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Goodero
09-17-2009, 05:55 PM
How much should I quote to aerate? Overseed?

THX

mdlwn1
09-17-2009, 05:57 PM
lol.....No seriously...Pm me your credit card number and I will tell you for like 50 bucks

Goodero
09-17-2009, 06:01 PM
Not LOL - seriously, 3x's what I charge to mow? 1st year in business, bro. Have some love.

mdlwn1
09-17-2009, 06:10 PM
srry man...I just dont have it in me to write a 10 page article on how to do it..

jweiner
09-17-2009, 06:20 PM
I would go more by time spent than 3x something. Also, it'll depend upon how much seed you use and the seed quality. As a rough guess, I would probably charge about 2x mowing plus the cost of the seed (since you are aerating - which is probably harder than mowing, and seeding - which is probably easier than mowing) so it sort of averages out to mowing twice and then just add the seed cost. Just my 0.02 cents

willretire@40
09-17-2009, 07:22 PM
1/4 acre lot aerate and seed i get $140-$160. I have a pluger 850 hydro so I can aerate and seed in 30 min easy. I hate going to the door to get paid $150 and iwas only there for 30min but no one has complained yet.
Posted via Mobile Device

ALC-GregH
09-17-2009, 09:50 PM
I get $325 to aerate, seed and fert a 1/4 acre lot. After expenses I make about $65 per hour.

willretire@40
09-18-2009, 12:47 AM
I get $325 to aerate, seed and fert a 1/4 acre lot. After expenses I make about $65 per hour.

How many lawns do you do this service on a year?

DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-18-2009, 01:00 AM
Just started getting into lawn renovations this season, BUT
I just quoted 5K sq ft lawn for aerate (double pass), slit seed, and starter fert at $175.
No guarantees - cust must water daily if no rainfall.

I think it is a neat little niche to get into.

ALC-GregH
09-18-2009, 09:04 AM
How many lawns do you do this service on a year?

I only have 4 that I do.

Please_Be_Green
09-18-2009, 09:34 AM
How much should I quote to aerate? Overseed?

THX

All I know is this... In my area the people who quote aeration are crazy.

Seriously, 4 neighbors, plus myself, last year all had their companies quote aeration. All bids came in over $400.00, relatively flat 1/3-1/2 acre lots with anywhere between 10k to 15k of turf to aerate. We even went to two of the companies and asked for a discount based on 5 homes in the neighborhood with no success.

These are people with annual income in the 150k-200+k range. We all balked. Went to rental equipment store, rented an aerator for the day at $85.00, bought 150# of Lesco 50/50 seed for about $180.00 and did it ourselves for $50 a property.

Now with that said, we joked afterwards that running the aerator was more strenuous then we thought it was going to be and we were all sore the next day... but to save $350+each, it was well worth it... $2000 worth of business not had because of high quotes. If they can get it... all the power to them though.

All I'm saying... is keep it real. Good Luck.

brucec32
09-18-2009, 10:13 AM
Experienced guys. Let me ask you. Do you think there just might be a correlation between our industry's poor image with some people and the fact that we have thousands of guys who haven't got sufficient experience running around trying to be in the lawn business? You think that might affect how customers see YOU and how YOUR ability to charge a good price is diminished?

I'm all for charity......For the needy and helpless. However, this guy and others like him aren't helpless. They are perfectly capable of hiring on with someone to learn the trade. One clue you're ready for self-employment in a field might be things like knowing what people charge for stuff in your field!

The next time you feel like starting a thread about how hard it is to find "good help" these days, you might consider the fact that ANY industry would have a hard time finding help if the entry level position was "business owner". Just imagine if restaurants and dry cleaners were run like that. "Sorry about your suit being ruined sir, but the guys at "drycleanersite.com" told me everything I know".

This guy can skip working for you because you are here giving him the benefit of all your years of experience for free. I learned what to charge for aerations because I worked for someone else doing aerations! I knew from that:

a) how long it takes
b) how much longer it takes on sloped lots
c) how much harder lawns with numerous obstacles and turns take
d) how hard it is relative to just mowing lawns
e) the difference in a good job and simply running a machine a few times over a lawn.
f) what it cost by simply observing what my boss charged.


It's one thing to help someone out answering a question here. It's another when people start showing up in droves with nothing more to say or offer than "tell me what to do".

Somewhere along the line, in their dreams filled with dollar signs and early retirement, these guys forgot one important thing. You have to actually learn about what you're doing. I have noticed that while they get very excited about sales and marketing, truck lettering and shiny new equipment, they don't seem too interested at all in going out and learning the trade itself. They hope a few hours spent trolling posts here will suffice.
Well, after 17-18 years of it, I still learn new things. But unless I'm teaching an employee so he can help make me more money, I am not sure why I'd hand out that hard-earned knowledge for free.

If he's like most, you will reply "About $75 for a small lawn" and he will go out and print up 5,000 flyers saying "any lawn aerated, $65". Get it?

