Ask the Lawn Care Expert

DIY vs. DIFM: The Homeowner’s Ultimate Dilemma


Homeowners often face the dilemma of when to draw the line between doing it themselves and hiring a professional. Sometimes the consequences of DIY are unforeseen, until you’re looking at a dead lawn a week later. Other times DIY can save you money, and provide a great learning experience. On the other hand, hiring a professional for lawn care gives you more free time. Here we look at the pros and cons of each:

What are the benefits to DIY lawn care?

Doing projects yourself brings the satisfaction of the experience as you bask in your self-sufficiency. Setting aside a time of day to go outside and care for your lawn gets you outside and encourages interaction with neighbors. You might also notice other things that need attention while you go about your work, like a lightbulb that needs changing, or a sprinkler head that fought the snow plow and lost.

Is it cheaper to maintain my lawn myself?

If this isn’t going to be an ongoing project, you’ll benefit from short term savings. Although the DIY approach opens up new learning experiences if you plan to do this long term, this can sometimes be lessons learned the hard way, and more money spent to correct problems.

If you want to take your lawn care into your own hands, factor in the value of your time. Is spending your free time caring for your lawn more important to you than conspiring with your wife on how to keep the squirrels off the bird feeder?

Consider the cost and maintenance of equipment and the space you’ll need to set aside to store it. You’ll also look at buying and storing the necessary lawn, weed, pest and disease treatments for your lawn, and take necessary precautions to keep them away from moisture, children and pets. Your lawn care professional buys these at a significant discount they pass onto their customer.

What are some common mistakes?

Lastly, remember inexperience can lead to mistakes. Using incorrect fertilizer ratios, over spreading/spraying, or misusing pest control products can harm your lawn, the environment and your surrounding landscape/hardscapes. Coverage can differ for different grass species, and certain species require different nutrition. Some pests that emerge during certain times of the year don’t need to be controlled. Be sure to consult the product’s packaging, and accurately calculate your lawn’s square footage.

What do I gain from hiring a professional?

Hiring a professional to do the job may require swallowing a bit of your pride. Although spending time with your family Saturday morning instead of spreading fertilizer quickly soothes any blow to your ego.

Our experienced professionals know how to address specific nutrient deficiencies, pest/weed invasions, or common lawn care mishaps. They can even spot small problems that can turn into larger, more expensive problems later, like pests and disease—and nip them in the bud. If you foresee lawn care being a priority for the next few years, allowing us to handle your lawn will also be cheaper in the long run.

How else can a lawn care professional help me?

You won’t have to worry about buying, storing, or maintaining equipment either. This leaves more room in the garage for your growing collection of toys, which you now have more time to use. Spring-Green professionals at your home can provide guidance and education to the curious homeowner on topics like how long to water, when to water, or the best time of day to mow.

What’s the timeline for results for DIY vs DIFM?

You’ll also likely see results more quickly than your average DIY homeowner. We know how to tackle common problems with specific techniques, and we’ve been doing it for 40 years. It’s possible to see great results by doing-it-yourself—and it’s rewarding, too—but if you’re looking for healthier, greener grass, you might want to consider hiring Spring-Green.

Thinking about spending your free time somewhere else other than your yard? Get in touch with Spring-Green for a free consultation to see what a lawn care plan can do for you.