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View Full Version : How much to charge for aeration and how to?


green-pa
09-29-2007, 06:01 PM
I have a couple customers that would like their lawns aerated as well as overseeded. They are about 1/6-1/4 acre homes. How long will it take me on avg and what should I charge ( if I have to rent this machine at about $50/day)? I've heard one guy around here charges like $50 to aerate. But he owns his own machine. The only way I could charge that low is if I got at least 4-5 in one day or else I dont' think it would be worth it based on the expense of rental. I've heard this works very well for over seeding though and I could add hopefully another $30-50 at least for over-seeding right? I'm not sure what to charge. Also, how is the best way to aerate and overseed? I've read that in the morning is best cause the ground may be softer or if not, have em use a sprinkler before I come out.

topsites
09-29-2007, 06:13 PM
I still lowball aeration, yes I admit it I still do it.

40 bucks below a 1/4 acre, that's also my minimum, maybe 45 per 1/4, then it's roughly grass cut fee (+5 per 1/8th)... Uhm so let me see I charged 75 for 2/3 of a HILLY acre the other day... Half acre cut = 45 + (5 x 4) = 65 and add another 10 for the last hilly bit = 75... Or 5/8 = 70 as per the specials price list further below.

But it depends on the complexity of the lot as well, that one above a good 1/8-1/4 of an acre was on such a hill I could only aerate going UP hill, then roll the machine back down, then back UP, one path at a time, very time consuming but it was a job well done. Could've half-azzed it for 50-60, but I'm all about doing it right anymore, guess I could've got 80 for it too, ehhhh whatever.

There are my 2007 'specials' which aren't that much below normal:
1/4 acre lot (~11k sq.feet): $40.00
3/8 acre lot (~16k sq.feet): $50.00
1/2 acre lot (~22k sq.feet): $60.00
5/8 acre lot (~27k sq.feet): $70.00
3/4 acre lot (~33k sq.feet): $80.00
7/8 acre lot (~38k sq.feet): $90.00
Full acre (43,560 sq.feet): $100.00

And that's for a pretty normal lot, add 5 per 1/8 acre of obstacle courses.
Now keep in mind if it's a full acre and only 1/4 is an obstacle course, only that part gets the surcharge so it'd be 110...
etc, etc

ExclusiveLawnCare
09-29-2007, 07:23 PM
Top site hahaha I like how make it it all easy and Price it out your way with your little Charts, Thanks man.

green-pa
09-29-2007, 07:42 PM
Thanks Topsites! How long does it take u to aerate the avg 1/4 acre?

fslm
09-29-2007, 08:58 PM
Go to the rental center, ask how much to rent a machine for the day. Add 10 dollars on per yard. 50 to rent + 10= 60 a yard(60x120). To the customer if they want to do it themselves, it will cost them 50 bucks, so they probably will pay you the extra 10 so they wont break their backs doing it. Sell it that way and you'll get it. and yes get more than one to do if you have to rent. offer a special 100 bucks for both.

LushGreenLawn
09-30-2007, 09:04 AM
Holy Crap Topsites.

I get around

90 for 1/4 acre
150 for half acre
230 for 1/4 acre
280 for full acre

and according to our local truegreen and lawn doctor, I am lowballing.

DAR57
09-30-2007, 12:19 PM
Are you guys counting your area as the whole thing overall or do you subtract the house, drive, outbuildings etc?

green-pa
09-30-2007, 03:13 PM
Holy Crap Topsites.

I get around

90 for 1/4 acre
150 for half acre
230 for 1/4 acre
280 for full acre

and according to our local truegreen and lawn doctor, I am lowballing.


Heh, are these prices for aerating AND overseeding or just aerating? Also, do aeraters have overseeders built in or would I have to rent a seperate maching for this? Or could I just use a basic Scott's broadcast spreader or something to put down the seed?

Ric3077
09-30-2007, 04:04 PM
Holy Crap Topsites.

I get around

90 for 1/4 acre
150 for half acre
230 for 1/4 acre
280 for full acre

and according to our local truegreen and lawn doctor, I am lowballing.

Yea he is way low...I get $15/1000sq ft with a $75 minimum. And I can't handle all the business I get at those rates...My 10,000 sq ft price is 50% more than his 1 acre price?! I don't know why people aerate for free? They are leaving money on the table.

