View Full Version : Cutting the neighbors lawn

08-26-2000, 05:04 PM
Two years ago I started cutting neighbor #1's lawn. We didn't have a set fee, he would just give me a wad of money every 4 or 5 weeks. It was good. Last year I took on neighbors #2 and #3. #1 only paid me 2 times last year for a total of $15.50 per cut( his lawn is easily a $30 job). #2 didn't pay me until October,for the entire season. #3 payed every week. This year I said no more neighbors! I guess they think you like cutting grass so much that you'll do it for next to free.

Eric ELM
08-26-2000, 05:41 PM
It can cause problems doing business with a neighbor, like you found out. Now you probably think they are cheap and they probably think you don't like them enough to mow for free. :)

08-26-2000, 11:45 PM
We have a customer who we charge $35 per cut and she pays, she says never to ask her husband for the money. Last week I found out why, she told her husband we charged $24 per month cash to cut the lawn. She had been paying the extra out of her grocery money. As soon as we found out we had a long discussion with her and told her we wouldn't be cutting the lawn again until she tells her husband the truth. Wouldn't it be neat if he got a couple neighbours together and tried to get us to cut each lawn for a package deal $5 per cut... NOT

08-27-2000, 12:30 AM
bob--I have great neighbors. I'd do anything for them and as far as I know they'd do anything for me. I suppose.

we do things for each other all the time and money does not change hands. UNLESS, I cut their grass. they know I am in the buisness and I collect weekly. no problem. life is simpler this way.

good luck.


08-27-2000, 12:40 AM
MY # 1 LAWNBOY RULE: I don't work for friends , neighbors,or relatives. I will do them favors . But not for money . That is asking for trouble.

08-27-2000, 01:06 AM
Gary, that's right!

Last year I renovated a friends lawn, after about 6 hours of work (don't ask) we started to talk payment. I was trying to be nice and I told him "my expenses were $whatever", just pay me what you wish. He wrote the check for $50.00 over the expenses, after gas I made $30 and lost work because it took all day to drive there, work, and drive back. NEVER AGAIN.

08-27-2000, 04:05 AM
Best to avoid working for friends or neighbours.You can end
up losing friends and having the neighbours from hell.
Over here we have a saying,"There's no friends in business,
only colleagues and competition."


08-27-2000, 10:04 AM
I do almost most of my neighborhood lol. And do alot of work for family members a regulars. I Charge them as much as anyone. Never had any problems. I seperate business from friendship and family easily. neighbors are my most profitable. NO drive time!!!. They are my best payers. They know they have to live in the same area and see me alot. And believe me you don't want to see me often if you havent paid me. Nor do you want to set near me during thanksgiving dinner if you havent paid me either. So they all pay

08-27-2000, 10:47 AM
If I have the time and they are going to help then I will do what ever my friends need, but they must work on my time line not when they want it.
Neighbors dont ask me to mow or what ever, but they do sak to barrow certain tools.

08-27-2000, 10:58 AM
There's nothing wrong doing yards for your neighbor as long as you do this: YOU MAKE IT CLEAR, THIS IS HOW I MAKE A LIVING,NO DISCOUNTS, THIS IS WHAT IT IS GOING TO COST YOU!.

Nothing wrong doing favors for your neighbor. If your neighbor was a heart surgoen and you needed bypass surgery, he would not do this for free and you shouldn't expect him too.

My dad has been doing our neighbors yards for the last,at least 20 years. The prices have gone up, way up from 20 years ago.

Now if a neighbor wants to do a project, they ask me to help them, I always tell them this, you work with me, I won't ask you for money. If I do all the work, I charge so much an hour that's what i'm gonna expect from you.

Good thread bob

08-27-2000, 11:14 AM
I live in an estate area where the properties are from 1.5 acres to about 3.0 acres. I never would have gone into the lawn business had it not been for the neighbors asking me to cut there grass like I do my own yard. NO FREE WORK!

While I have eight customers in the 'hood, I would never give these $85 - $160 dollar per cut away. So far, cutting the neighbors lawns has been highly profitable and the referrals are great too.

