If you just bought your first home or are ready to 'retire' from maintaining your own lawn and landscape, you are probably wondering, "How much does a lawn service cost?"
The cost of a lawn service is obviously going to vary but we have plenty of insight for you so you can get an idea of what a lawn service will cost without actually contacting local lawn care and landscaping companies and requesting quotes.
How much are lawn care quotes?
Let's quickly make it known that almost all lawn services will come with a free quote. There really should not be a cost to request a quote for the majority of lawn services.
The exception to this rule being larger projects which are probably more accurately described as 'landscape' instead of lawn. If they lawn or landscape service you are requesting a quote for is going to require more time in preparing your quote then simply measuring your property online or swinging by in person to quickly check it out, you may need to pay for the quote. Examples services which may require payment to receive a quote include landscape design, landscape lighting, water features, and hardscape projects like retaining walls and pavers.
What factors play a role in how much a lawn service costs?
We are going to break the factors down into 2 categories. The first are costs incurred by the business to be able to operate which they need to recover by providing their services. The second being characteristics about your the customer and/or your lawn and landscape.
The first thing to understand is that the lawn and landscape industry is a time and material industry. This means any lawn or landscape company's pricing needs to account for the time they will have in the job, referred to as man hours, and the cost of any materials that will be used to complete the service.
Along with the direct costs associated with any materials needed and wages for the employees, the lawn service also needs to cover their overhead costs and earn a reasonable profit. Overhead costs include costs such as licenses, insurance, workers comp, vehicle payments, phone bills, utility bills, rent, and more.
Characteristics regarding your lawn and landscape will play the largest role in what a lawn service costs for you. We will break these characteristics down by individual lawn services (lawn mowing, lawn treatments, shrub pruning, mulching, etc.) in just a second to make this more clear.
Other factors to consider include your proximity to the lawn service's location. The closer you are to them, meaning less drive time for them to service your property, the better price they will be able to offer you.
If you are willing to pre-pay or put a credit card on file with the lawn service, they will often offer you a discounted price for doing so. Non-payment for services already provided is a major issue in the lawn care and landscaping industry.
If you seem like a reasonable person, you will probably get a better price. Sad to say, but it's true. Lawn services deal with some of the most rude and unreasonable people on earth. If you give off good vibes while requesting your quote we can almost guarantee you will get a favorable price quote in return!
How much does lawn mowing cost?
Expect to pay $40 or more per mowing service if you want weekly mowing from a company that will actually show up each week, perform a high-quality service, and that is licensed and insured. Some areas of the country may have reputable companies mowing lawns for as low as $25 per service but these areas typically have very small lawns which warrant the super low price.
The size of your lawn, or more specifically the amount of grass you have to cut, is the largest determining factor when it comes to lawn mowing prices. The more grass you have, the higher your price will be.
Other things that can raise a lawn mowing quote include fences, small gates, play sets, trampolines, swimming pools, lots of obstacles, corner lots, and steep hills.
How much does lawn care cost?
Lawn care pricing is similar to lawn mowing pricing. To clarify, when we say 'lawn care' here we are specifically referring to lawn treatments AKA fertilization and weed control programs.
Smaller lawns will start out around $40-$50 per application and the number of applications per year can vary from 4-8 or more. Some include grub control and some do not, so take that into consideration when getting actual quotes from local companies.
The largest factor that affects the price of a lawn treatment program is 100% the amount of turf to be treated. Another factor could be if your lawn is broken up into several areas which would require multiple hose pulls or moving the truck to treat your entire lawn.
How much does shrub pruning cost?
Most lawn services or landscape companies will have a minimum price for their truck to stop at a property and perform any type of work. So, even if you just need 1 small shrub pruned, it will probably at least cost $40 if not, $60, $80, or $100 - whatever their minimum is.
The number of shrubs is going to play the largest role in the price quote you receive for a shrub pruning service. Some plants take longer to prune properly than others and a good landscape company should recognize this and account for it in your quote to ensure the pruning does not damage the plants.
If you have tall shrubs and the landscapers will need to be on ladders or using extended pole pruning or extended hedge trimmers to reach the tops, this is going to raise the cost.
Also, the amount of material they are removing will affect the price. If you haven't had your shrubs pruned in years, expect a high price, and please expect some of your plants to look funny for a while after pruning because they have need been getting maintained properly! Do not take that out on your landscaper - that was not their fault!
How much does mulch installation cost?
To get you some kind of idea, mulch installation costs approximately $90-$160 per yard of mulch installed. The low end probably doesn't include tasks that really should be performed before mulch is installed though! These tasks include weeding, edging the beds, and applying pre-emergent herbicide. We highly recommend you have your shrubs pruned before having fresh mulch installed too!
The largest factor that affects the price of a mulching quote is the amount of mulch. Other factors include excessive weeding before the mulch can be installed, creating new bed edges instead of just defining the existing bed edges, and ease to access.
Ease of access refers to a couple of things which include how close can the mulch get to where it is being installed and/or are there things like stairs which the mulch will need to be hauled up before it can be installed. An excessive amount of plant material in the beds can also raise mulch quotes as it takes much more time to carefully mulch around a bunch of plants compared to mulching a wide open bed!
How much does leaf removal cost?
Even for a small-scale leaf removal do not be surprised if the quote you receive is $90 or $100. This goes back to lawn and landscape companies have minimum charges for each service to ensure their overhead costs are covered while performing any given service.
Expect to pay $60 per man per hour for a leaf removal service. An example on how to calculate this would be 2 men on your property for 1 hour equals 2 man hours or $120. Leaf removal services also require time to dump the debris and many places charge a fee to dump yard waste these days.
Also, do not be surprised if the lawn service is only willing to perform the service if you agree to pay their hourly rate upon completion. Factors like wet leaves and wind can cause what should have been a quick and easy leaf removal into a labor-intense time consuming battle against mother nature.
How much does aerating and seeding cost?
The cost of a core lawn aeration without any grass seed being spread should start around $90 for a small lawn. Expect to pay 2-4 times the cost of mowing for your lawn for an aeration.
Seeding, or more specifically overseeding, is what makes this service get kind of pricey. Grass seed is not cheap! Expect to pay $20-25 or so per 1,000 square feet of turf if you would like your lawn to be overseeded immediately after the core aeration service.
Your lawn's square footage is the largest determining factor when it comes to aerating and seeding price quotes.
Now Get Some Actual Lawn Service Price Quotes!
Now that you are up to speed on how lawn services price their services and have some examples of minimum pricing and factors that can raise the cost of common individual lawn and landscape services, it's time to contact some local lawn services and request your quote!
About The Author
Quickly I just wanted to let you know I kind of know the lawn and landscape industry and that is why I wrote this article and started this online store for lawn and garden parts and supplies.
I started my lawn care service in Northern Kentucky in 2009 while working for another local lawn and landscape company. In 2018, I sold the business for a healthy profit. I wrote a book titled Cracking The Code To Profit which lays out how I built and sold my lawn care business and created an app for lawn services to quickly and accurately measure lawns.
My YouTube channel is focused on the lawn and landscape industry and has 18,500+ subscribers at the time this article was written. Oh yeah, I'm also a financial partner in my best friend's lawn care business which now services many of the customers my company did before it went out of business under the new ownership after I sold it.