Lawn Care Services Review and Rating Methodology

By Meredith Kucik

How We Rate and Review Lawn Care Services

House Method’s lawn and garden care category is built around providing homeowners with unbiased, accessible, and expert-approved content on all things green and growing.  Whether it be our comprehensive lawn care provider reviews, field-tested product recommendations, or seasonal garden guides, all information published across our site is written to offer real-world solutions for your landscaping needs.

Every piece of supporting research behind our lawn care content is sourced from the insight of real industry professionals, verified customer testimonials, primary lawn care company sites, and our lawn care experience survey.

Here is an overview of our overall composite rating system and what each level, from zero to five stars, indicates:

★★★★★ Outstanding

★★★★☆ Excellent

★★★☆☆ Average

★★☆☆☆ Below Average

★☆☆☆☆ Poor

Core Categories of the Lawn Care Rating System

To craft a review process based on the direct questions and expectations of our readers, House Method issued an anonymous lawn experience survey. Exactly 1,000 homeowners nationwide were queried on what they felt was most important when considering a lawn care company or DIY lawn care subscription box.

We then carbon-copied that compiled data — in the exact order of importance as ranked by respondents —  into a proprietary rating system with six core categories and 32 subcategories.

Cost

  • Monthly plan costs
  • Cost per individual service or product
  • Subscription costs for DIY lawn care boxes

Services Offered

  • Landscaping and mowing
  • Tree and shrub care
  • Weed control
  • Grub control and other pest control services
  • Aeration
  • Overseeding and seeding
  • Fertilization
  • Soil amendment and pH testing
  • Subscription boxes with products

Customer Satisfaction and Service Guarantee

  • Reputation
  • Mobile app
  • Customer service phone line
  • Online customer reviews
  • Service guarantees
  • Online ratings

Professionalism, Training, and/or DIY-ability

  • Reputation
  • Trained professionals
  • Lawn care certifications
  • Years in business
  • DIY product application
  • Products shipped directly to your house
  • Products are chosen for specific lawn needs
  • Application difficulty

Á La Carte Options

  • Ability to schedule one visit
  • Ability to schedule one service
  • Ability to buy products individually

Product Type Used

  • Chemical
  • Organic
  • Ability to choose product type

How Our Rating System Helps Homeowners

Our lawn care rating system is designed to help homeowners gain a clear understanding of any company or product that piques their interest, before making the investment. One simple Google search for the best lawn care service will leave you inundated with thousands of potential options.

We’re here to help you dodge any bad seeds by only ever highlighting premier providers from the get-go, and then refining each down to their core features in our comprehensive round-ups and reviews. And in doing so, we aim to ultimately match you with the right lawn care and gardening services for your yard.

How We Created this Lawn Care Service Rating System

House Method collected data on the top 42 companies in the lawn care industry, hand-selecting reputable providers across the landscaping market share with predominantly positive marks from past and current customers. In order to qualify for a recommendation, each service provider must meet a minimum of 28 out of the 32 benchmarks within the six larger categories that comprise our rating system.

We’ve found the best way to align our quantitative findings with the customer experience is by trying out leading lawn care companies’ products and services in controlled true-to-life test settings. Given that many of us at House Method are homeowners ourselves, we only ever recommend service providers that we’d trust with our own lawns and gardens.

How Real Homeowners Influence Our Rating System

Ahead of this methodology, House Method fielded an anonymous public lawn experience survey to gauge average homeowners’ familiarity with the typical offerings of professional lawn care companies and subscription boxes.

Respondents were first asked to identify themselves based on their prior experience with a professional lawn care service. Here’s how they answered:

  • 238 had used a professional lawn care service in the past
  • 233 would consider using a lawn care service in the future
  • 198 had hired someone to do lawn maintenance before
  • 174 actively use a professional lawn care company
  • 157 had never used a lawn care service and don’t plan to

Next, participating homeowners were asked about their experiences with lawn care subscription boxes:

  • 645 didn’t know what this was and hadn’t ever subscribed to one
  • 149 weren’t interested in purchasing a lawn care subscription box
  • 130 were open to the idea of a lawn care subscription box
  • 48 had considered purchasing a lawn care subscription box
  • 18 had bought or were planning to buy a lawn care subscription box
  • 10 had ordered a Sunday Lawn Care subscription box before

In this last portion of our survey, we asked specifically about the top lawn care issues that they’ve experienced during homeownership:

  • 306 struggled with preventing and keeping weeds away
  • 265 had a hard time fitting proper lawn care into their budget
  • 236 didn’t have the spare time to spend on maintenance and upkeep
  • 88 have dealt with brown patches and fungal diseases in their yards
  • 70 couldn’t keep animals and pests away
  • 31 were unsure of what equipment was best suited for their lawns

Scoring and Weighing Each Feature Within the 6 Core Categories

The inner workings of our scoring system combine two crucial data sets: the responses from our lawn experience survey and our in-house expertise in the lawn care industry. Each and every lawn service provider featured on House Method is evaluated based on cost, breadth of service, customer satisfaction, professionalism, DIY and á la carte product alternatives, and lawn treatment type.

