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Hiring a teenager to do yard work

Last post Apr 15, 2010 11:23 AM by gameball . 8 replies.


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  • Hiring a teenager to do yard work

    An older couple that lives by us no longer want to do the regular upkeep of their yard.  They are in their early 60's.  They want to hire a teenager to do it.  How should they go about doing it?  They want someone for the whole summer, so the pay would be for the season, not a pay-as-you-go situation.

     

    Put an ad in the local paper? or put an ad up at the local grocery store (they have a bulletin board you can post for free)?, or by friends/aquaintences that know of someone?

     

    What should be a good fee?  The ad would have something like this in it:  15-18 year old male or female, mowing 1-2 times a week, trimming edges (for tall grass/weeds), lawnmower and gas provided, must provide own transportation.

     

    They were thinking of giving the teenager something to drink (water, lemonade) and eat (maybe a sandwich) when the job was done each time.

     

    Would they have to find out what their homeowners insurance covers?  At that age, references wouldn't really help, because I am sure the teenager isn't old enough to collect references.

     

    Any ideas that hasn't been brought up?  I am sure when they interview the teenager, things like, who to contact in case of emergency, phone numbers to an adult to make sure the child has permission, etc

     

    Have any of you hired a teenager before to do yard work?  Pros/Cons?

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    Everything is okay in the end, if it's not okay, then it's not the end.

  • Re: Hiring a teenager to do yard work

    I would think getting references from friends, etc. would be better.  A lot of teens have not worked before and their work ethics are questionable.  However they do it, let the teen work for a week or so before they hire them for the summer in case they decide they are not doing the job acceptably. 

    Most homeowner's insurance should cover anyone working on their property, but it sure wouldn't hurt for them to check that out first.

    Amount to pay them would vary greatly around the country, so best ask around what others pay for similar work. 

    Are they planning to pay a lump sum rather than weekly?  I doubt any teen would want to wait the entire summer to be paid.  Maybe I'm misreading that. 

    Anyway, nice of you to assist them!  You're a good neighbor! 

     

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  • Re: Hiring a teenager to do yard work

    Maybe by checking at a school through the principal's office, or through a church. The pastor should know his teens and know who needs and wants to work.

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  • Re: Hiring a teenager to do yard work

    The guidance office at school generally posts jobs.  The shop teacher may also be someone who can point them in the direction of a child who would be able to do the job.

     

    If they're considering hiring a teen to use power tools, they may want tto check the law--there is an age limit in some jurisdictions, and yes, they'd better check to make sure their homeowners is going to cover them if they hire an underage child.  They also want this to be done legitimately, so they don't get into trouble in the future--that means NOT paying cash under the table, but paying an above-board salary, with the proper, legal witholding. 

     

    Personally?  I would NOT hire a child to do yard work.  Too much liability there, in too many different ways.  And just think how awful you'd feel if a child were incapacitated for life because of an accident that happened on your property.  You may want to run that scenario past them--it may not be highly likely, but it is a possibility.  Are they okay with taking that kind of risk?  Better to pay a couple of extra $$$ for a real yard service, where experienced adults with the appropriate insurance will be doing the work.  Worth the extra money, IMO.

     

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  • Re: Hiring a teenager to do yard work

    Have them ask their friends if they hire professional gardners or teens and also how much they pay. If they are just mowing and trimming a teen should be able to handle that but if they have to do any pruning, ect. a pro should be hired. Do not advertise in the paper. Dear knows who will respond. Some target seniors for scams, robberies, ect. so references are very important. I wouldn't let a stranger in the house either. Serve the beverages outdoors...safer that way.

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  • Re: Hiring a teenager to do yard work

    NY_Scooter

    Have any of you hired a teenager before to do yard work?  Pros/Cons?

    I hire a teen most summers to help with the weedwhacking - pasture fence, swale etc. I go by word of mouth...I ask friends and neighbors and coworkers. Usually find someone who wants to earn a quick $40 every other week. In the market for a helper again this summer...the kid of the past two years is graduating this June and has signed with the Marines. I shall miss him...regular as clockwork. He'd show up with his iPod and weedwhacker and get a 4 hour job done in 3...still paid him the $40Big Smile

     

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  • Re: Hiring a teenager to do yard work

    The local park district might have a teen-work program, where the kids can sign up to do baby sitting, yard work, etc.  Or, the church's in your area might also have kids in the youth group that are willing to work at jobs around the house.  I'm not sure about the sandwich?  Certainly offering ice water, lemonade, ice tea or soft drink would be welcome....not so sure about the food?  I know I hate sandwiches where the bread is buttered & MIL thought it was the only way to make a sandwich....kids can have some specific tastes.  How long do they think the lawn mower will have to be at their house?  Do they have extensive property or something that can be mowed in about an hour?  And, the teen might prefer to be paid at the time of service rather than thinking they'll get paid once a month or at the end of the season?  Sometimes it's so hot out, the grass doesn't grow too fast...sometimes the rain & conditions means it needs to be cut twice a week. 

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  • Re: Hiring a teenager to do yard work

    As a long-time observer of teens, (a teacher for +20 years) I think paying every week or every other week would get the work done more efficiently.  I would not pay for the summer at the beginning (because who knows if the kid will then show up) or at the end (too long to delay gratification) so I guess I would pay by the job.  (Would THEY work all summer for "promised payment" at the end?  I wouldn't.)  I also would check with my insurance to see if accidents would be covered ... this would be a pretty big deal.  I personally would hire a lawn service and not rely on a teen if the appearance of their lawn is important to them.  If they just want the grass mowed, then I might.

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  • Re: Hiring a teenager to do yard work
    We have had both a service and high school kids. Go with a yard sevice, they have their own insurance and do excellent work. I always paid the kids when job was done. They want their money.
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