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Landscaper Lawn Mowing Costs
If you hire a lawncare company, the average cost to mow a lawn is 1.2 cents per square foot, which works out to $45 to $90 for lots of the most common sizes. But for very small areas, the cost per square foot is much higher. Most companies have a minimum charge of at least $40.
You’ll probably pay about half that price if you hire a “neighbor kid” who is looking to earn spending money. But dependability of someone who doesn’t do it for a living might vary.
When using a landscaping company to handle your weekly or bi-weekly yard maintenance you can expect them to first clean up branches and debris that may have fallen onto the grass. Then they’ll cut the lawn at the correct height for the season. (Longer blades of grass in summer, shorter in cooler seasons) After the yard it cut, they’ll use a string trimmer to cut in your edges around the sidewalks, driveway, and planters. Finally, they’ll finish up with using a blower to remove all debris from the hard surfaces. This is commonly referred to as a “Cut, Trim and Blow” by landscapers and yard maintenance crews.
Average Weekly Mowing Costs
Average Do It Yourself cost
Less than $10 / Cut (fuel cost)
Average Landscaper Mowing Cost
$.01 – $.08 / Square Foot
$45 – $90 / Visit
Typical Cost Average
1.2 cents / Square Foot
$55 / Cut
Overview of Lawn Mowing and Weekly Maintenance
Grass cutting is offered by landscape and lawn care professionals. This page of Business Finance News focuses specifically on lawn mowing, trimming and edging walkways and the driveway, and blowing debris off hard surfaces – tasks done on every visit. Typical rates are $.01 (1 cent) to $.08 (8 cents) per square foot.
Saying that lawncare prices are less than 1 cent to about 8 cents per square foot might not be useful as you evaluate what it will cost to hire a lawn mowing service. So, here are costs for common lawn sizes. Cost per square foot drops significantly as the size of the yard increases.
- 500 square feet (fenced backyard area/pool surround): $45 – $60
- 1,000 square feet (small yard): $50 – $70
- 5,000 square feet (typical suburban lot): $60 – $85
- 10,900 square feet (1/4 acre): $70 – $110
- 21,750 square feet (1/2 acre): $85 – $130
- 43,500 square feet (1 acre): $100 – $150
The majority of a lawncare pro’s expenses are in travel time, fuel, labor and equipment, so the brief time they spend at your home doesn’t reflect their total costs per client. A full list of lawn mowing price factors is discussed below.
And if these costs still seem a little high, one trip to the gas station helps explain the fact that costs have increased significantly recently.
Cost Factors for Mowing
Here are the major factors affecting the cost to mow lawn – and a few tips for getting the best prices and more dependable service.
There’s a retail list of supplies below for those who want to compare the cost of professional lawncare with buying a mower, paying for fuel and doing it yourself.
- Lawn Size – It is a “given” that you’ll pay more the larger your landscape is, but price per square foot drops significantly as lawn size goes up – for reasons mentioned above.
- Who Cuts your Grass – Most homeowners hire a pro for dependability and because pros usually have liability insurance in case your home is damaged by a rock thrown by the mower and other hazard. But you’ll save money DIY or hiring a young person from the neighborhood.
- Nearby Customers – When a lawncare company has multiple customers in your neighborhood, they are able to offer competitive rates because their time and transportation expenses are minimized. That’s why it makes sense to jot down numbers of lawncare company trucks you see on your street and give them a call to get quotes.
- Grass Length – When the grass is extra-long, it takes longer to mow and causes more wear and tear on the equipment. As a result, grass cutting estimates are higher.
- One-time vs Whole Season – You’ll get a better rate if you hire a lawncare service for the entire season – and starting at the beginning of the season when the lawn is just beginning to grow.
- Access – Cost is lower when lawncare pros can use their speedy commercial machines with wider mowing widths. When they can only get a push mower into fenced areas or into crowded areas, cost is often at least twice as high per square foot.
- Obstacles – Similarly, when the landscape is wide open, cost is lower than when there are trees and other obstacles like an inground pool and enclosure or patio to work around. If you have a lawn sprinkler system installed, it could also increase trimming times.
- Edging and Trimming – These tasks are part of most lawncare estimates, and the more trimming and edging your landscape requires, the higher the cost per square foot will be.
- Clippings Disposal – When a large volume of clippings and debris are hauled away, cost will go up.
- Services Provided – While costs here are only for grass cutting, when fertilizing or other services are provided, you might get a package rate that makes mowing more economical.
Cost of Mower, Trimmer and Yard Tools
Here are retail and commercial costs for some of the equipment used to care for the typical lawn. The commercial costs are included for comparison and to show the equipment costs most lawncare pros experience.
