PDA

View Full Version : aeration fees


grassmasterswilson
08-26-2007, 11:03 PM
with fescue seeding just around the corner here in NC. Just curious what you guys were charging for aeration fees? How much per 1000 sqft? My customers are quite stingy and don't feel the need to pay much for aeration or fert/squirt programs.....can't seem to make them understand.

mowtime
08-28-2007, 10:13 PM
The best thing is to find customers that want a nice yard and do not mind paying for it. If this is your first year do what you have to do, Try to target high end developments and land your first account. then go the extra mile to make it look and wave and smile at the other residents and the business will improve over time. I had 1000 door hangers printed with a slot cut at the bottom for a business card, that got me started.

Topsoilman
08-28-2007, 10:31 PM
are you renting a aerator or do you have one? that will greatly effect what you end up within your pocket.

grassmasterswilson
08-28-2007, 10:35 PM
i will be renting. i can rent one for about $250 a week instead of 1000's to buy one. I only aerate around 2 times a year.

I've been doing this for about 5 years and i have told my customers that aeration is based on the size of the yard. If they don't ask how much I would hate to charge them way too much and have to deal with that controversy. I like to keep the friendly relationship I have with them.

Topsoilman
08-28-2007, 11:09 PM
how many of your lawns can you do in that week?

grassmasterswilson
08-29-2007, 12:39 PM
i will be aerating, spreading lime, seeding, and most likely cutting the grass way back. I am a solo with about 15 or so fescue lawns. last year i figured i needed the aerator around 3 days but for $20 more i could have it for the whole week. so i rent it for a week cause once a neighbor sees you aerating one you alway pick up a few more that way. I have marked my materials up so I am making good margins on the products. I was thinking around $5 per 1000 sq ft for spreading and aerating.

ED'S LAWNCARE
08-29-2007, 05:31 PM
I get $90 for 1/4 acre plus fert. $5 per 1000ft after that. So far 33 scheduled this year.

Good Luck

EngineeredLawns
08-30-2007, 05:04 PM
I charge $75 for 1/4 acre, aeration only. See, fert and lime are extra. You have to look at the min cost for them to do it them self. Around here, 2 people can rent and aerate their own yard and it cost them $62 each, plus the time. They will pay the extra $13 to not have to rent the machine and return it and do the work themself.

kjslawn
08-30-2007, 07:26 PM
10 per 1000 square foot for me I will spread seed for free if they buy

EVM
09-01-2007, 11:58 AM
I get $30 per 1000 sqft for 5000 to 8000 sq ft lawns and around $240 for lawns that are 12,000-15,000 sq ft.

EVM
09-01-2007, 11:59 AM
10 per 1000 square foot for me I will spread seed for free if they buy


Wow, you should just do it all for free and wash their car while you are at it.

kjslawn
09-01-2007, 06:13 PM
I wish I could charge that here do you seed for that price too?

EVM
09-01-2007, 08:04 PM
I don't slice seed, I just aerate and drop seed if the customer wants seed. Rate for seed goes by the pound which is about $3.50 per pound dropped. If a customer has an area that has been totally burned down I just thatch very deep so the soil gets scraped loose and then drop seed.

sildoc
09-01-2007, 09:41 PM
10-15 per k. min stop fee is 45. I do many 45 lawns that take me 15 min. Most lawns average 3000-5000 sq ft here. a lot has to do with the amount of obsticals to go around. I charge between 4-6 dollars per pound of seed spread and that includes fert. I average 800 per day aerating and do around 20 lawns. Aerating is our niche and it makes a year a year. Mowing keeps the guys busy during the summer. find what your niche and go for it.

greenerman
09-01-2007, 11:50 PM
Double my mowing rate

DAR57
09-03-2007, 10:16 AM
2 questions for you experienced aerators; 1. Do you put the grass seed down first? 2. Do you go back and drag the yard to break down the plugs you pulled?

