View Full Version : On the job too long?

Turf Professionals Inc.
07-01-2007, 04:37 PM
I did some landscaping for a client yesterday and I was wondering if my crew took too long to complete it. I charge by the hour, but if your crew is slow, then it is not very fair to the client.
We landscaped a 30' X 5' strip that has been neglected for years. The weeds/grass was so tall that you could not see where the client had plants in the bed. Here is a list of what we did:
1) We removed ALL the weeds via good ole back power
2) Layed landscape fabric (owner's request, I hate the stuff)
3) Planted 6 new plants
4) Spread 1 & 1/2 yards of Marble rock (very thick)

All together, between 3 laborers, We had 19 man hours in the job. How long should this job have taken? Do you guys think I am about par with what you think it would have taken you?

The reason I post this, I am making an invoice for $855 plus the $150 in materials for a total of $1005. This is the largest invoice I have given and when I look at the work, I cannot say that I would be willing to pay that much for the work we did. Not that the work is bad, it just does not give the appearence that it is $1005 worth of work TO ME. With that said, I do not exactly have a pile of money (like these clients). I just want to make sure that I am being fair. That is my main concern.

As always, thanks for the input

07-01-2007, 06:13 PM
I think your price is dead on... $45 per man hour is pretty fair price. It is going to be impossible for anybody to tell you if you spent too long on the job w/o seeing the layout, conditions, etc. I know I find my landscaping crew has been dragging in the last week or so... the heat and humidity have really been bad.

I guess it all really depends on the client expectations. I have some clients that "just want it done" and I bill them for materials and man hours.... other clients have budget limitations... I always try to give them a price upfront.

07-01-2007, 06:23 PM
I run tinto the same thing as well. Anymore though I just charge. There was the weed eater, the shovels, loading, materials to chase - alot of time them little jobs can cost alot of time for the final "show case" of what was done. I say bill them!

07-01-2007, 09:16 PM
I'm running into the same type of things. Its my second year, and I've landed some pretty good jobs. Some times I feel a little guilty handing off a bill that I think may seem a little high b/c of hours, etc.... but, then I think about the gas prices, insurance, labor, down time, etc, etc. I'm not getting a break for anything, he!!, my internet service and electric bill is costing me money as I type this.....

07-01-2007, 11:53 PM
sounds to me like you came to a fair price according to how you charge everybody, and the first thing that I noticed when I read your post was you saying that the bed was extremely overgrow and this took extra time to cleanup, I would submit the bill as written and come up with a back up plan if they dispute it, you deserve to be payed for your time.

Turf Professionals Inc.
07-02-2007, 08:35 AM
I appreciate the help guys. I will let you know what happens. Thanks again

07-02-2007, 11:57 AM
if i had done the job, 2 guys, 3 hours, with the excavator.

would have hard bid it uup front with the customer so i would know the value to the customer, and whether i was happy doing it for their price.

07-02-2007, 12:14 PM
It is what it is. Quit second-guessing yourself and bill it. You are in business to make money. Think of how many times that you felt that you should have charged more but your feet were nailed to a bid.

I always tell myself - do the job right, bill accordingly, and move on down the road. You are going to have people that appreciate the quality product you put out and are willing to pay for it - and you are going to have others that complain about the price and you will never hear from them again because they are cheap arses. Don't sweat it, focus on making money on each job and make sure you provide a quality product.

Turf Professionals Inc.
07-02-2007, 03:01 PM
I normally right an estimate up front and have the customer sign it. This particularly job, the fella I am doing it for, I use to work for him in his business so I know he is good for the money and he would never cheat me. He is just a good quality guy. I just want to make sure I am returning the favor. I know he will pay what ever I say it is. His wife on the other hand, Whoa...., now she is a fire cracker. I know what we did is right! That is the only way I will ever do work. I am submitting the bill today, so I will post how it went. Thanks for all the help guys!

07-02-2007, 05:35 PM
I think your being fair.Just say you pay your 3 men $12 hr incl.payroll taxes etc.$12x3=$36 x 6.33 hrs =$227.88 from $855 =$627.12 gross before your fixed overhead is even subtracted.Plus does the 19 man hours include travel time to and from the job,loading and offloading tools,picking up the material and setting up the job?Use of your truck and tools etc.What about a guarentee on plants?Your more than fair! With three employees you better make at least that a day to stay afloat. Try renting a truck and tools for a day and youll see what there worth.Not busting chops here.

07-02-2007, 11:34 PM
I'm working on a job very similar to what you had to do and it seems to be taking my crew of 3 quite a long time also. The lawn has grown into the mulch area so we have to basically rip that out. any ways it seems to be taking us a long time too.

07-02-2007, 11:52 PM
I guess I'm in the minority on this one.... 19 man hours seems like a very long time for what you describe.

a 5 x 30 area:

weeding-- 1-2 hours ---I did one the other night roughly the same size in about 45 minutes solo

planting 6 shrubs--?? size?? --30 min each--total 3 hours

landscape fabric-- 30 minutes

spreading 1 1/2 yards of rock--2 hours

total--7 1/2--8 man hours. Add an extra comfort hour on each part--total 12 hours.

Did I miss anything here? Maybe access to the area for the rock spreading?

07-03-2007, 03:30 AM
I thought that was a little long also. I did a tear out, cut down a small tree. Cleaned up a dog run, planted 30' sod, and we knocked it out in (7) hours. Maybe there are other details