Nearly everyone loves a healthy lawn, well-kept shrubs and a leaf free yard. But before you sign a contract for regular maintenance, take a moment to consider your options.
Hiring a lawn care company is usually a straightforward process of calling the company, requesting service, then paying the invoice that’s left in your mailbox. But you should be aware that some businesses in this industry use negative option clauses in their contracts, meaning they will continue to provide service – and bill you for it – until you request otherwise. While this can be a convenient and reliable way to ensure your lawn is well maintained, it can also lead to unexpected expenses. Discuss your options for recurring service with the company before signing up.
Be sure to get several written estimates (BBB recommends 3-5) that have been provided on-site, including any special considerations that you have outlined. Also, obtain a list of references from each company providing an estimate; call these references to inquire about quality of workmanship, how quickly the project was completed, cleanliness of the work site, etc. Ask the company about warranty coverage or guarantees, and ensure the details of same are provided in writing. If a deposit or partial payment is requested, be aware that a pre-paid contractor’s license may be required for the business to take any money up front.
Landscapers are often experts in their field, and so it is a good idea to be open to suggestions when getting an estimate on work to be done. But also remember that you’re the boss, and ultimately you need to be the one satisfied with the end result. The more detailed the initial contract, the better idea you will have of what the finished product will look like.