View Full Version : Aeration Charge Help!

03-24-2011, 10:03 PM
Just got my first aeration job today. Wasn't sure what the going rate is per 1,000 SQ. FT. Can anyone help me out with this?

03-24-2011, 11:53 PM
First I would do some quick research in the local newspaper and on craigs list to see what the competition is charging.

I would have a standard price. l call this my tailgate drop charge. It goes for lawns too.
It is a standard minimum.

In Vancouver it seems that the average advertised price for an aeration is $55.00
for a 2000 square foot yard (with a house in the middle)

How much does it cost to rent the machine? Is it a four hour increment?
How long will the job take? Are there tricky hills to aerate.. Travel, load/unload and clean-up if it's rented.

Can you hold off on the job until you have two or three or more clients lined up?

I don't know where you are. It doesn't display on my computer.
Can you upsell too? Get them to add lime and you'll return the next week to

Sorry man, respectfully when I write stuff...it is relevent to you, but I also want to convey an answer so that other interested people can benefit from it too. I hope no-one gets offended if I write any-thing they already know or if they don't agree for some reason.

You can buy an aerator new for say $2500 up here. It's paid for in less than
50 uses. Same with a power rake. Ours stuff gets used alot because we do hoa sites.

Some-times you have to book ahead to get the machines. In Vancouver, if you have to power rake three inch thick moss and your rental time is during a rain storm,
then you have to work much much harder and your dump fee goes up too.
There's extra work trying to scrape mud off of the walkways and the machine has to be washed off or you lose your deposit.

I like to own. Then I can watch the weather and maximize the profit on the job with minimal effort.

I would say, up here for a 1000 square foot yard $45.00 would be fair

DA Quality Lawn & YS
03-25-2011, 01:06 AM
I avg around $12/K. Some guys on here will think I am crazy for doing so cheap...others will say I am crazy for charging so much. IOW, asking for pricing on here, you will get a crapshoot.

03-25-2011, 01:34 PM
I think the responses are appropriate. Let the market price the job. Some think $8-$10/k is too low, but if nearly every other company is in that range, it's difficult to convince a customer to go with your service. Attributes such as quality and quick turnaround can put you ahead of your competition, but most customers won't pay a lot more for it, but rather only a small premium.

My prices are somewhat mid-range of the market around my area. My strategy is to offer them at this price point to help ensure repeat customers. Once I hit my goal of total number of clients in my database, I will simply call them prior to the season to schedule and eliminate almost all marketing activity, which costs money and a LOT of time. So charging a little less than what I can get, should pay off for me in the long run. Hopefully, my strategy works. So far it is, but I'm still trying to grow the business.

03-25-2011, 01:44 PM
I charge $17 per 1k. It's a little higher than some but pretty inline with what I see most other legitimate LCO's doing it for around here. Good advice on a minimum fee as well, especially necessary if you have to rent. I'd say $50-$60 minimum is fair because if the homeowner can't do it for that themselves if they have to rent the machine.

Most of my jobs come from maintenance customers so they like the convenience of having me do it and knowing they can trust that I'll do a good job. Plus, a lot of people like the convenience of having everything on one bill at the end of the month.

03-25-2011, 11:01 PM
We get $99 for the first 5000 sq ft and $10 per additional 1000 sq ft up here in NH. Haven't had any pricing complaints at all.

Exact Rototilling
03-29-2011, 11:47 AM
As an absolute bottom price on smaller lawns 1.5 times the mow rate and I save this pricing for smaller lawns and my regular mowing customers only. When I first was researching this years ago I had 2.5 to 3 times the mow rate stuck in my head. I had a few jobs my first year but quickly realized that I'd better be willing to aerate for 1.8 to 2 times the mow rate to get any cash flow.

Craigslist prices here are below the mow rate and one of the bigger well respected Co. In my area is now offer aeration and just bid on I thought was my most loyal customer under cutting my rates for mowing and aeration.

