View Full Version : Charging hourly for cleanups?

01-09-2002, 02:19 AM
I'm not sure about this, but I thought it might make things easier. I was thinking of charging $52.50 per hour for those who do this how do you make it so the customer is not watching out the window making sure your not wasting their $$$ and how do you take breaks. Is the pricing right and is this the way to go, also if anyone offers this service what do you charge per hour for pressure washing?

01-09-2002, 03:33 AM
Give them a price for the whole job,we never quote per hour,most people prefer a fixed price,they know then the cost of the job,saves a lot of arguements at the end of the job,you dont have to justify the time taken and they cant clockwatch,just make sure you do your maths when you figure out the price,If you finish early and the customers got the job done they expected,you get paid and everybodies happy,simple isn't it..,remember your looking at a job but the customers looking at it as a problem they need fixing,they're often happier to pay to have the problem solved rather than they are worrying about how much per hour etc its costing...

01-09-2002, 11:51 AM
Use the search for clen-ups for this as it has been discussed many times before. We charge by the hour, but if client has a budget, we'll do areas they specify up to budget. We will also quote a flat fee as BigJim stated, by trying to estimate (slightly overestimate) the number of manhours, travel and disposal. Then if we get done quicker, we can pass off the savings and look great in clients eyes. If your guys are taking breaks, document the times and deduct from the bill - it's the only ethical way to do it.


01-09-2002, 11:52 AM
i believe there are cerain instances where chrging by the hour can work. we have 3 baic tpes of customers.

A plan: full sefvice monthly
B plan: mowing and leaf removal monthly
c plan: charge per cut, and all other jobs(cleanups, bushtrimming, bed edging)are charged by the hour.

ive had customers say: "well i want a spring cleanup, but dont want to pay over $125.00" well thats fine. the clock starts the minute we get there. if it isnt as clean as they had hoped, i remind them that they decided on the budget for the cleanup, not us.

as far as $52.50 per hour goes for cleanups-WOW. i wish we could charge that much. I supose you can charge as much as the market will bear. But, even the biggest companies in this area dont charge that much per hour.

WE are debating whether to raise hourly rate to $30 plus hauling. then for other jobs involving specific machine uses we would charge the 30 for the simple labor, but more for he time period the specific machine is used.

Does that $52.50 per hour include hauling away the sticks and leaves?

01-09-2002, 09:54 PM
You all posted some realy good advice.

Search some of the other posts on "Fall Clean Up" or Clean Ups"

And pick and choose what you want to use.

However mine is $75 per a man hour and no side walk supers.

01-09-2002, 10:42 PM
I almost never charge per hour for anything. There are VERY few exceptions where you'd want to do that. But I won't get into that. As a basic rule of thumb, you're always better off charging by the job.

Go about it this way; estimate how many hours you'll spend. Then give yourself an hour or two extra just for incidentals. Then mulitply your desired hourly rate by that number. Figure in any other costs like dumping, etc. And that's what you bid. If you do it right, you'll find that you over estimate more often than you under estimate. Then you're effectively making more per hour than you want. As for the times when you under estimate, consider that a learning experience. We've all done it.

But no good contractor in any trade charges by the hour. If you wanted some roofing, or siding, or painting done on your house would you go with the guy who charged a per hour rate or the guy who just gave you a flat bid. As a homeowner and being familiar with how pro contractors work I'd always go with the former.

01-09-2002, 10:59 PM
Well that's what I used to do, till client wanted more for their money, so i switched to T&M on the things I was getting hammered on.

Specialy with leaves, the times it takes to do pick ups very so much with the weather, I had to go T&M.

When it's dry it can go faster, when it's wet it takes much longer.
And with the size props I do, it can make the differance of several hours.

I am not a painter.
I am not a roofer.

Electritans and plumbers charge by the hour.

Home repair by the hour.

You never know what obstical you will run into in lawn care.

Do what ever works for you.

01-10-2002, 12:50 PM
However mine is $75 per a man hour and no side walk supers.