- $160 – $400| Residential Gas Push Mower
- $120 – $500| Residential Electric Push Mower
- $900 – $1,500 | Residential Gas or Electric Lawncare Kit – In addition to the mower, they kits contain one or more additional tools – blower, trimmer, edger etc.
- $480 – $800 | Commercial Gas-powered Push Mower
- $1,200 – $4,000+| Residential Garden Tractor
- $3,500 – $10,000+| Commercial Riding or Walk-behind Mower
- $80 – $150 | Weed-whip Style Trimmer and Edger
- $400 – $950 | Commercial Edger/Trimmer
- $65 – $300 | Residential Electric or Rechargeable Blower
- $340 – $950 | Gas powered, High CFM Volume Commercial Backpack Blower
Related Costs and Mowing Time
Permits and Inspection Cost
- $0 | A permit is not required for lawn maintenance.
Labor and Mowing Time
Lawncare pros factor $50 to $75 or more per hour to cover the cost to pay their crew, fuel, equipment upkeep, insurance and other costs.
Commercial riding mowers cut at 8-12 MPH, so they cover an acre of ground in about 20-25 minutes. So, you can see that it takes just a few minutes to mow most suburban lots.
Using a walk-behind mower takes 2-3 times longer.
Primary labor-related cost factors, besides DIY vs Pro, are:
- Distance to your home from their facility or last job
- Whether the company is fully insured
- Length of your grass
- One-time or regular mowing
- Configuration/complexity of your yard
- Whether they can use riding mowers or must cut with a walk-behind, narrower-width mower
Workers’ wages are another significant cost factor – and this varies because the use of poorly paid workers is common in the industry. If this is a concern, choose a contractor with a good reputation for treating employees fairly.
We’ve found the projects listed below to be commonly related to lawn maintenance and grass mowing.
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DIY or Hire a Pro
Lawncare is a DIY part of the routine for many homeowners who might even enjoy the work as “yard therapy,” a break from the daily grind of their vocation.
Improvements in electric mowers – more power and better battery life – have increased their popularity immensely, and the lower noise level compared with gas-powered mowers is something everyone can appreciate. However, tried and true gas mowers remain a good option too, especially for larger lawns.
If you DIY, your savings will range from around about 1 cent to 8 cents per square foot depending on the size of your yard – $60 to $100 per cut for common-size lots. Homewyse has a similar price range of $42 to $90, though a higher potential cost per square foot of $.18. Remodeling Expense suggests $.09 to $.15 per square foot with a cost of $40 to $80, but those costs might not account for recent rises in prices. Angi’s, aka Angie’s List, gives a higher top-end cost of $210, and lawns that are more than a few acres in size could certainly cost that much to mow.
Those are cost ranges for hiring a lawncare pro, which is a popular option for many homeowners and owners of rental properties. In busy suburban areas, rates can be pretty competitive when the company has a handful of customers in the same neighborhood.
Tax tip: If your property is a rental or if you maintain a home office in your primary residence, lawncare is one of the general home-related expenses that can be deducted on an itemized tax return.
We recommend DIY for the exercise and fresh air, but if your schedule or other factors don’t allow that, then going pro ensures a consistently mowed lawn that looks its best all season – especially if you contract with the lawncare company for related tasks like applying weed and feed or trimming hedges. A hybrid option is to consider hiring pros for thorough spring cleaning and mowing to get your yard in great shape and then caring for it yourself after that.
Compare Costs from Leading Resources
- ANGI: $50 – $210, Depending on Size of Yard
- Field Routes: $50 – $250, Based on Size and Included Services
- ThumbTack: $70 – $120, Average Price Range
- Lawn Starter: $30 – $65, Based on Size and Services
- Fixr: $65 – $120, Weekly Mowing, Less than 1 Acre
- Atlanta Lawn Care: $30 – $65 (and up), Weekly Cutting, Under 1 Acre
Common Questions and Answers
What is Usually Included in Weekly Lawn Care?
In most cases, you can expect the landscaper to pick up debris, cut the grass, trim the edges and blow the hard surfaces (sidewalks, driveway, etc) clear of clippings.
How Often Does a Lawn Need to be Mowed?
This really depends on where you are and the time of year. In most southern areas of the USA, you can expect weekly mowing from late March through late October. In the cooler months when grass is dormant, it’s not uncommon to go 1-2 months between mowing.
A lawyer never retires. So I would just say that I am not as active as I used to be. Now I simply dedicate myself to fishing, my hobby, and my grandchildren. For Business Finance News I write about legal aspects of mortgage policies, mostly regarding the rights of policyholders. I also have articles about personal injuries.