The Pros and Cons of DIY Landscaping

You’ve chosen to buy a house with a large lawn. Now you have a decision to make — should you buy equipment for DIY landscaping, or should you hire a landscaper to manage your lawn for you?

There are pros and cons to each choice.

Pros of DIY Landscaping

The main advantage of doing your own landscaping is that you save money over the long run. While you will have to pay upfront for equipment and tools, you can use them for years and spend less than it would cost to hire a landscaper. The largest upfront landscaping cost is usually the lawnmower, and riding mowers cost even more. However, walk-behind mowers are relatively inexpensive. The walk-behind mowers Consumer Reports recommends range in price between $200 and $500.

Cons of DIY Landscaping

Doing your own landscaping requires some knowledge of lawn care. If you cut your grass too short, you could end up with a yard of brown stubble, and pushing a mower over a large area can be physically demanding. If you have any health concerns that hamper your ability to exercise, you may need to leave this chore to a landscaper. Also, landscaping can take up a lot of time that you might want to spend on other activities.

Pros of Hiring a Landscaper

Saving time is a major reason to hire a landscaper. Doing your own landscaping is a big time commitment. In fact, Chicago Tribune reports that Americans spend about 70 hours a year on average caring for lawns and gardening. If you don’t want to spend that time on your lawn, it’s probably worth it to pay someone else for landscaping.

Cons of Hiring a Landscaper

A major downside of hiring a landscaper is the cost. For example, Homewyse estimates that for the 43082 ZIP code, the cost of getting a 500-square-foot lawn mowed varies between $32 and $75. So if you pay for lawn mowing once a week for 12 weeks in the summer, you’ll pay between $388 and $911 for the year. Then there are additional costs if you choose to have your lawn seeded or mulched by the landscaper. Of course, a larger lawn will cost more.

Another downside to hiring a landscaper is that you give up some immediate control over your lawn care, and your landscaper could accidentally undo your work. For example, if you plant a new flower at the edge of your lawn, your landscaper might mistake it for a weed and remove it. Problems like this are easy to avoid if you remember to tell your landscaper when you decide to change something.

Doing your own landscaping is often more cost-effective than hiring someone else, especially if you use a walk-behind mower. But on the flip side, it does take a lot of time and effort. That’s why it’s always a good idea to review the pros and cons to make your decision.

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