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LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 06:21 PM
well here is the deal. I went to the dentist for a check up. My dentist and I ended up talking about landscpaing and said he needed a new landscaper and low and behold i told him i was. He said he would let me know if he needed an estiamte. I ended up having to have a tooth filled so i went today to have this done. He asked me for an estimate so i will be goign over some time within the next couple of days. I usually wouldn;t do a house 30 minutes away becasue there is plenty of work to do within 5 minutes from me. But he told me that he lives in a court with 8 houses total about 1/4 an acre each including the house and garage. He said that i would be doing all 8 houses. He told me that there are little amount of trees so therefore leaf clean-up isn;t that much. He told me that just for lawn maintence (leaf clean-up, mulch, hedge trimmig, lawn mowing) without snow removal, they pay about $18,000 a year for the 8 houses. Just in my mind i think that i would make some Money. They sign a contract and everythign is in there. They send out a check once a month or every 2 weeks depending on what i agree on. Snow plowing is a different contract so that would me more money. Here is my question. Should i even get involved? you think it more then i coulds handle with myself and another person. And on teh average how much do you charge for an average 1/4 lot with normal trimming and blowing. Let me know if i am going to regret doign it. I still have to give an estimate so i dunno if the other landscapers pricing was right. Thanks lawnInOrder

Accu-cut Lawn Care
01-11-2007, 06:34 PM
Jump on that one. Being that he is a Dentist, it is probably a nice CLEAN place. But, don't let him set the price. How are you sure it was only 18k? If he'll show you the old contract, that would be proof enough. Also, another thing to consider would be what happened to the other lco. Did he quit or get fired? If they quit, it might be a good idea to try and contact them to see why it wasn't beneficial for them. If it's only 2 or 3 acres, you can easily do it by yourself.

jsf343
01-11-2007, 06:39 PM
That comes out to approx. 187.50 per house per month. I guess as long as you knew your time and cost involved it might be ok. Do the research though, I would hate to jump on that and find out it takes you longer then anticipated thus costing you more to do and shrinking your profits.

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 06:52 PM
Jump on that one. Being that he is a Dentist, it is probably a nice CLEAN place. But, don't let him set the price. How are you sure it was only 18k? If he'll show you the old contract, that would be proof enough. Also, another thing to consider would be what happened to the other lco. Did he quit or get fired? If they quit, it might be a good idea to try and contact them to see why it wasn't beneficial for them. If it's only 2 or 3 acres, you can easily do it by yourself.

The houses are HIGH END RESIEDNTAL. He lives in a really wealthy area. The dentist doesn;t liek teh current work from the current lansdscaper. He said the LCO cuts corners. He said he would show me the contract from last year so it would show me what tehy wnat done. He isnt gunna set the price, but that was last years figure. I am sure it gunna be alittle more than 18 thousand. LawnInOrder

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 06:55 PM
That comes out to approx. 187.50 per house per month. I guess as long as you knew your time and cost involved it might be ok. Do the research though, I would hate to jump on that and find out it takes you longer then anticipated thus costing you more to do and shrinking your profits.

Well i mean it only for lawn mowing, not snow removal which is extra. But i do agree i need to see the property and see if it is worth my time and if i can make some serious cash. So bacially i will get about $180 a house even in the months i don';t do work, so i dunno. If you calacuted the amount of money i would get in the 26-30 weeks a cut the amount per house goes up. I will still have to go and look at the place and then i will have a better idea on what to bid.
so my next question is: How much does on charge a momnth for an average 1/4 acre including teh house, patio, garage etc.

Thanks LawnInOrder

grass disaster
01-11-2007, 06:58 PM
how much $ in mulch is the question?

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 07:05 PM
how much $ in mulch is the question?

honeslty i don;t know. He told me that the current LCO needed 3 loads from and f-350 dump bed to do all 8 houses and for 18,000 it would be done once. He told me that they want it done like 3 times a year. Basically told me whatevera needs to be doen to make therre porperties stand out. The LCO also did core areation which was extra. How much miclh does an f-350 dump carry? LawnInOrder

fiveoboy01
01-11-2007, 07:07 PM
Well, assuming 26 cuts(not sure how many weeks you get up there), it comes to roughly 86 bucks per week per home. So, that may be some pretty good money there, depending on the work involved and size of the properties...

