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Top 11 Questions You Should Be Asking Before Purchasing A Mowing Service

So you need some help maintaining your lawn. We get it. Lawn care can be time consuming. Especially if you are located in Central Oregon. Our spring clean-up and fall clean-up weather can be brutal so it’s no wonder we might want to hire someone to lend us a hand.  And don’t even get us started on the snow. Although we Oregonians are typically prepared for inclimate weather, sometimes it comes out of nowhere leaving us scurrying to get it all in order. Fortunately, Everist Irrigation is here to help answer all your lawn maintenance questions.

Listed below are some common questions we get asked as well as some valuable information you might want to consider before purchasing mowing services or lawn maintenance services this upcoming season.

#1: What is included in a mowing service?

Often times, mowing services only include, you guessed it—mowing. Mowing services also vary greatly in terms of cost. It isn’t uncommon for your mowing service to come with edging and blowing of leftover debris. However, this is not always the case, especially if you have a large yard. Debris clean-up and edging may be extra. We always try to be very honest with our clients when it comes to pricing, but unfortunately we cannot foresee every circumstance before we encounter it. For example, if we encounter an egregious amount of animal feces in the yard and need to move it before completing a mowing service, we will need to charge extra. Moreover, pricing will likely change if you decide to add additional services after a set amount has already been agreed upon.

#2: What is not included in a mowing service?

To be forward, a mowing service isn’t a cover-all term. It is a common misconception that “mowing services” means “full service.” It will save you and your landscape maintenance company a lot of headache and frustration if you don’t assume that just because your last guy did it, everyone will do it. If you’ve worked with someone that will rake your entire yard for free, by all means do not walk away from that deal. Landscape maintenance is hard work and hard work typically can come with a hefty price tag. 

The best way to know if something is included with a service is to call the company servicing your property and ask. The following is not an exhaustive list, but rather an example of services that are not normally included as part of a mowing service:

  • Fertilization
  • Shrub Fertilization
  • Pruning of bushes and plants
  • Trimming of trees
  • Raking
  • Leaf collection
  • Gutter clean-up
  • Reseeding
  • Spreading topsoil 
  • Spreading mulch
  • Hauling away yard debris (pine cones, pine needles, leaves, brush, tree trimmings, etc.)
  • Irrigation work

#3: What is the cost of landscape mowing services?

As we said earlier, mowing services vary greatly in cost; but the most important factor to consider is probably the size of your lawn or the areas that need to be serviced. It is most common for companies to charge based on a combination of time spent and services performed. Pricing out a mowing service is best done in person as well; you don’t want your technician just throwing out numbers based on a telephone conversation. In most cases, we need to actually see what your property looks like; Google satellite or images you’ve taken can only get us so far.

#4: How frequently should a mowing service be performed?

We suggest that your mowing service is performed on a weekly basis rather than bi-weekly or monthly. If your lawn is overgrown with lots of weeds and debris it will take more time to get it in order, resulting in an increased cost for each service performed. If we can get your mowing service completed quickly we can move on to the next house quickly, so it pays to keep up with your lawn. Regular, weekly maintenance will also keep your edges looking nice and keep grass from seeding and growing into areas it doesn’t belong, like in garden beds, for example.

#5: What kind of equipment is used during a mowing service?

Depending on the size of your lawn, we will use either a push mower or a riding mower for the majority of the work. When cleaning up your lawn’s edges we use a “string trimmer” for areas around beds, plants and bushes. Alternatively, a “stick edger” is used around sidewalks driveways and hardscaping. This is because a string trimmer is easier to use in areas with intricate shapes like garden beds, where as a stick edger is more appropriate for use in areas that have a straight edge. Finally, we use a high-capacity leaf blower to quickly blow dirt or debris that has collected on your back patio, front entry, sidewalks and driveways to ensure a nice finish to your service.
Depending on the size of your lawn, we will use either a push mower or a riding mower for the majority of the work. When cleaning up your lawn’s edges we use a “string trimmer” for areas around beds, plants and bushes. Alternatively, a “stick edger” is used around sidewalks driveways and hardscaping. This is because a string trimmer is easier to use in areas with intricate shapes like garden beds, where as a stick edger is more appropriate for use in areas that have a straight edge. Finally, we use a high-capacity leaf blower to quickly blow dirt or debris that has collected on your back patio, front entry, sidewalks and driveways to ensure a nice finish to your service.

#6: Does the mowing contractor carry insurance?

It’s important to know that any company that is working on your property is legitimate and has some kind of general liability insurance. It might not sound like a lot can go wrong during a mowing service, but trust us when we say you’d rather be safe than sorry here. Unfortunately accidents do happen, no matter how cautious your landscape technician may be. Broken windows; damaged sprinkler heads, valve boxes and fences are only a few of the issues we’ve seen. We’ve broken two windows ourselves—accidents happen and that’s okay—but you want to make sure that any contractor you work with is prepared to correct these mistakes promptly. 

Ask to see proof of your chosen contractor’s insurance, or if you’re in the state of Oregon you can simply visit the Landscape Contractors Board License Search Page. Here you can type in the contractor’s business license number or the business name and find out if their license is active, suspended, or has been revoked. You can also review information about the insurance they carry, like limits and bond amount. If you’re outside of Oregon, use Google to find out where you can search contractor’s license numbers for your state.

