Lawn Care – Cut the Grass or Hire It Out?

by Ryan Yates on April 20, 2012

Mow the Lawn and Cut the Grass or Hire it Out

Would you hire the "Cut Away Debt" lawn service?

Real men mow their own lawn, right?

Sure we do . . . and we change our own oil and we hunt our own food.

Of course, I’m trying to be funny. There are plenty of reasons why people hire lawn services to manicure their little slice of America. But is it really worth it, financially?

Being the money conscious crazy man that I am, I thought it would be interesting to figure out how much it costs to receive this “time saving” service.


I live in an old school neighborhood that is divided into “blocks”. There are no winding streets that connect to other winding streets. Just perfectly spaced streets that contain the same number of lots, street after street.

The lot sizes are all pretty similar, yet the homeowner split is about 50/50 when it comes to hiring a lawn service vs. mowing your grass yourself.

A Quote to Cut the Grass

My neighbor uses a lawn service and has the same lot dimensions as I do. Instead of wasting a company’s time with a quote, I ask her what she pays. $25 per cut, but to get that price you have too sign up for 8 weeks of service, having your grass cut twice a month. Great, you can’t even hire a guy to mow your lawn without subscribing!

Another neighbor pays $15 a visit for a lawn service to edge his grass. He cuts the lawn himself, but likes to have someone else edge the lawn. Seems a little crazy to me, but to each their own. I watched the “edging” crew (2 guys) take a total of 4 minutes to edge and blow his yard yesterday.

The Cost of Mowing the Lawn

In Texas, especially with this past winter’s mild temperatures, keeping your grass cut short is almost a year-round job – unless you quit watering in the summer.

Even with an conservative estimate of 32 weeks out of the year, you’re still looking at $800 annually. Let me repeat that – $800. That’s a ton of money!

If we break the cost into square feet, the cost for my yard would be about a penny per square foot. Meaning that it will cost a dollar for someone to cut the equivalent of a small bedroom (10×10).

The point is that getting a lawn service is a lot of money. I can cut and trim my lawn in 30 minutes. That would be like making $75 per hour at the going rate for a lawn service. No wonder so many people are starting their own business.

Sure, the startup costs of mowing your own lawn are $400 to $500 (including the weed eater), but my pawpaw has been using the same equipment for 12 years. So equipment costs are pretty much negated as a possible argument for hiring out a service.

Now I just need to convince my neighbors to use my “Cut Away Debt” lawn service to handle their lawn manicuring needs and I’ll have another income stream. Of course I can undercut the competition and charge $20 and still make out like a bandit.

So, Is It Really Worth It?

If you hire it out, unless you’re using the time saved to make extra money (greater than what you’re paying the guy cutting the grass), I would say it’s not really worth it – financially speaking.

Even with bargain basement prices, it’s still cheaper to cut your own grass.

You don’t have to be a horticulturist to mow your own lawn. And you don’t have to know how to make those cool grass designs like the guys at the baseball park.

So get out there and take back ownership of your front yard!