One question though. Is this dentist the one in charge of the(apparent) HOA? If not, find out who is, and talk with them. Don't do the "he said, she said" bs. Find out who will SIGN THE CONTRACT and speak with them.

Ooh, I just saw, there's mulching involved as well? Be sure you know what that's going to cost you...

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 07:10 PM
Well, assuming 26 cuts(not sure how many weeks you get up there), it comes to roughly 86 bucks per week per home. So, that may be some pretty good money there, depending on the work involved and size of the properties...

One question though. Is this dentist the one in charge of the(apparent) HOA? If not, find out who is, and talk with them. Don't do the "he said, she said" bs. Find out who will SIGN THE CONTRACT and speak with them.

Ooh, I just saw, there's mulching involved as well? Be sure you know what that's going to cost you...

it sorta funny u asked, becasue he told me he is in charge. he collects the moeny from the houses and writes out the check. Thats why he knew the figures.
As far as mulching i will see eexactly what needs to be mulched and what not but he said rougly 3 loads from an f-350 dump truckl was needed for the houses. How much woudl you charge for a typical 1/4 acre prop? LawnInOrder

KrayzKajun
01-11-2007, 07:11 PM
I would do it!

lawnworker
01-11-2007, 07:32 PM
Yeah, if you can bump a little up this year, You would make even more. Being they are all in one place really helps your costs. It sounds good to me.

ed2hess
01-11-2007, 07:36 PM
This does not sound like a mow and go account.. What about fertilze, pest control on plants, disease control on plants and grass? The Doc knows that by have 8 units together he can leaverage a better price. The $18K would get you the whole deal in our area including irrigation repair.

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 07:49 PM
This does not sound like a mow and go account.. What about fertilze, pest control on plants, disease control on plants and grass? The Doc knows that by have 8 units together he can leaverage a better price. The $18K would get you the whole deal in our area including irrigation repair.

just reg fert. Not plant control or anything. Anything else would be extra. Are you trying to say it is bad or good Mr. ed2hess? LawnInOrder

Mowtown Mike
01-11-2007, 08:14 PM
Will the proposed units tighten up your route or will you have to travel more? A few more things to consider.

Jpocket
01-11-2007, 08:45 PM
1/4 acre Property is usually around $35.00. If that $18,000 includes mulch than I guess you'd be around $40.00 per cut. $18,000 would be a good price for me.

But I would think you'd need more than the 36" Scag to make any kind of time. It will do it, but I would plan on being there all day, if thats all your gonna run.

Turn two 60" Ztr's loose in there and you'll be done before the dew burns off the grass in the morning.

roguesuerte
01-11-2007, 09:02 PM
Doctors and dentists are notoriously cheap and many pay slow as I suspect they wait for their money also. We had a group of people up and leave in a similiar situation when we raised their rate a couple of bucks one year. Two years later they all wanted to come back and we told them no(easy come easy go). They have averaged about two companies per yr. since. Find out what your getting yourself into in regards with cleanup/mulching, Find out who their previuos landscaper was and ask for a heads up. Make sure you get a signed service agreement with a listing of services that will be included.
Best of luck.

Josh.S
01-11-2007, 09:11 PM
Here is what I would do...

Figure how much money it is going to cost to fertalize, mulch it, and aerate it.. I would just figure aerating in if he is planning on having it done..

Lets just say it cost $2200 for the mulch, which is a very rough estimate I have no idea (cost of mulch x man hour charge). For fertalizing I subcontract, so just a guestimate I would say $32 per 1/4 acre. On a 4 step program, it would cost $1024 (($32x8houses)*(4applications). Now aerating, I would say $50 per/house (at least). That is $400 (50x8).

So right now we are sitting at a cost of $3624, that is $14,376 left for mowing. Lets figure at 31 cuts, we would always rather calculate our expences high than low. Thats $57.97 per cut ((14376/8) / 31). I don't know what your normal charge is for a 1/4 residential, but that sounds pretty damn good to me. I wouldn't say you are getting in over your head since it is only 8 lawns, but I would hire somebody to help me mulch them though.