TLS
09-30-2007, 04:25 PM
Holy Crap Topsites.

I get around

90 for 1/4 acre
150 for half acre
230 for 1/4 acre
280 for full acre

and according to our local truegreen and lawn doctor, I am lowballing.

This is more like the prices I hear and provide. Maybe a bit higher.

It's not based on sq/ft, it's more about the time it will take. More intricate areas require a lot of detail work and time.

green-pa
09-30-2007, 09:42 PM
THanks for the input on prices guys. I'm guessing these are for Aeration ONLY. How much would u say to add to over seed this area too? And how much to add? Perhaps I better do a seperate thread for this. I've seen bags of seed for 8,000 sq ft ( about 1/6 acre ) for $40 or something like that. THis is not wholesale, however, if it requires a whole bag like that to do a yard, and the time it takes to buy the bag and then go over the yard with a broadcaster or something, I would think it would need to add quite a bit more to cover the cost of seed and rental of aerator.

How about these prices for Aeration and Overseeding for entire yard:

Acres

1/8 $120
1/6 $150
1/4 $200
1/2 $300

I may be way off, but if seed costs anywhere from $30 ( for an 1/6 of an acre) or $50 ( for 1/4) acre, aren't these ok?

green-pa
09-30-2007, 09:44 PM
Another question I've not yet gotten answered is "How do I sew the seed after aeration? Do I do it at the same time with the same machine ( if possible)? Or will I have to use some slit seeder or broadcaster? I don't want to get in over my head renting several machines if I don't have to.

green-pa
09-30-2007, 09:52 PM
Also, how long should I figure on an avg 1/4 acre lot to aerate and or overseed? This will make it easier to figure my prices. I'd like to make at least $40/hr when it's all said and done.

Vikings
09-30-2007, 10:08 PM
Go to the rental center, ask how much to rent a machine for the day. Add 10 dollars on per yard. 50 to rent + 10= 60 a yard(60x120). To the customer if they want to do it themselves, it will cost them 50 bucks, so they probably will pay you the extra 10 so they wont break their backs doing it. Sell it that way and you'll get it. and yes get more than one to do if you have to rent. offer a special 100 bucks for both.

I just had the opposite experience. I could have rented a Stump grinder from Home Depot for $70 and did it myself. Instead I hired a guy for $50 and I didn't have to do anything.:laugh:

Lawnut101
10-01-2007, 12:08 AM
Yes, I would say that you could use a Scott's or Earthway spreader. They do make aerators that have spreaders built in, but since your just starting out, I'd say if you have a spreader, just use that. It will take a bit longer, but you'd probably have to pay more for an aerator with that feature anyway.

green-pa
10-01-2007, 02:05 AM
Thanks for that info! ANy of u guys have some estimates as to how long I should figure it will take on say an avg 1/6, 1/4 acre lot to aerate and then overseed with a manual broadcast spreader? I'm thinking these machines are pretty slow compared to lawn mowers so I can time it off of that. Surely they are only 1-2 mph at best. Seems like that could mean doing a 1/4 acre yard could take an hour or more, unless my calculations are incorrect. To overseed shouldn't take much time as I can walk fast and the broadcaster will send out at about a 5 foot width. I'd say that part may only take like 15 min or less ( to overseed that is).

Stillwater
10-01-2007, 03:18 AM
I still lowball aeration, yes I admit it I still do it.

40 bucks below a 1/4 acre, that's also my minimum, maybe 45 per 1/4, then it's roughly grass cut fee (+5 per 1/8th)... Uhm so let me see I charged 75 for 2/3 of a HILLY acre the other day... Half acre cut = 45 + (5 x 4) = 65 and add another 10 for the last hilly bit = 75... Or 5/8 = 70 as per the specials price list further below.

But it depends on the complexity of the lot as well, that one above a good 1/8-1/4 of an acre was on such a hill I could only aerate going UP hill, then roll the machine back down, then back UP, one path at a time, very time consuming but it was a job well done. Could've half-azzed it for 50-60, but I'm all about doing it right anymore, guess I could've got 80 for it too, ehhhh whatever.

