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View Full Version : First Job...How much should I charge?


rutwad
10-19-2006, 06:14 PM
I used my ASV 100 HP skid steer with mulcher attachment for approx 3.5 hours. I mulched a trail through the woods for heavy dump trucks to enter the back yard withoug crushing her front yard. I took down 2 8' sections of privacy fence, pulled 2 posts, and got into the pool area. I detached the diving board to save it. The concrete around the pool (maybe 4' across) was pushed into the pool. Sand will be hauled in to fill in the pool (we are waiting on drier weather) which I will spread leaving about 6"'s for top soil. Then dress-up work, and reattach privacy fence sections. Oh yeah, pool was to be drained and ready, but the I and the owner spent about 2 hours pumping it out. I maybe spent 1 hour, then mulched for the other hour while it pumped out. I can't say total hours because I still have to spread sand that is yet to be brought it. Any rough ideas on a price?

Thanks

landscapingpoolguy
10-19-2006, 09:36 PM
Time and materials

100 and hour plus materials and disposal is very fair.

Mike33
10-19-2006, 10:00 PM
Charge all you can get.
Mike

sunray
10-19-2006, 10:42 PM
Are you taking the pool out?
What size is it, Gunite or liner?

cedarcroft
10-20-2006, 12:21 AM
machine and operator for the day $850 plus dumping fees and materials sounds about right. make sure you punch holes in the pool in several areas to allow for drainage.

rutwad
11-09-2006, 10:01 PM
Well, first day was an all day event. Mulching, pushing in concrete, etc. Then a few days later the first load of sand was delivered. I returned to get into the pool with my machine and bust up any large pieces of concrete, and use what little sand was there to help me get back out. It took way longer to clean the machine than it did for the work. Then, later again, I returned to spread 2 more loads of sand. Not much work time here either, just cleaning sand out of the tracks on my machine. About a week later, same thing, 2 loads of sand, little work, lots of cleaning. Finally tomorrow at least 1 load of sand, maybe 2, then top soil and dress up work.

I really don't know how to figure the job, because a couple of days I may have spent just over an hour at the jobsite. But cleanup is what is killing me. If I have to return for 1 hr. work, I should be able to charge for more than 1 hr. I don't want to cheat the man, but I don't want to cut myself short either.

ANY IDEAS ON A TOTAL PRICE?

RockSet N' Grade
11-09-2006, 11:12 PM
You gotta figure "your total price". As for me, I have a four hour minimum and a transport fee that varies depending on drive time......my minimum transport fee is $80 and that's if I just have to go to a neighbors or down the street. My typical transport fee is $150 and up.
I learned early on that one hour here and one hour there will eat your lunch financially......I prefer to not even do the 4 hour minimums.

RockSet N' Grade
11-09-2006, 11:36 PM
What I failed to say on that last post is that each trip I make is a 4 hr. min. and transport fee.

skidmaster
11-12-2006, 08:31 AM
Are you out of your mind?You sound like you haven't got a clue, no disrespect! But if you have an ASV 100, you are doing something right. I am confused. You got the machine and you have completed most of the work, but you don't have a price. Who or what kind of people are you working for? Bottom line, $150.00 transport fee. $1100 a day labor and always double your dumping fees.

rutwad
11-12-2006, 11:56 AM
Are you out of your mind?You sound like you haven't got a clue, no disrespect! But if you have an ASV 100, you are doing something right. I am confused. You got the machine and you have completed most of the work, but you don't have a price. Who or what kind of people are you working for? Bottom line, $150.00 transport fee. $1100 a day labor and always double your dumping fees.

You charge $1250/day for bucket work? I must definitely be cheating myself!

SO FAR
Transport fee x5= $750.
2 full days x$1100= $2200
3 days 4hr/min ($260)= $780
SUBTOTAL= $3730

I day left when topsoil arrives

1 transport fee $150
1 day labor $1100
SUBTOTAL $1250


TOTAL = $4980


That seems high to me. I want to treat my customers fairly.

Am I wrong here?

