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View Full Version : 1.5-1.75 acre leaf cleanup. Help please!


Honey Do Crew
10-19-2012, 11:24 AM
I recently had a homeowner ask me to bid on their leaf removal on a 1.5-1.75 acre yard. I don't often bid out leaf removal and this is a big one. So a few questions:

Do I just give an estimate and charge by the hour?

How much time do you think I should budget for in the estimate?

What equipment should I use?

I was thinking of charging by the hour, giving him a 4 hour estimate, and I'm lost for what equipment I want to use. I'm thinking leaf blowers and tarps but I don't what my options are. Hoping you guys can help.

Thanks!

acculawnsystems
10-19-2012, 11:26 AM
I would charge by the hour and give a range of what you think it might take. Meaning between 40 and 55 man hours at $35 per man hour.

caseysmowing
10-19-2012, 11:52 AM
Going to need a little more info for people to help you. How many trees and what kind, what type of equip you have, haul away or leave on site are a few that we need to know. BP blowers and tarps are the min for a yard that size.Good luck

Darryl G
10-19-2012, 12:14 PM
Could be $200 and could be $1,000. As said already, need more info and/or pictures. Best case would be on-site disposal for a job that size. Usually I'm 1.5 to 2x the price to haul as to leave on site.

caseysmowing
10-19-2012, 12:51 PM
Also if it's going to be done once or twice would help.

ed2hess
10-19-2012, 10:35 PM
I would charge by the hour and give a range of what you think it might take. Meaning between 40 and 55 man hours at $35 per man hour.

$1400 min would get their attention......After you tell them $1400 then say you will mulch them for $200 and see what the select.

newguy123
10-19-2012, 10:59 PM
Given that you could get your large mower to all aspects of the lawn, I usually bid clean ups at 3x's the price of the mowing. For a property this size, you're going to be taking away a lot of leaves. I would ask if they have a spot to dump on site, that would make things much quicker for you, and if so you could offer a discount from the original price.

MOW ED
10-20-2012, 03:24 PM
Absolutely no way to give you any info with what you gave. Is it 75,000 sq ft of solid trees or is it 1 tree on a huge lot? Can you mulch? Do you have backpacks? How many beds, tight areas, hills, house size and how detailed do they want the clean?
What are you using? Equipment, helpers, any experience? It isn't gonna be fun if you are not equipped. You may want to pass if you don't feel you can do it profitably otherwise you will get your tail handed to you.
There is no way I would in good conscience give you a number on how much to charge. You have to know that. You need to know your cost of operation and how to charge for a yard with whatever details there are about the place.
I am not trying to talk you out of it but wanting you to know that this can be a nightmare if you aren't sure at this point.

Tell us everything you can about the property and your operation and someone will help. The numbers above are right out of the blue and while given in good spirit will definately cause you trouble if you pick one and use it. Good Luck.

Darryl G
10-20-2012, 03:43 PM
I learned my lesson on one leaf job that didn't look too bad. I was doing great on it, until I got to the deck and patio areas. The reason I was having such an easy time at first was that all the leaves had blown down into the hollow where the deck and patio were. There were 2 to 3 feet of heavy wet leaves to drag out of there and access was poor. It took forever and I was dead tired and filthy by the time I was done, as well as about double what I had budgeted for time.

Now I always carefully walk the whole lawn and use my feet to "find bottom" anywhere I see a leaf accumulation. Look along walls and fences and corners and near shrubbery and hollows etc. etc. It's really hard to give a price until the leaves are actually down. You can stare up at the trees and try to estimate the amount of leaves all you want, but where they land can make a huge difference in how long it takes to do the job.

BOSS LAWN 2343
10-20-2012, 08:19 PM
Had a guy wanted us to do a 4 acre clean up on his home. House was a foot of leaves on the ground, trees everywhere and had to haul it away.

I underbid the property, called the guy and canceled.

ed2hess
10-21-2012, 06:10 PM
Had a guy wanted us to do a 4 acre clean up on his home. House was a foot of leaves on the ground, trees everywhere and had to haul it away.

I underbid the property, called the guy and canceled.

Is there a lot of business up north on picking up leaves on propeties that are over 1 acre? Most of the ones I read about people are simply blowing them from one area to another to hide them.

Darryl G
10-21-2012, 06:43 PM
Some of both. In my case most are disposed of on-site, but that's just my mix of customers, because a lot of them are in a high-end subdivision in an area with 2 acre zoning. In the more densely polulated areas they need to be hauled off.

No need to haul in an area like this.
http://binged.it/Vs7xZ5


Whereas in this area I do need to haul.
http://binged.it/RlddOc

Oh...just read post again...over 1 acre he said...oh well, lol

ed2hess
10-21-2012, 10:25 PM
Some of both. In my case most are disposed of on-site, but that's just my mix of customers, because a lot of them are in a high-end subdivision in an area with 2 acre zoning. In the more densely polulated areas they need to be hauled off.

No need to haul in an area like this.
http://binged.it/Vs7xZ5


Whereas in this area I do need to haul.
http://binged.it/RlddOc

Oh...just read post again...over 1 acre he said...oh well, lol

Interesting part of the country .....why are all the trees brown or stripped in that big section? Always amazes me why they let homes be built on big lots when the state is so small. No conern about there being no place to build some day?

Darryl G
10-22-2012, 12:04 AM
The trees are like that because I had a little problem with Roundup drift one day! :laugh:

But really, the photos were taken when the leaves were off the trees, probably in the spring. Most of the trees around here a deciduous. The lines you see are the trunks of the trees. I think that's what you're talking about anyway.

I have 3 or 4 lawns in that photo and 3 in the coastal one. There's not much for infrastructure once you get inland a ways where I am...no city water or sewer, so the lots need to be a bit bigger to support private wells and septic systems. 1/2 acre will usually suffice for that. That particular area is very rocky...lots of ledge, which is one reason the houses are spread out so much. A lot of them have 5+ acres. It's not uncommon to have to spend a few hundred thousand for site prep there to get a foundation in.