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cibula11
03-30-2012, 09:27 AM
I'm currently providing lawn care for a townhome property. They recently had the person was going to maintain their common areas (weed, mulch, planting, etc) back out and asked if I'd be interested. Outside of mulching once a season and plant or two, most of it would just be weeding these areas, which I can do as I trim anyway.

The person they had hired was asking $15/hr., but since I'm already there doing lawn care, I don't know if hourly is something that would make sense.

Basically, I'm wondering what is the best way to charge this. Do I bid it as a separate item, charge hourly, or add onto what I already charge per mow? Other?

MDLawn
03-30-2012, 09:39 AM
The person they had hired was asking $15/hr

Who told you that figure? The townhome people? If so, what makes you think they are soooo honest?

Why did the other person back out? Were they too cheap and went out of business? Were they normally priced (meaning not $15/hr) and the townhome didn't want to pay anymore and gave you a figure they liked? Are they supplying the mulch/plants? Do you have to pick it up?

Only you know your cost to run is. Figure it out and give them options.

cibula11
03-30-2012, 11:36 AM
Who told you that figure? The townhome people? If so, what makes you think they are soooo honest?

Why did the other person back out? Were they too cheap and went out of business? Were they normally priced (meaning not $15/hr) and the townhome didn't want to pay anymore and gave you a figure they liked? Are they supplying the mulch/plants? Do you have to pick it up?

Only you know your cost to run is. Figure it out and give them options.

I'm good friends with the townhome president. It's how I got the mowing job in the first place. They backed out because a girl and her son were in charge of doing the maintenance and he got another job. I think he was in college.

I don't think 15/hr included material too....otherwise you'd be working for free. Just curious as to whether it would make more sense to bid per hour or by total cost of a job sort of thing?

MDLawn
03-30-2012, 12:25 PM
I'm good friends with the townhome president. It's how I got the mowing job in the first place. They backed out because a girl and her son were in charge of doing the maintenance and he got another job. I think he was in college.

I don't think 15/hr included material too....otherwise you'd be working for free. Just curious as to whether it would make more sense to bid per hour or by total cost of a job sort of thing?

Total job cost in my mind. Per hour people will be giving you the stare down while you work. Either priced individually ie: Mowing = $XX, Mulch & Maintenance = $XX. If they want monthly priced add and divide by the months you work or 12. I'd give incentive to pay up front, but thats me.

lawnlandscape
03-30-2012, 05:27 PM
$35/hour is our minimum charge with weed pulling (if thats all it is) Mulching $44/hour + materials

And I thought my customers were getting a deal @ $35.. good god.

MDLawn
03-30-2012, 07:24 PM
How can you have 2 different rates? Don't you need to charge a certain amount to pay bills and profit? So when you don't mulch your company takes a $9 hit every hour? And if thats per man you could take a $27 hit per hour if 3 guys work??? That's like a 20% decrease? You've got that kind of flexibility in what it costs you to run?
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cibula11
03-30-2012, 09:08 PM
My biggest worry is that if I'm there mowing...and I need to weed the beds as needed, how I make that charge. I really don't want to do hourly, since it might only take me 20 minutes to weed the areas....I'd rather either itemize it separately or add another $5 or so per mow that would cover that maintenance.

As far as mulching goes, I think since it's only happening once a year, a flat rate seems a bit better.

GHL
03-31-2012, 10:54 PM
In that past few years I have noticed more and more customers are requesting weeding quotes/services even on yards that I don't cut. For whatever reason landscapers around here don't pull weeds, or are charging way above my $30/hr labor rate. Anyway, on yards where I cut weekly typically I quote them a price to come out and clean the whole property once, then add an hours labor to my weekly cut price. This has worked out pretty well for me, once the property is cleared keeping it that way is pretty easy. Keep in mind the hour extra could vary from property to property, obviously the larger it is the more time you add!