Aggregate ratings from each of these five categories are then translated into a score value using a custom five-point scale with a point index ranging from a minimum of 0.00 to a maximum of 1.00. These points per provider are then turned into star ratings, using whole and half star increments between one and five.

Here’s a breakdown of how our weighting schema is assigned by category and subcategory:

Weighing the 5 Core Categories

Cost (30%)

  • Monthly plan costs (10%)
  • Cost per individual service or product (10%)
  • Subscription costs for DIY lawn care boxes (10%)

Á La Carte Options (10%)

  • Ability to schedule one visit (2%)
  • Ability to schedule one service (2%)
  • Ability to buy products individually (6%)

Services Offered (25%)

  • Landscaping and mowing (5%)
  • Tree and shrub care (4%)
  • Weed control (5%)
  • Grub control and other pest control services (3%)
  • Aeration (1%)
  • Overseeding and seeding (2%)
  • Fertilization (3%)
  • Soil amendment and pH testing (1%)
  • Subscription boxes with products (1%)

Customer Satisfaction and Service Guarantee (15%)

  • Reputation (5%)
  • Mobile app (3%)
  • Customer service phone line (2%)
  • Online customer reviews (3%)
  • Service guarantees (1%)
  • Online ratings (1%)

Professionalism, Training, and/or DIY-ability (15%)

  • Reputation (2%)
  • Trained professionals (3%)
  • Lawn care certifications (1%)
  • Years in business (1%)
  • DIY product application (2%)
  • Products shipped directly to your house (1%)
  • Products are chosen for specific lawn needs (2%)
  • Application difficulty (3%)

Product Type Used (5%)

  • Chemical (1%)
  • Organic (2%)
  • Ability to choose product type (2%)

Lawn Care Cost

When asked to rank all six categories, from most important to least, 340 respondents out of 1,000 marked cost as their first concern when considering a lawn care service. Participants were then asked to select one overarching category as the most important factor to them. 617 out of 1,000 chose cost. For that reason, the overall cost of any given lawn care service is the largest criterion in our rating system, accounting for 30% of a company’s score.

Average Monthly Plan Costs

Though rates will vary depending on the company and service being performed, the average cost of professional lawn care sits at around $125 per month. Standard services wrapped under this price typically include weed control, mowing and trimming,  customized lawn treatment, and fertilization. Additional services for treating specific lawn health issues like aeration, overseeding, pest control, etc. can impact the overall cost as well.

Leading lawn care providers often have a slew of lawn care package variations to choose from, which can make differentiating prices even more difficult. We awarded more points to companies that were forthcoming about pricing on their website. The option to build a free custom quote also had a favorable impact on each service provider’s score.

Costs of Individual Services or Products

According to our survey results, 265 out of 996 homeowners indicated fitting lawn care into their budget as a primary pain point when browsing top provider options. Like long-term plans, the cost of one-off services will depend on the type and extent of work needed. The average one-time cost for mowing is around $50 an hour, whereas one overseeding session can run you $800+.

Not all homeowners are looking to invest in repeat care, so companies that placed just as much emphasis on their one-time services as their long-term or seasonal packages generally scored higher.

Subscription Box Prices

DIY lawn care subscription boxes offer a cheaper alternative to professional landscaping services, and they’re delivered right to your doorstep. Most leading subscription-based options are offered on an annual cycle, costing an average of $200 per year, depending on the size of your yard.

In our survey, we specifically asked homeowners to describe what an ideal lawn care subscription box would look like to them. Here were their responses:

  • 28.4% would want to  be able to choose the specific product for their lawn
  • 22.5% would want an all-inclusive box with professionally-selected products for a green and lush lawn
  • 21.1% wouldn’t purchase DIY lawn care
  • 18.8% would like the option to cancel a few products in the box if they didn’t like them
  • 9.1% would like to order the products included à la carte

Á La Carte Options

This category evaluates a provider’s efforts to offer additional elective services in order for homeowners to customize a lawn care plan based on their budget and treatment needs. Out of 1,000 participants, 241 elected the inclusion of à la carte lawn care services or products as their highest priority next to the other five categories.

Ability to Schedule One Visit vs. Annual Plan

Especially for first-time lawn care customers, the ability to try out a company’s services without having to go all in is essential.  320 respondents out of 1,000 preferred to schedule only one visit rather than paying for a bundle of multiple applications per year. That said, we favored providers with both standalone and packaged lawn care options over those with just monthly or annual plans.

Ability to Buy One Product or Service

Similarly to having control over the frequency of visits, 181 out of 990 homeowners expressed high interest in the option to choose and purchase lawn care products individually. Especially for DIY lawn care products, homeowners like to get a feel for usability and efficacy before committing for the long run. Companies with robust one-time purchase options garnered more points in this subcategory.

