Do You Tip Landscapers? 6 Deciding Factors


It is common practice to tip hairdressers and restaurant servers between 15% to 20%. The amount of tipping for a $20 haircut or $100 restaurant outing is not going to be a significant amount. 

However, if you’re tipping other service professionals, such as landscapers, you pay them more overall. Tipping at 15% to 20% can add up to a considerable amount of cash.

It is not required to tip landscapers, and it is up to you to do it or not. Factors such as cost of business, working relationships, frequency of work, job performance, and budget can affect tipping.

6 Considerations For Tipping Landscapers

In general, landscapers do not expect you to tip, and you are not required to do so. 

Keep in mind that sometimes, if you offer a tip, a landscaper may not accept it. However, they will remember your generosity. 

Let us explore factors that may affect if you tip or not.

1. Cost Of Business

Landscapers may fill a particular niche, such as caring for your lawn by mowing and controlling weeds, or perhaps they remove and trim trees and the stumps. 

Some landscapers will work on the flower beds around your home and rake up leaves. In other cases, landscapers will design and install not only trees and shrubs but gazebos and pathways to showcase a home. 

Some may even find the best place on your property for installing solar panels or a backup generator.

So, as a result of the variety in the business, costs will vary as well.

Landscape companies versus individual businesses will also vary in their pricing. Ultimately, laborers want to earn a fair wage.

Small jobs such as lawn care or routine maintenance could cost on average $50-$100 per hour. Whereas large installation jobs or extensive work may be charged from $4 to $12 per square foot.  

Consider the following optional tipping suggestions:

Job PerformanceExpectationsTip Percentage of Total CostCash Tip
AverageMet expectations0% to 12%$0 to $20
ExcellentBetter than expected0% to 15%$0 to $50
FantasticBeyond expectations0% to 20%$0 to $100

If you are pleased with the work, you could also consider tipping an extra $10 per hour of labor.

Factors That Affect Cost Of Business

Labor and fuel are typically the largest driving factors in cost. But, other factors come into play as well to create functional and beautiful spaces around your home.

These may include:

  • Number of laborers
  • Hours needed to complete the job
  • Frequency of visits to your home (one-time vs. ongoing work)
  • Advertisement and overhead costs
  • Fuel costs to operate equipment and to travel to your home
  • Cost of living/inflation (which could vary from state to state)
  • Condition of the property (unkempt, hills, obstacles, etc.)
  • Contractor insurance
  • Training or equipment to meet regulations for landscaping

These costs are already incorporated into any estimates that you are given. 

Most, if not all, landscapers give free estimates or have standard pricing for certain types of jobs, such as mowing. 

It is recommended that you shop around for estimates and request a breakdown of the costs. 

Since landscapers are already charging you for operational costs, they are charging you what they need to do the job. Therefore, they do not need more money from you, such as from tipping.

2. Working Relationship

Tipping may be done based on the working relationship you have or develop with the landscaper. 

If you tip only the foreman of a multiple-laborer job, they may not share it. If the landscaping business involves multiple workers, it is good manners to tip everyone involved. 

The amount is entirely up to you based on the amount of work done. An extra $20 to $50 is a nice gesture to show you are thankful for their help.

If you desire to tip, ask the landscaper if they accept them. Some companies have policies that they never do.

Friends And Family Discount

If you have a friend or neighbor that runs an individual business, they may offer you a “friends and family discount”. 

Tipping them offers an additional thank you for the discount and their time and effort. 

Professionalism

Perhaps the business was incredibly thoughtful and went above and beyond to meet your landscaping needs. 

Professionalism could involve timely responses to your questions and phone calls, showing up on time, or completing work faster than anticipated. 

A tip can show your gratitude.

Holidays

The holiday season, particularly in December, is a time to show others you are thankful for them. 

Some people like to offer cash tips to postal deliverers, hair stylists, pool maintenance workers, and seasonal landscapers. 

Often, individual laborers are tipped and not the company owner (if they are not the same). 

3. Frequency Of Work Done

Regarding a one-time or seasonal job, if you tip them, you may feel personal pressure to tip again. Tipping can set a precedent, even if the landscaper does not expect it.

One-Time Job

If you hire a landscaper to remodel your yard, take down a cumbersome tree, or get things in shape at the start of spring, you could tip as a “thank you.”

If you need their services again in the future, they will remember you.

Seasonal or Weekly Job

People more frequently tip workers that they see regularly. This is most likely because you have developed a working relationship with them. 

They may cater to your needs and go above and beyond to help you with your yard.  

You can tip them once in a while, on holidays, or when they do something extra on a particular visit without charging you.

4. Task Difficulty

If a landscaper comes across unforeseen circumstances when working on your yard and takes care of it without charging you, tipping is a way to express your gratitude. 

Perhaps a nearby gate’s hinges are weathered and broken and they repair it for you without charge, or suggest ways to fill the gap under a fence without jeopardizing the beauty of your landscape.

Or, if it starts to rain, and the landscaper continues to work in the precipitation. They complete the job on time so that you can have your garden party the next day.

Spring cleanup can be a big job. Landscapers remove leaves, branches, and mulch to get everything set for you to maintain afterward for the remainder of the season. 

You may wish to tip if the job was especially cumbersome or took longer than estimated.

Keep in mind that if the landscaper does exactly what they said they would do according to the estimate, you do not need to tip.

5. Budget Constraints

The economy has its ups and downs. It is not required to tip if you have set aside a certain budget for landscaping. 

Remember that your landscaper has already factored in costs to offer a fair price for their own cost of living expenses. 

Therefore, tipping is an unnecessary expenditure.

6. Work Quality

If the work done was less than acceptable, you may choose not to tip. 

These could include:

  • A mess left behind
  • Expectations of the contract were not met
  • Damaged property without fixing it

You may wish to file a complaint with the Better Business Bureau, leave a negative review, or not use their services anymore.


Alternatives To Tipping

If you decide not to tip, but want to show your appreciation, you can try the following alternatives:

  • Create a positive social media post about the business
  • Leave a positive Google review
  • Offer cold drinks, cookies, and other snacks
  • Gift cards for coffee or lunch

Ask the landscapers first if you can offer any of these alternatives. Regardless, they will appreciate your offer.

Lisa Burlison

Lisa is a freelance blogger, literacy specialist, teacher, and self-published author with a vast DIY experience. When she’s not writing for PlumbJoe, Lisa enjoys testing homemade cleaners and doing repairs around her home. Her other hobbies include birding and bicycling.

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