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View Full Version : Need Help on Tree cut-up/removal estimate


green-pa
12-27-2007, 08:11 PM
Trying to get a better idea for an estimate I should give on this tree cut up/removal job. A customers neighbor has a tree that practically split in 2 from a very windy night a few days ago. It was approximatley 40 foot long and probably over 1,000 lbs of wood. The base of the piece had a circumfrance of 3ft or more. Most the pieces were firewood size or about 1-2 ft around. Took me about an hour and 1/2 to cut up. Now I must remove it all. It broke a window which will cost her $280. Her homeowners will pay anything over $500. I know I'm going to charge over $220. I'm not going to give any deals since it won't benifit the customer much but I don't want to charge too much either. Total time to cut up and remove the wood is expected to be about 6-7 hours. I'm thinking of pricing it at $300-350. What would u guys charge?

green-pa
12-27-2007, 08:12 PM
One more thing. I woulda took some pics so ya'll could see and get a better idea but my darn camera's batteries were dead.

P.Services
12-27-2007, 08:15 PM
more than that!!!!!

echeandia
12-27-2007, 08:20 PM
I charged a customer $350 to haul away a 20ft bradford pear that was already cut up and placed at the curb. I would charge at least $500 for your job. One question though; how can you complete a job without having a set price?

green-pa
12-27-2007, 08:20 PM
more than that!!!!!

How much more??? :confused: Doing her gutters and cutting and trimming I would charge her about $25/cut which would equal about $45-50/hr but I had to rent the saw for this job and that was $40 for the 20 inch. It was really nice but then the chain was too dull at the end, but I'm glad it made it through. It started out like a dream.

So should I go $450, 5????

green-pa
12-27-2007, 08:24 PM
I charged a customer $350 to haul away a 20ft bradford pear that was already cut up and placed at the curb. I would charge at least $500 for your job. One question though; how can you complete a job without having a set price?

Well, she's a really good lady and always pays me whatever I tell her it will be. Many times she's let me do jobs and then tell her afterwards. On gutter cleaning I was telling people about $50 for an avg home. Her home however had a very large roof and much gutters and they were mostly filled with these large gumball seedlings, leaves, and hadn't been cleaned in a few years. So I charged her about $90 which I thought was a good deal. I'm not too concerned about giving her a good deal this time though since anything over $220, her insurance will pay anyway. I just don't want to make her rates go up too much just by being greedy. If I can make $50-60/hr, that's darn good for my expences since they are pretty low on this job.

green-pa
12-27-2007, 08:40 PM
I hear "at least $500", any one else? Going once going twice.....

P.Services
12-27-2007, 09:18 PM
ya at least 500 or 600

green-pa
12-28-2007, 06:37 AM
Ok, well. I'm going for say $450-500 at this point. I say $450 only cause it's $100 more than I'd planned. But if any of u's guys have any other opinions on my estimates let me know. Another reason I think 500-600 may be too high cause her neighber wanted all the big heavy pieces so I merely had to toss them over the fence. All that remains is the small branches and twigs which leaves me with about 3 more hours of clean up and transportation.

ed2hess
12-28-2007, 04:23 PM
To much money and it took you a lot of time.....don't understand... Should have been able to cut it up in less than an hour .... Trailer rent is $30 per day and it definitely not been more than one load. And if you were smart you could stack all firewood size at street and it would have been gone the next day and all you would have left is the big pieces.

d&rlawncare
12-28-2007, 04:50 PM
Did you take the tree down or just cut up and remove what fell? You can make GREAT money of Ins companies if they dont require her to get 3 bids. But they must not if she already told you to do the work. Bill her for $45 an hour. If you had to take tree down , grind stump etc it will be alot more.

