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Should I Buy a Mower or Pay Someone? Helpful pros & cons list

There are several reasons why you might find yourself wondering if it is time to take the plunge and buy a new mower. Perhaps your old one is starting to falter, or you have found yourself owning a lawn for the first time. Whatever the reason, you are here because you found yourself wondering, should I buy a new mower?

If you have a large lawn or enjoy spending time doing yard work, you may want to buy a new mower. However, if you have a small yard, it may be cheaper to hire someone else to mow for you.

Keep reading to learn more about buying a new lawnmower along with which type of mower might be right for you.

New Honda Mower

Keep reading to learn more about buying a new lawnmower along with which type of mower might be right for you.

Should I Buy a Mower or Pay a Company to Mow My Lawn?

If you have recently bought a home or rental property, you might be faced with the task of mowing your yard for the very first time. One of the most common decisions that new homeowners face is whether to buy a new mower or pay a landscaping company to do it for them. Below we break down the cost of both owning a mower and paying a landscaping company to find out if one choice is really better than the other.

Mowing Yourself

The first thing you will have to consider if you decide to go this route is the cost of buying a mower. Since lawnmowers come in all shapes and sizes, it would be impossible to determine the exact cost of a new mower, but thanks to LawnStarter, we can give you an educated estimate.

Type of MowerAverage Lowest PriceAverage Highest PriceAverage Price Range
Electric Push Mower$80$2,036$241
Reel Mower$57$402$104
Self-Propelled Gas Mower$169$2,080$372
Self-Propelled Electric Mower$328$831$574
Mulching Mower$110$2,191$303
Rear-Engine Riding Mower$1,299$4,539$2,080
Lawn Tractor$1,349$3,999$1,985
Zero-Turn Riding Mower$2,399$15,000$3,284

Source: LawnStarter

As you can see, buying a lawnmower can cost you anywhere from less than a hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars. However, on average, the typical homeowner will spend around $350 for a walk-behind mower and $1,500 for a riding mower.

The next thing to consider is gas, which will depend on the size of your lawn and the type of mower that you have bought. The average lawnmower will use 1.65 gallons of gas per hour, and if gas is $3.55 a gallon (the current price in 2021), that will equal about $5.86 an hour to mow your lawn.

Finally, you will need to factor in maintenance costs. Just like cars, lawnmowers come with a suggested maintenance schedule, which must be kept up with to keep the warranty valid. Generally, monthly maintenance such as oil changes and spark plug replacement should run your about $20-$30 every few months.

However, tune-ups and belt changes may cost several hundred dollars depending on the machine. The average monthly cost for maintenance is between $12 a month (for inexpensive push mowers) to $132 a month (for more expensive riding mowers).

Your Final PriceHow To Calculate
The MowerThe average mower will last around 10 years, which is 120 months. Divide the price of your machine by 120 to get the monthly cost. EX: $1,500/120 = $12.50 a month
GasYou can decide how many gallons per hour your mower gets by filling it completely and tracking how many hours of use you got before it runs dry. Then divide the fuel capacity by the number of hours. The average riding mower will get 1.65 hours per gallon. Ex: (Number of hours it takes to mow your lawn) X 1.65 = How many gallons you will need. Then times that by the current price of gasoline. 3 Hours X 1.65 = 4.95 4.95 X $3.55 = $17.57 If you mow once a week, that averages out to about $70 a month. However, it will vary depending on your mower and location.
MaintenanceThe average maintenance cost for a lawnmower is between $12 and $30 a month, depending on which services are due each month.
Monthly PriceAdd together the figures in the three rows above to find out the average monthly cost of owning a lawnmower and mowing your lawn yourself. Ex: $12.50 + $17.57 + $30 = $60.07 a month.

Landscaping Company

Riding mower cutting lawn

Now that you know how to add up the average monthly cost of owning a lawnmower, you can compare it to the average cost of hiring a landscaping business to mow for you. Although, it is important to note that while we can give an estimate, the actual cost of these services will vary depending on your location, your lawn, and the company whom you choose to hire.

Landscaping companies offer a variety of services, but for the sake of this article, we are going to focus strictly on lawn mowing services. Although it is possible to find a smaller business that will give you an overall quote for your entire lawn, most lawn care companies will charge either by the hour, by acre, or by the square foot. Additionally, they may charge more or less depending on how often you employ their services each month.

While these prices are sure to change with each company, you can find the national averages below.

  • Average Hourly Rate: $45 – $85
  • Average ½ Acre Rate: $52 – $80
  • Average Acre Rate: $80 – $150
  • Average Square Foot Rates: $0.005 – $0.010

While we can give an estimate based on the average rates, the only way to truly know how much it will cost to employ a landscaping company to mow your lawn is to call your local businesses and ask for a quote. Most of the time they will send someone out to look at the lawn and give you a quote for free.

Should I Buy a Mower?

If you have a lawn, and you do not want to become the most hated neighbor in town, you will want to buy a mower. Unless you opt to employ the services of a local landscaping company to do the work for you. When it comes right down to it, both have their pros and cons, and it ultimately depends on how much time or money you want to invest in your lawn.

If you want to invest time, you should consider buying a lawnmower. Mowing the lawn can be a relaxing way to spend the weekend afternoon, and many people get a lot of joy and satisfaction from tending to their lawn themselves.

If you want to invest the money instead of time, you may want to employ a landscaping company to do the work for you. In that case, they will have their own equipment, and there will be no need for you to buy your own machine.

You may find the following posts helpful:

Should I buy a new mower?

Should I buy Toro Timemaster?

Where to sell a mower?

How long will an electric mower last?

Cub Cadet vs Toro

Should I buy a riding mower?

Should I buy a used lawn mower?

Ask a Lawnmower Repair Expert