Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Expensive Lawn Mowing

We have about 2500 square feet of actual lawn, all of it level with edging to be done where it meets Norma's gardens.  We also have the steep bank at the back of which we keep a 3000 square foot section trimmed. This bank is done with a whipper snipper.

We used to hire Beau, Norma's "Lawn Guy" to do it. Beau was a hard worker and was willing to do any other tasks that Norma asked of him. He kept close track of his time, charging us $20 - $30 per week. He was here for at least an hour every week. We loved having Beau but after a few years he got what he called a "real" job and left us. We then hired a couple of guys who had a small mowing company who also did a pretty good job but charged more. They did the minimum and did not like it when Norma wanted extra work done. There was two of them and they were here for maybe half an hour and charged $40. They closed shop after two years.

This year we searched the want ads and found another mowing company. The very hyper young owner came and scouted out the job and we agreed to have him mow the lawn every week and to add the bank trimming every second week. He would charge us $45 for just the lawn and $85 for the lawn and the bank. Pretty expensive but we had no choice. It pissed us off how short a time they were here - two guys for ten to fifteen minutes for the lawn only and three guys for twenty to twenty five minutes when they added the bank. They outright refused to do any extra work for Norma. All three of these people provided their own equipment which they all kept in good shape.

I did a tally and discovered we had paid these new guys about $1800 for seven months of cutting! Wow! We started exploring other options. We found a guy willing to do the work for $20 an hour but we would have to provide the equipment. We figured the lawn mowing could be cut back to once every two weeks and we all think the lawn plus bank job can be done in no more than two hours. So about $80 per month for labour. or $560 per year.

I would like to go with cordless electric equipment simply because of the dependability and ease of use. My only concern is if the battery powered equipment will have the "oomph" to do the job, specially the trimmer for the bank. They advertise one hour battery life but Youtube reviews indicate this might be a bit of an exaggeration with reviewers reporting a more realistic 30 to 45 minutes of heavy duty work. Extra batteries are expensive, up to $300.  We will have to talk to some of the sales places in town to get some advice.

If we went this route the savings in the first year alone would pay for the equipment. The $1800 we paid this year less $560 for labour next year leaves over $1200 to buy equipment, This is going to be the way to go!

making money in lawn mowing


  1. Modern gas mowers start every time, buy the corn free gas, it will last longer than you. Buy the self propelled machine.

  2. A gallon or two of roundup, should do the job....
    We had the similar problem with lawn and yard work in California, they would come by, an hour tops, and charge 40 bucks, then 50, then they started sending over someone who did a bad job, but still wanted full price. Looking at having someone else do it, they want to do it by the job and not hourly. We finally gave up and ripped out the lawn and put in stuff that I could take care of. Our problem is that we remember who cheap it use to be....

  3. Hm the cost of owning a house, guess that's why we sold ours over 12 years ago. and move around, I can do some lawn mowing here at Camp awesome 5 acres in 3 plus hours for 5 acres and a very nice fun riding mower. No trimming and we get free camping, this set up works better for us and the owner as well.
    But this lifestyle is not for everyone. Good luck with the lawn and yard care.

  4. Move to Mexico. Our lawn guy does the yardwork, trims everything, cleans the pool, sweeps and watches the house when we're gone plus more. He charges 400 pesos a week and is happy with the price. I recently told him if he needed more just ask. Nothing yet!

  5. Remind me again why you can't cut the grass yourself...?

  6. You might want to try looking at the Jiffy app. Here is their website