My claim to fame here is I run aerators with the highest plug count of each type: rolling tine. Lawn Solutions WB 21" [stander has the same spacing] both of these pull 17% more plugs and the Plugr 850 pulls 33% more than the others and 17% more than the lawn. Solutions unit. I use this as a competitive advantage but that angle.has been a.tough sell I'm years past
Posted via Mobile Device

Exact Rototilling
03-29-2011, 12:01 PM
...Continued from above...

I've really grew weary of pulling up to a house doing a single pass with my Plugr 850 and delivering a VERY noticeable amount of MORE plugs for a rate similar to what the neighbor was paying for a typical common machine just the day before. This year I'm going with using the Lawn Solutions machine for the noticeable notch up in plugs pulled 17% more than the other guys as my base service. If they want the stunning results of the Plugr 850 they need to pay 15% more. The HIGHER cost of operation [Plugr 850], burned up tines, fiddle factor and repairs needs to be offset some how. All this makes marketing more complex but this is the path I have chosen.

03-30-2011, 07:30 AM
$20-25 per 1000 is what I used to charge for a single pass

Exact Rototilling
03-30-2011, 01:08 PM
$20-25 per 1000 is what I used to charge for a single pass
Sounds reasonable if there minimal obstructions and this is on top of a minimum charge? I may get very few calls on this but I was thinking on running a Craigslist High Baller ad charging $65 minimum for my Lawn Solutions just to show up and $75 for my Plugr 850. Just can't Zig zag across the region and charge what others in my area do and make any gainful income.

One extreme difficult property I aerated last spring, total lawn area was super tiny but access and difficulty was off the chart. Charged him $85 took me about an hour much of the time spent was getting my plugr down a flight of outdoor iron stairs with 2 pairs of atv ramps strapped to the stairs. I would of passed on it but I like a challenge now and then.

One of the well respected companies in my area with higher much higher overhead and multiple crews just lowballed one of my client for aeration at just $30. Lawn is not big pretty small but really....what happened to a minimum charge. Their website is down for reasons of non payment from the host Co. Posted via Mobile Device

04-24-2011, 11:50 PM
Oh god help me...... First I will start with the disclaimer! We are on the verge of becoming a strictly aeration and (DE)Thatching Company. We draw swords with the low ballers and laugh off the high companies.

Let me tell you aeration and dethatching is hard work regardless and draws a premium. However I have found you can make more and have a tighter working area if you charge a min and add x per k. This is the revolving factor per the area of service.
I check Craigslist and my competitors regularly. I make sure I know what my costs are.

Ok so cut to the chase........... We are a community of roughly 150k average property (turf only ) ranges from 3k-9k. Our min is 35 and covers the 3k(which we can do in less than 20 min. (definition of time is stop truck, drop gate, aerate, load, get in truck and drive off) We hold a tight pattern so next stop is within 2-3 min on average. For every thousand sqft we charge another 5-7.50. We average 10-15 a day(average day is 8 hours. time to leave drive to time to back trailer in)

I cant tell you what to charge, we charge what we can get regularly. I know we can draw in another 3-5$ per property but leave it the way it is to keep regular customers.
We can pull premium prices but find that a tighter route is more profitable.

So the break down. I have one guy that is strictly aerations. Pay him 16.50 an hour, furnish a truck and fuel to go with it. cost on truck and salary over a 7 month aeration period is around 200-215 per day. gross is around 450-500 a day. I also factored in fuel and equiptment repair in the cost portion. . so to me that is a near net between 200-300 per day, 5 days a week.

Here is where you have to make your decision. Do you want to do premium services at a premium price and do regular work at normal price or do you want to do premium work between premium and afordable price and increase your profits over time.

Don't get me wrong. I was charging the price ( 10-15 per k) but found it more profitable to charge decent prices and a tight pattern. Still draw near same overall profit, only difference is the wear and tear on the aerator and employee.