A guide to lawn care costs and prices in Calgary

One of the first questions potential lawn care clients want to know when they contact a lawn care company in Calgary is “How much does lawn care cost?” Although this is a difficult question to answer, I will try to do my best here to explain some general pricing guidelines specifically for Calgary.

Lawn care is not “one-size-fits-all”. Lawn care is used as a broad term here in Calgary and can mean many things, from spring services to maintenance to exterior pest control, and prices or costs can vary depending on your needs. Residential lots in Calgary typically range in size from 4000 square feet to about 10000 square feet, and there are still some yards that are even larger and prices will reflect that. Even the shape of your lot, including changes due to landscaping, slopes, or ease of access, can affect pricing.

Generally, minimum service fees are usually around $65-100 for anything requiring a visit to your yard. However, you can get some services for a lower price when you sign up for something that requires recurring visits such as lawn mowing, weed control and fertilizer packages, or snow removal, or if you sign up for a package that bundles multiple services together.

How much does lawn care in Calgary Cost?

  • Weed control application – $65-100+
  • Lawn Fertilizer application – $65-100+
  • Aeration – starting $85-$120+
  • Overseeding – $50-150+
  • Lawn Mowing – $45 to $90+
  • Power raking – $125 – $200+
  • Spring clean up – $180 – $300+
  • Fall Clean up – $125- $300+

If you are getting estimates for much less than the prices above you should ask yourself, why? Sure, it’s nice to save some money, but trying to save a few bucks for lawn care may cost your more in the long run.

  • Are they skilled or might they do a bad job and ruin your lawn?
  • Do they have proper insurance? If not, this will make the homeowner responsible for any damages.
  • Do they have WCB? The homeowner could be liable if an accident should happen.
  • Do they have the proper equipment to provide you with a quality service? High-end commercial-grade equipment is necessary for a lawn care operator to provide excellent service.
  • Do they have reliable & safe transportation? Having a reliable and safe truck is essential to providing good service to lawn care clients.
  • Is this a side-hustle? There are many lawn care operators in Calgary that do lawn care on the side (not their main job) and may charge less. There is nothing wrong with that, but are they going to give your lawn the attention that it needs and are they going to have the knowledge required to identify lawn issues such as pests and disease if it arises?

Generally, selecting a lawn care company that is the cheapest in Calgary leads to regret, frustration and ultimately needing to search for a new lawn care company once the current one has failed you.

The main thing you want to ask when deciding if the price is fair is, “is this company providing me with the most value?” You want to find a company that will make you the happiest in the long run. One that is reliable, and that will be around for years to come.

If you are getting estimates for much more than the prices above, you may be overpaying. Some reasons companies are charging too much:

  • Companies that are carrying far too much debt and need to charge as much as possible in order to service this debt and avoid being forced out of business.
  • Companies that focus on commercial work and your residential property does not matter to them. They will throw a high price to you to make it worth their while.
  • Not understanding the market or their own costs. The best lawn care companies in Calgary should know their numbers and the market in order to price their lawn care services properly. Not understanding the market or what it takes to get a certain service completed can lead to improper pricing and potentially over-charging you, the client.

How can I save money on lawn care?

There are a few ways to save money on lawn care in Calgary, and some of the best companies will help you.

  • Getting a package or bundling services together is a great way to save some money on your lawn care services. Usually the more you bundle together, the more you can save. Lawn care companies can usually pass the savings onto you if they can get more services done on your property in one visit. These discounts can happen because the company saves time and money by not having to drive around.
  • Recurring services are another way to save on some money. A recurring service such as weekly mowing or weed control & fertilizer packages can save you money. These savings usually happen because the company spends less time doing administration or price estimating tasks in the office.
  • A referral program is another great way to save money. A referral program usually works by having you refer your friends, family and neighbours to the lawn care company and they give you a credit on your account for each person that signs up. Some referral programs may even offer a discount to the new clients so everyone can save money.