Services Offered

Here, in our third category, we assessed lawn care companies specifically for the scope of lawn- and landscaping-related services they carry. 223 out of the initial 1,000 survey participants nominated the range of lawn care services offered by each individual company as the most important.

Given that this category makes up for 25% of our rating system, we took care in differentiating companies that offer basic lawn care from those that go above and beyond with things like disease management, seasonal gardening, yard clean-up, snow removal, and more.

Landscaping, Trees, and Mowing

As the most in-demand lawn care need nationwide, both residentially and commercially, traditional landscaping services like mowing, hedging, pruning, and trimming are a must for any professional service provider we review. According to our 1,000 survey participants who were asked which basic lawn care services they would rely on most, 373 chose landscaping and mowing services whereas 72 selected tree and shrub care.

Weed Control and Pest Control

Weed and pest control projects can be hard for homeowners to stay on top of, especially on larger properties. To identify which was a more popular service need, we asked our survey respondents if professional weed control or lawn pest control was more valuable to them. 149 homeowners marked weed control and 101 chose pest control.

Core Aeration and Seeding

Core aeration and seeding/overseeding services are two proven ways to improve the health of pre-existing grass while simultaneously encouraging the growth of new grass. Both are typically offered as standard services among leading lawn care providers. When asked which was a more important inclusion in a hypothetical lawn care plan, 132  survey respondents picked core aeration, and 100 selected overseeding/seeding.

Product Types

This category evaluates the versatility of the forms of treatment a lawn care company uses. While chemical products tend to work faster, they can be detrimental to the surrounding environment. Organic alternatives on the other hand can take longer to produce results but are an all-around safer option for the ecosystem. Natural treatment options also tend to be less expensive than synthetic ingredients. Based on our survey results, 157 homeowners marked having options when it comes to the product used to treat their lawns — organic vs. chemical — as the most important factor to them out of the six categories.

Organic vs. Chemical Products

When asked about having a say on what products are used in their lawns,  651 out of 997 respondents said they’d prefer to choose whether the lawn care products used around their home are chemical or organic. A shocking 317 said they don’t care and 29 disclosed that they don’t want to choose.

We then asked respondents specifically about product preference. Out of 998 participants at this point in the survey, here’s how they answered:

  • 548 (or 54.9%) opted for organic treatment
  • 17 (or 1.7%) chose chemical treatment
  • 433 (or 43.4%) said they didn’t care as long as their lawn looked nice

Customer Satisfaction and Service Guarantees

Out of 1,000 homeowners, only 90 elected customer satisfaction and service guarantees as a primary concern while considering a lawn care service out of the other five categories. Regardless of popularity among our survey respondents, this category still accounts for 15% of our rating methodology as a company’s commitment to customer service often says a lot about the intention behind their advertising and selling practices. Lawn care providers with formal accreditations from the Better Business Bureau (BBB) plus generally positive track records across public review platforms automatically scored higher.

Modes of Customer Service Communication

Ease of service communication sits as a top qualifier in this category. Companies that support multiple channels of customer service communication — online chat, mobile app, phone, email, etc. — fared better than those only offering quotes or support over the phone. Providers with more flexible customer service hours also did well in this area. Per our survey, 188 homeowners emphasized a mobile app or quick customer service line as key to a company’s responsivity.

Online Customer Reviews and Ratings

Social proof is one of the best ways to visualize your future experience with any company, lawn care or not. What better way to figure out if a provider honors their commitments and contracts than to hear from other customers who have already found out for themselves? 186 of our survey participants disclosed that written online reviews from real customers provided clear validation of a company’s expertise. 107 said the same about online star ratings.

Service Guarantee

Like most home services, lawn care providers often include a service guarantee with any standard treatment or solution they perform. The majority will re-do treatment applications at no additional cost if you’re unsatisfied with the results but within a certain number of days after your service appointment. Most won’t claim liability for things like heat stress or grass cut too short. Terms and conditions will ultimately depend on the company you use. Still, 180 out of 1,000 respondents marked service guarantees as important to them.

State Availability

Availability of service per state will vary from company to company. Before you start considering any company as a viable option for your lawn, be sure that the company is licensed to operate in your state. To see what leading lawn care options are closest to you, visit our local lawn care catalog

Where this Methodology Comes into Play

Like in any of our other categories, our review methodology in the lawn care space is rooted in helping our readers chart through the product and provider comparison process with confidence. It’s our editorial mission to replace any guesswork with clear-cut, digestible, and honest insight into the lawn and garden industry as a whole.

This rating and review system exists as a source of truth for all lawn content published on House Method throughout each stage of its development —  from the early research stages to its revisionary forms to post-publication and beyond. And though our current review processes are unwavering as is, we’re always open to elevating our editorial processes in any way that might better serve our readers.

To see this methodology in action, check out our complete round-up of the best lawn care companies nationwide.

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