Then again I must be a sucker, I actually paid for a university course on turf.

ALC-GregH
09-18-2009, 11:12 AM
All I know is this... In my area the people who quote aeration are crazy.

Seriously, 4 neighbors, plus myself, last year all had their companies quote aeration. All bids came in over $400.00, relatively flat 1/3-1/2 acre lots with anywhere between 10k to 15k of turf to aerate. We even went to two of the companies and asked for a discount based on 5 homes in the neighborhood with no success.

These are people with annual income in the 150k-200+k range. We all balked. Went to rental equipment store, rented an aerator for the day at $85.00, bought 150# of Lesco 50/50 seed for about $180.00 and did it ourselves for $50 a property.

Now with that said, we joked afterwards that running the aerator was more strenuous then we thought it was going to be and we were all sore the next day... but to save $350+each, it was well worth it... $2000 worth of business not had because of high quotes. If they can get it... all the power to them though.

All I'm saying... is keep it real. Good Luck.

I don't see how you can do it that cheap. Your missing something. Did you spread fert too? I made roughly $60 an hour to do the ones I did AFTER expenses. What you and the others did was spent all the time to get the machine, run it over the properties, spread seed, and have to take the machine back to the rental shop, did you add up all the time spent to actually DO the job? Add all that up and you'll see why the LCO's quoted you that price.

ALC-GregH
09-18-2009, 11:18 AM
My point, any homeowner can go out and rent the equipment to do the job, what they don't realize is the time it takes to get the equipment, do the job and return it. You and the others obviously didn't want to pay the LCO for all the time it takes to do the job so you did it yourself and worked for free.

mcw615
09-18-2009, 11:24 AM
I roughly charge $0.01775 sq. ft. I measure the entire lot then rough guess/subtract the house driveway. Usually ends up between $325-$375 for half acre. $150-$200 for 1/4 acre.

DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-18-2009, 11:36 AM
I go around $12/K for aeration only here. So for 1/4 acre lawn (10k sq ft of turf), $125ish. Not sure how you guys get double to triple that - must be area where you live. I have to work with small town USA here. I still think I make good $$ at my rate.

ALC-GregH
09-18-2009, 12:04 PM
I go around $12/K for aeration only here. So for 1/4 acre lawn (10k sq ft of turf), $125ish. Not sure how you guys get double to triple that - must be area where you live. I have to work with small town USA here. I still think I make good $$ at my rate.

Does your price include seed and fert? I'm thinking it doesn't. If I did them (1/4-1/2acre lot) for the price you quote, I'd lose money!

mcw615
09-18-2009, 12:32 PM
Mine doesn't include fert just seed at 2lb 1,000

KS_Grasscutter
09-18-2009, 12:41 PM
3x mowing price plus 1.5x seed price plus 2x fert price=bid amount. I seed at 4 to 5 lbs per k using lesco transition blend. I don't measure anything anymore for aeration and seeding once you measure about 5 you get to where you can guess it as close as your margin of error from measuring.
Posted via Mobile Device

Please_Be_Green
09-18-2009, 01:15 PM
I don't see how you can do it that cheap. Your missing something. Did you spread fert too? I made roughly $60 an hour to do the ones I did AFTER expenses. What you and the others did was spent all the time to get the machine, run it over the properties, spread seed, and have to take the machine back to the rental shop, did you add up all the time spent to actually DO the job? Add all that up and you'll see why the LCO's quoted you that price.

My bad... You made me log into my LESCO account and look at my billing detail. We did buy 150# of seed at 2.46/# for $395. Add the rental fee of of 85+taxes and we actually spent approx $97.00 without labor costs.

Even still...

All companies were local with less then 15 min drive time to said property. Throw $65.00 drive time (to and from) on the bill, throw another $130.00 of labor time. Quote me $250-$275.00 for 15sq/ft of aerated and over seeded turf and I'd probably sign the contract.

If you have the proper equipment already, and have me stake my own sprinkler heads, you are completing this job in 45 minutes or less upon unloading the aerator and reloading. Even if you are driving 30 minutes, you'd be making more than $60 per hour depending on how you charge/owe on the equipment.

I've done the entire property in two hours. That includes driving to the rental store, renting paper work, loading, driving back home, taking the time to stake the sprinklers, aerating, cleaning the machine, loading the machine, spreading the seed, driving back to the rental shop and drive back home. Work being performed with a bluebird 424 with only has a 17.5" width.

I'll also mention that the companies that were quoting $400.00+ do regular cuts for these people between $45 - $55 per cut. I know that fact alone turned off my immediate neighbor. He just couldn't understand an 8x increase over a standard cut & trim.

willretire@40
09-18-2009, 03:48 PM
I would like to hear prices from someone that does 200+ aerations a season. I dont think their prices would be close to $250+. Like the one guy that said he gets $325 for a 1/4 acre you see he only does 4 a season.
Posted via Mobile Device

dKoester
09-18-2009, 07:19 PM
How many lawns do you do this service on a year?

