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tim
01-10-2000, 04:49 PM
i offer an aeration/turf management service.i work another job in which i work a week on then a week off. so, the aeration work fits my schedule better than a mowing service would. i have been doing this for several years. i would like to grow my aeration business to include sports turf and commercial accounts and perhaps go full time. each fall and spring i ask why am i not doing this full time then in winter i remember. i have good customers, most of whom are wealthy. how do i grow to make a living offering a specialty service and appeal to less wealthy clients without working cheap? i charge $12 per 1000sq/ft for aeration. i use kubota and ryan equipment so i do quality work. i would appreciate any advise.

Eric ELM
01-10-2000, 05:29 PM
If your getting $12 a thousand square feet, I think you should be giving us the advice. I can see that for small lawns, but I do 2 acre lawns and that would be $1045 for a 2 acre lawn. My aerator would sit and rust before my customers would pay that much. On another post someone mentioned $12 per 1000 sq. ft. so I guess just figured it was a typo. How do you sell your service to build up that kind of value? I use a 42 inch 3 point hitch mounted Classen built core aerator, so I can do 2 acres in 1.5 hours. That's over $650 and hour at those prices. I would like to learn more about this. <p>----------<br>Eric@ELM<br>http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html

Lazer
01-10-2000, 05:54 PM
Hmmmm. Wiseguy, he probably also does a 3-6,000 sq. ft. lawn for the appropriate price of $40-70.00. <p>The price for aeration needs to have a flat fee ($20-25?) just to show up and then $4-10 per M depending on market. I doubt he does a 2 acre property for a $grand. <p>Anyway, Tim, to answer your question, I would solicit business from small mowing contractors and companies that don't do aeration on their own. Let them know it something you specialize in, something you're good at, something you'll service that same week for a good price.<p>I don't think aeration &quot;only&quot; is a huge market. Generally the same people that get aeration service are &quot;full-service&quot; accounts.

Eric ELM
01-10-2000, 06:21 PM
I wasn't trying to be a wise guy. Like I said I could see that price for small lawns, but I don't know what size he is doing. Size wasn't specified. I feel Lazer is right, around here, either the full service lawn companys or the big fertilizer app companys aerate. There are a lot of lawn guys that don't aerate around here, so that would be a good place to check.<p>----------<br>Eric@ELM<br>http://pages.prodigy.net/eric.erickson/index.html

SLSNursery
01-10-2000, 08:18 PM
We have done some aerating of home lawns, commercial sites, and athletic fields. It usually winds up being priced along with overseeding and/or fertilizing as a job - time and materials. In discussions with Landscapers throughout the fall, here in Connecticut, we could not come to a consensus on what to charge per square foot. From past experience at home lawns, we end up at about 45-55 per hour for the laborer and a Ryan Lawnaire V. This year we aerated some 2000 square foot spots, up to 4 or 5 acres at a clip with several machines working. All of the jobs were either contract or add ons with overseeding occurring at the same time. For our turf, the jobs occur from late August through October. With such a small window of time to work in, it would be tough to specialize in this service without offering something else like the fertilization or seeding.<p><p>----------<br>Phil Grande - Soundview Landscape Supply - http://members.aol.com/slsnursery<br>Ivy League Landscaping - http://members.aol.com/scagrider

thelawnguy
01-11-2000, 05:18 AM
In central CT the going rate is around $100 for 1/2 acre lot with house outbuilding gardens etc. Maybe 10,000 sq ft actual lawn to aerate. I was quoted $50 minimum price to me if I wanted my customers' lawns done.<p>Bill

nlminc
01-11-2000, 10:14 AM
Some of the large service businesses in my area are charging 15 cents per square foot to aerate. This is in the southeastern MA area. Min. $80-$100 per lawn. I may jump into this again this comming season.<p>Chris<br>Norcott Landscape Management, Inc.<br>

jeffclc
01-11-2000, 04:35 PM
We have a contractor in aour area that only does speciality work, anmely areation and stump grinding. He uses a Steiner for both. As far as I know that is all he does. He is a one man show. Looks like he is doing well, newer pickup, and a new Steiner this past season.<p>So, I guess it can be done, but I think that you may have to cover a broader market area, and also network with some lawn care and landscaping contractors that don't offer the service, and could sub it out to you.