There are my 2007 'specials' which aren't that much below normal:
1/4 acre lot (~11k sq.feet): $40.00
3/8 acre lot (~16k sq.feet): $50.00
1/2 acre lot (~22k sq.feet): $60.00
5/8 acre lot (~27k sq.feet): $70.00
3/4 acre lot (~33k sq.feet): $80.00
7/8 acre lot (~38k sq.feet): $90.00
Full acre (43,560 sq.feet): $100.00

And that's for a pretty normal lot, add 5 per 1/8 acre of obstacle courses.
Now keep in mind if it's a full acre and only 1/4 is an obstacle course, only that part gets the surcharge so it'd be 110...
etc, etc

And that's for a pretty normal lot, add 5 per 1/8 acre of obstacle courses.
Now keep in mind if it's a full acre and only 1/4 is an obstacle course, only that part gets the surcharge so it'd be 110...
etc, etc[/QUOTE]



Wow I guess you do low ball or maybe it is just attributed to a different geographical area

GarPA
10-01-2007, 07:07 AM
$16 per thousand sq ft of lawn(aeration only). Don't give this service away....any homeowner who has wrestled with the rental units are happy to pay $16 per 1000.

LushGreenLawn
10-01-2007, 05:16 PM
For those who asked, the prices I listed are for aeration only.

Overseeding prices are about 30% higher to account for the cost of seed.

I takes me about 1/2 hour o an hour for a 1/4 acre to 1 hour to 1.5 hours for a full acre. The broad range is because some yards take longer due to obsticles, the way it is laid out, ect. I charge for the lot size, I do not deduct for the house.

If fact, I don't even measure, I guesstimate the size by looking at it.

green-pa
10-01-2007, 06:43 PM
For those who asked, the prices I listed are for aeration only.

Overseeding prices are about 30% higher to account for the cost of seed.

I takes me about 1/2 hour o an hour for a 1/4 acre to 1 hour to 1.5 hours for a full acre. The broad range is because some yards take longer due to obsticles, the way it is laid out, ect. I charge for the lot size, I do not deduct for the house.

If fact, I don't even measure, I guesstimate the size by looking at it.


That sounds like pretty good time LushGreen. How do u manage an hour or 90 minutes only for a whole acre? Is this with 2 machines/2men, a larger aerator or? Are these times with a standard $50/day aerator like Sunbelt rents? I think they are about 2 feet wide there. Do u overlap at all or is that unnecassary? I just don't see how u could do an acre in such short time! It takes me about 1.5 hours to mow ( only) an acre with a 42 inch mower at top speed, which is about 4-5mph I think. Surely an aerator is less than 1/2 that speed. But I just want to find out for sure.

thanks lush green

ExclusiveLawnCare
10-01-2007, 07:00 PM
For about a 1/4 acre I Charge about $40 and if alittle bigger any where from $50-70. Nothing to crazy. I just wanna do it right and get paid. But I truely hate hitting stuff in the ground like rocks and big tree roots I guess.

green-pa
10-01-2007, 07:12 PM
For about a 1/4 acre I Charge about $40 and if alittle bigger any where from $50-70. Nothing to crazy. I just wanna do it right and get paid. But I truely hate hitting stuff in the ground like rocks and big tree roots I guess.

wow, I don't think I could do it for that cheap, unless I owned my own perhaps! That's less than I charge many times for just a cut/trim job!
I've gotta take into mind the fact that I'm renting. How long does it take u to do 1/4 acre?

LushGreenLawn
10-01-2007, 08:50 PM
I can't see how it would take 1.5 hours to mow with a 42" cut. Is it a homeowner mower? I can mow with a 48" cut in about 30-35 minutes.

I do not overlap. I imagined it taking a lot longer, I was suprised myself. I guess to a point, when you mow with a rider "I'm assuming this is what you have) it is very ineffecient, having to back over areas mowed, cutting corners short and mowing over areas again if your racetracking it, ect.

With a walk behine aerator, its back and forth, no going over areas twice, backing up around obsticles, ect.

green-pa
10-01-2007, 09:07 PM
I can't see how it would take 1.5 hours to mow with a 42" cut. Is it a homeowner mower? I can mow with a 48" cut in about 30-35 minutes.