Well I hope that was the breakdown that you were looking for..

- Josh

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 09:33 PM
Will the proposed units tighten up your route or will you have to travel more? A few more things to consider.

It will actaully expand on my route. Sorta liek 20 minutes out of the way. Considering i have been using my golf cart it seems far away but it alot of money so i am considering it.

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 09:35 PM
Doctors and dentists are notoriously cheap and many pay slow as I suspect they wait for their money also. We had a group of people up and leave in a similiar situation when we raised their rate a couple of bucks one year. Two years later they all wanted to come back and we told them no(easy come easy go). They have averaged about two companies per yr. since. Find out what your getting yourself into in regards with cleanup/mulching, Find out who their previuos landscaper was and ask for a heads up. Make sure you get a signed service agreement with a listing of services that will be included.
Best of luck.

I actaully thought it was the opposite, but what do i no. I will deff get a contract signed. That is teh only reason why i am considering this since it like 20 minute sout of teh way. I will deff call the previous LCO. but teh customer doens;t like the currtent LCO becasue he cuts corners. LawnInOrder

Josh.S
01-11-2007, 09:38 PM
I actaully thought it was the opposite, but what do i no. I will deff get a contract signed. That is teh only reason why i am considering this since it like 20 minute sout of teh way. I will deff call the previous LCO. but teh customer doens;t like the currtent LCO becasue he cuts corners. LawnInOrder

Was the cost breakdown I put wat you were looking for or not?

I would recomend getting a nice striping 36"+ walk behind though.

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 09:38 PM
1/4 acre Property is usually around $35.00. If that $18,000 includes mulch than I guess you'd be around $40.00 per cut. $18,000 would be a good price for me.

But I would think you'd need more than the 36" Scag to make any kind of time. It will do it, but I would plan on being there all day, if thats all your gonna run.

Turn two 60" Ztr's loose in there and you'll be done before the dew burns off the grass in the morning.

They have gates to teh rear so the biggest i could get is a 48" since he said he had a really big gate put on so the LCO could run bigger machinces. Either way i was planning on buying a used walker. A LCO around teh block fro, me has one for about $1500 for a 36" model. I tihkn i might pibk it up or get a stander. I will prob hire sum help, so i can at least run 2 36" scags at least.

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 09:44 PM
Here is what I would do...

Figure how much money it is going to cost to fertalize, mulch it, and aerate it.. I would just figure aerating in if he is planning on having it done..

Lets just say it cost $2200 for the mulch, which is a very rough estimate I have no idea (cost of mulch x man hour charge). For fertalizing I subcontract, so just a guestimate I would say $32 per 1/4 acre. On a 4 step program, it would cost $1024 (($32x8houses)*(4applications). Now aerating, I would say $50 per/house (at least). That is $400 (50x8).

So right now we are sitting at a cost of $3624, that is $14,376 left for mowing. Lets figure at 31 cuts, we would always rather calculate our expenses high than low. Thats $57.97 per cut ((14376/8) / 31). I don't know what your normal charge is for a 1/4 residential, but that sounds pretty damn good to me. I wouldn't say you are getting in over your head since it is only 8 lawns, but I would hire somebody to help me mulch them though.

Well I hope that was the breakdown that you were looking for..

- Josh

Thanks alot Josh. I mean i thought it was a good deal. Should i include aeration because the previous LCO didn;t and charge extra for that over the original 18,000. Snow removal is extra too. But what is included is also hedge trimming. I dunno how much hedges they have. He told me that out of the 1/4 acre lot they own only about 60% grass, the rest is shrubs. Within the contact i gutta do shrub trimming. I won't know how much shrub trimming until see the houses. How would u charge for shrub trimming on such a larger scale. By the hours? buy the bush? Thanks LawnInOrder

Josh.S
01-11-2007, 09:56 PM
Thanks alot Josh. I mean i thought it was a good deal. Should i include aeration because the previous LCO didn;t and charge extra for that over the original 18,000. Snow removal is extra too. But what is included is also hedge trimming. I dunno how much hedges they have. He told me that out of the 1/4 acre lot they own only about 60% grass, the rest is shrubs. Within the contact i gutta do shrub trimming. I won't know how much shrub trimming until see the houses. How would u charge for shrub trimming on such a larger scale. By the hours? buy the bush? Thanks LawnInOrder

By the hour.... you could make a nice profit at $45 per/hour ..