Ric3077
09-03-2007, 10:58 AM
I get $15/1000 sq ft all day with a $75 minimum. None of this "just do the front it's 2000 sq ft"...sorry still $75. Seed is extra so is fert or anything else. Put the seed down AFTER you aerate...you want the seed to get in the holes to get good seed to soil contact. And LEAVE THE CORES ALONE...do no tbreak them up or pick them up...they are part of the aeration process, they also provide good seed to soil contact.

sildoc
09-03-2007, 12:12 PM
2 questions for you experienced aerators; 1. Do you put the grass seed down first? 2. Do you go back and drag the yard to break down the plugs you pulled?

Place seed down after.

Stillwater
09-03-2007, 05:43 PM
i seed after, but sometimes before and after like at my place and I do not break up the turds they melt on their own.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
09-03-2007, 10:30 PM
I charge around 180-200$ to aerate, reseed and fertilize a yard. This is for a typical yard in my area that on average takes a 50 lbs bag of seed and 50 lbs of fert to cover. Just to aerate only is usually around 50$ and up depending on size.

I basically try to get my rates close to what I figure it would cost them if they bought their own seed and fert at Homedepot and did it themselves after either renting a aerator or paying someone else to aerate it for them.

DuallyVette
09-03-2007, 11:42 PM
[/QUOTE] I basically try to get my rates close to what I figure it would cost them if they bought their own seed and fert at Homedepot and did it themselves after either renting a aerator or paying someone else to aerate it for them.[/QUOTE]

You might as well wash their car and do their laundry for them too...Maybe restock their refrigerator

Rons Rightway Lawncare
09-04-2007, 09:07 AM
Sure smartypants! I guess your one of those guys I see leaving quotes of 300-600$ to aerate a simple 8000 square feet lawn? Go for it dude!

Meanwhile, I feel like I am making out quite well for my time and efforts making 200$ for the same job. Takes me 20 minutes tops to aerate, another 20 minutes to spread the seeds and fert, then blow the driveways off and go. I pull a aerator with my mower and so I combine my aerations with a mowing, so I am there for one hour per yard on average. My material costs are around 80$ to do this job, sometimes less..... so I make 120$ for 40 minutes of work.... Guess I ain't charging enough!


Like I said, I base my rates somewhat on what I believe they would spend to do it themselves. They would have to pay 60-80$ to rent a aerator..... then spent over 100$ to buy the same amount of seed as I put out... then another 20$ for the fertilizer... that comes up to 200$. So they can do it themselves and waste a day getting all tired and dirty, or let me do it and all they have to do is mark the sprinkler heads and water the lawn. I will gladly take 120$ for 40 minutes of work any day of the week. Thanks

dave k
09-04-2007, 05:57 PM
I charge 50 for the first 5k sq. feet and 1 cent per sq. foot there after, am I to cheap? This is aeration only

Rons Rightway Lawncare
09-04-2007, 10:14 PM
I have 5 lawns in a row in a nice neighborhood in South Charlotte. Homes are 500-700 thousand dollars. One of the houses sold and the new owners kept me on for the lawn service. Before I could hit them up for treatments, they hired a company that does " Organic " treatments. The new homeowner and I talked a few weeks ago, and he mentioned that even though he has this company doing treatments, he wants me to do the aeration. Apparently they quoted him 600$ for the job! I will be charging him around 225$ for the same thing... it is roughly 8K Square feet of lawn. I have pulled flyers out of the paperboxes in this neighborhood from services offering full aerations for 150$ for these same houses. So the price can vary quite a bit.

Soupy
09-04-2007, 11:08 PM
Sure smartypants! I guess your one of those guys I see leaving quotes of 300-600$ to aerate a simple 8000 square feet lawn? Go for it dude!

Meanwhile, I feel like I am making out quite well for my time and efforts making 200$ for the same job. Takes me 20 minutes tops to aerate, another 20 minutes to spread the seeds and fert, then blow the driveways off and go. I pull a aerator with my mower and so I combine my aerations with a mowing, so I am there for one hour per yard on average. My material costs are around 80$ to do this job, sometimes less..... so I make 120$ for 40 minutes of work.... Guess I ain't charging enough!


