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View Full Version : Approaches to pricing machine bed edging?


GarPA
02-13-2003, 09:27 AM
Usually I price this work by simply looking at the job and estimating the man hours required and then applying my hourly landscaping rate...it has worked pretty well but in order to make sure I am competitive and yet am charging a good rate, I was thinking about going to a per foot rate as many of you do.

In doing a little research here some say use a rate between 50 and 75 cents per foot.
1. Is that fee still a good industry benchmark?
2. If you have a small edging job, do you use more of an hourly estimate given your time to get there load/unload?
3.How would you price the folllowing examples: (these are existing beds that need re-edged using the Brown bed edger)

1000 ft

100ft

thanks guys

Stonehenge
02-13-2003, 12:00 PM
GarPA, I'm going to assume for your numbered items that that is the only thing you're doing on that project (no plantings, hardsapes, etc).

1. $1/foot
2. Yes - I take that into consideration.
3. item #1 - $500. item #2 - I wouldn't touch.

GarPA
02-13-2003, 12:07 PM
Stonehenge...yes this would be re-edge only...many clients then want to do their own mulch...fine by me... i thought maybe the old benhmark of 50 to 75 cents per foot might be getting a little outdated...thanks for your perspective

rodfather
02-13-2003, 12:22 PM
Gar

I think that old benchmark of 50 to 75 cents per foot was an additional charge when you were supplying the mulch as well. At least that's how we've done it in the past.

BTW, I've had customers that wanted to spread the mulch by themselves as well. I tell them to go for it, they ain't gonna hurt my feelings.:D

GarPA
02-13-2003, 12:30 PM
Rod...so if I' reading between the lines right, you also agree that a buck a foot is a reasonable benchmark to use if only doing re-edging?...thanks

bob
02-13-2003, 02:03 PM
Sometimes on large mulching jobs, I'll throw it in at no additional charge. But, I make sure they understand that this is usually not free.

rodfather
02-13-2003, 02:07 PM
Originally posted by bob
Sometimes on large mulching jobs, I'll throw it in at no additional charge. But, I make sure they understand that this is usually not free.


Ditto bob

bushwoods1
02-13-2003, 03:22 PM
Originally posted by Stonehenge
GarPA, I'm going to assume for your numbered items that that is the only thing you're doing on that project (no plantings, hardsapes, etc).

1. $1/foot
2. Yes - I take that into consideration.
3. item #1 - $500. item #2 - I wouldn't touch.


Are you charging $1 a foot using a beding edger, or manual labor?

Stonehenge
02-13-2003, 03:24 PM
Machine. Does a better job, faster.

GarPA
02-13-2003, 03:28 PM
i cant for Stonehenge but i assume his numbers are based on using the machine...i wont ever again do it by hand...takes way too long because of clumps of edges that have to be picked up, hauled, and dumped....I wont do it that way regardless of what I could charge for it...correction, i do it by hand around trees...even with the new Brown edger that supposedly can go in circles, i dont like the job it does...almost always had to do it by hand after using the machine on tree rings......sorry... i was typing when he was typing so i didnt see his answer

Stonehenge
02-13-2003, 03:57 PM
I demo'd a unit (for the life of me I can't recall the mfg - might be Brown), and two hours later I called the eqpt seller and said "I'm not bringing it back. Send me a bill."

The soils by us are such hard clay, and this thing leaves soil so pulverized and easy to backfill for alum or plastic edging, that I'd never use anything else.

We use it for tree rings, but admittedly I haven't been able to get my guys to make a good tree ring yet. It takes some practice, but it can be done.

WEEDEATER
02-13-2003, 03:59 PM
GarPA, I'm going to assume for your numbered items that that is the only thing you're doing on that project (no plantings, hardsapes, etc).

1. $1/foot
2. Yes - I take that into consideration.
3. item #1 - $500. item #2 - I wouldn't touch.



If you're charging a $1/ft, why would you charge $500 for a 1000 ft?

Stonehenge
02-13-2003, 04:04 PM
Because I have too many irons in the fire and am not thinking clearly. That's why.

Item #3 s/b $1000.

Thanks for the catch.


Jeff

GarPA
02-13-2003, 04:45 PM
Stonehenge...you probably did rent the Brown machine...it does pulverize ...no matter how bad the soil...once you use one of things you will never again do it manually like you said...I keep debating on buying one but its $2400 plus another machine to maintain...and I can rent it for $75 per day...of course the hassle with that is having to reserve it and pick it up and take it back...

Stonehenge
02-13-2003, 04:54 PM
Could be. It's not the one that looks like a scooter, for lack of a better term. This one is very wide, low center of gravity.

We bought the 8 horse model, which is really required for our soils. I think it was $2,200 new.

Pays for itself. We've used it for 1 1/2 season now, no probs. busted part of a tooth, but the bit still churns just fine.

What machine do you need to buy to maintain it?


I just took a look at the Brown website - that is the one we have, stock bit, 8hp Honda.

Randy Scott
02-13-2003, 05:16 PM
I don't charge by the foot. I measure to get a total number of feet, then I shoot a price for the time I think it will take and the ease of the site. I can regularly do 500 to 600 feet of edging or re-edging in an hour. That's cutting a clean new edge with the Brown Edger and pushing the pulverized topsoil back into the beds, then the customer will mulch it themselves. It's senseless to haul the topsoil away. That's one man also. I can't believe how you guys can get $1 a foot. That's $500 an hour. Who in their right mind will pay that price. I do price it better per hour than any other service because it works so well and people are so amazed, they'll gladly pay $150 to have all their edging done so easily and so quickly. Not realizing it only took an hour, it's money well spent. If they have small amounts of edging only, it's usually $75 minimum. I'll haul that edger all over town for that kind of money. Beats dragging that stupid ZTR for $50 or $60 an hour. If I do mulch also, I quote a price for all the work lumped together.

Stonehenge
02-13-2003, 06:24 PM
Randy -

If the customer is looking at hiring you to do that 500 feet, versus using a shovel, in the soils here, the choice is easy. Finding a rental unit here is not easy, and even if they did find it, they have to reserve it, rent it, truck it to the site, use it, wash it, fill it with gas, and haul it back. And if they have any problems running it, it becomes an all day affair. Their time value of money is such that they're better off paying us. If it isn't then they do it themselves. Either way is fine by us.

And you hit on what I mentioned before - we won't touch 100 feet. Not worth the time or effort. So some manipulating of prices is done, depending on size of project, other work involved, etc.

We used to charge less to cut the bed, and more to install the poly edging in that trench. People soon discovered that putting in the edging was the easy part, and gladly paid us to cut the trench, after which they'd install the edging. I realized I was underpricing the trench cutting, and changed our prices accordingly.

GarPA
02-13-2003, 07:35 PM
Yo Randy...your comment is exactly why I posted this thread....I search for the best way to price this service...both you and Stonehenge make very valid points......and your comment about dragging that damn Z all over town to gross $60/hr is so true it hurts my heart.....if I could make a living only doing the landscaping work i'd sell that hp52 to Hoss for a song, and in a hearbeat....lol

baddboygeorge
02-15-2003, 04:30 PM
i charge a dollar a foot an have for years. i work the price rite in to the mulching an maintainence bill so they never know what i.m charging.!!