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Periodic Contributor

Senior Homeowner Maintenance Assistance

Hello all

I am at my wits end! I have money, however frugal, to spend on maintenance, but I am having trouble hiring affordable(not free), dependable handy people. I have been trying to hire a landscaper since spring began. Those working in my neighborhood are not taking any new clients. I have been doing my own lawn care and grass cutting, but a driveway replacement left me with holes and sinking ground. I reached out to AARP's Porch for assistance, but they had so many stipulations about what isn't provided, and when we did make an appointment, I was called and told the contracted person was no longer available. 

I have also found that after Hurricane Ida, contractors only engaged me If I had an insurance claim. I love my little house and this is the first time I've felt so overwhelmed. The yard needs filling and grading, I have a plant I need transplanted, and I started preparing an above ground space for a garden to grow something, but now I pull the truck into the yard and avoid the lawn. Hopefully I can hire someone before the City of NO sends out code enforcements to cite me for overgrown grass. 

Well, anyway, I've vented, as I consider this a 'safe' place for it. 

I have many of my senior friends who own their homes and are having the same issues, finding reasonable, affordable and safe assistance. I hired someone referred on Nextdoor and that was a frightening experience. 

Ok, until next time, and I pray I have a better report. Ms Eva

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May I suggest you consult your nearest high school or college even for a few volunteers.  Perhaps supervised by an appropriate teacher with an offer of a donation in lieu of pay to see how much of your home projects they might be able to complete for you.  Who knows the teacher might grant school credit as a carrot.


As they say two or three heads  are better than one.

If I lived in New Orleans I’d be happy to help out but my arms are just 2000 miles too short (smile) I hope it works out for you.

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Honored Social Butterfly

It sounds like you have some fixes and issues that are outside of the normal "lawn guy" or handy man category.  A landscaper is a cut above - maybe far above depending on the required fix and the equipment needed.  

If you hire a company - they are riddled with workmans comp and their own liability insurance and thus the price is higher - but the job could be done perhaps better and faster.  There is also a track record which you can check out.    DO NOT pay anybody up front, get a detailed estimate - if more work is needed, get that in writing too.  If a company, make sure they are insured.

If you hire an individual, it is up to you to make sure they are reputable and can do the job.  

I spend a ton on yard and landscape maintenance - the whole shebang.  I have a giant yard - front and back - at least 2-acres in total.  I have a normal yard guy and have for a very long time (20 years).  He does all the mowing, pruning, trimming and various other smaller jobs - plant moving if not too large - I know his limits. Anything outside his normal routine (itemized) we come to an agreement on the price and I pay him extra.

I have a professional tree service that I have used on and off thru the years. They were recommended by may local Extensions service.   I have a grader / hauler whom I have also used thru the years, they were recommended by my Construction Contractor ( a friend) - he (and his crew) are also my "handiguys".  I also have a landscaper who was recommended by the grader/hauler and they work together on projects.  

Get some recommendations from friends and neighbors.  I don't use NextDoor or Angie's list - 

You aren't gonna get anybody who truly knows what they are doing and has the equipment and people to get the job done anyplace close to cheap or perhaps even reasonable right now.  The cost of everything is sky high.  They are having to pay their workers more just to get them to stick around.  Anything that uses gas or diesel has also made the price go up - even lawn chemical or fertilizers are higher.

The ticket I have found is to build a relationship with the (whomever or whatever) business or individual - they know you and you know them.  

I also have a stump grinder guy, a supplier and installer of pine straw and mulch.

This is after living 30 years in the same home.

Good luck.




It's Always Something . . . . Roseanna Roseannadanna
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Trusted Social Butterfly

Why don't you call the local high school to see if any student does lawn mowing for a reasonable fee. Or contact your local senior center and ask them if they have a list of volunteers or ones who work for reasonable rates to do simple maintenance or go on line to Angies place to inquire about a handy man or under the appropriate job description and get 3 estimates to compare the cost. Contact your local church and ask if there are any people who would be interested in doing the job either volunteers or for a reasonable price..It's very hard today to get competent help..Good Luck...

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