Should You Mow Your Own Lawn? (Or Hire Someone Else?)

I love mowing the lawn. I’ve been doing it since I was a young teenager for my folks – and now I mow the lawn at my own family home too. The exercise is great, and I just love the smell of cut grass and the satisfaction of starting a job that can be very clearly finished.

You should mow your own lawn if you like doing it or if you can’t afford to pay someone else to. Mowing the lawn is good non-impactive exercise, can aid weight loss, and is great for your mental health too. It also gives you a sense of satisfaction at doing a good job well.

In this article we’ll therefore look into the benefits of mowing your own lawn, and also consider the upsides of getting someone else to do it for you.

Should You Mow Your Own Lawn? (Or Hire Someone Else?)

What Are The Benefits of Mowing Your Own Lawn?

Sure, there are aerobic benefits to mowing the lawn. Experts say that a 155-pound person, mowing for half an hour, will burn 170 calories. Using a push mower burns more and raking burns a lot more. Burning calories on a Saturday morning will probably make you feel better about all those brats and beers on a Saturday night. 

But the most important reason to mow your own lawn is – it’s a calming, summer ritual. 

The smell of fresh cut grass is the smell of summertime. Combine the smell of freshly cut grass with warm sunshine on your back and you get – heaven.

Whether you are riding your mower or pushing it, mowing lawns give you time to think. Mowing is a no-brainer activity. One row, turn, then another row, turn and on and on. Repetitive activities are calming. 

While repetitively walking around your lawn, you’ll also get to know every tiny inch of your yard. Where the holes are. Where it needs some drainage help. Where the ants are amassing. 

You will know every inch and know when changes happen. You will know where the perfect spots are for another flower bed or a tree or two. While you are walking back and forth in the sun, you can dream up your dream yard.

Mowing your own yard gives you lots of job satisfaction. If you do the mowing, then when you are finished, your lawn looks exactly how you like it – perfect. No going back over the spots the teenager down the street missed. Or fuming over the scalped spots the mowing company left.

Supporters of doing-it-yourself lawn mowing say – doing it yourself saves you money. Supporters of lawn care companies say that hiring a service saves you money. Who is right? The answer is – it depends. If you already have all the equipment, then chances are, it’s cheaper to mow your yard yourself. 

If you don’t have the equipment, then consider the costs on both sides.

What Are The Benefits of Hiring Someone Else To Mow Your Lawn?

Mowing lawns is one of those activities that you either love or you hate. If you hate it, there are several benefits to hiring out that mowing job. Time, lawn health, garage space, worry-free vacations, and no more messy lawn mowers are all benefits to hiring someone else to mow your yard.

Mowing takes time and time is a precious commodity. You can use that time for stuff you enjoy more, like playing with the kids or dogs. You can work on those summer building projects or just read and relax.

If you have the same crew come to mow all summer, the consistency will be good for your lawn. Mowing crews always mow the same height and with the same routine. Your grass will be healthier, and your lawn will look better. 

You can go on a worry-free vacation, knowing your lawn is being cared for. And you can use that space in the garage that mowers and weed whackers take up. No more storing spools of weed trimming line, oil and gas cans.

Hiring someone to mow your lawn could save you money. Add up all that you spend on equipment and maintenance. Imagine skipping all the lawn mowing equipment cost. Mowers are expensive, and they don’t last forever, many only for a few years.

Then, there’s the cost of the upkeep. Gasoline and oil cost. Spark plugs and blades.

Then, there’s all the hassle of the maintenance. Mowers need yearly professional maintenance – usually at a lawn mower shop. Getting a lawn mower to a shop is a pain for most people.

How Much Should You Pay Someone To Mow Your Yard? (Average Cost)

We checked 2021 prices at HomeAdvisor. The US average cost to mow a lawn, per visit, ranged from $30 up to $80

Fees increase with increased services, like edging (or landscape curbing), leaf-blowing, mulching fall leaves or clearing winter debris. There’s also a price variation depending on which part of the country you live in. Surprisingly, it’s cheaper where the grass grows best, in the South.

If you have a large lawn, you could pay by the acre. HomeAdvisor says that you should expect to pay around $175 per acre for mowing.

Home Advisor say the hourly rates averaged between $25 and $60 – but this hourly rate is probably per lawn crew person. According to a poll of over 10,000 lawn care professionals, GreenPal reported that 78% of lawn care companies charged $60 per hour on average, per man. Here’s the rule of thumb GreenPal recommends – $1 per mowing minute per person.

If you live in an urban area, where the mowing service must travel to get to your lawn, you may pay more. Ask for an estimate for your lawn. 

Lawn care professionals all have their own metrics. Chances are, they’ll estimate your lawn size from Google Earth while talking to you. They’ll factor in whether they have to travel far to get to your location. 

Your best bet is to contract with a company for a flat rate, not an hourly one.

How Much Should I Pay a Teenager To Mow My Lawn?

We checked prices at the time of writing. The average amount to pay a teenager for just lawn mowing ranged between $15 and $40 per visit.

Sure, your neighborhood teenager is cheaper. Professional lawn companies charge more because they also have to cover liability insurance, workman’s comp, equipment depreciation, taxes and more. 

While there may be some insurance risk with a neighborhood teenager, hiring a teenager to mow your lawn has other benefits. Mainly, you are helping an enterprising, hard-working young person. 

The teenager will learn important life lessons about handling money and people.

Woman mowing the lawn

Should I Tip My lawn Guy?

There is no rule for this, but mowing lawns is a hard, sometimes thankless job. After a busy, hot summer of great lawn-mowing service, it’s OK to tip your lawn care company or neighborhood teenager. 

Experts say that an end of summer tip of $10 to $50 per person is appropriate.

How Do I Find a Good Lawn Service?

Here are some tips to finding a good lawn service company. Start in your neighborhood. Keep track of neighbors who have a service and whose lawn looks fabulous. Ask them who they use and how much they pay.

If you have to go the internet route, be sure to check reviews. A big risk for lawn care companies is that they just disappear.

Check if they have licenses and insurance. Not everyone is, but the ones who are serious about their business. They are the ones who’ve been around for a while and probably will be in the future. If a company is insured against liability on your property, that’s one less thing to worry about.

Some lawn care companies belong to professional trade groups. Another indicator that they are in the business to stay.

Make a short list of candidates and call them. If they aren’t friendly on the phone, then take them off the list. If a company doesn’t value customer service, then they just aren’t good businesspeople. 

While you are on the phone checking out companies, some experts suggest that you ask how often they sharpen their blades. Dull blades don’t cut grass cleanly and it’s a good indicator whether a company is serious about lawn care. Good companies will sharpen or change blades every one or two days.

Check out their websites. Can you schedule visits online? Pay online? Do they have glowing testimonials? Even lawn care companies should be online with an updated and working website.

Conclusion

Mowing your own lawn comes with many benefits, including increased fitness and all round good health, weight loss and saving money on hiring someone else to do it.

However, if you’re one of those people who simply hates mowing their own lawn, then for ultimate peace of mind you may be better off hiring a local lawn contractor or jobbing teenager to do it for you. 

If you’re like me though, you’ll love getting out there for some exercise in the fresh air! 🙂