Mike33
11-12-2006, 02:00 PM
My opinion if you dont know how to charge, you most likely dont know how to do the job. What kind of people do you get for customers? You cant do business by not in forming them what the job is going to run. Yes at times i work by time and material very seldom but it happens but they still have a general idea. And if your starting out you might have to bite the bullet a few times most of us have that lasted in business. Owning and running a business is not all peanut butter and jelly dont think your going to profit every minute spent on job, it dont happen that way. You cant go out and take on a job and tell the customer ill send you a bill after i get some responce from the lawn site gang. Elements of business!
Mike

crab
11-12-2006, 02:10 PM
:confused: if its a four hour trip,why didn't you schedule you're trucking so you could do all the work in three days ?.one trip there and back.i do lots of small stuff time & materials,but as stated before you have to give a price and be close,especially if you want to be fair to you're clients.

hortiscape
11-13-2006, 06:53 PM
It seems we all have to start somewhere. The way to be fair to your customers is to charge what your worth.
Some guys on this site are worth the amounts they charge, but if you are just starting out and your skill set is not as full as more experienced guys, you are less efficient with your time and provide less result for the client.
It seems you should charge accordingly.
$1,100 per day sounds high if your just learning landscape, and if you do not know what to charge you must be new to the business.
I charge $50.00/hr. plus materials. The clock starts when the crews leave the shop for the site, and from one site to another. This is the formula after the job is completed.
In other words before the job I estimate time and materials and after the job is completed the final bill is time and materials.
The trick is you need to be in the business for years to estimate the time required to complete tasks properly. I have been using this method for 22 years. This is the only way to avoid surprises when you present your invoice.
The question is what do you need to make per hour to cover your costs, ie: Insurances, workers comp., equipment payements or equevelent if you own equip. outright, fuel, wear and tear, profit, and administrative costs.

Mjh Excavating
11-13-2006, 10:27 PM
This really sounds like a case of poor planning on your part. IMO you cannot charge a customer for 2 weeks worth of work that could have legitamately been completed in 2 days +/_ . The fill dirt should have been there all in one day. You may be eating some of this one.

Mjh Excavating
11-13-2006, 10:35 PM
Oh Yeah the price, YOUR daily rate if you did not give the customer a price plus materials and IF you gave the customer a price then stick to it. Maybe adding a small amount for wasted time pumping.

crab
11-13-2006, 10:53 PM
yeah!~ take that rookie!

rutwad
11-13-2006, 11:16 PM
The man came to me. All I was to do was push the concrete in the pool and fill it with the dirt he was to supply. All I have tied up is time on my machine, no materials. And yes, if it was organized properly, 3 days would have been the absolute most to do this job. But day 1, I completely finished making the trail through the woods for the trucks to enter the back yard, I (we) drained the pool (which was suppose to have already been done), and I pushed all the surrounding concrete into the pool. I load up and go home. 9 days later, I return after he calls saying 1 load has been delivered. He wants me to stop by, take the machine into the pool to bust the concrete to avoid any voids, and put the first load in. 2 hrs. on job site that day. The place where the trucks have to go is wet, so he is at the mercy of the weather and the local gravel pit being able to deliver on short notice. Next day he calls to say 2 more loads have been brought in, so I return to spread them. Approx. 1 1/2 hr at job site. 2 weeks later I return after he calls to say 2 more loads were delivered. That's only another 1 1/2 hr. 3 days later another load is being delivered so I return again. This ended up being a 7 hr. day due to a stuck dump truck.

So that's five days, but only 22 hrs. on the job. I thought you guys may be able to offer some good advice, but maybe I should have asked the magic 8-ball instead.

crab
11-13-2006, 11:27 PM
well,if you were at his disposal,and hes acting as gc thats a different story.id just be a little cautious dealing with someone whose conducted himself so flippantly about hiring people.before you go back, have you gotten a deposit,or even talked money with him?.its hard to tell you what to charge with out knowing what was discussed .bye the the way the rookie thing was a joke.

crab
11-13-2006, 11:27 PM
well,if you were at his disposal,and hes acting as gc thats a different story.id just be a little cautious dealing with someone whose conducted himself so flippantly about hiring people.before you go back, have you gotten a deposit,or even talked money with him?.its hard to tell you what to charge with out knowing what was discussed .bye the the way the rookie thing was a joke.

manfromearth
11-14-2006, 12:10 AM
Good luck!!!

rutwad
11-14-2006, 12:21 AM
His family has known me since I was a child. I have no doubts about collecting my money. And up front, he showed me what he wanted done, said he would take care of the material, and no money was discussed. Do the work, send him a bill. I just want to be reasonable with the bill, but I don't won't to cut myself short. If I charge 4 hr. min. each day I went along with a delivery fee, then I feel like I am cheating him (job's only 5 miles away). If I only charge for actual hours, I feel like I am cheating myself. I was just wondering what may seem like a fair price for the work involved.

