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JJG84
04-23-2007, 08:28 PM
What do you think about this estimate for a family member?

A family member of mine knows I landscape, and I have done a few small favors for him in the past (leaf cleanup, bed creation, lawn mowing) when I was younger and I helped him just for a couple extra bucks.

This season I dont know if I can afford to just do the work for a minimal amount like I have done in the past which was like a measly 10 bucks an hour.

Upon taking measurements of his flower beds which he wants them to be weeded, edged, and mulched, I have come to the conclusion that it will be approximately 14 yards of mulch at a depth of 4 inches.

Mulch is $24.95 x 14 = $349 + Tax
Delivery = $39.00
Labor rate = $30.00 hr. (for two men, not 30 per man hour. giving him a deal)
Time Required = 4 Hrs. = $120.00

overall quote = so were looking at a ballpark price of around $500-$550 for a pretty decently sized mulch job, professionally done.

I told him the price today, and he said he had to check with his wife. I dont want him to be offended either. I know I am not making as much as I should on this job, but it's family. What do you guys think? :confused:

Patatoe1
04-23-2007, 09:00 PM
$120 for four hours work? Split between two people? I'd your family member is getting a very good deal. You are not getting a good deal though. I would charge more for that.

Seeing how most on here charge anywhere from $50-$80 per yard installed. You would be looking at $700-$1120. Plus more for the weeding, and depending on how difficult the edging is maybe more for that too.

Coffeecraver
04-24-2007, 04:54 AM
Thats a great deal for a family member

My charge would be at 910.00 without the weeding and edging

the only way I would do it less is if the family member was on the other wheel barrow,not my paid help.

Good luck with this one

JJG84
04-24-2007, 11:12 AM
well I gave him the price, and its a no-go . He said he is going to hold off and call around. I say LET HIM!

Also, business with family members is something I have learned usually never works out well. well in my family at least.

Brett's Cutting Edge
04-24-2007, 12:05 PM
For family i give them a deal at $40.00 a yard instaled for the hardwood that i pay 20.00 a yard for. I can usually lat it at about 5 yards an hour with one man dumping and one raking. I pay my help 10.00 an hour.

JJG84
04-24-2007, 02:43 PM
Brett - that is a pretty good concept, charging by the yard installed rather then by the hour, i should use it in the future.

sheshovel
04-24-2007, 02:45 PM
That's right and when he calls back your price just went up.

Lksd Lawn
04-24-2007, 03:32 PM
That's right and when he calls back your price just went up.

No doubt. You were worried about insulting him and he turns and insults you. Price doubled here.

"Ain't" family fun?

DBL
04-24-2007, 06:51 PM
$85 / yard

cantoo
04-24-2007, 08:27 PM
What does your relative do for a living? Maybe you can trade services? I'm sure he'll give you a good deal too.

Nathan Robinson
04-24-2007, 08:44 PM
Its like this man. If your with his daughter the price needs to be right at all times. Other wise charge him accordingly with a slight discount. DO NOT WORK FOR FREE! get a tank of gas and some food at min...

Adam's Lawn and Garden
04-24-2007, 09:26 PM
i am not the fastest person, but 14 yards in 4 hours seems a little of an understatement.

adam

Brett's Cutting Edge
04-24-2007, 10:25 PM
I find it easier to do it by the yard casue i can work at my own pase and its usuallt pretty quick.

JJG84
04-25-2007, 11:50 AM
He is a truck driver, and his wife is a waitress - can't use any of those trade secrets to my advantage. (Dont let their occupations fool you, they have $)

....I quoted him 14 yards in 4 hours because his driveway is right next to the area(s) which need mulch.


...Its bothering me to this point still, 1 day after giving him the quote. I dont want him to think im some schmuck trying to rip him off. Do you guys suggest I call him back and say hey "we can reduce your price if we reduce the amount of mulch we order."

...They originally wanted to have a thick coat of mulch, like 4 inches, so I factored that into my measurements. Im sure I can a lose a few yards by dropping it down to 1-2 inches. Maybe he will go for it then? I dont think he quite understood that if you want your mulch thick, your going to have to pay a little more becuase obviously your using more mulch.

...When I called him to give him the price he said "well we thought about it and were going to have to hold off for now. I am going to have to call around and see if I can get a better price on mulch. Im also going to try and find a place who has free delivery (I was thinking, "good f'n luck")." I told him also that I was "giving him mulch at my cost", which is the truth, and Believe me, I have already called around for the cheapest mulch.

Its not so much that I need this work, Its that I dont want my uncle to think im some money raping, inconsiderate landscaper trying to get rich at his expense.

