Evaluating and Understanding Grounds Maintenance Contracts
Understanding grounds care contracts can be difficult, as different vendors use different estimates, pricing and wording to describe their services.
Before getting into what’s covered in your grounds maintenance contract, it’s important to understand three things: size, scope and frequency.
- Size – this has to do with the size of your property. Do you have large rough beds, lots of walkable paths and surface area, etc? The size of property will have a large bearing on the estimates you receive from groundscare vendors.
- Scope – what services are covered in the contract? Will your vendor complete seasonal cleanups and clear fallen debris? Do they cover planting seasonal beds, etc?
- Frequency – how often will your vendor service your property? Sometimes an increase in frequency of service can lead to increased cost, depending on how your contract is worded.
Another important thing to keep in mind is the season and care. Each season requires different care to keep your grounds healthy and beautiful. Spring brings on new annual plantings, while Fall involves debris cleanup and certain types of flowers to bloom. Summer is typically the most busy, where your grounds will need regular mowing.
At LANDFORM, the following services are often included in the properties we serve: Lawn Mowing, Rough Mowing/Bush Hogging, Bi-weekly/monthly mowing, Lawn Applications, Rough Lawn Areas, Weed Control, Vegetation Control, Mulch Bed Weed Control, Pruning, Spring Cleanup, Mulching, Pre-emergent bed weed control, Fall Cleanup, Ornamental Pest Control, Spring/Summer/Fall seasonal color plantings, Irrigation Startup/Winterization/Inspections/Maintenance, Regular site visits by horticulturist, Hand Watering, Detention Pond Maintenance, and concrete gutter cleanout.
Our service is full and complete!
Most items managers receive groundscare estimates and simply look at the bottom line pricing. Evaluating contracts this way can be detrimental to your budget, though. Read on for some tips in comparing groundscare contracts.
- Compare each service with its unit price
- Ensure the estimated quantity of services needed for your property is included in the total. Some vendors will list costs per mow, but not estimate how many mows are needed for your property. They’ll then charge per visit, and the actual costs end up surpassing the original estimate.
- If the quantity of services is estimated, what if the vendor exceeds the estimated quantity. In other words, if 25 mowing is in the contract, and the vendor decides it needs 27 mowings, does the customer have to pay for additional mowings. LANDFORM does not charge the customer for additional mowings if needed, nor do we credit for mowings not completed. We estimate the quantity needed, but our job is to keep the property looking great.
As you select the right vendor for your groundscare, keep in mind does the vendor have the capacity to meet your grounds care needs. Do they have hired staff who are certified in horticulture or landscaping? It’s also important to determine beforehand how issues can be communicated and resolved.
At LANDFORM, we look forward to meeting and exceeding your groundscare needs.