Regular maintenance is required to keep your landscape looking its best all year round. Maintenance means trimming the bushes, mowing the grass, weeding and fertilizing the plants. If you have time to do the job on your own, you are lucky as it means some savings for you. But if you are busy with work or business and you do not want to spend your rest hours doing gardening work, you can hire a professional gardener or landscape person to maintain your lawn. This, of course, will entail expenses on your part. To estimate landscape maintenance costs, here are some guidelines that you may find useful:
- Measure your landscape. Include the pavements and pathways. Note down the measurements on paper. If your backyard is planted with trees and shrubs, you may as well include this area in your estimation.
- Count the number of trees in your yard. Consider their height and mass. Take note also of the thickness of their leaves, types of branches (massive and hard or soft and pliable) and dead branches that need to be cut down.
- Determine also which spots need to be replanted with trees or flowering plants. Identify these areas by putting a mark on each so you will know with just one look what tasks to assign the landscaper.
- Now take a look at your potted plants. The types of plants commonly planted on pots are roses, daisies and other flowering plants. Count these items. If they are arranged in rows, you may categorize them by rows but you have to consider the length of each row.
- Assess the time needed to cut or mow your lawn. Base your assessment again on the size of the lawn. If you have previous experience in maintaining your lawn on your own, you already have an idea on the number of hours needed for the job. Gardeners and professional landscapers are paid by the hour.
- Consult a landscaper and discuss with him the estimated cost of your landscape maintenance. Allow him to do his own assessment. If you have made your own assessment, you can bargain the cost by meeting along the cost estimates you both made. Again, take note that the standard fee for landscapers is 50 dollars per hour. So if it will take him four hours to do the work, you need to shell out a total of 200 dollars. If the maintenance work requires more people for the job, the landscaper will need to hire assistants, so that means added fees. In this case you may enter into a contract with the landscaper. Set an overall price for the whole maintenance cost and let him hire his own assistant, at his own expense of course.
- Include the cost of materials and tools to be used in the maintenance work. Landscapers actually have their own tools, but sometimes they ask for additional fees for the use of their own materials.
Even as you have your own estimate of your landscape maintenance costs, you still need to discuss the details of the actual costs with your landscaper. Do not assume that your own educated guess corresponds to the real fees of the person you are going to hire for the job because there will always be some discrepancies as the actual work is executed.