What’s the best way to set up a consultation or an appointment with a landscaper or lawn care professional during the COVID-19 pandemic?
To set up an appointment or consultation call with a lawn care professional or landscaper during the COVID-19 pandemic, take advantage of digital technologies to avoid face-to-face exposure. When searching for lawn mowing, landscaping and lawn care companies online, ask if they’ll do a video call to assess the job and give you an estimate. You can also go over strategies for completing the job and conducting virtual payments to stay safe.
How can I find out if a landscaper or lawn care professional is considered an essential COVID-19 service provider?
To consult national guidelines on essential COVID-19 service providers and see whether a lawn care professional qualifies, visit a page on CISA’s website called Identifying Critical Infrastructure During COVID-19. This website contains 16 categories of critical infrastructure sectors that you can search through. However, not all jurisdictions follow CISA’s definitions of critical infrastructure so you should also check your city or state’s government website.
Can I use digital payments to pay for outdoor landscaping and design, lawn mowing, tree trimming and other similar services?
Many outdoor landscaping and design, lawn mowing and tree trimming companies will likely accept some form of digital payment instead of cash or check. The COVID-19 pandemic will likely causing more businesses to adopt digital platforms like Zelle, PayPal, Venmo, Square Cash and Google Pay.
Search professionals’ online profiles to see if they list digital payment services, and ask them about their payment policies during a consultation call.
Because landscaping and lawn maintenance take place outdoors, it is unlikely that these professionals will need to enter your home.
To stay safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, practice social distancing at all times -- even with professionals doing work outside. You can minimize exposure during a consultation by using a video chat service. And when you pay, you can use a digital payment service like PayPal. Discuss strategies with any lawn mowing, landscaping, tree trimming and lawn care companies you may be considering.
Landscapers and lawn care professionals generally do not offer remote or virtual services. But if you come across a profile that states the landscaper is offering remote services, it’s best to contact them to see what type of remote work is offered.
Typically, lawn care and landscaping professionals can perform many of their duties without coming into physical contact with clients. Message local lawn mowing, landscaping, tree trimming, and lawn care companies near you to schedule a video call and inquire about remote services.
Regular lawn maintenance can do wonders for your home’s curb appeal. Professional lawn care prices will vary based on the regional cost to do business and regional cost of labor, the size of your lawn, and any additional services you may desire such as edging or mulching. The national average for lawn mowing costs is $30-$50. Pros may charge an hourly rate, a flat rate or by the square foot (an acre contains 43,560 square feet). Square footage rates factor in the professional’s time, the use of their equipment, and the gas to operate the mower. Distance may also affect cost: If you live outside the company’s standard service range, you may pay an additional travel fee. Here are some examples of average prices for mowing and lawn maintenance:
- Up to 8,000-square-foot property: $30 per week/$120 per month.
- Bimonthly: $40 per service/$80 per month.
- One time only: $45 per service.
- Prices include mowing all turf grass areas; trimming grass away from fences, structures, trees, and lawn edges; and clearing or blowing all grass trimmings from driveways, sidewalks, curbs, etc.
- Hourly rate: $25 per hour (including travel, equipment costs and labor).
- Lot size:
- Smaller lots in subdivisions: $35.
- Half-acre lot: $50.
- One-acre lot: $100.
Hiring a landscape architect is an investment in your home. Landscaping can reduce water bills, improve your home resale value, add to your daily living experience and significantly boost curb appeal. A landscape architect will draw the designs for your new landscape; you’ll want to hire a landscape contractor to carry out the plans. Many companies provide design-build landscaping services, with a company architect creating plans for your vision and the landscape contractor executing the vision. With the proper academic background and licensing, a person can be both landscape architect and landscape contractor. Here are a few tips for finding a great landscape architect:
- Research online portfolios and find several landscape architects whose work interests you.
- Read online reviews of client experiences.
- Research whether the landscape architects you are interested in are currently licensed and in good standing with the licensing board, and check whether any complaints have been issued against them. Each state will have their own searchable database. For example, you can search for California landscape architects via the state’s Department of Consumer Affairs.
- Request bids from your selected landscape architects.
- Hire the one you like the most, taking care to have a clearly written contract outlining scope of work.
For more, check out our tips for smart hiring on Thumbtack.
Landscaping can be costly — though it usually pays off in curb appeal and home resale value — so finding a landscaper who is worth the investment is important. When hiring a landscaper, look for proven success with the type of results you want. For example, if you know you want a drought-tolerant yard, research websites, reviews and portfolios that showcase beautiful drought-tolerant yards that the landscaper has installed. In addition to relevant experience, you’ll want to find a landscape contractor who has good client reviews. Good communication skills are another important quality in a landscape contractor, since everything from plant selection to hardscape installation needs to be discussed and agreed upon. A landscape contractor who is reliable, easy to understand and able to listen to what you want will help make the process seamless and enjoyable.
Landscape contractors work from outdoor architectural or design plans to build and install hardscaping or softscaping for the client, much as a general contractor uses architectural designs to build a house. Landscape contractors are experts in soil drainage, grading, hardscaping (installing concrete paths and retaining wall, building ponds, etc.), and planting. They have heavy equipment such as excavators and tractors to prepare the land as needed.
Some landscape contractors are also landscape architects or landscape designers. The titles can be compared with those in home construction: A building or landscape architect must earn a specialized architecture degree and pass an exam to have a license. A designer — whether an interior designer or a landscape designer — does not usually require a license to work. Landscape contractors are not required by law to work from plans designed by a landscape architect, so you may work directly with the landscape contractor to specify the work you’d like done. The national average cost for large-scale landscaping projects is $10,160. Pricing can vary greatly depending on the project scope, materials and design.