It’s a question just about every homeowner faces at some point: Do I take care of my lawn and landscaping on my own, or do I hire a professional service?
Now, it’s of course our opinion that you’re better off going with a pro like Puget Construction and Landscape (PCL), but let’s take a fair look at the pros and cons of both options, and by then we hope we’ll have made a convincing case.
The Pros of DIY Lawn Care
Saving money is the #1 reason people give for taking care of their lawns on their own. Are the savings really true? We’ll go into this some more later, but it’s true to an extent that you can save money if you do it yourself. However, this applies primarily to very small yards and to lawns where the approach is a basic one. Regarding the latter, though, lawn care can get a lot more complicated and time-consuming than just mowing the lawn and pulling some weeds.
Exercise is another reason people cite. It’s no secret that many Americans don’t get enough exercise, and pushing a lawnmower back and forth across a yard for a few hours on a Saturday morning is certainly a way to break a sweat, elevate the heart rate, and burn some calories. And it’s convenient; no trips to the gym or a local park are necessary. We have no argument about any of that.
If you’re doing lawn work yourself, you might also be seeking some much-needed “me-time.” That, too, is something we can’t argue with. The only thing we want to point out is that with a professional lawn service, you can enjoy that “me-time” in a lot of other places and ways.
People who like to do projects themselves usually get a lot of satisfaction out of doing the work and take a lot of pride in the finished product. That’s understandable and commendable, but it also presupposes they’re going to do a good job and the results are the ones they expected.
The Cons of DIY Lawn Care
There’s a reason lawn-care experts undergo specialized education and training: lawn care is a science. If you aren’t an expert, you might not end up with what you hoped for. In fact, you might even cause damage to the lawn.
That brings us to hidden costs. If you make mistakes that harm the lawn, they can be costly to fix. Also, since there’s more to lawn care than just mowing and weed pulling, you also begin to realize it costs you more and more to buy the equipment and the materials that you need.
The biggest con of DIY lawn care, however, is the time expenditure. Lawn care done properly is not something you can knock out in a few hours each weekend; it actually requires several hours on a weekly basis for one person even if that person has the tools and know-how necessary.
What Are the Benefits of Hiring a Professional Lawn Care Service?
There are several clear benefits of hiring a professional service for your landscaping needs.
When a pro like PCL is taking care of things, you have the peace of mind from knowing that certified experts are in charge. They know what to do, how to do it, and when to do it. Moreover, they will do it right the first time.
2. Fewer Liability Concerns
Knowing that a certified, insured pro is taking care of things also relieves you of the headaches that might come from messing the job up yourself and facing costly fixes. In the rare event that a reputable service does make a mistake, they’re going to make things right.
3. Convenience And Time
Something almost everyone can agree on is that there’s never enough time to do the things you want and need. While some people genuinely do enjoy working in the yard (Who are we to judge?), most people don’t, and a lawn-care company will free up some valuable time you’d probably rather spend doing something else. Plus, it’s easy on you because you don’t have to be home when we show up, there’s a regular schedule you can depend on, and you can sign up for automatically renewing plans so you don’t have to worry about service lapses.
4. Much More Than mowing
Previously, we mentioned that the idea of lawn care being just mowing grass and yanking out weeds is a misconception. Consider this list of other landscaping-related needs that would add to your time and expenses if you were doing them all yourself: edging and trimming, leaf removal, pruning shrubs and trees, fertilization, aeration, reseeding, pest/weed/fungus control, and more.
5. Long-Term Savings
The time and money required to keep up with your lawn’s needs really add up over time, and then there are the concerns about doing things wrong and causing costly harm.
Did you know that the prime times to fertilize and treat for weeds sometimes overlap? Doing both at once can kill the growth you want unless you really know what you’re doing. Did you know that areas damaged by insects often look like drought damage? Fertilizing, watering, and reseeding when the diagnosis was wrong might only benefit the insect pests. Do you know what the proper cutting lengths are for the grasses in your region by the season? Cutting too low for the season can weaken the grass and kill it, inviting weeds to take over.
Mistakes like those drive up your costs over the long run. Even without those mistakes, you save money over time because professional services can spread costs over their multiple clients, thus bringing down individual costs for all.
6. Health Benefits
People with allergies, heart conditions, respiratory conditions like asthma, and other health concerns can be at risk when doing lawn care on their own. For some, it can literally be a matter of life and death. If you’re in any of those categories, entrusting the work to someone else makes a lot of sense.
7. Better Relations with Neighbors
Maybe you’ve had a neighbor with an unsightly lawn, overgrown and/or infested with weeds. Maybe you’ve even been that neighbor at one point! Either way, you know the tensions that can arise when homeowners worry about the aesthetic appeal of their neighborhood and the effects on property values. Nice lawns make nicer neighbors.
8. Increased Curb Appeal, Home Value, and Happiness
Finally, credible studies by realtor associations show that on average, homes receiving professional lawn and landscaping care tend to have higher resale values than comparable homes that don’t. The higher curb appeal also makes it more likely a potential buyer will decide to come in to see the interior. Even if you’re not selling, you still benefit from higher satisfaction; studies also show that people with great lawns enjoy being outside on their properties more.
And What Are the Drawbacks?
There’s the additional cost, but we’ve already shown that over time, professional lawn care is less expensive than a DIY approach is.
The other is making a bad choice of provider. Unfortunately, there are companies that do shabby work and even leave a lawn in worse shape than it was in before, sticking you with the repair bills. But that’s easy to avoid with a little homework, and today’s online world makes it a lot easier to research a company than it used to be.
Why PCL Is Right for You
PCL is a leading landscaping and Bellingham lawn-care company serving Bellingham and Whatcom County.
We offer different service packages for different budgets and needs. No matter which one you choose, you’ll get the very best value for your money.
To get a quote or learn more, just contact us today!