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How to Handle Broken Windows in Landscaping: Expert Tips for Lawn Care Contractors

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The Window Dilemma—When Glass Meets Grass in Your Landscaping BusinessClose-up of a Toro lawn mower's side profile, showing the seat, wheel, and part of the cutting deck covered in grass clippings

Introduction

It’s a situation no one in the landscaping business wants to find themselves in—a broken window and a disgruntled homeowner. But let’s be honest, accidents happen, and in our community, they seem to happen more frequently than we'd like to admit. We reached out to professionals in our community to gather insights on how to best navigate this slippery slope. Let's dig a little deeper.

Table of Contents

  • Common Culprits and Types of Glass
  • Prevention is Better Than Cure
  • When You Hear That "Pop": Immediate Steps
  • The Pros and Cons: What Our Community Says
  • Conclusion and Takeaways

Common Culprits and Types of GlassA long infographic on the history of lawns, highlighting mass production of mowers in the 1890s

A top contributor in our community rightly points out that the weed trimmer is often the guilty party. "I throw a rock through a window a year. You can hear it pop when it happens," they say. Another adds, "I was about to push back because neither one of us saw or heard it, and the lady said sometimes the dog will take rocks into the yard, which to me, isn’t my fault."

The type of glass also plays a role. As we covered earlier, not all glass is the same, and knowing the differences can help you in the long run.

Prevention is Better Than CurePie chart showing lawn care professionals' deposit requirements for projects over $500, with 78% requiring a 50% deposit, 15% requiring no deposit, and 7% requiring a 25% deposit

Think about it; no one wants to be in this position. Prevention is crucial. A veteran with 32.5 years of experience and no broken windows notes that he "never removed a guard from any of his line trimmers." A small engine mechanic affirms this, lamenting how often people ignore this advice, leading to gearboxes getting shot.

When You Hear That "Pop": Immediate Steps

Whether you like it or not, you're in a never-ending battle with unforeseen incidents. One professional suggests, "Since other people were working there and you're not sure if it was you and your team, maybe propose to split the bill with them on it."

Another chimes in, "That's a bad attitude to have. I always go and investigate and if it's even possible, then it's covered. It's part of the business."

But another holds a different view, stating, "Unless they can prove it was me, I'd not be getting in a hurry to accept blame. The lawn guy is an easy target."

The Pros and Cons: What Our Community Says

Based on the results from our community discussion, there's a lot to weigh. Each approach has its merits and downsides, which we've put together in the chart below:

Approach
Pros
Cons
Immediate Admission
Protects reputation
Could be falsely blamed
Investigation
Ensures fairness
Time-consuming
Splitting Costs
Shared responsibility
Can dilute accountability
Ignoring Unless Proven
No immediate loss
Risks reputation
Using Guards
Reduces risk
Limits range of machinery
Insurance
Provides a safety net
Premium costs may rise

Conclusion and Takeaways

Navigating the issue of broken windows is no small feat. But by being prepared and proactive, you can minimize risks and manage incidents more efficiently. One suggests looking for a used door on the marketplace as a cost-effective replacement, while another notes that you might find new doors cheaper than the cost of glass replacement. These are just examples, but they underscore the need to be resourceful and think on your feet.

Your approach will depend on various factors including the type of glass, your equipment, and even your attitude towards responsibility and blame. Whatever you decide, make sure it aligns with your business values and long-term goals.A German Shepherd dog standing on grass with a magpie bird perched on its back

If you have your own stories or solutions, feel free to share them. We're all here to learn from one another and build more robust, accountable businesses.

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