Lawn Care: DIY or Pay Someone Else To Do it ?

Other / Canada

Is this you in the Spring/Summer/early-Fall? Well, this was me, only wearing less clothes, on Father’s Day weekend on an attempt to mow my parents’ just-under-1-acre property…after months of overgrowth. 🙁  And because the lawn hadn’t been tended to in so long, cutting the grass was more like light-forestry!  I kid you not.

(Condo/Apartment dwellers, the next time you dole out those maintenance fees, just think of those who live in houses with lotsa green space.)

Personally, although I can appreciate a nice lawn, I’m not one for gardening or landscaping.  Nor do I really understand the whole mentality of “keeping up with the Joneses” by making sure everything looks nicely manicured from the outside.  However, at least in my neighbourhood, many households seem to care as they hire landscaping companies to do the “heavy lifting”.

I do not have any experience in dealing with landscaping companies, but I can imagine that their services do not come cheap!

So Smart Canuckers, for those of you who live in houses, how do you maintain your lawn:  DIY or pay someone else to do it?

Btw, where are those teenagers who offer lawn mowing services at cut-rate prices?

26 responses to “Lawn Care: DIY or Pay Someone Else To Do it ?”

  1. Tammy says:

    In my experience ever since they banned all the chemical lawn treatments in Canada, it has been a waste of money to pay the lawn care companies. The alternatives they use just don’t seem to work to keep the weeds away so now I don’t even bother with a lawn service. If I’m going to have weeds, I might as well do the lawns myself for free.
    (Not that I mind however since I’d rather see less chemicals in the environment)

  2. nisiepie says:

    it’s just grass. get up off your butt and mow the lawn.

    keeping up with the jones’? seriously?

  3. georgiapeach says:

    We have a large lot and hubby travels a lot, there is no way I, with a 2 yr old will have the time or energy to mow the lawn. We have hired (our fourth year in) a great guy who comes with his son to mow our lot. Very reasonable and great service.

  4. Lori says:

    I have a full time stressful job I work at for 9 hours a day. Then I have a home to take care of, bills to pay, home repairs, car repairs, 2 kids, a cat etc. My lawn is the least of my worries. It gets done when it gets done. And if it’s a day off and it’s warm and sunny out, I don’t waste it doing yard work, I head off to the woods/lake to enjoy nature.

  5. Nico says:

    I agree nisiepie. Barring an acreage, people shouldn’t find it overly burdensome taking an hour a week to mow the lawn. If you would rather create a needless industry by paying someone to drive to your home with a truck and trailer, maybe a lawn isn’t for you. There’s something to be said of “pride of ownership” and simple lawn maintenance seems to qualify. Quit whining in a bid for sympathy and enjoy the fresh air and exercise.

  6. kerry says:

    Usually I do it but sometimes the boyfriend will do it,or I will hire a friend looking for work to do it at $15 a hour.

  7. Lisa says:

    I live in Guelph & hired Homemaster to remove shrubs & weeds. They used petrol mixed with weedkiller, it burned my lawn to crisp! And has the nerve to say it’s my fault for not watering my lawn 3 times a day! Never again. Now I prefer to do it myself… much cheaper & pretty rewarding.

  8. fuzzy says:

    good luck trying to find kids for cheap labour. if their parents buy them everything, why should they work for it? I thought it would be easier to get help being in a lower income neighbourhood, but it’s not. I was offering $10 an hour which i thought was reasonable.
    I just do it myself and accept the fact that i won’t have one of the nicer lawns on the street, but many others are retired and are out in the gardens for several hours a day. during the winter, we tried finding some kids to shovel the snow on our small driveway and they wanted $20, so instead we paid $50 a month to an adult. he hardly had to come this past winter, so i guess he made out good and we probably would have saved hiring the kids, but you take your chances. also, the adults do a much better job than the kids.

  9. Natalka says:

    We do the lawns ourselves, it’s a residential large lot – but no keeping up with the Joneses here, just try to keep it soft enough to walk on. Our son does most of the mowing.
    In our neighbourhood, there are often teens coming by with a mower offering to do it – same with snow in the winter. Most times, they don’t have a set charge, will take what you think it’s worth for them to do it – pretty smart, actually.

  10. dom says:

    We do it ourselves too. It takes about an hour a week. I think that’s pretty reasonable. Looking at some of my neighbours front lawns I wonder why some people buy houses….. If you do not have the intention of caring for the outside of your property maybe a house isn’t for you. A condo or row houses may be more your thing! I find it insulting to have my next door neighbour with 12″ high “grass” (if we can call it that now) because they don’t see the value in maintaining it….. How hard is it to water your lawn a couple of times a week and mow it once in a while..??

  11. M.J. says:

    My son cuts our grass, it’s one of his chores, but I have hired someone to cut my father’s lawn as he is unable to do it anymore. I see the value in both, doing it yourself and hiring someone if you don’t care to do it. Once my youngest moves out there’s a food possibility that I may hire someone just to cut the grass. I have my flower, herb and vegetable gardens that I enjoy taking care of…..I just do not enjoy cutting the grass, personal preference I guess *shrug*

  12. Mary Walsh says:

    I do my own yard, spredding grass seed and a friendly kind of fertilizer down in the spring and fall. Cutting the grass takes 45 minutes and is done as needed, once a week in May and June and likely every other week the rest of the summer. Few people water their grass anymore because of the high cost of water (billed every 4 months in my city) except for a few who admit to being anal about their lawn. I have 2 rain barrels and use this to water vegetables in the garden as needed always hoping there is enough in them to last most of the summer. By August most yards will have short dry grass with hardy plants in the flower beds. Towns that don’t don’t charge individually for water seem to have more lush gardens and yards– like my brother’s city until this year and now they are watching water usage too. Seniors here are paying on average $20 to have their lawn cut and trimmed.