I do not overlap. I imagined it taking a lot longer, I was suprised myself. I guess to a point, when you mow with a rider "I'm assuming this is what you have) it is very ineffecient, having to back over areas mowed, cutting corners short and mowing over areas again if your racetracking it, ect.

With a walk behine aerator, its back and forth, no going over areas twice, backing up around obsticles, ect.

Yeah, it is a homeowner 42 inch rider. It kinda sucks, but it's the one time I get to sit on my but. Other than that I use my 36 on almost all others. Sometimes I can get it cut in about an hour, when I do straight lines, all the way from the front to back yard, but sideways and perpendicular lines take a lot longer due to so many more turn arounds. Plus they have several big trees with very low branches that I have to slow down, duck and dodge.

How large of an aerator do u use?

RickR1818
10-01-2007, 10:04 PM
green-pa,

I live in Indy and also have customers asking about this. This is also my first season so I have been following the post but now have something to add. I called Tru Green today and asked about aeration and seeding for a 10,000 sq ft lot. They replied that they can't do it because they are booked for the rest of the season(2100 accounts to do) but if they did they would be charging $187 just to aerate and $370 to aerate and seed. Also, sunbelt is charging $93 a day to rent an aerator for 24 hours.

Ric3077
10-01-2007, 11:00 PM
green-pa,

I live in Indy and also have customers asking about this. This is also my first season so I have been following the post but now have something to add. I called Tru Green today and asked about aeration and seeding for a 10,000 sq ft lot. They replied that they can't do it because they are booked for the rest of the season(2100 accounts to do) but if they did they would be charging $187 just to aerate and $370 to aerate and seed. Also, sunbelt is charging $93 a day to rent an aerator for 24 hours.


This post is accurate for the St. Louis area too...TG gets good rates. I hope everyone reading this stops lowering prices and starts raising them. People around me are aerating for less than the customer could do it themselves.

RickR1818
10-02-2007, 12:07 AM
Yeah i know. Ive seen ads for $49 to aerate. thats crazy. If the customer did it themselves it would be 70 to rent aerator and at least 30-40 for seed. thats 110-120 to do it themselves.

green-pa
10-02-2007, 12:35 AM
green-pa,

I live in Indy and also have customers asking about this. This is also my first season so I have been following the post but now have something to add. I called Tru Green today and asked about aeration and seeding for a 10,000 sq ft lot. They replied that they can't do it because they are booked for the rest of the season(2100 accounts to do) but if they did they would be charging $187 just to aerate and $370 to aerate and seed. Also, sunbelt is charging $93 a day to rent an aerator for 24 hours.

Gosh darn! I was hoping it was like $50 to rent one. Oh well, just have to pass it on to the customer. Yeah, I called em today too. But they told me $95 for aeration and $185 for aeration and overseeding for 1/4 acre. I wonder why they told u more??

LushGreenLawn
10-02-2007, 08:46 AM
You can't rent the aerator and do one customer. Well, you can, but your never going to make any money that way. You need to start selling aeration in the spring, when you are signing up customers, sell all year long for a tentative date. For example, whenever I signed up a customer, starting in march, I would push aerating/overseeding. When they agreed, I said "Great, the best time to do this is in the fall, we will be here during the month of september to complete these services. I did this with every one I sold all year long. September 1st, I send out a reminder letter so they would know what I was doing on their lawn if they forgot.

Rent the machine for however many days you think it will take you to complete, or if you have enough, get a helper and rent two machines for a few days, and you will be pulling in possibley thousands per day. At least over a thousand anyway. Makes the $88 rental worth it

JKOOPERS
10-02-2007, 05:36 PM
i actually called another co that was advertising $40 aeration to do some lawns for me but i never heard back from him . the guy that does all my chemical work used to work for TG and Hansens both big co's here. he charges $25 just to show up and then $25 per 1000 sq ft.

Ric3077
10-02-2007, 10:39 PM
i actually called another co that was advertising $40 aeration to do some lawns for me but i never heard back from him . the guy that does all my chemical work used to work for TG and Hansens both big co's here. he charges $25 just to show up and then $25 per 1000 sq ft.