LGF, when you refer to no sidewalk supers, do you mean someone who stands there watching to make sure job is done correctly? I think thats what you mean, but im not certain.

Also, is the rate quoted, close to the average for your area? the biggest companies around here charge around $42-$45 per man hour. Most of those who charge these prices, also charge hauling fees on top of that rate.

01-10-2002, 05:48 PM
No customer standing there watching.

01-10-2002, 06:33 PM
Agreeing with both the Jims. Use hourly rates to figure job costing but only give the customer the total job cost. If they are smart enough they can figure out approx. how many hours you have estimated, but if the agreed upon price is fair to both parties you usually get very little complaining.

Heavenly Green
01-10-2002, 08:18 PM
I do the same as most menchened above estimate how
many hours it will take your crew to do the job example, 2hr.
clean-up would be 180.00 plus dump fee of 40.00 so $220.00
would be their total.

I charge 30.00 per man hr. 90.00 per crew hr. myself and
2 helpers. My target goal is to have at least 40. billable hrs.
at 90.00per hr. every week. At this rate I get A paycheck every
week and my help gets payed every week at this rate payroll
services are covered Inns. covered workmans comp. covered
truck and equipment payments covered breakdowns & repairs
covered, future equipment purchaces & expanding cost covered.
Oh ya and company profit is covered.

There are lots of bases to cover in figuring your rate.
These were just some main ones. If you leave somthing out
it will come back to bite you!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Some potential customers balk at my prices and say "well
last year I only paid" this or that. but I dont budge on my price
because that is my cost of doing bussiness and running A ligitamate bussiness And quality = dollars the ones we get never
complain about prices after seeing how we operate.

Somtimes I wonder how many LCOs are ligitimate
bussiness, it makes A huge differance in the cost of providing
this type of service. Little off topic but just my .o2$



plow kid
01-10-2002, 09:28 PM
here in Toledo Ohio our basic labor rate is $75 per hour for two guys and $45.00 per 1/2 ton truck bed full of debris mulch is flat rate $25 a yard for most types and $30 a yard to apply , that includes two guys, and like LGF I wont let anybody "Sidewalk Super" either.

Green Care
01-10-2002, 09:53 PM
I guess it depends on the area.

Some parts of Md if you Quote them 75 hr they will fall out

What I try to do is figure how it would take me dry or wet walk through then give them a price.

01-11-2002, 02:13 PM
the only way we do cleanups is by the hour. i found, that if i try to estimate the time, and the disposal, then add extra to "cover my azz just in case", the price comes out too high and i cant sell the work. charging by the hour worked great for me, in two ways": im sure to be paid for every minute i spend there, and also, no coplaints on the work about getting every little speck of leaf out, cus they know that takes more time.

01-11-2002, 04:17 PM
A friend of mine owns a welding shop and for many years has had a sign posted that lists his labor rates as follows:
Shop labor rate $30.00/hr
You Watch $35.00/hr
You tell us how $40.00/hr
You help us fix it $45.00/hr
You do it $50.00/hr
I have always thought this was relevent for our line of work also.LOL:D

Atlantic Lawn
01-11-2002, 08:58 PM
Is we aren't charging $35 an hr, per man with machine then we aren't workin'.35 is the least amount we can charge and stay in business.

01-12-2002, 01:21 PM
Personally I never let the customer know what the hourly charge is. Most don't understand the expense of running a biz like ours. Go with the flat rate. Your hourly figure of $52.50 per hour sounds pretty good, though.

01-12-2002, 02:35 PM
that is, $52.50 per man, right?

01-12-2002, 02:43 PM
Im a one man show, so yeah it would be $52.50 per man. I dont think Im gonna do this though it doesnet sound like alot of people recommend this nor charge this way.

01-12-2002, 09:43 PM
It's cold, wet, drizzling, and windy, so I guess you eat the 3 times longer to do the work.

Have fun that's why you are asking for advice.