RICHIE K
04-26-2007, 06:37 AM
I try to stay away from doing work for family but if we do I take off 30%

Stillwater
05-08-2007, 12:52 AM
What do you think about this estimate for a family member?

A family member of mine knows I landscape, and I have done a few small favors for him in the past (leaf cleanup, bed creation, lawn mowing) when I was younger and I helped him just for a couple extra bucks.

This season I dont know if I can afford to just do the work for a minimal amount like I have done in the past which was like a measly 10 bucks an hour.

Upon taking measurements of his flower beds which he wants them to be weeded, edged, and mulched, I have come to the conclusion that it will be approximately 14 yards of mulch at a depth of 4 inches.

Mulch is $24.95 x 14 = $349 + Tax
Delivery = $39.00
Labor rate = $30.00 hr. (for two men, not 30 per man hour. giving him a deal)
Time Required = 4 Hrs. = $120.00

overall quote = so were looking at a ballpark price of around $500-$550 for a pretty decently sized mulch job, professionally done.

I told him the price today, and he said he had to check with his wife. I dont want him to be offended either. I know I am not making as much as I should on this job, but it's family. What do you guys think? :confused:

AHHH I would have said to him in these exact words...
"Why do you have to check with your wife? that price is at a massive discount. DO YOU think it is to high?

Stillwater
05-08-2007, 12:54 AM
For family i give them a deal at $40.00 a yard instaled for the hardwood that i pay 20.00 a yard for. I can usually lat it at about 5 yards an hour with one man dumping and one raking. I pay my help 10.00 an hour.

can you really shovel 5 yards in exactly 1 hr?

DuraCutter
05-08-2007, 11:40 PM
No doubt. You were worried about insulting him and he turns and insults you. Price doubled here.

"Ain't" family fun?

That depends how bright the bulb is burning. Some people walk to a different drummer and he might have no clue of a good deal when it strikes him in the forehead.

Give a family member 10% off, not 90%.... :rolleyes: :laugh: :laugh:

DuraCutter
05-08-2007, 11:42 PM
He is a truck driver, and his wife is a waitress - can't use any of those trade secrets to my advantage. (Dont let their occupations fool you, they have $)

....I quoted him 14 yards in 4 hours because his driveway is right next to the area(s) which need mulch.


...Its bothering me to this point still, 1 day after giving him the quote. I dont want him to think im some schmuck trying to rip him off. Do you guys suggest I call him back and say hey "we can reduce your price if we reduce the amount of mulch we order."

...They originally wanted to have a thick coat of mulch, like 4 inches, so I factored that into my measurements. Im sure I can a lose a few yards by dropping it down to 1-2 inches. Maybe he will go for it then? I dont think he quite understood that if you want your mulch thick, your going to have to pay a little more becuase obviously your using more mulch.

...When I called him to give him the price he said "well we thought about it and were going to have to hold off for now. I am going to have to call around and see if I can get a better price on mulch. Im also going to try and find a place who has free delivery (I was thinking, "good f'n luck")." I told him also that I was "giving him mulch at my cost", which is the truth, and Believe me, I have already called around for the cheapest mulch.

Its not so much that I need this work, Its that I dont want my uncle to think im some money raping, inconsiderate landscaper trying to get rich at his expense.

Hm... just read this. Me thinks he's playing you... disregard my last post, maybe. :laugh: Stay away from this one is my advice unless you love heartburn and indigestion.

:)

Allens LawnCare
05-09-2007, 01:48 PM
I'd charge $980.....I don't give Friends and family discounts. For some reason it never works out! I just tell them heres the price....sorry but I have bills

Viseras lawn service
05-13-2007, 10:33 PM
can you really shovel 5 yards in exactly 1 hr?

3 men, one in the truck shoveling, one dumping and one raking can empty a 10 yd load in under an hour. This is for wide open mulch applications,but 5 yds doing this method seems possible.

Snyderserv5060
05-13-2007, 11:16 PM
I have had a bunch of calls from family and close friends about work over the last few weeks. I definately cut my grandmother a break on her landscaping work knowing her income at this point (shes 80). I beat her current (well not past) lawn mower by a good bit more or less to help her out. Its hard to justify knocking off too much for some of these jobs tho with all the work and time involved. Plus, in my case, my family lives all over the state so picking up materials and hauling it all over MD is not free and takes a good bit of time.

I think its reasonable to discount a bit for family especially if you are close but make it worth you while. I feel if they are calling me to do it and aren't going to themselves then clearly they would call and hire someone to if I wasn't in this business. Sometime I ask that they try to prep the beds before I get there so I can lay the much and clean it all up but not have to invest a great deal of time.