I would just redo the cost figuring I already did with the bushes in mind and only worry about snow removal when the time comes.. get the mowing contract down first.

Yes, if he is planning on aeration I would including it in the contract, and only use $18k as your guide line, not your price. It would be a good price but it doesn't sound like you have to stay at it...

Remember, you are not the previous LCO, you don't need to do things the way he did (including contracts).. You could give him a price like what I came up with for weekly mowing & trimming, aerating, fertalizing, and mulch.... have that on a contract, with a flat monthly fee..... and then tell him for when he wants the bushes trimmed its $45 per/hour added onto the regular monthly bill...

You could just feel him out and see if he likes the idea of that.. then you would be more protected, incase they call you out every week when the bushes grow .5 inches to trim all off them again..

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 10:00 PM
By the hour.... you could make a nice profit at $45 per/hour ..

I would just redo what I already broke down and only worry about snow removal when the time comes.. get the mowing contract down first.

Yes, if he is planning on aeration I would including it in the contract, and only use $18k as your guide line, not your price. It would be a good price but it doesn't sound like you have to stay at it...

Remember, you are not the previous LCO, you don't need to do things the way he did (including contracts)

Well i charge $60 an hour, but how do i determine how many hours it will talke me. I agree i just need to worry about the lawn contract first then worry about teh snow since we have none so far lol. I think he wants a contract signed and from what i read on here don't alot of people like contarct so shoudl i not have a contract? but your right i am not the other previosu LCO. and $18,000 is what he paid not what i am going to charge. I guess i can;t even get a ball park figure until i see the property. I will take ditagil pictures with my new ditgal camera:cool2: and maybe you guys could help on the final bid after i get a draft written up. thanks for all the help. LawnInOrder

SimonCX
01-11-2007, 10:05 PM
I don't know if it sounds that great of a deal, consider it's $2250 per house and take away mowing which is about $35 per cut and 28-30 cuts. That only leaves $1200 to do leaves, trim hedges, fert and mulch with weeding 3 times a year. That doesn't sound like a good deal to me, maybe if you mulch once a year and trim hedges 2 times and even that I would have to know how much trimming and mulch there is. For all the work they want done $18000 for 8 houses isn't as much as you think. Really consider how much materials and time it will take you because it might not be as good as it looks.

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 10:06 PM
By the hour.... you could make a nice profit at Remember, you are not the previous LCO, you don't need to do things the way he did (including contracts).. You could give him a price like what I came up with for weekly mowing & trimming, aerating, fertalizing, and mulch.... have that on a contract, with a flat monthly fee..... and then tell him for when he wants the bushes trimmed its $45 per/hour added onto the regular monthly bill...

You could just feel him out and see if he likes the idea of that.. then you would be more protected, incase they call you out every week when the bushes grow .5 inches to trim all off them again..

I like that way much better. Easyier on me and better so i don;t get screwed. Seems like a honest guy but looks can be decieving. but lets say he doens;t go for the hourly rate of bush trimming and wants it in the contarct, what do i do then. How could i possbily figure out how many hours it would take to trimm teh shrubs. I also could put that i would come x amount of times per season to trimm the bushes. Like 4 x per season? I dunno. Really new to teh contract thing.:dizzy: LawnInOrder

LawnInOrder
01-11-2007, 10:09 PM
I don't know if it sounds that great of a deal, consider it's $2250 per house and take away mowing which is about $35 per cut and 28-30 cuts. That only leaves $1200 to do leaves, trim hedges, fert and mulch with weeding 3 times a year. That doesn't sound like a good deal to me, maybe if you mulch once a year and trim hedges 2 times and even that I would have to know how much trimming and mulch there is. For all the work they want done $18000 for 8 houses isn't as much as you think. Really consider how much materials and time it will take you because it might not be as good as it looks.