HA!:laugh: I did the same thing...called and left a message and got no reply. JKOOPERS...have you seen all those GATEWAY AERATION signs...they do anything up to an ACRE for $38?! :hammerhead: :hammerhead:

kjslawn
10-02-2007, 10:48 PM
I sold for this fall and the lack of rain is killing me I m not sure it will even pull a plug. But I rented it so here I go. This has been the the driest year I can remember. 92 degrees in oct and dry

Dunn's
10-02-2007, 10:49 PM
Yeah Ric Gateway aeration has been over here since last year. I think they only charge $35 over here our maybe they raised their prices since last spring. But the kicker is they definitely only get what they pay for with gateway aeration. I have seen them numerous times aerating and timed them and they are usually done in 6-9 minutes front and back on 8k sq foot lawns. This guy actually runs behind the machine pushing it as fast as he can with the tines helping pull him along faster. Also he only make 3-5 passes on each area front or back. I go over after usually and just shake my head at how gullible people are to even pay that and they think we are ripping them off. The cores aren't even a half inch after they are done not to mention 5+ feet between passes.:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

Ric3077
10-02-2007, 11:12 PM
Yeah Ric Gateway aeration has been over here since last year. I think they only charge $35 over here our maybe they raised their prices since last spring. But the kicker is they definitely only get what they pay for with gateway aeration. I have seen them numerous times aerating and timed them and they are usually done in 6-9 minutes front and back on 8k sq foot lawns. This guy actually runs behind the machine pushing it as fast as he can with the tines helping pull him along faster. Also he only make 3-5 passes on each area front or back. I go over after usually and just shake my head at how gullible people are to even pay that and they think we are ripping them off. The cores aren't even a half inch after they are done not to mention 5+ feet between passes.:laugh: :laugh: :laugh: :laugh:

That's what I tell everyone...it's like ANYTHING in life...you get what you pay for. I also noticed they don't blow the plugs off the street or driveway when they are done.

captjgann
10-14-2007, 09:56 PM
I charge $100.00 per hour minimum one hour.

SangerLawn
10-14-2007, 10:43 PM
wow.... i must be charging to much??? i take my mowing price and charge 3x what i would charge to mow. i do go across it twice though? next i take the price of the seed and add the price of fert. i only tac a few dollars on that since most of my money is in aeration. my customers are happy with the price so maybe im not charging to much????

dKoester
10-14-2007, 11:07 PM
We charge 250 to aerate and seed a 1/4 acre lot. Easy money.

NewLeaf
10-14-2007, 11:16 PM
I aerated 8 lawns this weekend @ $60.00 a pop. Each lawn was approximately 4500 sq.ft., & took about an 35-45 min. a piece to complete. Aerating, well it's not easy! So get paid for your hard work. I believe I read one thread that said, set a minimum rate, ( Mine was $60.00) & square Footage. Every 1000 sq. ft. over your average charge an additional $10.00 to $15.00 to your rate. I have several more to do this week & everyone seems fine with these rates. Remember rates in Texas might be a little different than were your at, so bid accordingly to your region. Hope this helps.:cool:

SomervilleLawncare
10-15-2007, 08:48 PM
My dad got a quote for a acre from trugreen and it was $360

capetan
10-15-2007, 09:27 PM
wow thats crazy $40 for aerating a a 1/4 acre ? town home (with front and backyard) aerations in maryland would never be under $100, plus fertilizer and seed ....... unfortunately the ground is rock hard, and i cant aerate :( aaaarrrrr

green-pa
10-16-2007, 07:51 AM
So what if someone has like damn near an acre and most of the ground is so dry that in parts it's got big cracks in it and they have no irrigation; do u just hope for a good rain and then aerate? Or should I let them use a few of my hoses and spriklers to wet the area the night before or something? How long should I leave the the sprinklers on, for 3-4 hours or all night? Or do most guys just plan on doing it after a rain. I don't want to spend $100 on the machine rental and then not be able to use it cause of the hard az soil!:hammerhead:

Ric3077
10-16-2007, 10:20 AM
You can
a. wait for rain
b. make them water
c. charge them for you to come out and set up a watering system with timers but with an acres they will need to move the system or pay you to move it...

With a .25 acres lot option c works well, but it would cost them alot in your case...option a may be the best for you...if they are seeding you are screwed cause they won't water it.