I've been getting 250-275 for 1/4 acres since 2005. I charge what Lawn Doctor and Truegreen charge and get it no problem. This is for aeration and seed.

willretire@40
09-18-2009, 07:26 PM
Dang i need to up my prices.
Posted via Mobile Device

DA Quality Lawn & YS
09-18-2009, 11:52 PM
I go around $12/K for aeration only here. So for 1/4 acre lawn (10k sq ft of turf), $125ish. Not sure how you guys get double to triple that - must be area where you live. I have to work with small town USA here. I still think I make good $$ at my rate.

Nope no seed straight aeration for the above price. I can't think of a time where I would just broadcast out seed after aerating, chances of that seed sprouting are pretty slim. I would rather sell a renovation pkg then, with aeration, seeding (either broadcast with topdress OR slit seeding), and st. fert.

ALC-GregH
09-19-2009, 12:18 AM
Nope no seed straight aeration for the above price. I can't think of a time where I would just broadcast out seed after aerating, chances of that seed sprouting are pretty slim. I would rather sell a renovation pkg then, with aeration, seeding (either broadcast with topdress OR slit seeding), and st. fert.

If I was only going to aerate I'd probably charge them around half or less then what I charge with seed and fert.

CAROLINALAWNMAN1
09-19-2009, 12:38 AM
Mow/dethatch/core aerate/fertilize/overseed....$41/1000sqft some minimums for small yards etc but this is the starting point for me.

Big Bad Bob
09-19-2009, 01:25 AM
All I know is this... In my area the people who quote aeration are crazy.

Seriously, 4 neighbors, plus myself, last year all had their companies quote aeration. All bids came in over $400.00, relatively flat 1/3-1/2 acre lots with anywhere between 10k to 15k of turf to aerate. We even went to two of the companies and asked for a discount based on 5 homes in the neighborhood with no success.

These are people with annual income in the 150k-200+k range. We all balked. Went to rental equipment store, rented an aerator for the day at $85.00, bought 150# of Lesco 50/50 seed for about $180.00 and did it ourselves for $50 a property.

Now with that said, we joked afterwards that running the aerator was more strenuous then we thought it was going to be and we were all sore the next day... but to save $350+each, it was well worth it... $2000 worth of business not had because of high quotes. If they can get it... all the power to them though.

All I'm saying... is keep it real. Good Luck.

How many passes did you make? And how deep did you core? How much fertilizer did you apply?

Big Bad Bob
09-19-2009, 01:50 AM
Dang i need to up my prices.
Posted via Mobile Device

You know, something I've found out in the 10 years I've been doing this is that sometimes I give a bid and one customer will say, "Dang that's cheap." and the next customer, with almost the exact same job and type and size of property will say, "What?!!! That price is crazy high!" So I've learned to be somewhere in the middle on pricing. I still only get 1 out of 4 bids but at least I know I am probably near market value pricing. And I am taking jobs that are profitable without giving the perception of gouging to my customers.
I just did a tilling job for a casual customer. A 30" strip of hard pack soil about 60' long. Made 2 passes to loosen to 10" deep along a fence. 20 minutes work including loading, unloading, loading again and cleanup of the tiller and put away. (I live close by.) I told them, after doing the work, that the charge was $30.00 + tax. The wife gave me a shocked look and said, "$30.00?". She then called for her husband, who was upstairs. I told her that this was my minimum and that it was a fair price. When her husband came down she said to him, "He only wants $30.00!". He asked if I was sure. I began wondering what the heck was the big deal. Well, it seems they got a quote from another guy, who couldn't do the job till the next day, and his bid was $150.00. I wish I had asked them what they were willing to pay before I did the job. :) I did leave with the feeling that I had earned a bit of respect and goodwill just by being fair. I made money and they got the job done. And they were very satisfied with the quality of my work too but it still bothers me a little that I left so much money on the table. I guess that's what I get for being honest. :drinkup:
I can't say the other guy was dishonest but I guess that even if they had told me about the other guy beforehand, I still would have charged $30.00 + tax.

