie" but that's what he was) came over to me and asked if I would like to do his lawn as well.

I said "Well, I'd consider it, but frankly, looking at you, I don't see any way you could possibly afford me."

He did a double take, turned on his heel and left as quickly as he could. It was a couple of weeks later that he finally figured out what happened, and avoided me like the plague thereafter.
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:10 PM   #5
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We pay $65 for mowing and trimming on a 1.3 acre lot. Includes blowing. They do other stuff on a pay per use basis (shrubs and such)
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Old 03-14-2014, 06:27 PM   #6
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Oh, I will have to keep that line in mind! Sometimes people who know I do my own yardwork will ask if I'm available to do theirs, as if the mere fact that I do the work means it's not hard or time-consuming, thus I must have plenty of time and energy left over to do more. I don't think it's funny, and I never know what to say.

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I said "Well, I'd consider it, but frankly, looking at you, I don't see any way you could possibly afford me."

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Old 03-14-2014, 07:09 PM   #7
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My neighbor and grandfather use to have a lawn service but they were unreliable. Now for a price.........lemonade for me and gas for the mowers, I do our 3 yards.
Sometimes I'm a little jealous of people with lawn services but not often. I use zero turn mowers for the larger lawns and when I use the push mower on the smaller yard I keep thinking of the exercise I'm getting. I do hate to weed whack. I hit a underground bees nest and got about 8 stings.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:20 PM   #8
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One day I was cutting his grass, wearing my grubbiest old clothes, and a new neighbor (I hate to say "typical yuppie" but that's what he was) came over to me and asked if I would like to do his lawn as well.

I said "Well, I'd consider it, but frankly, looking at you, I don't see any way you could possibly afford me."

He did a double take, turned on his heel and left as quickly as he could. It was a couple of weeks later that he finally figured out what happened, and avoided me like the plague thereafter.
Gotta love that story!

Tomorrow Bill, the next-door neighbor, is taking us out to lunch. Again. Like your neighbor he's well past the age where he should be shoveling snow so I do his too, which takes less time with the snow thrower than it takes to gear up for it. (I am cursed with sensitivity to cold weather so I wear near-polar gear, thermals, heavy insulated boots, etc.)

He just likes the excuse to get out and wants to show his appreciation that somebody cares.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:35 PM   #9
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We do our own - not quite sure who other than we always have. My mom has hers done for $35 each time. She has a big lawn, probably mows about 4/10ths of an acre.

Her mower is a one man band. He has a good commercial rig with a sulky and goes back and forth like a bat out of hell. My sister refers to him as the "Energizer Bunny". It does a nice job and has a nice look from a distance (like a baseball outfield).

He also weed-whacks but does only a so-so job at that IMO.

She pays $65 a month for her house in FL but it is a much smaller lot.
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Old 03-14-2014, 07:57 PM   #10
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We have a little over an acre, but not all needs to be mowed, maybe 6/10's. I do it myself now and it takes about an hour and forty five min just to mow. Blowing and edging takes about thirty min longer. None of this includes the beer break! My guess is it will cost me around $100 a pop to have it mowed. Lots of trees and it takes longer to mow around them, and even longer if each has to be edged.
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:00 PM   #11
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This thread reminds me of an old story told by the late Flip Wilson:
Seems he was out in the front yard, mowing and doing other yard work, when someone came by and asked him what he charged. Without missing a beat he replied "I get to sleep with the lady inside."
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Old 03-14-2014, 08:49 PM   #12
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This thread reminds me of an old story told by the late Flip Wilson:
Seems he was out in the front yard, mowing and doing other yard work, when someone came by and asked him what he charged. Without missing a beat he replied "I get to sleep with the lady inside."
I love it.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:00 AM   #13
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Last year I hired a lawn service to take care of my moms yard. The boys in the house behind hers always did the lawn, but the youngest left for college and she didn't know any other kids to take over. During one visit I drove around the area, found a service taking care of someone's lawn, pulled over and hired them. I'll rehire them if they agree to keep the same price.
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Old 03-15-2014, 06:12 AM   #14
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I've always done my own yard work at my DW's insistence. I too, look pretty grubby when I'm in the process. I had a young female yuppie type pull over in a fancy BMW and asked me what I charged for lawn service. I told her I was sleeping with the lady at this house. She drove off pretty quickly. Thought I still had it...guess not.
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Old 03-15-2014, 07:46 AM   #15
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In our community, 95% of all the lawns are mowed and trimmed by professional landscaping companies. That includes mom and pop companies which may or may not do the shrub and tree trimming. In Florida, in the summer, you can almost hear the stuff growing. You have to stay on top of it or it gets out of hand. I have 1/4 acre. The company I use charges $185/month which includes lawn mowing and shrub trimming. In the growing season the lawn is mowed weekly and the shrubs and palms monthly. The rest of the year the schedule is doubled, like every other week (lawn) and every two months (shrubs). There is a constant barrage of lawn mowers, weed eaters and leaf blowers. One large company that maintains the grounds of the community master association, common grass, trees and shrubs gets $1M/month for that service. All the residents pay an annual association fee for that service.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:34 AM   #16
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edit... Johnnie36 beat me to it...

