By Gene and Katie Hamilton
A gardener or yard service who does lawn and yard work frequently advertises in local newspapers in the Classified ads or in the Home section of the paper. The national average hourly rate for a gardener is $25. You'll also find their business cards posted on the bulletin board at a lawn and garden center. Online usea a seach engine by typing "gardener or yard service (in your town)" in a search box and you'll be directed to an online contractor referral service, Another option is to look in the Yellow Pages under "Landscape contractors."
If you enjoy working in your garden, but occasionally need someone to help you, an individual is a good choice. Bear in mind that these folks usually work alone or with a pick up crew and they're always busy during peak gardening season. If you hire them infrequently, you may have to wait because their regular "bread and butter customers" get their attention first.
Since their business season can be short, they often begin work early in the morning. Sometimes the best way to get an estimate is to make contact over the telephone, specify the work required and have them visit the site when they're in the neighborhood. You don't have to be home for them to check out the property so they can prepare a bid after asking you a few questions and confirming what you want.
A contract with a gardener/yard service should include a concise explanation of the work to be completed and the following:
- Names of planting materials (including size and appearance) to be used
- Any warranty for the replacement of materials that die after planting
- Description of work to be completed
- Fees for equipment rental, hauling service etc.
- Total charge that includes the labor and materials
- Payment schedule
- Beginning and completion date for the work
Click Landscaping Projects to compare how much it costs to do-it-yourself with hiring a gardener for 23 gardening improvements.