Like I said, I base my rates somewhat on what I believe they would spend to do it themselves. They would have to pay 60-80$ to rent a aerator..... then spent over 100$ to buy the same amount of seed as I put out... then another 20$ for the fertilizer... that comes up to 200$. So they can do it themselves and waste a day getting all tired and dirty, or let me do it and all they have to do is mark the sprinkler heads and water the lawn. I will gladly take 120$ for 40 minutes of work any day of the week. Thanks

Do you offer any kind of guarantee on your seeding?

Tyler7692
09-04-2007, 11:44 PM
Seems like there would be an easier method to this.

Like taking your mowing rate and tripling it or something.

I have a lot of 3/4 acre yards and up....

It doesn't seem like people would want to pay $450 to get this done.

How noticable are the effects of aeration?

Rons Rightway Lawncare
09-05-2007, 12:43 AM
Do you offer any kind of guarantee on your seeding?

Only that I guarantee that I put out more than enough of it and that I didn't miss a area with it. I could never guarantee that it produces a beautiful green lush lawn..... That is up to the customer, and if they water like they are supposed to or not. I use Lesco Transition Blend seed and their starter fert, so if it is watered in properly it will grow.

Stillwater
09-05-2007, 05:01 AM
I guarantee satisfaction Period. I will not install a lawn get paid and never look back I will periodically monitor the progress and if i see the work going south the customers are called with a reminder and instructions. I do not want my work to look like crap especially something as high a profile as a lawn. The quality of my work speaks for me in my absence. It is simple if you install a lawn and it ends up looking like crap for whatever reason its got your name on it. Otherwise you should just put up a billboard saying don't hire me I suck.

Lovingreen
09-05-2007, 08:39 AM
bottom line guys is People don't hire someone to aerate to save money, they hire a professional to do it right and because it is a real pain in the ass to deal with the machine etc. So charge accordingly!

Know your costs per hour and charge to make a decent wage for taking the risk and dealing with all the headaches that come with owning your own business. Extreme low prices help no one.

Rons Rightway Lawncare
09-05-2007, 09:11 AM
Well, I simply can not see how anyone with any smarts could come through and do a basic aeration and then guarantee that this will result in a full thick yard with no issues.

Here we have screwed up weather.... it gets way too dry. Then when it rains, it tends to rain too hard causing major soil errosion issues. Soil gets washed away and the grass dies.

The homeowners on many of my properties do not have irrigation systems and will not do it the old fashioned way of using a hose and sprinkler. So it is up to mother nature to keep it watered, and like I said above, you simply can't count on that to work out due to our screwy weather patterns here.

Then you have weeds that may pop up in the spring, or anytime year round. So what do you do... go out and spray the weeds for free since you guaranteed your work? Surely part of your guarantee is that your seed is weed free, and I know it is, but the customer will think that these " new " weeds came from your work.

I guess I can see where you guys think I am not charging enough. I guess if I was resonsible for soil errosion and weed control and going by to move a hose around on their property or whatever else it takes, then I would be charging alot more too.

So let me ask just to see how low I really am..... A yard with roughly 8000-10000 square feet of grass area, Takes less than a hour to mow, aerate, spread seed and fert...... How much would you charge and how do you arrive at your price?


Keep in mind that in our market, we are flooded with people who are out there advertising cheap aerations. There are many " Companies " who only do aeration, along with all the normal lawn services and landscape companies.

SpruceLandscape
09-06-2007, 02:01 AM
When you guys give an estimate for aerating, do you tell the home owners to mark thier own sprinkler heads or dog fences, or do you attempt to find them on your own? If so, do you charge extra? I've always told the H/O to do it, but was just wondering.

Stillwater
09-06-2007, 09:40 AM
I don't worry about the heads but i would ask them to show me the locations of the fence wires. if you have to find the wires yourself yes charge the labor

jeffinsgf
09-06-2007, 11:29 AM
I don't worry about the heads ....

