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Green-Cuts
04-03-2006, 10:24 PM
Hello

I Went to bid a spring clean up to day and it is my first so I told her I would get back to her with the estimate. The lot is about 5000 sq feet with mild trees and bushes. Her husband died in october and they did not do any fall cleanup.

She wants all the dead leaves off the grass out of the flowerbeds and any where else they are. There is tiny twigs and crap all over the lawn as well.
My questions are is there anything that would be esier than raking the entire lawn to get all the stuff off of it? I am not sure a blower would work on the twigs enless it was a massive one.

I am thinking of estimating her $400.00 for the cleanup. I fugured it would take about 10 hours and would have myself and 2 other guys helping.

Thanks
BJ

BLS 2002
04-03-2006, 10:37 PM
Seems like a lot for such a small yard.. It would be easier to tell if I saw it.. 10 hours for 3 guys? 30 man hours? for 5000 sq ft? Must be a lot of leaves..

Green-Cuts
04-03-2006, 10:48 PM
It is alot because they did not do any fall clean up. There is a lot of odd crap all over that would take forever to rake by hand. What do you think would be a good price for that size of a lawn??

Splicer
04-03-2006, 10:57 PM
Not even half that but then again I don't know what all is involved. I know I lived where there is a National Forest directly behind my house I grew up in and you wanna talk about massive leaves, at 8 years old w/my best friend we cleaned it right up with rakes. No mowers or mulchers (werent invented yet). Took us 3 hours tops AND we would mess around jumping in the piles of leaves.

Usually had to do it 3-4 times a season and were paid in SHASTA soda (guy worked for Shasta)...

KCLandscape
04-03-2006, 11:46 PM
Gotta love the SHASTA!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

wski4fun
04-03-2006, 11:55 PM
Depends on equipment you have and if there are beds and shrubs to clean out. The ones I do in that range are between 175-225. Just myself and includes dump fee of ten/cu yd. A dethacher and backpack blower is really all you need.

Green-Cuts
04-03-2006, 11:59 PM
Dumb question

What help is the dethatcher? To rake up the crap on the lawn? Do they have cheap dethachersthat could be used? Or just the old fasion way of a metal rake?

Thanks
BJ

Dunn's
04-04-2006, 12:03 AM
I cleaned 7,760 square foot lot today for $30.00 I did under bid a little though because it looked like less than it was but by myself I got it done In two hours and we ussally charge $30.00 an hour. All I used was a blower,rake 21"bagged push mower,and gloves. I filled two trash cans and two lawn refuse bags by chopping it up in the lawn mower one can was all sticks that i broke down in to little pieces so I should have bid like $50.00 but I got a weekly lawn contract out of her and I think she is going to pay in full by june 1st. So what the hell!bBut $400.00 dollars I wish you lived by me I would have to litteraly beat the customers off with a stick!!!

wski4fun
04-04-2006, 12:05 AM
depending how many leaves are on the lawn, if to many ihave to blow first, I run the dethacher over the lawn to get everything out of the lawn then blow the beds out and clean everything up at once. Run it over with the lawn mower on a low setting after its picked up. It comes out great in no time.

nocutting
04-04-2006, 12:05 AM
I Went to bid a spring clean up to day and it is my first so I told her I would get back to her with the estimate. The lot is about 5000 sq feet with mild trees and bushes. Her husband died in october and they did not do any fall cleanup.

She wants all the dead leaves off the grass out of the flowerbeds and any where else they are. There is tiny twigs and crap all over the lawn as well.
My questions are is there anything that would be esier than raking the entire lawn to get all the stuff off of it? I am not sure a blower would work on the twigs enless it was a massive one.

I am thinking of estimating her $400.00 for the cleanup. I fugured it would take about 10 hours and would have myself and 2 other guys helping.

Thanks
BJ[/QUOTE]
Do ya have a mower w/ a bagger?.....definately a good bk pk and a rake, shouldnt take 2-men more than 1/2 aday?......Think you need a system.....money doesnt grow on trees ya know:usflag:

KCLandscape
04-04-2006, 12:06 AM
I wouldnt get out of bed for that job
But you need to get what you need to get

lawnsplus
04-04-2006, 10:20 AM
We do spring cleanup for $25.00 per thousand sq feet of property.

Just run a wheel the length and width of the prop then the length and width of the house, subtract the house from total and multiply by $25.00

Our guys never take more than 2-3 hours regardless of how bad the yard is.