  13. minifi says:

    I do it the same way Forrest Gump does it. Best of all, it’s all FREE!

  14. Carrie Hamm says:

    I would love to but i have 5 acers. My parents live in the city and were getting to the time that we will need to hire someone to mow and snow removal.

  15. Yuki says:

    I’m actually a teenager and I’m not sure about anyone else, but in my neighbourhood… noone is willing to pay to get their lawn cut! I just want some extra spending cash and ask for $10. I guess some people like unkempt lawns…

  16. Stephania says:

    @Yuki – Do you live near me? Maybe I can pay you to cut my lawn?? 😉

    In my city, I think there is actually a by-law in which you can get ticketed for not cutting your grass!!! A friend of mine, who was recently married/homeowner, got a lovely “visit” by some city official letting them know about this lawn.

    Subsequently, they were forced to buy a lawnmower and start learning the ropes!

  17. Gigi says:

    My husband cuts the lawn and it’s a chore everytime mostly because he’s very particular about the way it’s done. My kids are too young to cut it but they will when they’re old enough to learn the value of hard work and money. I am also going to encourage them to find jobs mowing neighbours’ lawns.
    I grew up on a farm and had to mow almost one acre of lawn every week with a push mower – used to take me a whole day and I never complained. My dad would give me a whopping two dollars for it. Where are these kids today? – Playing video games and at the mall.

  18. Lori says:

    I was just reading this on my lunch, feeling bad for leaving mine a little too long (trying to hire neighbour kids just doesn’t work) and wouldn’t you know I hear a mower in my yard. I look out the window and my neighbour is on his riding mower doing my lawn. I joyously ran out and gave him cash (which he didn’t want to take but I made him). That just made my day. 🙂

  19. Michelle says:

    I’m looking at hiring someone!! It’s a bit of the “keeping up with the Jones,'” a bit of the fact we have 2 small children, we both work 8 hour days, and we own a 2 acre lot, 1/2 of which is grassed. We spent our ENTIRE summer landscaping last year, from stumps to a perfectly manicured lawn, and I will still maintain all the flower beds, but it is time consuming. It takes 5 hours to do our front and back lawn, from mowing, whipper-snipping, and edging. It’s not being lazy, it’s about spending more quality time elsewhere for us 🙂

  20. Deb says:

    I’m the grass cutter/gardener of the family. Add it to my to do list.

  21. darion says:

    Well, there are some people here who find major fault with people who hire a company. Stop your criticizing and bashing already! We have a hedge that goes all the way around our property, it takes 2 hours to trim. Our yard takes 2 hours min to mow. Then there is the pick up of the branches from our hedge. There us the weeding, etc. We do not have the money to pay someone, I wish I did!

  22. Sue says:

    Hubby mows ours. It’s a work in progress – this is, filling in the holes (thank you skunks), trying to get rid of the creeping Charlie (apparently you have to pull it by hand; not even the illegal stuff kills it), reseeding. We don’t feed it or fertilize it. It’s a lawn. And we definitely do not water it unnecessarily (like daily!) because grass as most of us Canadians are aware, goes dormant in the hot weather. Hence, brown lawns. We’re okay with that. As are the majority of our neighbours – many of whom have absolutely gorgeous lawns. Interestingly, newer neighbourhoods see sprinklers running throughout the day or even the installation of lawn irrigation (sprinklers). Maybe someone should tell them their grass is supposed to go dormant in the summer. Save them on their water bills!

  23. weeds says:

    so i have NO grass, only weeds, its a corner lot so u can imagine my neighbours walking past and swearing at my front lawn! ive called in 2 companies for a free estimate and they said it would cost between $1500-$2000 to get new grass in. i have a town home, so u can imagine, thats not a lot of space. brampton is a lot cheaper, but i live in mississauga so they prices r jacked up here….

  24. Sue says:

    @ Weeds. That will be what we will have to do with our backyard. The brutal thing about creeping Charlie (remember Killex? It killed everything but the Charlie!) is it can only be rid of by digging it out. AND some people plant it as an ‘ornamental’ plant. The “creeping” in the name gives you all the reason you need to not do this. So, long-term plan, when we get rid of the above-ground pool, we have to plan for a full yard restoration. Big bucks indeed 🙁

  25. Jay says:

    I am not quite sure why some people are so judgmental about this topic. It is not simply the idea of “keep up with the joneses.” As many mentioned, life and health gets in the way. The elderly should not cut the lawn and my parents are elderly enough that I would pay someone so that my parents won’t have to do it. Secondly, it is what people view the value of their time. If they think their time is worth $20 to have someone cut their lawn, why not? If they think of it as a form of mild exercise, and a way to save $20, then they should do it.

    One thing I have to say is, for the most part, I do agree that there are few teenagers willing to do any sort of work for extra cash. Sadly, it is because either their parents are giving them money, or discouraging them from doing them. As long as my kids are not doing something dangerous, I would encourage them to do a bit of labor to learn the value of money. Heck, remember the days when we are all happy for a simple $10 paper route. Even with inflation, kids nowadays scoff at any amount of money. =(

  26. Cristobal Nelton says:

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