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CozyHollow
02-26-2012, 07:04 PM
What do you believe is a fair market wage to charge per hour? I'm from the North East and own a one man operation beginning this Spring.

I figure $150.00 an hour is a fair wage and covers everything. (everything means cut, weed wack, edge and blow) What say you? Be easy on me fellas'. Only want to enter into the business on the level and NOT over or under price the industry.

Thanks!

GMLC
02-26-2012, 07:14 PM
I'm also in the north east. You may get half that for high end residentials, full service. At least that's what we do.
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Bob_n_weave
02-26-2012, 08:02 PM
:laugh::laugh:

White Gardens
02-26-2012, 08:03 PM
:laugh::laugh:

You beat me to it! LOL

orangemower
02-26-2012, 08:06 PM
Your expectations are pretty high and frankly you will have a have let down going in thinking you'll get $150 an hour solo.
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CozyHollow
02-26-2012, 08:46 PM
I'm also in the north east. You may get half that for high end residentials, full service. At least that's what we do.
Posted via Mobile Device

I've been "in the business" for many years but never was "in business" so I never really paid attention to what the landscapers I worked for charged...until now. Now my landscaping days are far behind but the skills I acquired are still with me.

I figure a quarter acre home would be $40.00 to $45.00 to cut, edge, trim and blow depending. A third acre approx. $65.00 depending and an acre approx. $175.00...I'm asking EVERYONE I SEE on the road and get varying opinions and sometimes just plain nonsense (competition who don't want competition if you know what i mean). Anyway, I was told to lay 1 yard of mulch would be $125.00. I could do that in no time at all...someone else said 1 yard is $75.00 and like i said, I don't care if i can charge $300.00 to lay a yard by taking advantage of someone...I'M NOT going to do something like that.

So the $150.00 an hour for me personally would be for Spring and Fall clean outs. I could also see that price broken down in a 20 to 30 minute yard cut, edge, trim, blow as you figure it into the pricing of a 1/4 acre, 1/3 acre and 1 acre cost.

All I want is the fair market for the industry. I've been reading a lot about undercutting the industry price by even 3 to 5 dollars to just try to get "the job" and it's no good for anyone...so all I want is what;s right for the consumer, the industry and ultimately for me. I don't plan on being a fly by. I'm 45 years young and as strong as a 26 year old and after working for other people all my life...those days are OVER forever!

Thanks for the input!

CozyHollow
02-26-2012, 08:51 PM
...I also noticed that the southern states charge close to half LESS than the North East, give or take a bit

aaron79mowing
02-26-2012, 09:08 PM
You are crazy lucky if you can get that. In my area you'd be doing well to make $60 per hr by yourself. And that would be if you had a capable machine, like a 60'' ztr.

J.R. Services
02-26-2012, 09:10 PM
Mulch around here goes for 65/yd undyed 70-75/colored unless the beds are dense with flowers and shrubs or can't be accessed by a wheel barrow or truck. In todays market, unless you're into super high end homes, figure on $40-$50/hr, although if you set a 1hr minimum for cleanups you can, in theory make 100-200/hr

nepatsfan
02-26-2012, 09:20 PM
I would lower your expectations some or you are going to set yourself up for disapointment. I prefer your attitude to the guy who says I make $12 an hour at my regular job so I can make $15 an hour mowing and I am doing great......but your goals are somewhat unrealistic. How long would you figure it would take you to do a 1/4 acre by yourself mowed trimmed, blown off with your 36" walk behind? I don't think your 1/4 acre price is bad but I bet it takes you at least a half hour to finish everything. I don't see anyone paying 175 to mow 1 acre....just can't imagine anyone paying that. I dont think 125 a yard installed is bad for mulching edging weeding. I dont see your 150 an hour but if you can make it, great.

32vld
02-26-2012, 09:21 PM
Most people strive for $60 hr. Not all meet that.

Sounds as if your potential competition is lying to you so your bids will be crazy high.