Im glad to see im not the only one charging by yard for mulch jobs. I feel its the best way since somedays we get hung up or the weather is far from cooperative. My price for mulch last year was $55 per yard, this year its $60 with the gas and mulch fees going up. I have been told by a few im quite reasonable then by a few others (ironically who I did for years in the past) that im too expensive...oh well, I see it as there are too many people who want work done for me to stress over it. Also seeing that a few of you guys charge a good bit more then I do I think im charging a fair enough rate.

Lastly, with regard to family... a bit off topic but I have to mention my parents very much benefit from my landscaping jobs. Since my trailer is used for landscaping and cutting the days I have left-over mulch on it from completed jobs they make out well. I practically mulched 1/2 their beds with the extra I need to clear off to go cut grass. My comment to them is just mulch the front yard and areas people really can see early in the season and I will take care of the rest...they cant complain the mulch and labor is on me. At this point they have 20-25 yards of mulched gardens and beds so it sure saves them a bundle funny enough my mom spent the money she would have on mulch on flowers this weekend, im sure the garden centers loved her!

Good luck be reasonable but make it worth your while. Thats my take

MOWALLTHETIME
05-15-2007, 11:24 AM
When dealing with family and friends no matter how good the price you give them they feel that you could have given it to them cheaper. As a rule I try not to do business for family and friends. If a family member insists on me doing a job for them I quote them my rates and it is what it is. Some will say that it is wrong, but I look at it like this way. My time, equipment and labor is worth so much an hour regaurdless of who the customer is. In the past when I have done jobs for family and friends I have had to schedule them on the side or after-hours due to the fact that I am not making money. I barely see my family during the mowing season as it is but to take more time away and not get anything in return $$ is like kicking a man when he is down.
Landscaping is a labor intensive business my guys do not get paid with favors or the barter system. You have to ask yourself if it is right for your friends and family to knowingly take money out of your pocket and ask for discounts because they know you. I had to adopt this philosphy a couple of years ago and it was hard to stick to my guns at first but now my friends and family understand and when they ask me to do jobs they are treated like regular customers and that way we have no hard feelings either way.

Jimmy Williams
05-15-2007, 11:25 PM
I am in line with Brett----If mulch cost is $25.00/yard then installed price is $50.00/yard + $10.00/man hour for each man.

Mr. Vern
05-16-2007, 12:01 AM
It's time to quit worrying about him being offended! If he really shops around for the mulch, he will realize that you are giving it to him at or below what he can buy it for, you are also lining up help, scheduling delivery, clearing weeds, cleaning up the beds and laying the mulch for $550 and you are only going to make $80 for yourself. Think about it for a minute - if the guy thinks anything bad about you, it would be that you are a bad business man, or that you are too generous! I'm not trying to imply that you are a bad business man because I understand that this is not business to you, but rather just helping a family member, but what other conclusions could he possibly come to?
You have nothing to apologize for and he will soon realize this. It's possible that he just didn't realize how much a mulch job was worth and that his response has nothing to do with you and simply is a component of his ignorance - not a big deal in my eyes.

MSS Mow
05-16-2007, 09:55 PM
Man, you guys are brutal about charging family members. I can see charging distant relatives (aunts, uncles, etc) normal prices, but charging your own grandmother to mow her lawn?? Wow!! I'd be ashamed if I charged my grandmother (or my parents) to mow her lawn. Her lawn takes an hour to do, mostly weedwacking too, but I just can't imagine charging her for it. I have to say again...WOW!!

coyotekid
05-18-2007, 07:52 PM
I'm to the point that family members get treated like any other customer. I have an uncle that has taken advantage of me to the hilt, and I'm over it now.

It was my fault to get it started, so now I'll finish it. :)

He's got to be the cheapest bastard on the planet...

Snyderserv5060
05-18-2007, 10:32 PM
If the grandmother comment was in regard to my post... she will not let me do it for free. I tried and regurally just leave with out getting money from her but she always finds a way to get money to me. As for the parents, they get pretty much everything for free minus materials which in many cases they get that free as well.