i totally agree i need to see how much hedge trimmign and mulch is need and how many times a year tehy want mulch and their hedges trimmed. Again 18,000 is what they paid last year so it a figure to work with. LawnInOrder

lawns Etc
01-11-2007, 10:33 PM
I havea nice 06 Bobcat gear drive wb 15 Kohler and Gobbler for 1500

I would jump on that contract cause it could lead to more as doctors have doctor friends and they will put the word out good or bad

ed2hess
01-11-2007, 10:38 PM
just reg fert. Not plant control or anything. Anything else would be extra. Are you trying to say it is bad or good Mr. ed2hess? LawnInOrder

Sound like a very good deal...If I could get accounts like that I would go for it in a minute. The price sounds okay.

David C.
01-11-2007, 11:41 PM
COOL!!!

He drills your teeth ----- you mow his grass!!!

Sounds like a good trade off ------- for the Dentist!!!!:laugh: :laugh:

mike lane lawn care
01-12-2007, 12:34 AM
i would try and get 20,000. if he was unhappy with his previuos lawn care provider, then he should be willing to pay more for quality service. I would jump all over that, i know what my overhead, and expenses are, and i could stand to make some good money off that.

Edgewater
01-12-2007, 02:23 AM
You need to do 2 things

1) quantify everything. $18,000 is for x mowings, x yards mulch, x times hedges trimmed.

if you say $18,000 will keep all 8 homes looking great. you WILL loose money. every individual service must represent a value to them or they will just ask for more.

2) make sure that you get one set of cheques (6x $3,000 or whatever) if you have to collect from all 8 you will spend a day a week just saying yes we did this, this is why we didn't do that instead.,...

My rule is ONE contract, ONE contact, ONE billing address, ONE set of cheques.
keeps it simple

LawnInOrder
01-12-2007, 08:23 AM
You need to do 2 things

1) quantify everything. $18,000 is for x mowings, x yards mulch, x times hedges trimmed.

if you say $18,000 will keep all 8 homes looking great. you WILL loose money. every individual service must represent a value to them or they will just ask for more.

2) make sure that you get one set of cheques (6x $3,000 or whatever) if you have to collect from all 8 you will spend a day a week just saying yes we did this, this is why we didn't do that instead.,...

My rule is ONE contract, ONE contact, ONE billing address, ONE set of cheques.
keeps it simple

yea i agree with teh check thing. The Dentist guy collects the money and he sends out a check either every month or 2 weeks, which evera i want. Thnaks for the responses. LawnInOrder

Charles
01-12-2007, 08:37 AM
COOL!!!

He drills your teeth ----- you mow his grass!!!

Sounds like a good trade off ------- for the Dentist!!!!:laugh: :laugh:

I think I would do a really good job. You don't want to PO your Dentist. You can't hound your Dentist for money. I think I would take the job and switch Dentist:cry: :laugh:

roguesuerte
01-12-2007, 11:37 AM
Put yourself in the shoes of the guy these people are leaving, because it could be you in a year, minus the contracts. If your dentist is telling you he spent eighteen grand last year I would probally guess it was closer to twenty-five. Remember that this guy is bargaining for a group of neighbors/friends
which makes it easier for him to try to give you a low-ball number. You should definitely look at each property and itemize all the services you will be doing for them over the season, and what materials you need. Crunch the numbers and see where it comes out. I wouldn't do it for less than twenty thousand no matter where the numbers come-out. You mentioned that this is a twenty minute trip from your route and you may have to hire someone to take on the work. You should definitely make taking on the extra work worth your while.
We do work for close to a hundred doctors and several dentists because we are located very close to a hospital in an upscale area. Working for them isn't all its cracked up to be.