patpls
11-14-2006, 08:04 PM
How about charging hours and some travelling time(Called Float fee where I'm from) Pick what you were always going to charge per hour and see if you can work out how many hours you needed to load , drive unload, work then reload. Certainly wasn't your fault that it took so many trips to and from the site, so between time and fuel you need to be paid for those hours and inconvenience of not being at anther job. Good luck

Mjh Excavating
11-14-2006, 08:39 PM
rutwad,

No disrepect to you or anyone else just starting out in business more power to you. This site is beat to death with guys wanting to know what to charge for a job. A good part of us here have been in business for quite sometime and had to figure this out on are own. This information about what to charge is not easily given up it was come by to hard. The other fact of the matter is that we can't tell you what to charge (except ballpark numbers)we don't know your business everyone has different overhead.

hoskm01
11-19-2006, 06:44 AM
A picture is worth 1000 words, or 172 in your case.

rutwad
11-19-2006, 08:41 AM
So I realize most people have a 4 hr. minimum and sometimes a delivery fee. But I was wondering about non-typical situations. How flexible are you guys. I understand friends are friends and business is business. Not all delays have been his fault. We have had wet weather, gravel pit has not been able to deliver, or either they may have a truck down. Several delays anyway.

So yes, organized it should have been approx. 2-3 days. But it has turned out to be several 2 hr or less days. So instead of pricing 4hr. minimum each time, I was going to price the "job".

So if you had someone come out to push up all the concrete surrounding the pool (only 4' wide), fill the pool, and dress it up, how much of a bill would you expect? You of course would not know anything about their overhead, you just want to know what your bill is. Any ideas?

Why do I ask? I think I am stuck in the 80's. To me, prices seem outrageous for most anything. ($750 for simple water heater & install, $300 to hang a ceiling fan, $1200 labor only for brick steps-1 days work for 3 guys, etc.) And even what people pay for having their lawn serviced, or what some of you guys chafge per man/per hr. So what seems high to me is apparently acceptable mostly by others.

FATWEASEL
11-21-2006, 10:01 PM
You mentioned that billed one way and you would feel cheated and billed the other way you would feel like you cheated the customer.

What are those two prices?

Andy:)

rutwad
11-22-2006, 09:13 AM
Someone mentioned delivery fee plus 4 hr. minimum each time I show up. I have 3 days with 2 hrs. or less, and they were not consecutive days. So to charge for that plus my 2 full days would seem high to me (haven't put exact price on it)

The other is to figure my hours and my hourly rate. That would cut me short because of the 3 2hr days and delivery.

I may figure it each way and average it out.

Total.Lawn.Care
11-22-2006, 09:42 AM
I understand yoru situation with being a family friend,etc. However, they also have to know that if they get in the middle of the action, it will cost more than if you were to handle scheduling of everything.

Now, in your current situation and to be fair to the customer, here is how I would charge it out.

Only Five Miles Away: $50 Trip fee for every trip you made and unloaded your Machine.
Hourly rate times the Total Hours your spend on the jobsite.
Cleanup fee for time taken to clean your machine afterwards.

So from what I read i nyour Posts:

22 hrs on job @ $100 = $2200
5 trips @$50 = $250
Cleanup time = $250

So, I figure about $2,700, not coutning any work still to be done.

Only you can really decide what to charge... Good Luck.

rutwad
11-22-2006, 05:11 PM
I understand yoru situation with being a family friend,etc. However, they also have to know that if they get in the middle of the action, it will cost more than if you were to handle scheduling of everything.

Now, in your current situation and to be fair to the customer, here is how I would charge it out.

Only Five Miles Away: $50 Trip fee for every trip you made and unloaded your Machine.
Hourly rate times the Total Hours your spend on the jobsite.
Cleanup fee for time taken to clean your machine afterwards.

So from what I read i nyour Posts:

22 hrs on job @ $100 = $2200
5 trips @$50 = $250
Cleanup time = $250

So, I figure about $2,700, not coutning any work still to be done.

Only you can really decide what to charge... Good Luck.

THANKS!! I was just wanting some ideas. BTW, $100/hr for Skidsteer bucket work? Is it going for that much?