Haulin' Grass
05-20-2007, 08:00 AM
I don't work for family aside from my mother. It's too much of a PIA. Especially my cheap sister that's got money. I'll do work for my sister-in-law but that's another story :D. I'll HELP them do something but when I need a favor I expect it returned

JJG84
05-21-2007, 10:02 AM
bottom line is this: business with your family mix like 2 dix wit no biatch

dcgreenspro
05-21-2007, 10:37 AM
Man, you guys are brutal about charging family members. I can see charging distant relatives (aunts, uncles, etc) normal prices, but charging your own grandmother to mow her lawn?? Wow!! I'd be ashamed if I charged my grandmother (or my parents) to mow her lawn. Her lawn takes an hour to do, mostly weedwacking too, but I just can't imagine charging her for it. I have to say again...WOW!!

I am glad I am not the only one that feels this way. My friends all get my help as long as thay are out helping me. I only take money for gas sometimes. I could never bring myself to ask for money from my family.

Mr. Vern
05-21-2007, 11:27 PM
I am glad I am not the only one that feels this way. My friends all get my help as long as thay are out helping me. I only take money for gas sometimes. I could never bring myself to ask for money from my family.

Your confusing your family with some of the other families out there. Just because your family is generous and giving to each other, does not make it safe to assume that all others are. The point of this post is that the guy gave a real lowball quote for a family member and the guy is now price shopping him - probably not the same type of family you come from.

I too like to do work for free for friends and family, but the truth is I can book an entire calendar with requests from friends and family, should I work for free and put my wife and kids on welfare in order to maintain my generous ways - me thinks not. The rationalization that I have come to is this; if I can do the work for a friend or family member (parents obviously excluded) in my spare time or with manageable interruption of my work schedule, I do it for free, if I have to spend the resources that would be feeding my family, then they gotta get charged! I much prefer to not charge for friends, but there has to be a balance. Bottom line is it depends on the job, the closeness of the relationship, and what our schedule looks like. I have to admit that it helps that my family is 3000 miles away, so they aren't really in a position to ask for much unless I am on vacation at which point I am happy to help.

MSS Mow
05-23-2007, 07:21 AM
Your confusing your family with some of the other families out there. Just because your family is generous and giving to each other, does not make it safe to assume that all others are. The point of this post is that the guy gave a real lowball quote for a family member and the guy is now price shopping him - probably not the same type of family you come from.

I too like to do work for free for friends and family, but the truth is I can book an entire calendar with requests from friends and family, should I work for free and put my wife and kids on welfare in order to maintain my generous ways - me thinks not. The rationalization that I have come to is this; if I can do the work for a friend or family member (parents obviously excluded) in my spare time or with manageable interruption of my work schedule, I do it for free, if I have to spend the resources that would be feeding my family, then they gotta get charged! I much prefer to not charge for friends, but there has to be a balance. Bottom line is it depends on the job, the closeness of the relationship, and what our schedule looks like. I have to admit that it helps that my family is 3000 miles away, so they aren't really in a position to ask for much unless I am on vacation at which point I am happy to help.


Said perfectly. :clapping: :clapping:

david46browns
05-24-2007, 09:50 AM
Sometimes people need to step back and see what they are actually receiving. 14 yards of mulch installed for $500 -$550. Once that family member finds out what the going rate is he will be calling back.....unless he finds a hard-up low baller

JJG84
05-24-2007, 11:51 PM
Just so you know, as a follow up to this story....

he ended up going and buying "bags" of mulch.... :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

and doing it himself :weightlifter:

I bet alot was running through his head as he loaded, unloaded, and cut open all of those bags .

hell, I'd be surprised if it looks half as decent as it would if he would have let me do it!

I think that he felt as if I am needy of his money and that I would do it at the same rate as a bum...Sorry, but I am no bum.

NNJLandman
05-25-2007, 09:04 AM
When I work for family, I charge for labor and materials, i dont charge for my own labor, so i might make a dollar here or there but just enough to cover my expenses.

Pro-Scapes
05-25-2007, 05:30 PM
the only way you would of made him happy is if you had said dont worry about it and installed it for him at no charge.

We help family out sometimes for materials and any paid labor but they turn around and help us right back. Mowed for our uncle a few times while his mower was broke but he is always fabricating or welding something for us. Helped my wifes parents with some mulch but they paid for it and they were helping too but they turned right around and helped us with stuff too.

Giving free work to family and friends or discounted work usually makes them feel your over priced. In my opinion you were too low then he insults you by calling around. He might find cheaper but it will be typical with guys putting down an inch of mulch.

AJ Lawnscapes
05-28-2007, 09:32 PM
Same as any other customer.

Unless of course he has something that's worth your while.

Can he get you a deal on a new pool? How about a hot tub? Does he know someone that can get you good tickets to the Knicks game? How about this and that and some other things?

If not, then of course you Charge Him full Rate Minus 5% for family.

But since he said he'd call around, Full Rate.

---Abe