Runner
01-12-2007, 03:56 PM
It's the whole mulch thing that is throwing me off. 3 times a year is not only a waste, but it is ridiculous. I can't imagine that much mulch going into 8 places 3 times a year, unless they were pulling some out to replace it. This is a whole different thing, and you BETTER find out what they expect. To topdress, it shouldn't take more than about an inch to totally cover. Don't these people realize that this stuff can be stirred and refluffed? We need to know either how much bed area you are working with, or how much mulch was being used. Actually, it would be better if you can tell us how much bed you have...this way we can tell yo how much mulch you WILL be using...who knows how the other guy was doing it. "3 loads from an F-350" is just NOT an accurate description. lol It could be an 8 ft. bed, and it could be a 14 ft. bed with 4 ft. sides. Get us an accurate description on bed area, and we can figure you how much mulch you are going to take. THEN, we will base the prices around that. This deal MIGHT not be as grand as it seems. Especially considering you have an hour of windshield time a week (which by the time you do your mulch and such, is going to give you around 40 hours (based on 30 cuts and 3 trips x 3 times for mulch. Don't forget you are going to have labor riding along with you for these trips, also.
Now, this isn't even mentioning the 2 shrub trimmings and disposals for the season.

ed2hess
01-12-2007, 07:51 PM
You need to do 2 things

1) quantify everything. $18,000 is for x mowings, x yards mulch, x times hedges trimmed.

if you say $18,000 will keep all 8 homes looking great. you WILL loose money. every individual service must represent a value to them or they will just ask for more.

2) make sure that you get one set of cheques (6x $3,000 or whatever) if you have to collect from all 8 you will spend a day a week just saying yes we did this, this is why we didn't do that instead.,...

My rule is ONE contract, ONE contact, ONE billing address, ONE set of cheques.
keeps it simple
This is a good opportunity for this guy.......to get $18k from residential you would normally need to chase 18 customers in our area. His biggerst risk might be a lack of understanding about sod and if pest/disease gets in the sod he must be able to identify that and tell owners. Since he is doing the mowing and fertilization they expect him to be the lawn doctor unfortunately.

Josh.S
01-12-2007, 08:59 PM
I like that way much better. Easyier on me and better so i don;t get screwed. Seems like a honest guy but looks can be decieving. but lets say he doens;t go for the hourly rate of bush trimming and wants it in the contarct, what do i do then. How could i possbily figure out how many hours it would take to trimm teh shrubs. I also could put that i would come x amount of times per season to trimm the bushes. Like 4 x per season? I dunno. Really new to teh contract thing.:dizzy: LawnInOrder

It doesn't have to be a flat rate contract...

Do a flat rate for the mulch, mowing, fert, leaves for $17500 in 12 monthly payments. Then for every hour you are trimming bushes you charge an addition $60 p/hr which would be added on that months statement. You can write that in the contract.

The problem is that since they are different houses, maybe one won't have any bushes and they will be paying for part of the other customers bushes.

Or, clarify in the contract how many times you will trim the bushes, and then how much extra it will cost per trimming (to get that price figure how many hours it will take you and multiply).

I just really think they can rake you over the coals with the bush trimming thing, that takes a lot of time and I know people that some of these rich people like them trimmed every 2 weeks or less. If you are going to be out there trimming the bushes every 2 weeks, plus all other stuff for the contract you are going to lose money.

Just out of curiousity, how old are you?
Your age will sometimes effect if you want to charge by the hour or not. With a lot of people, if you are under 20 yrs old it is best if you charge by the job IMO. For a lot of my customers I charge more per hour than they make in an hour (they don't figure business expences). So I just figure out the time it would take and give them a flatrate. (which can hurt you sometimes because it might take longer than expected).

LawnInOrder
01-12-2007, 10:05 PM
i am 17 years old, how old are you mow right. You sound liek you got a good business going. LawnInOrder

LawnInOrder
01-12-2007, 10:11 PM
This is a good opportunity for this guy.......to get $18k from residential you would normally need to chase 18 customers in our area. His biggerst risk might be a lack of understanding about sod and if pest/disease gets in the sod he must be able to identify that and tell owners. Since he is doing the mowing and fertilization they expect him to be the lawn doctor unfortunately.

he is right about the lack of understanding abotu sod but i am reading this site and other books. i always have lawnsite to ask questions on lol. LawnInOrder

Envy Lawn Service
01-12-2007, 10:29 PM
i am 17 years old, how old are you mow right. You sound liek you got a good business going. LawnInOrder

Well dang... this was all sounding really good until I got to this point.

