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Professional Lawn Care Service... Help For Harried Home Owners

Now that summer is in full swing, are you spending more of your leisure time than you'd like taking care of your lawn? You might want to consider securing the services of a lawn care professional.

A green and tidy lawn is an important aspect of a well cared for home. Maintaining a healthy lawn takes time and energy though; commodities that often are in short supply for busy home owners.

Lawn care professionals are experts in handling major lawn maintenance tasks such as fertilizing, seeding, weed control and the care of trees and shrubbery, as well as such on-going tasks as watering and mowing. However, in order to hire these companies, you may be required to sign expensive and long-term contracts.

Like any home care service, it's important to understand thoroughly the services to be provided and carefully review all contracts before making a financial commitment.

Begin by talking with others in your neighborhood who have used lawn care services. Find out which companies have done a good job and why. Talk with representatives from the recommended companies to get cost estimates. Remember, the lowest estimate may not provide all the services you need.

Ask if the company has liability insurance to cover accidents that might occur while work is being done in your yard. Also, inquire if the company belongs to a professional lawn care or pest control association. This membership may mean the company has more highly trained lawn care professionals.

Is the company licensed by the state? Licensing may require employees to have special training, especially for those who apply pesticides to lawns. Ask what specific lawn care training the employees have completed. Check with the local Better Business Bureau or consumer affairs office to inquire if any complaints have been lodged against a prospective company.

Many companies offer a free lawn analysis. Use these offers to get "custom" service. Lawns differ. Your lawn may require special attention that your neighbor's lawn does not.

By now, you're probably ready to sign a contract. Before proceeding, make certain all agreements with the company are in writing. Read the contract carefully. Know which specific services and lawn problems are covered and which are not. If you don't understand any point, ask. Are there extra charges for special services such as fertilizing, disease control or reseeding?

Find out is the work is guaranteed. If it is, make sure you have a written guarantee. Know what that guarantee includes and excludes as well as its duration.

Does the contract clearly state the length of service? Are your required to renew annually or is the service scheduled indefinitely? What are the costs of renewal? Should you anticipate a cost increase? Many lawn care service contracts require written notice to cancel. Find out how you can cancel the contract in the event you need to do so.

Your lawn is an important part of your home. If you plan to hire professionals to care for it, make certain your choice is a sound and safe one.