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View Full Version : Help please--how much to charge for hedges and small tree pruning...


dcplace2004
06-06-2005, 01:19 PM
I have a lady that wants her hedges shaped and one or more small trees pruned...do I charge by the foot, etc...so far, I have given estimates but need more accuracy...please help...thanks...david...also, how does a person estimate a yard...some here in town go by the sq feet, etc...maybe you all have layout of different prices per sq foot or such...thanks...

ince8728
06-06-2005, 02:17 PM
we, use an hourly rate plus disposal for hedge & tree pruning. Lawn estimates we just do my eye, if you really arn't sure just do like between this & this sqft it will cost this much and add in for obsticals, extensive trimming etc...


- Matt

JimLewis
06-07-2005, 03:54 AM
You'd be wise to charge by the hour at this point in your business. I know it's usually commonly said to always charge by the job. And I agree. But if you have no idea how long something is going to take you there's nothing wrong with saying something like, "Honestly, Ms. Smith. I'm still fairly new at this. I'm not as good at estimating time for things like pruning as I am for lawn care. I'd just have to charge your hourly plus expenses. There will probably be some minor expenses relating to dumping and - just a guess - maybe 2 or 3 hours for me to do the pruning. My hourly rate is $35 per hour."

Then just see what she says. She may well say, "Great. When can you get started."

Over time, you'll have more experience and you'll nail estimates like this. You'll know in just a few minutes EXACTLY how long a job like that will take you. But for now - in the beginning - try the hourly method. At least that way you won't lose your arse.

mastercare
06-07-2005, 11:22 AM
I've had this problem in the past too. I still get asked to do odd-ball jobs that I don't have as much experience in, and I've given estimates like this.

I will charge you hourly at $xx per hour. I'm guessing that it it will take from 3-5 hours. Or, I can give you a flat price, but not knowing how long this will really take, I'd have to over-guess the time it takes me, and charge you a flat price of $xxx. Would you rather pay hourly or a flat price?


So, you give them the hourly price, or an over-estimated flat price. I've even gone to the point before where I'll say: "Here's my hourly, and my flat price....I'll give you whichever is less."

99% of the time, I overshoot the flat price so much, that I just get my hourly rate, which is what I wanted in the first place....but the customer likes it becuase you've given them a cap, or a worst-case-scenario.

This will get them to accept the hourly price, and more likely to use you becuase they know you won't show up and take your sweet time... there's a max amount that they could have to pay you!!