We live in a regular home, in a CCRC in IL. We pay $150/mo. to the HOA, for lawn,tree and shrub services, and snow clearing in the winter. The service is excellent, with fine trimming, spiking, fertilizing, shrub clipping, and tree trimming. This winter, the snow clearing was beyond excellent if that's posible... Early morning clearing, then follow up during the day. Team of six guys with best equipment. They needed it. Worst winter in 100 years except for 1979.
The nice part of this consolidated service, is that we have nothing to do for direction or correction. Imagine 65 homes, and not one complaint about the service. Lawns are like golf courses.
Now, one more point about the HOA in our community. The economies of scale allow for other benefits.
-Twice a year, we have a HOA provided dinner out best local restaurant, and twice a year, Street Parties, with food and entrtainment.
-The "Reserve" provides a buffer in the case of unusual problems, such as a drought or disease that requires replanting. Bushes and shrubs that may get winter damage are replaced.
-Outside lighting is replaced as needed... bulbs changed, lamp glass cleaned.
-Several years ago, a problem came to light in our entire community (Built in 2000). The framework around the outside doors and the garage doors was originally wood, which required periodic repainting. The HOA fund allowed the replacement of all of the wood, with aluminum framing, in all of the homes.
-Limited gutter cleaning is also included.
-We also, thru the HOA and the CCRC complex, have access to transportation to Dr.s, Hospital etc, as well as to local shopping once a week, and dining out once a week. We haven't done that, but nice to know it's available.

After seeing the going price of mowing and yard work, what I used to think of as expensive... "dues", doesn't seem too bad at all.

In our FL community, many of the younger residents do mowing etc. Weekly during the growing season, once a month Nov to March. annual cost about $500, though I do it myself when we're there.

At the campgrounds, I do the mowing... 2hrs plus... and that is getting a bit tough... sloping and tiered to the lake.

All in all, a cost to be factored in to the retirement expenses, especially in the later years, when the bod slows down. Something to think about when planning your retirement for the later years.
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Old 03-15-2014, 08:56 AM   #17
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(I am cursed with sensitivity to cold weather so I wear near-polar gear, thermals, heavy insulated boots, etc.)
Saw this, and thought of DW suffering in the cold. Not a life threatening disease, but might be worthwhile checking out "Raynauds". I have to be careful and watch her in the cold, as it sometimes results in a brain freezing reaction. Hereditary, in her case.
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Old 03-15-2014, 09:05 AM   #18
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edit... Johnnie36 beat me to it...

We live in a regular home, in a CCRC in IL. We pay $150/mo. to the HOA, for lawn,tree and shrub services, and snow clearing in the winter. The service is excellent, with fine trimming, spiking, fertilizing, shrub clipping, and tree trimming.
Question: is the service for front yard only (like ours in our 55 and over community), or do they cut/trim/etc the rear yard too?
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Old 03-15-2014, 10:59 AM   #19
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Question: is the service for front yard only (like ours in our 55 and over community), or do they cut/trim/etc the rear yard too?
My mom lives in the same community as Johnnie and the service she uses does the whole yard. Mowing and trimming as needed for a fixed charge per month and then separate billing for any special work.
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Old 03-15-2014, 11:07 AM   #20
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Question: is the service for front yard only (like ours in our 55 and over community), or do they cut/trim/etc the rear yard too?
The whole yard... The developers were pretty smart... The back yards are all clear, except for a "same" string of trees. We're not allowed to put up tents or decks etc. The result is that the landscape company can go the length of 30 homes in the back yards... They use a very fast tractor... perhaps 25 mph... so it happens quickly in a few long sweeps. Likewise the structure of the buildings, so the only 'go around' is the A/C.
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