#7: Do you offer any discounts for landscape maintenance?

Some landscape maintenance companies will provide their clients with hefty discounts, but only if you ask. Everist Irrigation offers a discount of 5% if your maintenance services are paid in full for the year. We also extend this offer to teachers, active military or reserve military, members of the National Guard, police officers, firefighters, and prison personnel. 

We are also very excited to announce that we have partnered with Project Evergreen to offer lawn care services to the men and women that so selflessly volunteer their time in defense of our country. This program, known as GreenCare For Troops, provides lawn care to the families of active duty military personnel. For more information or to apply for service, please visit Project Evergreen’s GreenCare For Troops website.

#8: Do you offer any guaranteed landscape maintenance services?

Although it is difficult to guarantee a mowing service because of the nature of the work, most landscape maintenance companies should be willing to work with a client if they are unsatisfied. At Everist Irrigation, quality service is of the utmost importance to us. And our clients love us for it! We guarantee we will do everything we can to ensure that every client we work with is happy with our service. Read our reviews on Yelp!

That is why we offer something we like to call an “introductory mowing service.”  An introductory mowing service is a one-time mowing service for new clients only. The service is highly discounted and is available for new clients to try us out. Shortly after a mowing service has concluded, a new client will receive a figure for weekly mowing for the remainder of the mowing season (typically runs from April through October) via email. This cost is based on the equipment used, the time spent on the property to get the mowing service done, and any additional add-ons the client has discussed with us (like weeding or trimming).

#9: How much landscape maintenance experience do you have?

It’s important to know who you’re working with and how qualified they might be, so it doesn’t hurt to ask. Any reputable business will have no problem answering this question.

If you are seeking out service with a new company you’ve not previously worked with, find out where the company’s experience lies. Are they primarily an irrigation company, or a landscape maintenance company? Do they have different crews that handle different aspects of the business? Will they subcontract work they do not have the capability to perform? Do they have an arborist on staff; if there is a dead tree on the property, will someone be able to identify it? Will someone be available to provide information and recommendations for maintaining the vegetation in the area? 

These are important questions to ask for your own personal knowledge and for setting your expectations with a company. If you’ll need to call another company out to inspect your Pin Oak trees, you’ll want to know that ahead of time. Furthermore, an inexperienced lawn maintenance company might make rookie mistakes, leaving you to foot the bill. Needing to replace a lawn is not a situation any homeowner wants to endure. Overfertilization, under fertilization, damaged plants due to over-pruning, and damaged irrigation are a few issues you may experience as a result of hiring an inexperienced landscape technician.

Our team has a combined experience of more than 45 years and Everist Irrigation has been in business for nine years; you can rest assured that we know what we’re doing, both with your landscape and your irrigation.

#10: How will I know when you are coming to my house to complete a mowing service?

Make sure to ask your chosen lawn maintenance company how they will schedule your services, whether that be at a certain time or day of the week. Not all landscape maintenance companies are created equally and it isn’t uncommon for a maintenance company to simply show up without prior notice. While this is not always a problem, it’s nice to know when your technician will be on-site so that you can plan around their visit, or if you need to ask them any questions.

We schedule services out on a yearly basis, so you will most likely know ahead of time when we are showing up. This also means if you received lawn maintenance from us in 2019, you will need to renew your maintenance contract with us for 2020 before we show up to do any work in the new year. We do this in the event that a property is under new ownership after the mowing season has concluded for the year (during the winter). 

However, it is necessary to notify your landscape company if you intend on selling your home, especially if it is during the mowing season. While we consider ourselves to be innovative—not something you will commonly hear from an irrigation company—we don’t want to charge someone for a service they didn’t need or want. We try to make this easy; our system is quite sophisticated and all of our clients receive email notifications for most of the services we are due to perform on their property. The notifications we currently send include: an email confirmation for scheduled appointments, appointment reminders (in the event 
that your confirmation went to junk) cancelled appointments, rescheduled appointments, and appointment completions. Very soon we will be implementing notifications by text message as well.

#11:  What are my options for paying for landscape maintenance?

It should be easy to pay for landscape maintenance, whether that be online or by writing
a check. Nevertheless, you will want to understand in advance how your lawn mowing company will bill you. Some questions you should ask include: Will I be billed monthly, quarterly or annually? Can I pay via credit card, check or cash? Will you leave an invoice on my door or will you send me an invoice in the mail or by email? Do you offer auto-pay? Do you offer an Online Customer Portal so I can view all my invoices, notes and payment history?

At Everist Irrigation, we do all of our invoicing through email, so you never need to worry about writing a check, paying your technician cash, or calling to pay over the phone. Everything is kept nice and secure via the latest online encryption standards. We are flexible and can bill your maintenance on a monthly or yearly basis. Soon we will offer an auto-pay feature as well as an Online Customer Portal so you will always know what is happening with your account.

We are constantly implementing new automation so that you can be well-informed about what is going on with your system.
We hope you found this article full of useful information! For more about Everist Irrigation, visit us on the web. If you have any questions, please fill out our contact form and someone will be in touch with you just as soon as we’re out of the field. You can also give us a ring at (541) 362-1389. Don’t forget, our estimates are always free!

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