RedMaple Lawns
09-19-2009, 02:22 AM
Here TruGreen charges $120.00 minimum @ 5,000 sq. ft. -- not even a 1/4 acre. Then $30.00 per 1,000 sq. ft. ... so there... if you can't work with that, then you shouldn't own a lawn care business! G'luck

Please_Be_Green
09-19-2009, 07:54 AM
You know, something I've found out in the 10 years I've been doing this is that sometimes I give a bid and one customer will say, "Dang that's cheap." and the next customer, with almost the exact same job and type and size of property will say, "What?!!! That price is crazy high!" So I've learned to be somewhere in the middle on pricing. I still only get 1 out of 4 bids but at least I know I am probably near market value pricing. And I am taking jobs that are profitable without giving the perception of gouging to my customers.
I just did a tilling job for a casual customer. A 30" strip of hard pack soil about 60' long. Made 2 passes to loosen to 10" deep along a fence. 20 minutes work including loading, unloading, loading again and cleanup of the tiller and put away. (I live close by.) I told them, after doing the work, that the charge was $30.00 + tax. The wife gave me a shocked look and said, "$30.00?". She then called for her husband, who was upstairs. I told her that this was my minimum and that it was a fair price. When her husband came down she said to him, "He only wants $30.00!". He asked if I was sure. I began wondering what the heck was the big deal. Well, it seems they got a quote from another guy, who couldn't do the job till the next day, and his bid was $150.00. I wish I had asked them what they were willing to pay before I did the job. :) I did leave with the feeling that I had earned a bit of respect and goodwill just by being fair. I made money and they got the job done. And they were very satisfied with the quality of my work too but it still bothers me a little that I left so much money on the table. I guess that's what I get for being honest. :drinkup:
I can't say the other guy was dishonest but I guess that even if they had told me about the other guy beforehand, I still would have charged $30.00 + tax.

And I'll be willing to bet you'll end up getting repeat business from this customer.

I offer the "customers" perspective to this board... I'm a reasonable person. I make good money. I'm willing to pay a premium to have a service offered, but please don't try to screw me. I'm looking to build relationships with people for the long haul. I think most people are in the same boat...

I have a tree guy, for 3 separate jobs, he always bid the lowest. Now, every other year, I don't go out to bid. I call him, say I need a trim, he comes out, speaks with the wife, provides the quote and the work is done sometimes that very day, sometimes the next... Professional group who has earned my respect and business.

My neighbors fert company... Does normal fert applications for $80. He inquires about ridding his yard of yellow nutsedge, they quote him $425.00. $425.00 for what? 20 minutes broadcast spread time and maybe $15.00 worth of Sedge hammer, or whatever herbicide they choose. Granted, maybe this is a special mix that needs to be created. Maybe there is an extra charge for preparing this mix and then cleaning the tanks after this mix... but $425 was sort of steep when they come to his property anyway for the normal fert for $80. Why my neighbor keeps this service... only he knows. His lawn looks like sh!t to boot.

Please_Be_Green
09-19-2009, 07:59 AM
How many passes did you make? And how deep did you core? How much fertilizer did you apply?

Please see my post there after... We actually spent $97 per property. No fert with this price.... 1 pass with a blue bird 424.

twotone
09-19-2009, 09:13 AM
I've been aerating lawns for 20 years and a lot of lawn companys and homeowners who do their own don't do a thorough job, (overlap each pass, circle trees, hug bed edges, curbs, drives and walks, complete the slopes, double passes on weak turf). All of this takes considerable time and intense labor with a walk behind aerator. I price each lawn based on these factors and I'm usually $20-$30 per 1000ft.

ALC-GregH
09-19-2009, 09:25 AM
Please see my post there after... We actually spent $97 per property. No fert with this price.... 1 pass with a blue bird 424.

I'm not picking on you but you bawled at a price that was more then fare. Then you go on to tell the professional's on this site that it was priced too high so you and your neighbor's did the job yourself. You didn't do the job correct and had you DID do it correct, it would have cost you all a extra $100 or so per property. The truth finally comes out and the price the LCO gave you was a fare price. I bet your the type that would let someone do work on your property for free and not even offer them anything. I'm sorry, you'd probably offer them a glass of water then charge them for ice to make it cold. :hammerhead:

shoota34
09-19-2009, 09:40 AM
NOt to hijack this thread but I'm hoping that my work has not been a waste...I overseeding a week ago (cut lawn to 2 in b4 aerating, aerate 3 passes, spread seed, and fertilized) and I know I need to wait a while for it to germinate. My question is I'm nervous my existing lawn is growing where it may be crowding out the seed? I feel that even if teh seed comes through I won't be able to see it because the existing lawn is coming back rather thick? I'm I goign to be ok to continue water twice a day and wait for the seed to germinate? I'm in Upstate ny so the temps have been cool.

Please_Be_Green
09-19-2009, 10:08 AM
I'm not picking on you but you bawled at a price that was more then fare. Then you go on to tell the professional's on this site that it was priced too high so you and your neighbor's did the job yourself. You didn't do the job correct and had you DID do it correct, it would have cost you all a extra $100 or so per property. The truth finally comes out and the price the LCO gave you was a fare price. I bet your the type that would let someone do work on your property for free and not even offer them anything. I'm sorry, you'd probably offer them a glass of water then charge them for ice to make it cold. :hammerhead:

Waaa Waaa Waaa... You've read me like a book... I've got that cold glass of water waiting for you (no ice)

Big Bad Bob
09-19-2009, 12:13 PM
And I'll be willing to bet you'll end up getting repeat business from this customer.