On average a spring cleanup is $125 for us. It can go up if they want he beds edged we charge .50 per linear foot.

Also FYI don't haggle your prices. No matter how desperate do not negotiate your price. Move on to the next quote. If they are happy paying $50 for a spring cleanup, they will get what they pay for.

We use before and after pics to show quality it really helps to justify the extra expense.

Green-Cuts
04-04-2006, 02:06 PM
HI
I am thinking of just charging $30 per hour and tell her it should not take more than 5 hours. ANy thing I should be careful on doing it that way?

Thanks for the input
BJ

wski4fun
04-04-2006, 02:16 PM
if you have to hual the stuff away and pay for dumping it. Also remember that it might rain the night before or it might be windy. I try to charge for the worst case scenario within reason. I recently did a 10k property for $270 including dump charges. Took me about 6 1/2 hrs by myself and there was never a fall cleanup the year before.

Freddy_Kruger
04-04-2006, 07:05 PM
6,000 SQ FEET AND DOWN I will do for $60 that includes power raking, power broom if I need it, rake out beds, short cut (to bag it) and thats it.

$400 bucks in rediculous. How can you charge 25-35 bucks an hour if all you got is a hand rake?

Green-Cuts
04-04-2006, 11:28 PM
HI
I am not charging anything yet, I am just trying to get a feel for what to charge. I want to make it worth my time and do not want to do it for peanuts. I am just starting so I do not have the fancy equipment that you might have.

Thanks
BJ

wski4fun
04-04-2006, 11:38 PM
if you don't have the equipment maybe all you can charge is 15-18 bucks an hour. If you want to charge more then work hard buy more equipment and by fall clean-up maybe you can charge 20-22 bucks an hour. We've all been there and there are very few ways around it. Maybe you don't make a lot off your first one but doing a good job and having the cust refer you to friends is where you will start making money.

Freddy_Kruger
04-05-2006, 01:31 AM
HI
I am not charging anything yet, I am just trying to get a feel for what to charge. I want to make it worth my time and do not want to do it for peanuts. I am just starting so I do not have the fancy equipment that you might have.

Thanks
BJ
I don't have any commecial equipment yet-- that's not true, I did buy a $5 blade balancer.
I got my equipment lined up though, I know what I'm going to buy and when (there's still snow on the ground here). I was thinking of expanding into lawn care but just with weekly mowing customers and nothing fancy. Then I thought, after having been asked about spring clean-up, that I might lose potential customers because I don't have a Power Raker to do the spring clean up. My thinking was why wouldn't they just let the guy doing the power raking have the weekly maintenance, at the very least he might have first shot at it.
Before I decided to buy a power raker I was thinking how I could do a very basic spring clean up and I thought I could just cut the grass really short with a bagger, pick up sticks, rake and blow out the beds. Is that what you're going to do for 400 bucks? a 5000 sq ft lawn?

JCee
04-05-2006, 02:09 AM
The job is worth what the job is worth. If you think it is worth 400 then bid 400. There is nothing worse then bidding a lawn and realizing an hour into it that you underbid. Makes me want to strangle someone. How long do you think its gonna take you? 10 hrs with 3 guys....At that you would have to charge 600 minimum....more like 900. to make a decent buck. Hopefully you are over estimating on the time. If it takes you 6 hours with 3 guys, Id still say stick to 400 minimum. Just dont underbid, you will regret it.....

Also for the left over leaves, a dethatcher works great. They rent them at home depot for like 60 a day. Be well worth it. Hell I would rent the walk behind blower for 50 too. Have one guy power rake the thing one time, or twice if needs be, have the other guy run the walk behind blower, tarp it up, mow it and you are out in 3 hours. Then you can tell her that you are doing the cleanup for 250, then you are dethatching her lawn for 100, and a mow and debris takeaway for 50. Youre all set!!!