How are you going to enter into a contract at 17?

Please tell me you're turning 18 any day now, or a parent is a partner/legal owner.

LwnmwrMan22
01-12-2007, 11:43 PM
It will actaully expand on my route. Sorta liek 20 minutes out of the way. Considering i have been using my golf cart it seems far away but it alot of money so i am considering it.

C'mon people, didn't you see THIS line???

LawnInOrder....

Can I get this straight?? You're using a golf cart to get around right now??

IF that's true... you cannot do this property for $18,000.

For one, your mulch figures just doubled, because now you're going to have to find someone to bring it all to you.

Also, just as Runner said, if these people have their properties mulched 3 times / year, these people are anal.

Anal people are NOT nice to work with, no matter WHAT you're getting paid.

Believe me, I was in your shoes at one time, but you learn, usually later than sooner.

Anyways, you're not old enough to be licensed to spray OR fertilize. So now you have to hire this out. Your cost just went up on that fact.

You need measurements of these properties, of the mulch beds to see how much mulch is going to be.

You need to go count bushes. You need to figure out how much time each bush costs you.

You need to be absolutely sure that it doesn't include fertlizing / weed control. In your first post, you say nothing about fertilizing, but then in post #13, you say just reg. fert. For one, you're not old enough to get a license to apply fert (check and see if you do) and second, I can't believe that people that want mulch spread 3 times / year, DON'T want their weeds sprayed as well.

Did the previous contractor have to control weeds in their mulch areas also??

Basically it sounds to me like they're running it like any other HOA, it's just that the houses aren't connected.

IMO, you'd HAVE TO go measure and come back to this site. VERY VERY detailed ie, lawn #1, lawn #2, etc., mulch area measurements, turf, number of bushes.

If you truely want to make money, and not just $18,000, you HAVE to do this.

I'm not being rude, or gruff, but you really don't want to say "OMG!!! LOOK AT THIS TOTAL!!!" and then next November realize that you're broke because it cost you too much to do this job.

Josh.S
01-13-2007, 02:05 AM
Since you are young it will be best for you to get the number of bushes, and how long it will take a multiply by your hourly rate. Sometimes you can get screwed this way, but I doubt that you can write $60 per/hr in a contract and get the majority of people to sign it. Especially when you pull up to their lawn in a golfcart w/ push mower (no offence, I have been there also, except I used a riding mower to drag my stuff around). I am just saying it how I see it.

You will have to sub out fertalizing obiviously. Unless you turn 18 soon, to be a legal contract your parents will have to sign it.

Hopefully your dad or somebody can bring you the mulch.

Like the post above states, you will need to measure out all the mulch and turf areas. Just make sure everything is stated and he agrees understands all the terms you set.

Honestly I think you might be getting in over your head with all the mulching and trimming bushes. That is A LOT of work for a solo operation, in my opinion.

Goodluck on whatever you decide to do, keep us posted.

- Josh

Runner
01-13-2007, 03:29 PM
Actually, as far as the mulch goes...and this goes for ALOT of cases,...the best bet would be, just shop around and find a place close to the worksite, and have it delivered. For the $20 delivery fee, you can't lose. Many places don't even charge for over 5 yards, but even if they do, so what. It beats the running back and forth with smaller loads. It would cost you WAY more than that in time and fuel. It is nice having a dump truck and all that, especially for hauling stuff out, but for bringing stuff in, unless it is right on the way, most of the time, it is beneficial to just have the stuff brought to you. That is time YOU could be making money, rather than spending gas. This of course only applies to the quantities. Any small amounts like a yard or so, you just pick up while you're there making the selection - unless they can do something on the way, or something. I've had one of our yards do us favors before, where as they could drop us off a yard of topsoil on the way to make another delivery. We do quite a bit of biz with them, though....