Let her work out all that other stuff with her ins company. Just submit bill to her.

racer56
12-28-2007, 06:15 PM
Chain saw = 100.00/hour/person plus a dump fee. Let them do it for less but it just costs too much for the insurance, knowledge, equipment and such. What happens if you get hurt working for this amount? You could be out of business. Why do we all give away our experience and expensive equipment?

john_bud
12-28-2007, 06:22 PM
$100 an hour for a guy with a saw? You must work in an area with lots of loose money...

I agree that you shouldn't have to give away experience or expensive equipment.

jb

racer56
12-28-2007, 06:57 PM
I can get alot of work done in an hour. What if I billed tree work at 40/hour and got done in 30 minutes? Want to do any tree work for 20 bucks? You just can't charge the same hourly rate for eveything. You have more risk of injury running a saw than mowing. Alot harder work as well. But I guess your in the majority thinking this way and I'm not. I try to hold my profit magin best I can but rarely am I much over the other guys that have been in this game for very long.

TREEGUARD
12-28-2007, 07:23 PM
If the tree was in the front of the house & i had plenty of room to work cut down tree grind stump & remove anywhere from $900 to $1100

green-pa
12-29-2007, 12:39 AM
If the tree was in the front of the house & i had plenty of room to work cut down tree grind stump & remove anywhere from $900 to $1100


No. It was a very large section of her neighbor's tree that broke off and fell over into her yard. Again, it was about 40 ft long and 1,000 lbs ( approx).
There is no stump to grind.

green-pa
12-29-2007, 12:41 AM
Chain saw = 100.00/hour/person plus a dump fee. Let them do it for less but it just costs too much for the insurance, knowledge, equipment and such. What happens if you get hurt working for this amount? You could be out of business. Why do we all give away our experience and expensive equipment?

Yeah, it was certainly more physically demanding than a cut/trim job or even leaf removal. My right forearm is still very sore from all the vibrations. I figure about $40/hr for my cut/trim jobs but this should be more, I'd say, I'm not sure if I want to go $100/hr, but certainly more.

P.Services
12-29-2007, 12:44 AM
man im gona take some pics for you tomorrow if you wana see what sore means!!! not to brag put ive cut hundreds of trees in the last month. most cotton wood so it goes fast but they where BIG!!!!

green-pa
12-29-2007, 12:47 AM
To much money and it took you a lot of time.....don't understand... Should have been able to cut it up in less than an hour .... Trailer rent is $30 per day and it definitely not been more than one load. And if you were smart you could stack all firewood size at street and it would have been gone the next day and all you would have left is the big pieces.

Well actually her neighbor ended up taking most of the pieces and I just tossed them over the fence ( closer than the curb since it was in back yard). The smaller branches and twigs I cut up pretty descent and will tie them up and or put in cans for the trash to take. Or there may be a brush recycling place that takes them for free out here I hear ( either way it's much cheaper than taking a trip to the other side of town and paying a $40 dump fee.

I already have a trailer and it should only take one load. It actually took about an hour to cut up but it took about 15m or more to re-fill the barchain oil several times, tighten the chain, re-fill the gas, ect. Plus about 1/2 way through, it started getting dull and I had no way to sharpen it. I think the large pieces really dulled it. It's only like my 3rd or 4th chainsaw job so I'm an amatuer in this area u could say. Still, it's basic work. I don't think a pro coulda done it much faster as I worked pretty dilegently.

But you are saying $500 is too much? A few other guys think not. I think I may go down to $350.

green-pa
12-29-2007, 12:53 AM
I'm not sure now. I go back tommorow to get the smaller branches and pieces and to give her the bill or price. As I said b4, her insurance will cover anything over $220, so wether I charge her $350 or 500, she won't pay it. Or would the difference in price cause her rates to increase? Don't want to do that. I just want to be fair. I've got a lotta bills myself too though, so I don't want to give away this service.

