DIY vs. Hiring A Professional
January 27, 2021
Everyone wants a thick, healthy lawn for their family, friends, and pets to all enjoy, but it can be challenging to know where to invest your time and money. I think we can all agree after this past year, 2020, many of us got used to doing a lot of DIY projects at home. So the question is, do you hire a professional to take care of your lawn, or is the DIY route really less expensive and better for your lawn?
Fertilizer vs. Label
Lawn care supplies now sold in every big box store and garden center offer a variety of fertilizers, insect controls and weed control products. There is no shortage of supplies, and for those that prefer to DIY, they have options. However, what we find is that the devil is in the details. Each and every product comes with detailed application and mixing instructions, called a product label.
Product labels may be difficult to read for the average homeowner looking to apply fertilizer themselves. Applying the correct material at the correct rate, at the correct time, is the difference between expected results and actual results. I know it goes without saying, but after all that work, isn’t the goal to make a big difference and see results?
So Is It Cheaper To DIY?
The fact is, based on the size of your lawn buying your own fertilizer can generally save you around 10% to 15% versus hiring a professional lawn care technician. However, if you add in the cost of liquid weed control, and the cost of your time, hiring a lawn care company may actually be cheaper. Not to mention that a lawn care professional is trained to apply the product correctly, resulting in much better results. If a product is not applied correctly, you can end up doing more damage and costing you more time and money in the end.
Take A Look At Exhibit A:
A “certain” big box store is currently selling a bag of turf builder with weed control and depending on the lawn size (we’ll use 13,000 sq ft as an example), you will generally need to buy a few bags, costing you anywhere around $60. Compare that price to hiring a Professional Lawn Care Company, whose average price will range anywhere from around $70 to $75 to treat that same lawn.
Exhibit A: Conclusions
That gives you a total difference in cost of about $10 to $15 to have a Professional treat your lawn as opposed to DIY. Now, let me explain the value you get for just a small difference in price.
In this example, the DIY product is a granular weed and feed. Our professional application is also a granular fertilizer, but the weed control is a liquid. While granular weed control can be effective, liquid weed control will provide superior results time after time. The professional application will provide at least 25% more effective weed control over DIY weed control.
- Hiring a professional saves you time. What is the cost in time driving to the store to pick up the material?
- Do you need to borrow or purchase the proper spreader to spread the fertilizer on your lawn? Will you use Broadcast or Drop spreader? What is the maintenance cost of keeping your spreader in good working order?
- For a weed control sprayer, will you use a backpack, pump bottle, or hand bottle? And how much will that cost?
- Do you have a safe and secure place to store any remaining material? If you have children or pets, please be sure to store material in a dry, secure area!
- Lastly, while not necessarily cost related, the frustration of reading the label instructions. This one all by itself is worth the $10 to $15 difference it costs you to hire a Professional.
We all have projects, and for some DIY- is a great option. However, the next time you plan to run out and pick up some material to make your lawn the best, do yourself a favor and consider the pros and cons of tackling this job yourself.