I offer the "customers" perspective to this board... I'm a reasonable person. I make good money. I'm willing to pay a premium to have a service offered, but please don't try to screw me. I'm looking to build relationships with people for the long haul. I think most people are in the same boat...

I have a tree guy, for 3 separate jobs, he always bid the lowest. Now, every other year, I don't go out to bid. I call him, say I need a trim, he comes out, speaks with the wife, provides the quote and the work is done sometimes that very day, sometimes the next... Professional group who has earned my respect and business.

My neighbors fert company... Does normal fert applications for $80. He inquires about ridding his yard of yellow nutsedge, they quote him $425.00. $425.00 for what? 20 minutes broadcast spread time and maybe $15.00 worth of Sedge hammer, or whatever herbicide they choose. Granted, maybe this is a special mix that needs to be created. Maybe there is an extra charge for preparing this mix and then cleaning the tanks after this mix... but $425 was sort of steep when they come to his property anyway for the normal fert for $80. Why my neighbor keeps this service... only he knows. His lawn looks like sh!t to boot.

First off, his knowledge is worth something. Do you know how hard it is to get a pesticide license? Do you know how much insurance costs for this? Do you know how much time and money it takes to get schooled in the proper methods and safety for the LCO and the customer? No? I didn't think so.
Now to jump ahead, you might as well have left the aerator at the rental center. One pass is not enough. Did you do the hard stuff, like in corners and any tight places? And what good was any aerating without fert? The whole purpose is to allow the roots to be able to receive the nutrients and water to survive.

Please_Be_Green
09-19-2009, 02:13 PM
First off, his knowledge is worth something. Do you know how hard it is to get a pesticide license? Do you know how much insurance costs for this? Do you know how much time and money it takes to get schooled in the proper methods and safety for the LCO and the customer? No? I didn't think so.
Now to jump ahead, you might as well have left the aerator at the rental center. One pass is not enough. Did you do the hard stuff, like in corners and any tight places? And what good was any aerating without fert? The whole purpose is to allow the roots to be able to receive the nutrients and water to survive.

First off, his knowledge is worth something. Do you know how hard it is to get a pesticide license?

1. Obtain training material for both CORE and Category 3b-Turf
a. Commercial Applicator – CORE Pesticide Training Manual – $30.00
b. Commercial Category – Landscaping; Ornamental, Turf & Interior Plantscape Pest Control – $30.00

STUDY… STUDY… STUDY…

2. Attend a “Basic Pesticide Applicator Training Course” $95.00

3. Attend “Category 3B – Turf” Training Course $135.00

4 Submit the Core Certification Exam Application w/ Proof of completion of the “Basic Pesticide Applicator Training Course”

6. Submit the Category 3B Exam Application

STUDY… STUDY… STUDY…

7. Take and Pass both the Core and Category 3b Exams receive Full Certification

No? I didn't think so.

You assume too much and you may or may not know what happens when people assume.

Now to jump ahead, you might as well have left the aerator at the rental center. One pass is not enough. Did you do the hard stuff, like in corners and any tight places? And what good was any aerating without fert? The whole purpose is to allow the roots to be able to receive the nutrients and water to survive.

Again, you assume too much. Have you seen my turf? Do you know my fert schedule? Do you have the soil test results? Is my soil compacted? Do I have a thick layer of thatch? When was the last time I had my lawn de-thatched? Aerated? Fert Application? Without this, you cannot possibly know what my turf needs.

Get off your high horse buddy… You can’t make such general statements to back up a quote.

Residential turf maintenance is not rocket science. I let my turf speak for itself…

Big Bad Bob
09-19-2009, 02:50 PM
1. Obtain training material for both CORE and Category 3b-Turf
a. Commercial Applicator – CORE Pesticide Training Manual – $30.00
b. Commercial Category – Landscaping; Ornamental, Turf & Interior Plantscape Pest Control – $30.00

STUDY… STUDY… STUDY…

2. Attend a “Basic Pesticide Applicator Training Course” $95.00

3. Attend “Category 3B – Turf” Training Course $135.00

4 Submit the Core Certification Exam Application w/ Proof of completion of the “Basic Pesticide Applicator Training Course”

6. Submit the Category 3B Exam Application

STUDY… STUDY… STUDY…

7. Take and Pass both the Core and Category 3b Exams receive Full Certification



You assume too much and you may or may not know what happens when people assume.



Again, you assume too much. Have you seen my turf? Do you know my fert schedule? Do you have the soil test results? Is my soil compacted? Do I have a thick layer of thatch? When was the last time I had my lawn de-thatched? Aerated? Fert Application? Without this, you cannot possibly know what my turf needs.

Get off your high horse buddy… You can’t make such general statements to back up a quote.

Residential turf maintenance is not rocket science. I let my turf speak for itself…

Oh boy. Maybe you should go to Sears, get yourself a Crapsman mower and start your own business. You know it all.