CozyHollow
02-26-2012, 10:10 PM
Most people strive for $60 hr. Not all meet that.

Sounds as if your potential competition is lying to you so your bids will be crazy high.

I'm feeling that! This is why I made this thread...

I want to get prices DOWN so I can make a living WITHOUT underbidding OR overbidding the industry. EVERYONE HATES a fly by who under prices everyone (the competition) in the area just to make a few bucks quick...but in the end it actually benefits the competition because the fly by's are and do simply that, they FLY on by.

Tell me something. All you guys who are serious about being serious, sincere and honest with your business AND throwing the new guys "a bone" so to speak... Where can I find exact prices for what I desire to do? I only desire to cut, edge, trim and blow with spring/fall clean outs and basic hedge and bush trimming as well. Also mulching. Just "general" lawn maintenance for now. I want to EARN a decent and realistic living without cheating the consumer OR myself.

ANY help is GREATLY appreciated...I'm gonna do this regardless if I have to fall flat on my face a few times. The wife says to simply call local landscapers and ask "how much" as if I'm a customer and NOT a business owner.

Again, ANY and ALL help (even the sarcasm and criticism) IS (in one way or another) GREATLY appreciated!

Curtis Reinas - Owner of Cozy Hollow Landscaping and Firewood LLC

CozyHollow
02-26-2012, 10:28 PM
The whole "hourly wage" thing is what gets me. You get a half acre on a 61" Z Ride...compare that to the new guy starting out "cash on the barrel" with a 36" because that's all he can afford for a mower...

Is it fair to charge "hourly"? The Z Ride can smoke that lawn in 3/4 less time...but I figure a half acre is $65.00 regardless if you have 4 Z Riders on it...

aaron79mowing
02-26-2012, 10:42 PM
You are better off charging by the job

edensgate7
02-26-2012, 10:59 PM
yeah, aaron is right go by the job when you are bidding cause if you just do a strictly hourly charge you will never get any decent sized accounts. I started out by the job. I did a quality trim mow blow here in IN on 1/4 acre lots with my 48 inch walk behind with velke for $28 in an average of 20-30 min (which works out to around 60 to 70 dollars per hour if they are close and you don't have to drive. I grouped my accounts together and tried to get all on same street or block. I imagine things are more expensive in the NE so I would think that 30-35 per 1/4 acre lot is a fair price but I don't know cause I don't live there. That's the size of account I would go for until you can get bigger equipment. Don't go for the big lawns cause you can make more profit on closely grouped 1/4s than spread out full acres or more with the equipment you currently have.

CozyHollow
02-26-2012, 11:06 PM
yeah, aaron is right go by the job when you are bidding cause if you just do a strictly hourly charge you will never get any decent sized accounts. I started out by the job. I did a quality trim mow blow here in IN on 1/4 acre lots with my 48 inch walk behind with velke for $28 in an average of 20-30 min (which works out to around 60 to 70 dollars per hour if they are close and you don't have to drive. I grouped my accounts together and tried to get all on same street or block. I imagine things are more expensive in the NE so I would think that 30-35 per 1/4 acre lot is a fair price but I don't know cause I don't live there. That's the size of account I would go for until you can get bigger equipment. Don't go for the big lawns cause you can make more profit on closely grouped 1/4s than spread out full acres or more with the equipment you currently have.

Sounds good guys...ain't no harm in askin'! Thanks, I agree across the board! Yeah, up here in the Central Jersey area, 1/4 goes for $40.00+ depending on the neighborhoods.

MTenterprises
02-29-2012, 04:55 PM
In my area the prices are pretty much $40-50 min on any residential regardless of size. If you want to go by the hour rate think of it like this $50 per hour = 25 for your equip and 25 for you.... Same if you go to $40 etc etc.