I'm thinking

My cost to rent saw: $40
Chainsawing of Tree into logs: 2hrs $150
Removal of large logs: 15m $20
Removal of small branches
and area clean up 2hrs $100
Gas, driving time, ect 1hr $40

Total: $350

Damn, wish my cam woulda worked so I could have the photo as a reference.
The tree limb was massive, 1/2 as long as her house! So can u guys tell me if I'm in the right neighborhood on price?

racer56
12-29-2007, 12:56 AM
I sure wish the guy working on our furnace today takes my limited income in the winter into consideration before he sends me a bill.

green-pa
12-29-2007, 01:05 AM
I sure wish the guy working on our furnace today takes my limited income in the winter into consideration before he sends me a bill.

I'm very limited myself this time of year. Waiting tables to get by 'til spring.
Wether I charge $350-500, either way it will help a lot. One day like that is better than a week waiting tables where I am.

racer56
12-29-2007, 01:17 AM
I sure wish the guy working on our furnace today takes my limited income in the winter into consideration before he sends me a bill. PA you sound like a very nice guy but you have to be fair to yourself and this industry as well. If someone is jobless and they pull up to the gas pump they still pay the same...

green-pa
12-29-2007, 02:27 AM
I sure wish the guy working on our furnace today takes my limited income in the winter into consideration before he sends me a bill. PA you sound like a very nice guy but you have to be fair to yourself and this industry as well. If someone is jobless and they pull up to the gas pump they still pay the same...

So are u saying $350, 450, 500, what :confused:

racer56
12-29-2007, 02:30 AM
100/hour/man plus dump fee if you do take anything away.

Diesel-1984
12-29-2007, 03:25 AM
also add in a fee for wear and tear on trailer and truck, that's a lot of wood to haul / tow add in loading time and unloading time for wherever you're dumping in. You need to get paid for that too, it's time that could be spent somehwere else.

topsites
12-29-2007, 12:09 PM
Well, she's a really good lady and always pays me whatever I tell her it will be. Many times she's let me do jobs and then tell her afterwards.

Listen, here's what you do: Track your hours on this job, and if it takes you the rough equivalent of an entire day's work, 300-350 is a good price, real good. Now if it takes more than a day's worth then you have to decide, also if there's dump fees you want to include those because we're talking just the labor.

You can probably get 400 but don't do that, customers like what you just described are worth every penny of it, my favorite kind: They call and ask about something needs doing, I go out there and do it, and just leave the bill for whatever, check in the mail, nice as can be. Never an estimate, never an argument, never no hassle, just do it, omg if all could be like that.

Way I see things I don't get much more than 3-400 for a full day's work regardless, and over 400 is real rare, so 300-350 is super.a
If you had a job like that every day of the week you'd walk home with 2 grand LOL, that's how I look at it, I never charge a customer full hourly rates for big jobs, much past 1-2 hours I wear down and they ain't getting 100% of me anyhow, so...

green-pa
12-29-2007, 12:13 PM
Ok guys, today's the day. I must finish that job and give the price. It's only going to take 2-3 more hours. I figure $350 at this point. I only was actually using the saw for like 90 minutes. The other 3-4 hours is spent picking up and transporting the wood. If it was someone I didn't know i may say $500, but ( inspite of the fact she has homeowners), I don't want to come across as someone trying to get max $ out of the deal. So unless u guys give me a good reason to go $150 more ( from $350-500), I'm going to stick with 350.

echeandia
12-29-2007, 12:16 PM
Way I see things I don't get much more than 3-400 for a full day's work...

You are selling yourself short Topsites. You need to raise your rates. In the end you will make more money and work less.

green-pa
12-29-2007, 12:16 PM
Listen, here's what you do: Track your hours on this job, and if it takes you the rough equivalent of an entire day's work, 300-350 is a good price, real good. Now if it takes more than a day's worth then you have to decide, also if there's dump fees you want to include those because we're talking just the labor.

You can probably get 400 but don't do that, customers like what you just described are worth every penny of it, my favorite kind: They call and ask about something needs doing, I go out there and do it, and just leave the bill for whatever, check in the mail, nice as can be. Never an estimate, never an argument, never no hassle, just do it, omg if all could be like that.