So you've never seen the result of a meeting between an aerator tine with a couple hundred pounds of ballast behind it and a $20 sprinkler head? The aerator wins, and the $20 isn't nearly as painful as the time to replace it.

The customer should mark the heads, or better yet, do it together so that you know every zone has been activated.

Stillwater
09-06-2007, 01:23 PM
actually no I have never had a problem, I have in use 4, 38 inch classen split drives running full time sept. through Oct. they do not have a couple of hundred pounds of ballast they have 1, 50 pound plate and a 9 gallon drum each. I don't use large pull type machines and I only post my experience not my opinions. If I had a issue in this area or know of any damage I have caused I would have posted otherwise. Please try to understand what someones experience is may not be the same as others. This is why you will see different postings with different information.

Chivas Regal
09-06-2007, 02:06 PM
I usually charge from $90 to $150 for lots in the 1/4 to 1/2 acre range.

J&R Landscaping
09-06-2007, 03:36 PM
2 questions for you experienced aerators; 1. Do you put the grass seed down first? 2. Do you go back and drag the yard to break down the plugs you pulled?

I seed after the aeration is done. The cores stay whole, no I dont break them up.

willretire@40
09-07-2007, 08:21 PM
How do you give a price over the phone for aeration, seeding and fert?

Stillwater
09-07-2007, 08:44 PM
How do you give a price over the phone for aeration, seeding and fert?

you don't unless you have standardized pricing X amount for X area. I elimated standardized pricing a long time ago.

Ric3077
09-07-2007, 08:47 PM
How do you give a price over the phone for aeration, seeding and fert?

I would not quote it over the phone unless you have access to the county website that has all the public information on all real estate in the county. I have a link saved for my county...I can plug in the address see the lot size, house footprint size, garage size, patio size, shed size etc etc and I subtract all those from the total lot size, then the only think I guess on is how many sq ft the landscape beds are, I usually have a good idea on small lots but if it is like an acre...no way I have to see it to be accurate. Good luck!

Ric3077
09-07-2007, 08:48 PM
you don't unless you have standardized pricing X amount for X area. I elimated standardized pricing a long time ago.


I forgot to mention I have standardized pricing...also have a 5k sq ft minimum.

Stillwater
09-07-2007, 09:33 PM
I forgot to mention I have standardized pricing...also have a 5k sq ft minimum.

well then take the lot size and x's it by your standard rate their is your phone quote why a 5k min? when someone calls with a 2k lot you quote your 5k price dont limit your income by refuseing smaller lots

daveyo
09-07-2007, 10:14 PM
I get $15/1000 sq ft all day with a $75 minimum. None of this "just do the front it's 2000 sq ft"...sorry still $75. Seed is extra so is fert or anything else. Put the seed down AFTER you aerate...you want the seed to get in the holes to get good seed to soil contact. And LEAVE THE CORES ALONE...do no tbreak them up or pick them up...they are part of the aeration process, they also provide good seed to soil contact.

Thats good advice all the way around. Stick to a minimum no low balling, if they don't like it tell them to rent one and do it themselves, its not easy.

Ric3077
09-07-2007, 11:05 PM
well then take the lot size and x's it by your standard rate their is your phone

Exactly that is what I do


why a 5k min? when someone calls with a 2k lot you quote your 5k price dont limit your income by refuseing smaller lots

Because it is not worth it...I charge $15/1000 sq ft for aeration...2000 sq ft would only be $30, I don't want to waste my gas for that. Plus you need to draw the line somewhere...if you dont people will say " I have this 3 foot area can you aerate it for like $2-$3?" nope sorry but I will do up to 5000 sq ft for $75.

Ric3077
09-07-2007, 11:13 PM
Thats good advice all the way around. Stick to a minimum no low balling, if they don't like it tell them to rent one and do it themselves, its not easy.

