How Much Does Lawn Care Service Cost in Phoenix, Arizona?
Lawn Care and Landscape Service prices vary throughout Phoenix based off of lot size and how many plants and trees, grass and granite are onsite to maintain. If you are thinking the cost for full lawn care service should be between $40-$50 per service, since the yard should not take long to keep it looking nice, you maybe surprised to know all the costs associated with lawn care. When it comes to quality service and if your current landscaper isn’t making a profit, they will likely stop showing up instead of requesting a price increase over time. Which is common in our field to hear the words “my guys just stopped showing up.”
Is it important to you that the company you hire for your landscaping service have insurance?
This is very important and rarely is checked but when you hire a landscaper in Phoenix that does not carry business liability insurance and workers compensation, you are really taking on all of the risk for the company. You can be stuck with a homeowners insurance claim if an employee gets hurt while onsite at your home, if the company you use does not have workers compensation. You can get stuck with a bill for repairs if the company you hire does not carry business liability to cover things like a broken window or other types of property damage at your home.
Is it important to you that the company you hire be licensed?
The State of Arizona says that any company performing work or completing repairs over $1,000 must be licensed by the State Register of Contractors. If they are not licensed and perform work on your property, that is not up to codes and standards. Good luck getting that corrected on anyone else’s dime but yours. AMS Landscaping: ROC214175 http://win.azroc.gov/forms/details.asp?license=214175
Is it important to you that the company you hire uses workers that are legal to work in the U.S.?
Employers are required to use the E-verify system in order to make certain that all employees are legal to work here in Phoenix, Arizona when paying team members through W-2 payroll service. Some smaller landscape companies can still get around this by paying employees cash under the table or pay them as a subcontractor with a 1099 Form and in either case the employee may not be legal to work here in the United States. AMS Landscaping E-verifies all employees and all AMS employees are paid by W-2 payroll service and meet all the current legal requirements of minimum wage and sick pay that is required by the State of Arizona.
Is it important to you to hire a lawn care company that has properly trained and qualified employees?
It may not seem like a big deal to mow the lawn and trim the trees and shrubs, but property pruning for each species is important and can be harmful to the plant material in our desert climate. Also, knowledge of all sprinkler systems is important so that we can test and make proper adjustments. All of our supervisors are experienced before we ever bring them on board and are required to go through training that focuses on our desert landscaping with UofA Cooperative Extension and Water Users Association of Arizona called SmartScape. http://www.smartscape.org/
Equipment & Supply Costs
Costs vary for all types of equipment but all full service landscapers must come equipped with a push mower at the very least for mowing, hedge trimmer for shrub trimming, line trimmer for edging turf, blowers for leaf shed and cleanup, lopers and pruners for heavier pruning, rakes, shovels, fertilizer spreader, back pack sprayer & chemical, bags and lots of smaller miscellaneous supplies for most sprinkler systems and tools for those repairs as well. Inventory alone can be hefty since we always carry safety equipment like first aid and goggles along with much more. Based off of a 30-minute budget time for an onsite crew, about $2 will likely go towards these cost.
Truck, Trailer & Fuel Costs
Fuel cost can fluctuate. When costs rise this can quickly cut into service cost since not only does the truck use fuel but so does all the small engine equipment and the 2-cycle equipment require a mix gas that is even more costly. Truck cost can be depreciated over a 5-6 year span to spread that cost out since they usually last at least that amount of time with the exception of repair cost like oil changes and major repairs like transmission replacement which happens more frequent because we are constantly pulling a trailer. Trucks can be purchased for between $15,000- $20,000 used and trailers hold their value better and usually cost around $4,500 each. Based off of a 30-minute budget time for an onsite crew about $4-$5 will likely go towards truck, trailer and fuel cost.
Labor cost is the largest cost of lawn and landscaper service since we bill based on time and pay hourly rate for each employee (usually about 35% of every dollar goes to labor). Phoenix landscape companies pay between $12-$24 per hour depending on the position and skill of the team member. Minimum wage has gone up here in Arizona and will go up again to $11 per hour in 2019 and $12 per hour in 2020. However, not all lawn care companies are aware that the new minimum wage law also requires up to 40 hours sick pay per year based on the amount of hours worked. Arizona requires employers offer 1-hour of sick pay for every 30 hours worked which took effect in the middle of 2017. Although most landscape companies offer more than minimum wage (much more for lead foreman and supervisors) these increases are getting closer to the rates normally offered for starting pay. Also, sick pay was not standard in this industry so it will likely bring another rise in costs to Phoenix landscapers which will directly impact service rates for landscape maintenance. Based off of a 30-minute budget time for an onsite crew, about $30-$35 will likely go towards labor cost and another $6-$8 toward drive time.
Insurance costs come in two forms that are important to the homeowner. The first cost is in workers comp, which is about 3.5 cents on every dollar spent in labor and business liability insurance which is based off of total payroll of a company. Based off of a 30-minute budget time for an onsite crew, about $3 will likely go towards insurance cost.
Overhead cost are the cost for office staff and rent for storage of everything. It also covers the licensing, utilities, training, phones, software, billing, credit card and bank fees, advertising, consulting and education to stay on top in our industry and much more. Based off of a 30-minute budget time for an onsite crew, about $5-$7 will likely go towards overhead cost.
Profit is part the homeowner may not care much about but I assure you if any company is not profitable they aren’t going to last very long. Most consultants will tell you that if you are not operating at least at a 10% profit you are 1-year away from going out of business and won’t be much help to homeowner if the landscape company is not solvent enough to pay employees to do the work. A healthy, profitable company is ideal for a long term relationship you want to build with with a business that you know will be there to care for your yard for years to come. Based off of a 30-minute budget time for an onsite crew, about $7-$8 should go towards profit.
Total cost can add up quickly and it is important that you hire companies that are fiducially responsible to be competitive in the Phoenix, Arizona marketplace. They also need to have all required licensing, insurance, property tools, trucks and equipment, along with the best team that will be responsible and trustworthy while in a personal space that you call home without placing all the risk on you as the homeowner.
Lawn care customers should be skeptical of services that offer rates that sound closer to hourly wages when you know there are many important cost that go into lawn service that can scale to accommodate your friends and family and continue to offer the best possible service for you. If you are paying someone around $40-$50 per service, you can quickly see how the company will have to pressure their staff to complete the work in 10-15 minutes when many times your property will require 30 minutes or more to properly service and really clean your yard to make it comfortable for you to enjoy. This is likely the reason many companies get that mow and blow reputation, although they start off great but then many companies will lose money in the beginning to make a great first impression and then be pressured to service more quickly which will decrease the quality of service.
As you can see finding a service that is offered at rates as low as $40-$50 may start off great but if you are looking for a quality service that will keep coming back, the cost will likely be more than that. So even if you do not hire AMS Landscaping, at least you know what our industry standard is and why some landscapers stop coming or just do a mow and blow service. The best way to look for a higher quality company is go online to see reviews on Google, Facebook, Yelp, BBB, Angie’s List, and the AZ Registrar of Contractors.