CozyHollow
02-29-2012, 07:58 PM
In my area the prices are pretty much $40-50 min on any residential regardless of size. If you want to go by the hour rate think of it like this $50 per hour = 25 for your equip and 25 for you.... Same if you go to $40 etc etc.

I am beginning to see that it is so much easier to figure out than I make it out to be...

205mx
02-29-2012, 10:03 PM
If you want paid by the hour you should apply at Kroger or something

jdilliplane1
02-29-2012, 10:41 PM
I agree with the pricing to a point. An fly by night here in bucks county took 6 accounts mowing 1/2 acre lots for $25 when I was at $35 and honestly felt like I was too low. This was on 600K houses. No loyalty for some people, your only mowing the lawn!! How frustrating to say the least!!

edensgate7
02-29-2012, 10:56 PM
that's too bad:(

CozyHollow
02-29-2012, 11:42 PM
Watch "The Secret" or read the book...will literally change your life, BUT ONLY if you let it...

:walking:

Big C
03-01-2012, 04:40 AM
I've been "in the business" for many years but never was "in business" so I never really paid attention to what the landscapers I worked for charged...until now. Now my landscaping days are far behind but the skills I acquired are still with me.

I figure a quarter acre home would be $40.00 to $45.00 to cut, edge, trim and blow depending. A third acre approx. $65.00 depending and an acre approx. $175.00...I'm asking EVERYONE I SEE on the road and get varying opinions and sometimes just plain nonsense (competition who don't want competition if you know what i mean). Anyway, I was told to lay 1 yard of mulch would be $125.00. I could do that in no time at all...someone else said 1 yard is $75.00 and like i said, I don't care if i can charge $300.00 to lay a yard by taking advantage of someone...I'M NOT going to do something like that.

So the $150.00 an hour for me personally would be for Spring and Fall clean outs. I could also see that price broken down in a 20 to 30 minute yard cut, edge, trim, blow as you figure it into the pricing of a 1/4 acre, 1/3 acre and 1 acre cost.

All I want is the fair market for the industry. I've been reading a lot about undercutting the industry price by even 3 to 5 dollars to just try to get "the job" and it's no good for anyone...so all I want is what;s right for the consumer, the industry and ultimately for me. I don't plan on being a fly by. I'm 45 years young and as strong as a 26 year old and after working for other people all my life...those days are OVER forever!

Thanks for the input!
My advice would be the figure out YOUR operating cost and charge accordingly....do not figure your rate based on the competition in your area. I have had other rookie LCO's stop and ask me what I charge per hour and I always give them a super high price so they don't undercut my actual price. It took me several years to study my market and to calculate my operating cost to the penny...and some newbie rolls up and expects me to just give him the info that I spent a couple of seasons to collect and fine tune....NOT!!!:nono::nono:

mexiking
03-01-2012, 12:16 PM
Good Luck with that price, but that is too high to get steady work. If you can do it of course go for it.

CozyHollow
03-01-2012, 05:45 PM
...and some newbie rolls up and expects me to just give him the info that I spent a couple of seasons to collect and fine tune....NOT!!!:nono::nono:

Well that's the difference between you and I. I'm in this life to give whatever I can...others? That's on them.

Big C
03-01-2012, 11:39 PM
Well that's the difference between you and I. I'm in this life to give whatever I can...others? That's on them.

You are right we are different.....I will protect certain aspects of my biz, other parts I will relay to others to help them out. If you give out all of your business info to every Joe that comes around your time as a business owner will be short lived!! Exposing every part of your business to your competition is just crazy.

CozyHollow
03-02-2012, 09:40 PM
Good Luck with that price, but that is too high to get steady work. If you can do it of course go for it.

Hey bro, I see you're from NJ. Where about? I'm central, right outside of Princeton.

Where I'm located and where I'm marketing we get $175.00 per acre. Takes about an hour to cut an acre...$150.00 an hour seems pretty fair market to me.

205mx
03-02-2012, 11:23 PM
I do agree however, there is nothing wrong with starting with a 22 incher