Exactly...if a homeowner around my town wants to aerate themselves...they can expect to pay $40 for a 2 hour rental on the machine...then if they don't have a trailer they will be paying $10 for that...then they need to refill the gas for about $1. Then they are out there time doing all the renting...plus their time and energy to do the actual aerating...After taxes they can expect to pay about $55 to do it themselves or $45 if they don't need to rent a trailer. Some LCO's around me are aerating for $38 any lot up to 15000 sq ft? WHAT I wouldn't even mow a 15000 sq ft lot for less than $50. All LCOs out there PLEASE charge more than the customer would pay to do it themselves. Lets compare...can you name any other service where it is cheaper to hire someone than do it yourself? If so please enlighten me.

Stillwater
09-09-2007, 02:13 PM
10 per 1000 square foot for me I will spread seed for free if they buy

You can do my yard!

kjslawn
09-10-2007, 07:33 PM
Had 2 yards this week sign up for aeration 11000 square feet = $110 for one hours work they buy the seed. I can do this all day lond and make more than mowing granted aeration beats the heck out of you but who cares its a new thing I have started this year My rates will go up in the future. Just like in my lawncare biz build a client base and then bump rates up. Is this the right way to do it I dont know but it has work for me in my mowing.

Ric3077
09-10-2007, 10:22 PM
kjslawn I understand you are new but your rates sound way too low. Not sure about your market but here in the St. Louis area, 11000 would command $165 or more. And do not spread the customers seed get your own. If you do spread their seed, charge for it...even though it is their seed, it still takes time to spread it. and blow it off the streets.

kjslawn
09-10-2007, 10:40 PM
I am buying a good lesco seed and charging it back to the cust plus 5-10$ Yes it is low but I have several of my cust that have true green do it so I am beating there price to get the work next year will raise prices

Indatreez
09-11-2007, 05:33 PM
aeration walk behind:
so would it be safe to charge here in denver colorado $40-60 per yard up to 5k sq/ft and $15 per every xtra 1k.?

Stillwater
09-15-2007, 05:02 AM
i will be aerating, spreading lime, seeding, and most likely cutting the grass way back. I am a solo with about 15 or so fescue lawns. last year i figured i needed the aerator around 3 days but for $20 more i could have it for the whole week. so i rent it for a week cause once a neighbor sees you aerating one you alway pick up a few more that way. I have marked my materials up so I am making good margins on the products. I was thinking around $5 per 1000 sq ft for spreading and aerating.

given the info in your post, you should buy a good used one

Indatreez
12-19-2007, 04:35 AM
if i wanted to hand out fliers for spring aerations..would a set price of $50 up to 5.000 sq/ft.be a good deal? or way to cheap.? trying to get more customers without having to do estimates etc.
the area is upper middle to upper wealthy class homes all built in the last 10years with decent landscapes. anyhelp?

thanks

Soupy
12-19-2007, 05:48 AM
PLEASE HELP ME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!:hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead: :hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::ham merhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::hammerhead::dizzy:: dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::dizzy::di zzy::dizzy::dizzy:

AI Inc
12-19-2007, 07:44 AM
We get $13.50 per irrigation zone with a $100 minimum

Whitey4
12-19-2007, 12:26 PM
A couple of comments... I won't aerate in the spring. That is an engraved invitation to every weed floating around in the neighborhood. I only aerate during the fall overseeding season, after the crabgrass is dormant. Some of you guys are putting down lime in the fall? Without a pH test? IF my pH test says I need to increase alkalinity, I put it down while the grass is still dormant in late winter.

I charge more than the next guy, but I can save my customers some money and gain loyalty when I can tell them they don't need to pay for lime this year. Soil pH will change, but only very slowly. Too much lime can leach into gardens where there are often acid loving plants like Rhodos and azealias.

The LCO's around here always put down lime. No soil test. I sell quality of service, not quantity. So, I lose some lime applications... no big deal, as I charge more for my services anyway. I do free soil pH testing... it's so cheap as to be ignored, but that seperates me from every other guy around here.

So, when I tell my customers they need to aerate, they listen and they pay because they know how I do things.

VisionsLandscaping
12-19-2007, 10:34 PM
Aeriation is simple to price. 2.5xcost of lawn mow. simnple. No fert or anything added...only aeriating..