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Tipping Etiquette: Should You Tip Your Lawncare Person?

tipping etiquette

Few things cause as much confusion or lead to as many heated debates as tipping etiquette. Outside of waitstaff at sit-down restaurants and personal care service providers (like hairdressers), figuring out whether a tip is appropriate or expected isn’t intuitive. It’s particularly difficult when you are trying to decide whether to tip a home pro. These pros include landscapers and other lawncare professionals.

Should You Tip Your Lawncare Person?

Whether you should tip your lawncare person depends on a few factors. However, one of the biggest is whether you are getting one-time help with a project or if you have on-going services.

For example, you may treat the situation differently if you have a landscaper come out once to handle a dead tree than if you have a professional mow your lawn every week. When you get a quote for a project, that is all that you are expected to pay. Unless they go above and beyond (and even then), you usually don’t have to tip.

In cases where you have on-going services, a tip may be more appropriate. However, that doesn’t mean you need to tip every time they come out. Instead, a seasonal or holiday tip is a nice touch if you are happy with the work and want to express your appreciation.

Does It Matter If I Use a Single Professional or a Crew?

Whether you work with a single lawncare person, a crew, or a service provider who sends teams based on who is available also should impact your decision. If one person handles all of your needs on a regular basis, a tip near the holidays or at the end of the season can be appropriate. If the same crew comes every time, then giving each person a smaller tip can also make sense.

However, if you aren’t seeing the same workers consistently, tipping could be more complicated. Essentially, there’s no way to know for sure that the people who are contributing the most over the long-term are getting a reward for their efforts, so it may be wise to skip a tip.

It is important to note, if you get your lawncare services through a large company, then you may need to ask them about their tipping policies. Some companies do not allow employees to accept tips under any circumstances, so it’s best to ask the manager before attempting to provide one.

Do You Need to Tip for Extra Services?

If you request an extra service that isn’t part of the original agreement, then that should be a factor. However, it also depends on whether you are charged for the add-on or if the lawncare professional does it for free.

For instance, if the professional who mows and edges your lawn regularly trims a hanging branch as a favor to you, then you may want to give them a little something for their trouble as a sign of appreciation. However, if it is added to your bill, then you don’t necessarily have to tip on this occasion. Instead, you can take it into consideration once you reach the end of the season of the holidays.

Should You Tip If the Job is Harder Than Expected?

While most lawncare professionals are adept at quoting you for work accurately, some jobs end up more challenging than originally anticipated. Extremely bad weather can make any task difficult, or any service that involves digging into the dirt or pulling something out of the ground might lead to some unexpected issues.

For example, your landscaper can’t always tell how far a tree’s root system goes until they are trying to remove the stump. Similarly, your soil could be rockier than the surface suggests, making digging a bigger undertaking.

When a job ends up more challenging, that doesn’t mean you have to tip. However, it can be appropriate if they embrace the difficulties to make sure you get the result you want regardless of the extenuating circumstances.

How Much Should You Tip a Lawncare Professional?

If you have one lawncare person and want to tip them during the winter holidays or at the end of the season, anywhere from an extra $15 to $50 is can showcase your appreciation for their work. Just consider what your regular service fee is and select an amount that feels appropriate.

In situations where you have the same crew, then $5 to $10 a piece is usually a better option. Since they are splitting up the work, you are essentially splitting a tip between them.

However, if a lawncare company doesn’t allow employees to take tips, then don’t offer one. Trying to make the workers accept the cash will only be awkward, as they could face penalties (including being fired) if they give in and take the money, but repeated refusals feel rude. Instead, do them a favor and don’t try to tip.

It is important to note that, by and large, lawncare professionals don’t usually expect tips; it’s merely an option. Additionally, you can do other things to show your appreciation if you wish.

Is There Anything Else You Can Do Besides Tip?

There are plenty of things you can do to show your appreciation besides handing over cash. For example, providing your lawncare person with cold beverages on a hot day is a great option. Just add some water bottles, sodas, or sports drinks to a cooler for of ice and let them know they have full access. If you want to go the extra mile, you can also set out some prepackaged snacks or whole fruit to give them ways to keep their energy up.

Making sure they have access to shade for longer jobs is also an excellent move. Whether that’s a table with an umbrella or space on a covered porch doesn’t matter as much as giving them a place to take a break comfortably.

Surprisingly, even allowing the crew to use your bathroom if they are in need can be a big deal. However, if you aren’t comfortable letting them into your home, that’s fine too.

Finally, most lawncare pros appreciate positive word-of-mouth. If you love what they do, then tell your friends and family. Additionally, take a moment to get online and leave reviews on sites like Yelp or Home Advisor. This helps them get more business and is almost universally appreciated.

Which service providers do you usually tip? Tell us about it in the comments below.

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