tim
01-11-2000, 05:02 PM
Thanks to everyone for all of the help so far. To be honest, when I started out setting my prices for aeration, I had a hard time figuring out what was fair and typical.<br>The $12 per 1,000 sq. feet is for lawns 10,000 sq ft and less. The price begins to scale down drasticly on lawns over this. I do offer fertilization/weed control for most customers so the aeration is often included in the complete service. For aeration and fertilization, I charge $17 per 1,000 sq ft. and scale down for greater than 10,000 ft. I charge $32 per 1,000 for fall aeration/fertilizatiion/overseeding package. I'm spilling my beans here because I have found prices for these services to be rediculously varied. Frankly, I think if any of you are out there aerating for $40/hr and doing a good job, you're way too cheap. But again, Im all ears and open for advice.

CGS
01-11-2000, 08:33 PM
To nlminc and Tim:<p>How much would you charge for small lawns i.e. 500 sq.ft. I charge $35 per 1000 sq.ft. so I get $17.50 for these type of small lawns in my route about $100 per day plus what I get from Yard Maintenance. I don't own an aerater so I rent it for a week (7 days) to get a discounted price of $30 per day.<p>My question is should I charge more... like .15 cents per sq.ft. to be worth it? I have a driver and a helper plus my trucks on the route.<p>Any info. is welcome.

ashlandscaping
01-12-2000, 09:23 PM
I look at buying a company last season and all they did was aeration. He had 2000 customers most he did 2 times a year plus he would pick up one here and there. Small over head just a machine and your own truck. His gross for the 98 season was somthing like $80000. I have seen a couple of companys thats all they do is just that and maybe some fert. work but thats it. One other one I saw last year for sale same thing around a 1000 customers then he did work for about 6 local lawn company. He had 2 trucks and 3 guys busy for most of the season. So I would say it can be a great business. I know when they sell they go for a low price since they dont really have a contract with the customers. Its mostly a list and what ever equipment they have.

tim
01-13-2000, 04:26 PM
to cgs, i really don't know what to tell as far as charging for a 500sq/ft lawn. i am in western sc and there is no such thing as a 500sq/ft lawn here. i suppose on lawns that small you would have to set a minimum and go with that. sorry this is not much help.

CGS
01-17-2000, 08:52 AM
Tim,<p>Like I said before I charge $35 per 1000sq.ft. and I like your Idea as well as Lazer's. <p>Like Lazer said, I could charge $20-$25 trip charge +whatever sq.ft. (e.i. 500sq.ft. $17.50 [1/2 of $35]+$20 [trip charge]= $37.50)<p>I think that's pretty good. <p>Or like your idea just have minimum like $35 wether or not it adds up to 1,000 sq.ft.<p>Thanks guys.

mattingly
01-17-2000, 10:16 AM
What kind of aerators do you guys use and about how long does it take you per say 1000 sqft. This would be helpful as I am starting out small time this year. I figure I may get a few accounts so I'd like to know what kind of equipment you use and how long it would take so I can decide whether it will be profitable this year to market this with a limited customer base. I mean I may only get 5-10 jobs tops.

tim
01-19-2000, 03:09 PM
Mattingly, I have 2 ryan core aerators. One is a walk behind , the other a 3 point hitch unit. The walk behind is great on small lawns and around trees, etc. The big one of course is for open areas.I will do around 7000 sq./ft per hour walking (2 pass) and around 20,000 sq./ft per hour on the tractor. If you are going to do 10 jobs you might want to rent.