LawnInOrder
01-13-2007, 05:49 PM
maybe i wasn;t clear. I used to us my my golf cart, but now i have a 1999 dodge ram 2500 with a western plow and soon to be an enclosed trailer. I understand where you gusy are coming from if i rolled up wit a golf cart but now i have a truck. LawnInOrder

Josh.S
01-13-2007, 06:02 PM
maybe i wasn;t clear. I used to us my my golf cart, but now i have a 1999 dodge ram 2500 with a western plow and soon to be an enclosed trailer. I understand where you gusy are coming from if i rolled up wit a golf cart but now i have a truck. LawnInOrder

Either way, no offence, you won't be looked on as a professional. At least it is doubtful from most people. I would try to stay away from billing by the hour, although you should figure your prices by the hour.

LawnInOrder
01-13-2007, 06:33 PM
Either way, no offence, you won't be looked on as a professional. At least it is doubtful from most people. I would try to stay away from billing by the hour, although you should figure your prices by the hour.

yea i get what your saying. Just bill them a flat rate = X amount of hours X $60 per hour. What would make me look more professional than i am. Thanks LawnInOrder

Precision
01-13-2007, 07:12 PM
others have hinted at this, but be aware. You are dealing with savvy buyers and they may be trying to play you. They may see you as the young / new in business dolt that they can railroad into doing things for way below market rate.

Typical attempt at this starts by flashing a large $ amount at the initial part of negotiations. Why not say $1500 a month? Because $18,000 sounds like SO MUCH more.

I agree with the others who are suggesting a complete contract spelling out all duties in specific terms.
Example mulch.
First mulchiing (March) to fill all existing planting beds with an average of approximately 2 inches of new,uncolored shredded cypress bark.
Second mulching (July) to fill all existing planting beds with an average of approximately 1 inch of new, uncolored shredded cypress bark, but not to exceed 3 inches of total mulch depth.
Third mulching (Nov) to fill all existing planting beds with an average of approximately 1 inch of new, uncolored shredded cypress bark, but not to exceed 3 inches of total mulch depth.

This way you are covered so that you know the bed sizes and 1 yard covers 100 sq ft to 2 inches or 200 sq ft to 1 inch and you can charge accordingly.
Also when you come to the third mulching, it will most likely only need mulching for color 1/2" so you just became more profitable and they will still be at their 3" maximum depth.

Important words being APPROXIMATELY, AVERAGE and NOT TO EXCEED.

Same thing with mowing.

it should be something like weekly mowing from 15 April to 15 Oct (weather permitting) Every other week mowing from 15 March to 14 April and from 16 Oct to 16 Nov (weather permitting) For approximately 26 mows per season (or whatever the math turns out to be)

NEVER lock yourself into exact amounts. Some people have nothing better to do than bring out a ruler and make sure you confirm to the Specs EXACTLY.

Failing all else it will be a learning experience.

greasy_gun
01-13-2007, 07:15 PM
i fear the dentist,also the boss of the HOA, is looking for a kickback :nono:

lawnmaniac883
01-13-2007, 07:50 PM
Just for the heck of it a long bed F-350 should hold approx. 2 1/2 - 3 cubic yards of mulch...

Runner
01-13-2007, 08:36 PM
i fear the dentist,also the boss of the HOA, is looking for a kickback :nono:

As long as you never hear the words "Is it safe?":eek:

cantoo
01-13-2007, 10:03 PM
We used to do work for our Doctor, after several years this just turned out to be a pita so we had to tell him we would not be doing his property anymore. This is still a hassle everytime I have to go to the Doctor for anything. Wish we had never started it even though he asked us as a favor for a one time job that just got stretched out.

Precision
01-13-2007, 11:20 PM
Just for the heck of it a long bed F-350 should hold approx. 2 1/2 - 3 cubic yards of mulch...

If it didn't have a dump bed or other modification.

Ultimatelawncareinc
01-13-2007, 11:22 PM
doesn't sound to bad of a price just don't bite off more than you can chew word of mouth is the best advertizing!!

A and N
01-14-2007, 02:19 AM
These people belong to a Homeowners Assoc. so remember it will be split up among those 8 homeowners. Figure 500 each house for mulch each time, and figure 200 month each house for lawn care. I would think $24,000 plus snow removal. Because you should only have to lay the mulch not edge the beds or anything.