And you made a comment about your neighbor's nutsedge problem. You can't make just one application to get rid of it. It is an ongoing process to get rid of Nutsedge. And you have to know the right time to apply for maximum effectiveness. Kill the sprouts at the wrong time and you just compound the problem.
And yes, soil tests are essential but making 2 passes has nothing to do with how compacted the soil is. If it's compacted enough to need aeration then it is compacted enough to make at least 2 passes.
There are so many other factors to this business that I don't have the time here to list them. Good bye.

WGLandscapeMaintenance
09-19-2009, 03:22 PM
Experienced guys. Let me ask you. Do you think there just might be a correlation between our industry's poor image with some people and the fact that we have thousands of guys who haven't got sufficient experience running around trying to be in the lawn business? You think that might affect how customers see YOU and how YOUR ability to charge a good price is diminished?

I'm all for charity......For the needy and helpless. However, this guy and others like him aren't helpless. They are perfectly capable of hiring on with someone to learn the trade. One clue you're ready for self-employment in a field might be things like knowing what people charge for stuff in your field!

The next time you feel like starting a thread about how hard it is to find "good help" these days, you might consider the fact that ANY industry would have a hard time finding help if the entry level position was "business owner". Just imagine if restaurants and dry cleaners were run like that. "Sorry about your suit being ruined sir, but the guys at "drycleanersite.com" told me everything I know".

This guy can skip working for you because you are here giving him the benefit of all your years of experience for free. I learned what to charge for aerations because I worked for someone else doing aerations! I knew from that:

a) how long it takes
b) how much longer it takes on sloped lots
c) how much harder lawns with numerous obstacles and turns take
d) how hard it is relative to just mowing lawns
e) the difference in a good job and simply running a machine a few times over a lawn.
f) what it cost by simply observing what my boss charged.


It's one thing to help someone out answering a question here. It's another when people start showing up in droves with nothing more to say or offer than "tell me what to do".

Somewhere along the line, in their dreams filled with dollar signs and early retirement, these guys forgot one important thing. You have to actually learn about what you're doing. I have noticed that while they get very excited about sales and marketing, truck lettering and shiny new equipment, they don't seem too interested at all in going out and learning the trade itself. They hope a few hours spent trolling posts here will suffice.
Well, after 17-18 years of it, I still learn new things. But unless I'm teaching an employee so he can help make me more money, I am not sure why I'd hand out that hard-earned knowledge for free.

If he's like most, you will reply "About $75 for a small lawn" and he will go out and print up 5,000 flyers saying "any lawn aerated, $65". Get it?

Then again I must be a sucker, I actually paid for a university course on turf.


Sums it up, these idiots seem to not know what a business plan is, it's where you figure in what you will charge based on YOUR expenses and what you need to earn for a living. I just don't understand why you [lawn jockey lowballers] would come on here to ask for help that the LCO's on here have worked their ass off to figure out for themselves.

mdlwn1
09-19-2009, 03:55 PM
All I know is this... In my area the people who quote aeration are crazy.

Seriously, 4 neighbors, plus myself, last year all had their companies quote aeration. All bids came in over $400.00, relatively flat 1/3-1/2 acre lots with anywhere between 10k to 15k of turf to aerate. We even went to two of the companies and asked for a discount based on 5 homes in the neighborhood with no success.

These are people with annual income in the 150k-200+k range. We all balked. Went to rental equipment store, rented an aerator for the day at $85.00, bought 150# of Lesco 50/50 seed for about $180.00 and did it ourselves for $50 a property.

Now with that said, we joked afterwards that running the aerator was more strenuous then we thought it was going to be and we were all sore the next day... but to save $350+each, it was well worth it... $2000 worth of business not had because of high quotes. If they can get it... all the power to them though.

All I'm saying... is keep it real. Good Luck.

This is as dumb as me asking my fav restaurant to charge me 9.95 for a 16 oz steak. I could go on for an hour as to how how ignorant your post is.......

mdlwn1
09-19-2009, 03:58 PM
Experienced guys. Let me ask you. Do you think there just might be a correlation between our industry's poor image with some people and the fact that we have thousands of guys who haven't got sufficient experience running around trying to be in the lawn business? You think that might affect how customers see YOU and how YOUR ability to charge a good price is diminished?

I'm all for charity......For the needy and helpless. However, this guy and others like him aren't helpless. They are perfectly capable of hiring on with someone to learn the trade. One clue you're ready for self-employment in a field might be things like knowing what people charge for stuff in your field!

The next time you feel like starting a thread about how hard it is to find "good help" these days, you might consider the fact that ANY industry would have a hard time finding help if the entry level position was "business owner". Just imagine if restaurants and dry cleaners were run like that. "Sorry about your suit being ruined sir, but the guys at "drycleanersite.com" told me everything I know".

