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Schlepie
10-22-2001, 10:55 PM
With winter around the corner, business is starting to slow, with the exception of ferts and cleanups and until the leaves fall. Does anyone out there do Christmas lighting? If so, how do you charge and does the customer purchase and keep the goods? I was thinking of an hourly rate. I may have enough to keep me going thru the winter months but just want some some input.

Jay ALC
10-22-2001, 11:27 PM
Hello,
Yes I do offer Xmas light installation. The customer pays me a hourly rate (flat rate to them) and they also purchase the lights, hangers, extension cords, timers, and any other items they want used. They keep the goods after initial purchase. Then I will reinstall every year as requested. Hope this helps.

lawnboy82
10-22-2001, 11:32 PM
The problem I see with doing X-mas light installations is that if you are just putting lights up on gutters, and on houses you should be fine. However if you have to start putting those lights on trees (which I see is a common thing) you have to get the lines right out at the branch tips. This is very hard to do by straight out climbing, and is best handled by using a bucket truck.

Grass_Slayer
10-22-2001, 11:52 PM
ok the tp thing was pretty funny and we had a laugh but this is just as bad. lawn guys hanging xmas lights for people? :(

lawnboy82
10-22-2001, 11:55 PM
Grass Slayer, I don't know what planet you come from, but this is a frequent topic of discussion in regards to winter work for a lot of green industry professionals. I was only pointing out that if you do decide to get into this field of the industry that you do consider the potential of having to perform some work with an aerial lift.

scottt
10-24-2001, 07:00 PM
lawnboy82,
I have found a long pole with a hook on the end works just fine for most trees and only costs a few dollars. You sure do seem to like those bucket trucks. I agree they would be alot more fun, but not very practical on most jobs.

Grass Slayer,
Many well respected lco's do holiday lighting. Some even change the sides of their Isuzu NPR's for the holiday season.

mdb landscaping
10-24-2001, 07:17 PM
i have heard of a lot of lcos installing christmas lights on this board. it seems funny. lawnboy solves every problem with the use of a bucket truck.:)

MuskTurfKing
10-24-2001, 07:40 PM
Lol, he sure does like bucket trucks, hehe...he's one of those tree guys though...:)

ronslawncare
10-24-2001, 07:49 PM
grass slayer a very large landscape corp offers residentianl and commercial lighting around my way and he makes killing. alot of landscapers do it but this one perticular company out does everyone .gorgeous jobs also in one ad he just put out he trained his crue to professionally design the lights around trees and shrubs plus he hangs them and takes them down all included in the price i personally believe theres is a very high market in it.

Grass_Slayer
10-24-2001, 07:57 PM
OK ONCE AGAIN IO AM PROVEN WRTONG BUT THAT IS PRETTY COOL. I MEAN IF YOU CAN MAKE GOOD MONEY AT IT MORE POWER TO YOU!!!

lawnboy82
10-24-2001, 08:22 PM
Scott, how long of a pole did you get, and what is it made out of? The reason I say bucket truck is not for your 20' up. I am referring to when you get called in for doing a 60' tall pine / spruce tree. Several towns near where I live every year they ring the outsides of massive evergreens with lights. Kind of like a barber pole, I am not really familiar with the term though.

** I guess this post makes me an addict now?

scottt
10-24-2001, 09:03 PM
lawnboy82,
I used a wooden pole about 20'-25' tall. About the 60' trees, that's why I say on "most" jobs it wouldn't be practical. I don't see many houses with trees that tall decorated, even in the high end areas. That's my area though, your's may be different. Most of the people who spend that much have had the same company doing their lights for 10 or more years anyway. Whatever works around you. I just thought it was funny to see you write about a bucket truck again.

jdwilliams1
10-24-2001, 09:17 PM
I was just curious :confused: are any of you charging by the foot, or have a standard way of figuring by the strand of lights. For a novice light hanger:confused: figuring an hourly rate may be difficult. Any ideas?

kutnkru
10-24-2001, 09:32 PM
Schlep

This fall we will be installing x-mas lights for clients who wish to have it done. We will purchase the lights and any necessary accesories and have signed 10 clients up at a flat rate of $250.

This includes a lighted wreath for the front door, lighted garland for porch columns (3 colors to choose from), up to 4 window wreaths for the upstairs w/ bows (front exposure only), sidewalk lightpost garland, up to 6 medium sized shrubbery (under 4' hgt.), window candles (front exposure only).

Anything/everything else is extra -LOL!!!

Hope this helps.
Kris

jdwilliams1
10-24-2001, 09:37 PM
thanks kris, i like it when people get straight to the point. Thanks for your help!

Nathan
10-24-2001, 10:11 PM
It is catching on in our area. We did it last year for a few people without any advertising and will definitely advertise this year. As far as doing large trees and such, we just limit the customer as to what can and cannot be done affordably. Yes, you can make lots of money simply because people don't want to go out in the rain and or cold as well as get up on a ladder.
what really got us thinking last year was that a neighbor of a customer had a somewhat elaborate lighting display done by a company and paid $2500 for it, CAN YOU BELEIVE IT?

Schlepie
10-25-2001, 12:19 AM
Thanks for the input guys, just might give it a go

Ground Master
10-15-2002, 10:24 AM
As a general rule of thumb:

3 strands of mini lights (45' strands) takes one hour

c7 and/or c9 strands (25') take the same time

3 to 4 strands of icicle lights take about an hour

de-rate time for second story, about 50 %

A job that takes 2 hours to install will take 30 minutes to take down.

example job, 6 strands of mini's, figure 2.5 hours plus 1 hour fudge factor, 3.5 total hours times your hourly rate. Add in cost for lights and half cost of extension cords (you keep all material in storage). Next year you may have to replace 2 of these strands.

Gravely_Man
10-15-2002, 10:37 AM
We do this for some of our customers. They purchase everything from us and store it until next year. Our pricing is dependant on what they want done. The one word of advice that I have is to be careful and not overload any circuits. Starting an electrical fire is the last thing you need to do.


Gravely_Man