So you pay the two guys 10/hr (which is alot)....60 bucks to them....110 for the equip...so you get 230 for three hours....75 bucks an hour....maybe you could lower the bid a bit but I would go for it...haha

irishgoldcleanups
04-05-2006, 07:25 AM
One Man Crew I Get A 3/4 Acre Done In 12 Hours With A Br600 36" Rake 8'x12' Tarp. I Blow Out The Whole Yaerd Don't Pick Up The Rake Until I Have To Fill The Tarp.

irishgoldcleanups
04-05-2006, 07:27 AM
One Man Crew I Get A 3/4 Acre Done In 12 Hours With A Br600 36" Rake 8'x12' Tarp. I Blow Out The Whole Yard Don't Pick Up The Rake Until I Have To Fill The Tarp.

chriscraft
04-05-2006, 08:15 PM
Wety leaves are not fun . we would cut pick up the big sticks cut and bag the lawn and dethatch it for the packed down leaves, blow out gardens and property. Maybe 2 hours total with 3 guys if it was REAL BAD, so maybe 250 max plus haul away

RLSLandscaping
04-05-2006, 08:37 PM
This is the time of year when u need to be most visible to pick up new customers...you gotta buy some things quickly...nothing worse than bagging leaves as spring/fall clean-up with a W/B mower...trust me! buy a back pack blower and a large tarp rent a power rake for 60$ from HD....power rake the yard and blow it into piles (thatch/leaves)...I started with a back pack blower and a pick-up...now I have 2 back packs and 3 tarps LOL

wski4fun
04-05-2006, 08:51 PM
Get the best BackPack you can afford. I bought the redmax 8000 and I haven't used my 11hp w/b yet. Besides the lawnmower, best invest is the Backpack to start.

topsites
04-05-2006, 09:05 PM
HI
I am thinking of just charging $30 per hour and tell her it should not take more than 5 hours. ANy thing I should be careful on doing it that way?

Thanks for the input
BJ

Wait a second, you started with 400 and now you're thinking 150, that tells me your mind has been influenced / low-balled.

Here is how I know:
How do you know her husband died in October, did she volunteer this? If so, a sad story is a frequently used lowballer tactic (whether the story is true or not, I don't want to hear it because I am neither her closest friend nor a member of her family <- The only folks who should be hearing it). The way it works, you feel sorry for her so you're more likely to give a low price: So whatever you're thinking, double it since it's been influenced you are way too likely to lowball at this point.

This is exactly what I'm talking about when I say they keep throwing stupid comments, all of which translated mean 'I dont want to pay a lot of money, really half the going rate is still too much.'

It's double the normal rate, she'd say no to my estimate fast.
300-400, at least. I haven't seen it, but I'm even thinking along the lines of 750, thou a better answer might be 'I am sorry but after giving it much thought I do not foresee having the equipment to do this.'

Don't forget, leaves that have sat all season without being touched are very stubborn. The rain (and in some cases sleet, snow, and ice) have firmly embedded the leaves into the dirt, and if it froze anytime during the winter while they were wet, it makes it worse even if they're dry now.

I done been through this more than I care to remember.

topsites
04-05-2006, 09:08 PM
One Man Crew I Get A 3/4 Acre Done In 12 Hours With A Br600 36" Rake 8'x12' Tarp. I Blow Out The Whole Yaerd Don't Pick Up The Rake Until I Have To Fill The Tarp.

Yeah, until it's a 3/4 acre with 70 big trees in it. Every yard is different, I can do my acre lot in an hour with the Goat.

btw, leaf cleanup window is closed, I don't mind cleaning leaves in spring but not the kind that haven't been touched all season.
Not to mention, I only do leaves for customers that have been with me a year (ok I do them in fall for this year's grass customers).

wski4fun
04-05-2006, 09:16 PM
It sounds like I just did that a few days ago. Used my backpack 90% of the time and I got it done in 5hrs by myself. Charged 270 including dump fee. Charge what you want but I think you make more money by being fair and honest. She has me doing more work and I know that as long as I'm not way out of the ballpark with price then she will never question me. To some good customers it's like you become thier son and they will do what ever you tell them to. Charge a lot once or be fair and make money year after year.

K.Carothers
04-05-2006, 09:21 PM
Charge your rates. Who cares if she thinks of you as being one of her sons. When she finds a cheaper price...good bye to you.

You have to make money now and labor isn't cheap!


kc

cwlawley
04-05-2006, 09:24 PM
10 "man-hours" is a lot for a 5K cleanup no matter how many leaves there are. I would probably charge about $175-$200 and it would take 4-5 total hours.

one man gang
04-05-2006, 10:15 PM
10 "man-hours" is a lot for a 5K cleanup no matter how many leaves there are. I would probably charge about $175-$200 and it would take 4-5 total hours.