This guy can skip working for you because you are here giving him the benefit of all your years of experience for free. I learned what to charge for aerations because I worked for someone else doing aerations! I knew from that:

a) how long it takes
b) how much longer it takes on sloped lots
c) how much harder lawns with numerous obstacles and turns take
d) how hard it is relative to just mowing lawns
e) the difference in a good job and simply running a machine a few times over a lawn.
f) what it cost by simply observing what my boss charged.


It's one thing to help someone out answering a question here. It's another when people start showing up in droves with nothing more to say or offer than "tell me what to do".

Somewhere along the line, in their dreams filled with dollar signs and early retirement, these guys forgot one important thing. You have to actually learn about what you're doing. I have noticed that while they get very excited about sales and marketing, truck lettering and shiny new equipment, they don't seem too interested at all in going out and learning the trade itself. They hope a few hours spent trolling posts here will suffice.
Well, after 17-18 years of it, I still learn new things. But unless I'm teaching an employee so he can help make me more money, I am not sure why I'd hand out that hard-earned knowledge for free.

If he's like most, you will reply "About $75 for a small lawn" and he will go out and print up 5,000 flyers saying "any lawn aerated, $65". Get it?

Then again I must be a sucker, I actually paid for a university course on turf.


I sooo no longer have it in me to state EXACTLY what you just did. The OP should paypal you money.

Please_Be_Green
09-19-2009, 03:59 PM
This is as dumb as me asking my fav restaurant to charge me 9.95 for a 16 oz steak. I could go on for an hour as to how how ignorant your post is.......

Ha ha ha. This forum cracks me up.
Posted via Mobile Device

mdlwn1
09-19-2009, 04:12 PM
My bad... You made me log into my LESCO account and look at my billing detail. We did buy 150# of seed at 2.46/# for $395. Add the rental fee of of 85+taxes and we actually spent approx $97.00 without labor costs.

Even still...

All companies were local with less then 15 min drive time to said property. Throw $65.00 drive time (to and from) on the bill, throw another $130.00 of labor time. Quote me $250-$275.00 for 15sq/ft of aerated and over seeded turf and I'd probably sign the contract.

If you have the proper equipment already, and have me stake my own sprinkler heads, you are completing this job in 45 minutes or less upon unloading the aerator and reloading. Even if you are driving 30 minutes, you'd be making more than $60 per hour depending on how you charge/owe on the equipment.

I've done the entire property in two hours. That includes driving to the rental store, renting paper work, loading, driving back home, taking the time to stake the sprinklers, aerating, cleaning the machine, loading the machine, spreading the seed, driving back to the rental shop and drive back home. Work being performed with a bluebird 424 with only has a 17.5" width.

I'll also mention that the companies that were quoting $400.00+ do regular cuts for these people between $45 - $55 per cut. I know that fact alone turned off my immediate neighbor. He just couldn't understand an 8x increase over a standard cut & trim.

Lets take your 200k income.......$100 per hour. Now add that to your costs...dum da dum dum. Secondly If you feel that your time (at 100 per hour) is best spent aerating your lawn as opposed to paying someone LESS than 100 per hour to do it........then just say that instead of making some emotional plee as opposed to a VALID argument. Third...I've lived most of my life in Jersey...I know who you are. Mcmansion neighbor hood..stretched financially..probably in your late 30's to early 40's...most of the street payin some local chop outfit to do you a favor and stop the grass from getting too high. Im quite sure most of the service groups in your area are pretty bad, but there are some really good ones out there...it's just that they most likely dont want anything to do with your type of customer.

Please_Be_Green
09-19-2009, 04:16 PM
Lets take your 200k income.......$100 per hour. Now add that to your costs...dum da dum dum. Secondly If you feel that your time (at 100 per hour) is best spent aerating your lawn as opposed to paying someone LESS than 100 per hour to do it........then just say that instead of making some emotional plee as opposed to a VALID argument. Third...I've lived most of my life in Jersey...I know who you are. Mcmansion neighbor hood..stretched financially..probably in your late 30's to early 40's...most of the street payin some local chop outfit to do you a favor and stop the grass from getting too high. Im quite sure most of the service groups in your area are pretty bad, but there are some really good ones out there...it's just that they most likely dont want anything to do with your type of customer.

You got it. And my portfolio is down about a million
Posted via Mobile Device

mdlwn1
09-19-2009, 04:27 PM
You got it. And my portfolio is down about a million
Posted via Mobile Device

Too bad.....This landscaper's portfolio is UP 58% It aint rocket science....just something that comes naturally to someone who's job it is to generate revenue......You I would say....work behind a desk...in a situation that doesnt change regardless of weather or not you produce results.

Please_Be_Green
09-19-2009, 04:31 PM
Too bad.....This landscaper's portfolio is UP 58% It aint rocket science....just something that comes naturally to someone who's job it is to generate revenue......You I would say....work behind a desk...in a situation that doesnt change regardless of weather or not you produce results.