Why does lawn care cost what it does?

It’s might seem that lawn care is “easy” when you see only the operation on your yard. However, there is an immense amount of time, money and effort that goes into making sure that a lawn care business is operating efficiently and safely.

Unfortunately, some people only focus on the initial price of lawn care with the goal of finding the cheapest service, therefore sacrificing quality, warranty, and aesthetics, which inevitably leads to regret. Yes, you can trade for a different lawn care company in Calgary if you end up dissatisfied and disenchanted. Keep in mind, if you try switching lawn care companies in the middle of the season, there is a chance that the right company may already be booked for the season. Some of the more sought-after operators book very early in the season and may not have spots available later in the season. Therefore, it is important to choose the best lawn care company the first time.

Costs incurred by lawn care companies

Real lawn care companies in Calgary have real expenses. To give clients the best lawn care experience, a proper pricing structure is critical for the health of the business. Real lawn care companies want to service their client for years to come and not be a “here today, gone tomorrow” company. Real companies care about their clients and are proud of the companies they built. In order to maintain and grow a successful lawn care company in Calgary, there are many costs that are involved to give the clients the best experience and limit their liability.

Costs incurred to be a professional Lawn Care company in Calgary:

  • WCB
  • EI
  • CPP
  • Liability Insurance
  • Commercial Vehicle Insurance
  • Specialty Insurance (lawn applications, pest control, equipment theft, snow removal)
  • Fair Pay to all employees
  • Follow all employment rules (stat pay, vacation pay, etc.)
  • High quality equipment to give a good quality service
  • Multiple, reliable work trucks
  • Back up trucks to make sure there is no “down time”
  • On-going equipment and truck maintenance to ensure quality and safety
  • Office systems and software for a better client experience and scheduling services
  • Office help to give amazing customer service
  • Bookkeeper
  • Tax and legal help
  • Accountant
  • Marketing (web design, print design, post distribution)
  • Training costs to ensure new employees are up to company standards
  • Speciality licensing – Certified Applicators licensing, testing and on-going training for specialties such as weed control
  • Storage space or shop to keep tools, equipment, and products. Lawn care companies need space to store equipment and tools in both the on- and off-season
  • Products are needed by lawn care companies to operate. This can include fertilizers, seeds, soils, and weed control products

If you are looking at a new lawn care service provider in Calgary, do not just look at their pricing. We totally understand that the price is important, but here are a few other items you should look at.

When you are choosing a new company, be sure to:

  • Read their Google reviews or other online reviews and compare them to others. If they only have a handful of reviews, that may be a red flag. A company that has been around for a while should have several dozen reviews or even a hundred or more. The more reviews they have may tell you that they have been around a bit longer and have built great relationships with their clients.
  • How is their communication? Do they answer the phone, or at least return your call promptly? Are they friendly and helpful? If you are going to be dealing with a service operator for awhile, you want to know that you can communicate easily with them.
  • See if they have lawn signs in clients’ front yards. That could mean that there are also many other people that are happy with their service and that the company is willing to “showcase” themselves.
  • Ask your neighbours or friends that are using a lawn care company. Are they happy with who they are using? If they are, why not get an estimate from them too?
  • Make sure they specialize in just a few things. If they offer a plethora of services, how can they be good at any one thing? If a lawn care company is also offering deck building or staining, retaining walls, roof repairs etc., ask yourself -are they going to be good at doing what I want, lawn care?
  • Do they offer a satisfaction guarantee? Any reputable lawn care company in Calgary should be able to guarantee their work and offer to fix anything for free if you are not satisfied.

You are going to be dealing with and communicating with your lawn care company for as long as you need the service. So, picking the right lawn care company in Calgary the first time is critical to ensure a smooth process and build a great relationship with them. Because of this, most shoppers elect to get a lawn care company that will make them happiest in the long run.

Don’t settle for subpar companies that are here today and gone tomorrow for the sake of saving a few dollars!

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