5 K is 50x100 right?Assuming there's a sh*t load of leaves two guys with rakes should be able to do that in 2 hours max right? $200 plus 50 for disposal, sound right? I realize the area is probably not a perfect rectangle shape but I hand rake backyards(with gates I can't get my WB in) that size (after power raking) in a half hour. Me and my helper can make some hay with the rakes. I prefer to use the WB but when there's a lot leaves it takes a rake IMO. We did one today about that size but I trimmed 5 bushes as well in 2 hours. I hit him for $200 and I was able to dump the leaves on his property . Of course this job could have tons and tons of leaves

jim163
04-05-2006, 11:22 PM
$400? LoL yea right, especially for 5k sq. ft. Youll be out of business before you even start. That small of a yard shouldn't be $400. Do you really gota average making over $100 an hour? If you get the job more power to you, but I wouldnt expect it.

Dunn's
04-06-2006, 12:47 AM
I think you guys are crazy you could not get any one anywhere in my city 200 dollars for leaf removal. Ok well maybe in ladue or west county but their houses cost a million or more.

Green-Cuts
04-06-2006, 12:06 PM
Hey

I gave her an estimate for $35 per hour and estimated it would take about 5 hours. Then I added a $20.00 dump fee so it would be around $195.00 for the cleanup. I told her that if I got done faster I would only charge her for the time we worked. I found out I can rent a power rake for about $12 per hour so that will help. So would you power rake the lawn and then mow over it with my 21" WB? Can anyone tell me the most effecient way to do spring clean ups?

THanks
BJ

Dunn's
04-06-2006, 12:22 PM
I have found that if I use my cheap 119.00 dollars 21" inch mulching push with bag is the best bet with it set on height 3 leaves gone in know time and the cheaper bags are easier to dump in to yard waste bags. But I have heard guys on here say they use tarp I'm not entirely sure on how they do this unless they rake or blow all the leaves onto it and then try to wrap it up somehow and haul it off that way.

lawnsplus
04-06-2006, 12:39 PM
Did someone say they power rake for $60.00...

OK here is where prices differ greatly in different regions.

Core aeration Upto 10K sq feet. $45.00

Power rake / dethatching upto 10K square feet $125.00

Our cleanups do not include either one...

Spring Cleanup:

Remove all leaves and debris / garbage from property with blower and have helper rake onto tarp and throw in truck.

Turn beds w / 4 prong 8" rake, edge beds, edge sidewalks, cut down ornamental grasses, rake out areas of winter turf damage and overseed, apply 46-0-0 fertilizer.

Done!

$25.00 per thousand.

Upon leaving we recommend aeration if it wasnt done in the fall, or power rake if there is heavy thatch, and maybe leave a quote for mulch if needed.

Problem with power rake is that it can do serious turf damage if not done by a qualified individual.

By the way mulch at $55 per yard installed.

Green-Cuts
04-06-2006, 01:30 PM
HI
So if I have never used a power rake before I should not try it on a customers lawn:)
Should I rent one and practice on my back yard for experience? Any tips on handling it or power raking in general?

Thanks

ajlandscaping
04-06-2006, 02:33 PM
this is a very good thread you can see where things are done differently in different regions but where i live people don't rake leaves often very few have trailers that they pack them into through a vac and shredder it seems most people just mulch them right up with there Z's or WB's they don't just run over it once they probably run over the leaves about 5 mayb 6 times to cut the leaves up as fine as possible.

kbrashears
04-06-2006, 02:55 PM
I've got a cyclone rake. I blow the leaves out of the corners and hard to get to areas and try to get them all in one big area. Then I take my Cyclone Rake and use the vacuum hose and pick them up. When I need to dump, I dump on a large tarp that I can fold over and drag up on the trailer or back of the truck. Of course, when you are cleaning up one acre lots that have 20-30 mature oaks, you are going to have a TON of leaves. Cleanup here is not fun, but it pays well.

One acre of leaves cleaned up in that neighboorhood = 350.00

JCee
04-06-2006, 11:37 PM
I didnt say I power rake for 60, I said you can rent one for 60. The most efficient way varies by cleanup. But, with that being said, if you care to do a good job, which is one of my strengths and downfall put together (off the subject)...The easiest way to do things is to roughly tarp the bulk of leaves...Not a great job here....Run them through a loader, but if you dont have one hoist them in the back of a pickup with built up sides....Then run over and bag with whatever mower you have.

Obviously this is alot easier if you have better equipment, but I think overall it is the best method for anything. Mulching may be quicker, but it does not look as good. From afar yes, but if you look close no way.....