Way I see things I don't get much more than 3-400 for a full day's work regardless, and over 400 is real rare, so 300-350 is super.a
If you had a job like that every day of the week you'd walk home with 2 grand LOL, that's how I look at it, I never charge a customer full hourly rates for big jobs, much past 1-2 hours I wear down and they ain't getting 100% of me anyhow, so...

Oh, ok, I just read this relpy. THanks topsites. I think we see things eye to eye on this. I feel the same; $300-350 is a darn good day for me. Normally in the spring I may gross $250 on a good day, $300 was only a few. I'm going to go $350 because it cost me about $40 to rent the saw and to cover my gas and other wear and tear charges.:)

topsites
12-29-2007, 12:18 PM
Yeah hey do it for 360 and give yourself a $10 tip, I think you're still making out except you did have to go out there at least twice, don't make too many more trips lol. But with 350 you can go 340-350-360 it's all the same, basically, there's a little range for you, matter of fact I'd as soon bill 340 or 360 vs. 350, Or if you want to be nice about it make it 340, it sounds way better than 350, something about 5's in the price but anyways...

There is only one problem: If the insurance is paying for it, do you have to bill her, or the insurance?
All I'm saying is you need to get paid from her, then have her deal with the insurance is how it should work.
So I think you just leave her the bill as always, and then I don't think you'll have a problem.

And no I'm not messing with you, I would've done it probably for about that kind of money, 300-350.
Work here is slow too, no waiting tables for me yet, but...

echeandia
12-29-2007, 12:19 PM
So unless u guys give me a good reason to go $150 more ( from $350-500), I'm going to stick with 350.

You have received many reasons to charge more. If you don't want to charge the higher price it won't effect any of us.

racer56
12-29-2007, 03:53 PM
I don't get much more than 3-400 for a full day's work regardless, and over 400 is real rare, so 300-350 is super.

This is the problem with this industry rolled up in one single sentence. What about the guys that the season is roughly 200 days per year? Hard to put 60k in your pocket when that's all you make :hammerhead:. Maybe the SITE itself needs a new rule about no prices of any kind EVER. Alot of sites do this very thing. It keeps a guy from giving out advice that hurts not only his business but those that are new and looking for advice. We should all be trying to help each other make more not less.
In the end you do need to do what you need to do but keep in mind most of us do this for a living as our only income and when the price gets lowered by someone working too cheap it hurts us as well. By the time you understand you need to charge more and do you will find some of your NICE customers will leave you for the cheapest price. They will go to the new guy that doesn't want to charge too much. It's a cycle I guess, one that needs to be broken, and only we can do it.

mgray10
09-21-2008, 06:23 PM
Wow, you guys work for crumbs! I went out the day after a storm two weeks ago and billed out 3500 for a job that took about 15 man hours. Job was removal of two 35' trees that had split and grinding the stumps. Since it was after a storm, charge the insurance company for removal but limb it up and pile it so the city will take it. Then, give your customer a rebate for incorrect fuel surcharge; everybody is happy. :dancing:

Don't forget to take the logs and make firewood that you are going to sell for $5 a bundle next year.

Although I don't have a fleet of bucket trucks, grinders, and debris trucks, I still charge as such. I can't understand why guys will cut their own throats to get a job. Whiney, cheap customers are a dime a dozen; who would want to secure one's business? :dizzy:

But, I am the type of guy who doesn't haggle over the price of something I want. If I see a peice of equipment and the price is reasonable, I don't think, "Aw man, I got cash in hand, man! Come on, man!" I can't stand that ****.

Original poster: I would charge 100 per hour to cut the tree down and remove off site all debris. I would also get a file and sharpen my blade. The job I mentioned above was done during the tail end of the storm, still raining, windy, and on a Sunday. Plus, they had to have it done stat!

KrayzKajun
09-21-2008, 06:29 PM
$500 minimum!!