Amazing and I get gov't bail outs and my bonus's. Thanks for your contribution.
Posted via Mobile Device

Big Bad Bob
09-19-2009, 10:14 PM
Amazing and I get gov't bail outs and my bonus's. Thanks for your contribution.
Posted via Mobile Device

Well then, who's the thief?

khutch
09-20-2009, 10:26 AM
I try to keep prices related to what I want to make an hour. I'll prep the lawn at say 45 per hour, aerate at 75-100 per hour, seed and fert at 35 per hour then mark up materials 50-75%.
At best a 1500 sf postage stamp lawn comes in at $125 and is easy, 5000 sf more like $250 and up. It helps that seed and fert are cheap this year!

piste
09-20-2009, 11:23 PM
I've done the entire property in two hours. That includes driving to the rental store, renting paper work, loading, driving back home, taking the time to stake the sprinklers, aerating, cleaning the machine, loading the machine, spreading the seed, driving back to the rental shop and drive back home. Work being performed with a bluebird 424 with only has a 17.5" width.


I do my own too...nursing my aching body from doing mine today...I'm hoping to share with neighbors in the future but even without that I still do my own as it is SO much cheaper...AND it's done by the one guy I know who will do the job right..me.

But I'm afraid I gotta call BS on your claim above. You said your property was in the vicinity of 15,000 sq feet of turf. I have a half acre lot with a good chunk of that turf. No way in this world you did all you claim above in two hours Superman. Not for a job done right. Even if you live next door to the rental place. Even if we assume you do half the job and run it in only one direction and skip the second perpedicular run...I just can't see doing it all in under 2 hours. And BTW...you left out refilling with gas!! :) I'm about a 10 minute drive to rent mine. From the time I sign the paperwork (exclude the drive there), get it home, unload, aerate two directions, clean it, refilll with gas, load it, and drive back to the rental shop...I arrive about 3.5 hours after I first signed the paperwork. Similar machine to the Bluebird. That does not include spreading seed, nor marking sprinkler heads, nor initial drive time to store.. I do have a pretty hilly lot.

willretire@40
09-21-2009, 10:19 PM
Does everyone do double passes? I use a Plugr 850 and I only do a single pass then spread seed. $140 for a 10k sq ft lot (turf is 4k-6k). I am thinking about raising the price a little.

Big Bad Bob
09-21-2009, 11:58 PM
Does everyone do double passes? I use a Plugr 850 and I only do a single pass then spread seed. $140 for a 10k sq ft lot (turf is 4k-6k). I am thinking about raising the price a little.

I always do.

jbo90423
11-29-2009, 01:02 AM
Experienced guys. Let me ask you. Do you think there just might be a correlation between our industry's poor image with some people and the fact that we have thousands of guys who haven't got sufficient experience running around trying to be in the lawn business? You think that might affect how customers see YOU and how YOUR ability to charge a good price is diminished?

I'm all for charity......For the needy and helpless. However, this guy and others like him aren't helpless. They are perfectly capable of hiring on with someone to learn the trade. One clue you're ready for self-employment in a field might be things like knowing what people charge for stuff in your field!

The next time you feel like starting a thread about how hard it is to find "good help" these days, you might consider the fact that ANY industry would have a hard time finding help if the entry level position was "business owner". Just imagine if restaurants and dry cleaners were run like that. "Sorry about your suit being ruined sir, but the guys at "drycleanersite.com" told me everything I know".

This guy can skip working for you because you are here giving him the benefit of all your years of experience for free. I learned what to charge for aerations because I worked for someone else doing aerations! I knew from that:

a) how long it takes
b) how much longer it takes on sloped lots
c) how much harder lawns with numerous obstacles and turns take
d) how hard it is relative to just mowing lawns
e) the difference in a good job and simply running a machine a few times over a lawn.
f) what it cost by simply observing what my boss charged.


It's one thing to help someone out answering a question here. It's another when people start showing up in droves with nothing more to say or offer than "tell me what to do".

Somewhere along the line, in their dreams filled with dollar signs and early retirement, these guys forgot one important thing. You have to actually learn about what you're doing. I have noticed that while they get very excited about sales and marketing, truck lettering and shiny new equipment, they don't seem too interested at all in going out and learning the trade itself. They hope a few hours spent trolling posts here will suffice.
Well, after 17-18 years of it, I still learn new things. But unless I'm teaching an employee so he can help make me more money, I am not sure why I'd hand out that hard-earned knowledge for free.

If he's like most, you will reply "About $75 for a small lawn" and he will go out and print up 5,000 flyers saying "any lawn aerated, $65". Get it?

Then again I must be a sucker, I actually paid for a university course on turf.

And I bet as you being the "owner" you gladly tell your employees (who you probably pay 6 bucks an hour) what you bid on jobs or not worry about them signing a non-compete form???? Cut some slack dude!