Spring Fever? Plan Ahead for Your Lawn Care Needs
March 12, 2012
Spring Fever? Plan Ahead for Your Yard Care Needs (PDF)
MADISON - This week’s unseasonably warm temperatures are likely to wipe out much of the snow that remains in Wisconsin. If the brown grass in your yard has you thinking about hiring a professional lawn service, be prepared to do some research before you commit to a contract.
“The company that keeps the most green in your pocket may not be the one that keeps the most green in your yard,” said Sandy Chalmers, Division Administrator for Trade and Consumer Protection. “Focus more on the quality of service than the price. Your cheapest option may be the most expensive if you need to hire a second company to repair the first company’s mistakes.”
There are a number of factors to consider when picking a landscaping company to service your yard:
- Ask for recommendations from neighbors who have used lawn care services.
- Talk with representatives from several lawn care firms and get estimates.
- If you plan to have pesticides applied to your yard, make sure the companies you are considering are licensed and certified by the Wisconsin Department of Agriculture, Trade and Consumer Protection (DATCP). Individuals who apply or supervise the application of pesticides are required to carry a certification card – if you have any questions about a worker’s qualifications, ask to view the card.
- Find out if the company has liability insurance and if the work is guaranteed.
- Put all agreements in writing and make sure that all of the services you expect are included in your written contract before you sign.
- You may be presented with an agreement for multiple visits over the course of one year or for multi-year services. Read your contract carefully.
- See if there are extra charges for special services such as fertilizing, disease control or reseeding.
- Check with DATCP to see if any complaints have been lodged against the company.
Before you agree to a contract, make sure you have thoroughly researched your top company and know what services you want from the firm. Remember that there are a wide range of lawn care services to choose from, including grass cutting and watering; pesticide application; weed and fungus control; aeration and fertilization; tree and shrub pruning; resodding and more. Have a plan as to which services you require and verify that your preferred vendors provide those options.
“Choosing a lawn care services is not a decision to take lightly,” added Chalmers. “Plan ahead, do your research and find the best company for your yard’s specific needs.”
For more information or to file a consumer complaint, visit Consumer Protection’s website at datcp.wisconsin.gov; via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or call toll-free at 1-800-422-7128.
Connect with us on Twitter at twitter.com/widatcp or Facebook at facebook.com/widatcp.