Emeraldguy
09-27-2013, 09:34 PM
Yea he is way low...I get $15/1000sq ft with a $75 minimum. And I can't handle all the business I get at those rates...My 10,000 sq ft price is 50% more than his 1 acre price?! I don't know why people aerate for free? They are leaving money on the table.

I just did a friends yard. Measured 40000 sq ft of ground aerated and charged $300.00. That was a gift for the 4 plus hrs of work. I did six yards the previous day ranging from 40.00 to 100.00. It was a good weekend.
Posted via Mobile Device

TuffTurfLawnCare
09-27-2013, 10:51 PM
I just did a friends yard. Measured 40000 sq ft of ground aerated and charged $300.00. That was a gift for the 4 plus hrs of work. I did six yards the previous day ranging from 40.00 to 100.00. It was a good weekend.
Posted via Mobile Device

You do realize that this thread is 5 yrs old and the prices quoted probably aren't relevant any more?

I am doing a bunch of aeration jobs tomorrow the cheapest is 1/4 acre lot, minus house, driveway, and back patio for $150. I have 2 half acre lots, minus house, drive, patio, etc, aerate and over seed for $250. These arent the best priced I have, but the norm for how I charge.

PinnacleMaintenance216
12-19-2013, 04:25 PM
You do realize that this thread is 5 yrs old and the prices quoted probably aren't relevant any more?

I am doing a bunch of aeration jobs tomorrow the cheapest is 1/4 acre lot, minus house, driveway, and back patio for $150. I have 2 half acre lots, minus house, drive, patio, etc, aerate and over seed for $250. These arent the best priced I have, but the norm for how I charge.


You do realize this is the internet and we do have a thing called an inflation calculator right?? http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

A. W. Landscapers, Inc.
12-19-2013, 07:03 PM
You do realize this is the internet and we do have a thing called an inflation calculator right?? http://www.bls.gov/data/inflation_calculator.htm

Seriously???

You joined this forum today and you thought it would be a good idea if your first post was an attempt to mock a post made by one of our members nearly 3 months ago that was only made because someone awoke a 5 year old thread.

And just in case anyone is interested this was all in response to these 2007 prices posted by "topsites" in post number 2 of this thread:

I still lowball aeration, yes I admit it I still do it...There are my 2007 'specials' which aren't that much below normal:
1/4 acre lot (~11k sq.feet): $40.00
3/8 acre lot (~16k sq.feet): $50.00
1/2 acre lot (~22k sq.feet): $60.00
5/8 acre lot (~27k sq.feet): $70.00
3/4 acre lot (~33k sq.feet): $80.00
7/8 acre lot (~38k sq.feet): $90.00
Full acre (43,560 sq.feet): $100.00

Here are the prices when adjusted to 2013 dollars using the inflation calculator in the above link:

1/4 acre lot (~11k sq.feet): $40.00 adjusted to $44.96
3/8 acre lot (~16k sq.feet): $50.00 adjusted to $56.20
1/2 acre lot (~22k sq.feet): $60.00 adjusted to $67.44
5/8 acre lot (~27k sq.feet): $70.00 adjusted to $78.69
3/4 acre lot (~33k sq.feet): $80.00 adjusted to $89.93
7/8 acre lot (~38k sq.feet): $90.00 adjusted to $101.17
Full acre (43,560 sq.feet): $100.00 adjusted to $112.41

Now, even when we adjust those prices that 1/4 acre lot is still only $44.96 and the member who you quoted and were trying to mock said "I am doing a bunch of aeration jobs tomorrow (9/28/2013) the cheapest is 1/4 acre lot, minus house, driveway, and back patio for $150." Even with your adjustment, topsites prices are still as he admits "lowball" prices when compared to the 2013 price given by TuffTurfLawnCare…topsites is $105.04 lower than TuffTurfLawnCare. A low ball price in 2007 adjusted for inflation will still be a lowball price in 2013.

By the way, Welcome to the forum. I hope your future posts on this forum will be better than your first post.

Cedar Lawn Care
12-28-2013, 01:18 PM
It's up to you what you do in your own business. I personally rent an aerator for a couple days in the spring and do all mine. It makes for a long back breaking days, but I get them done and over with. I have a minimum of $40, but as a general rule shoot for 120-150/hour. I have a couple lawns that take 6 minutes. There is no way I can charge more than 40ish when it takes 6 minutes in my area.