08-27-2000, 11:29 AM
Let me add. Just treat neighbors and friend lie any other customer. What I am seeing here is unprofessional lack of communication. Up front you tell them what you are going to charge.Don't assume anything. When these people ask me to do anything. I tell them that it is going to be extra money. Because you never want to blur the difference between favor and business. This is my business and this is how I support myself. I have to charge and i will. I have had a neighbor see me relaxing or cutting my yard on the weekend on my time off. He needs his work done sooner like right then lol. Well hell no. I require an appointment in advance and I dont work weekends and have told most everyone this.WE all need rest and time off. You just have to be firm and upfront and do a great job when you work.

08-27-2000, 11:55 AM
I agree with Charles. From the beginnig let your neighbors
and friends know how much you charge and you shouldn't have any problems. If it weren't for friends, family and neighbors I wouldn't have half the work that I have. They have given me plenty of referalls to there friends and family. It has been that word of mouth advertisement that has built my business. Some of my neighbors thought I wasn't charging enough so they automatically gave me a $5 raise.

08-27-2000, 12:25 PM
If you had a family member using another lawn service you'd probably get upset. Family should get first dibs, but no discounts. If they pay what you want, why not. Usually mine have gone "That MUCH!?"

I won't let them borrow tools. If they ask I just say "I'm sorry, but whenever I've done this it's caused problems. My equipment is expensive and I don't loan tools." This is for neighbors and family. It's not etched in stone, but except for my parents, it's been a long time. It's saved a lot of hard feelings.

08-27-2000, 05:19 PM
I've been mowing my neighbors lawn for years without a bit of trouble. I'm upfront about my pricing though. I give them 5 or 10 bucks off the normal monthly rate because they're neighbors. After all, there isn't much drive time involved.

12-18-2000, 07:21 PM
Igot one neighbor call to get something fixed.
I tellim hes on the list. he comes at me with
well im a neighbor and there not crap.
After that his name kept getting put further
down list. I think he got the message.
TM country

12-18-2000, 07:53 PM
Neighbors don't ask me to cut their lawns because I'm never around to ask, I'm at work. They know I'm way busy and don't have time to screw around. Okay, once I had a neighbor ask me to cut their lawn and I gave them a name and phone number of my competitor and he's been cutting it for 2 years now. Spends 1 1/2 hours on a good day for $35.00. I just love to see competition get some good accounts!
I don't understand how anyone in this business has time to even talk to their neighbors. I gave up a residential account that I could see from my living room windows that paid $95 per cut. I called up a competitor and said, "want an account?". He does it now and I have never missed it once. It wasn't that bad of a mow but it took 1 man almost 3 hours and I took it over from someone else who didn't know how to price his work. Ninety-five bucks is a lot to have your lawn cut but it was a big place and my heighbor has millions. I wasn't able to bump him up so FLING! See ya.

Richard Martin
12-19-2000, 05:30 AM
I don't have any problems cutting my neighbor's lawns. Back when I started out one of my best customers was a neighbor and he is still one of my best customers. This customer pays in cash and has never once asked to see a bill. He just says "What do I owe you?" and then he pays.

Although I only charge him $25 a cut I make good money on extras. This winter alone I am pressure washing his decks and brick paver drive and sidewalks (he has considerable footage), building a large shed roof at his tranny shop and repairing the decks that lead down to the waterfront.

This job requires considerable maintenance and I am glad I got it.

12-19-2000, 10:07 AM
I think that everyone has their own theory on this topic so here is mine.

When dealing with neighbors I always would tell them the price before the work starts and be sure to tell them what is involved and what isn't. That way there are no surprises.

For family I usually won't cut the lawn on a weekly basis. I will bail them out if needed but not continually. For other jobs, (decks, walks etc..) I just say I'll come over and help and not run the show..

12-19-2000, 02:23 PM
My whole biz is made up of family and neighbors no problems.

12-19-2000, 02:54 PM
Gfras: No offense, but you're only 14 so that's what one would expect. Wait til your 30...I assure you...you will change your tune.

12-19-2000, 05:39 PM
It makes me proud to see a 14 year old with the drive to have a lawn service and seeking the knowledge from his peers from this wonderful site.

12-19-2000, 07:00 PM
I live in a town of 700 population, so I have to to neighbors and friends, but they have never been a problems and many of them have refered me to their friend and families in the surrounding communities. But the main thing is to tell them what it is going to cost and that I have to do it on at least a biweekly basis, or not at all but after this year I will not take on any more biweekly I will not dump the ones I have now just no new ones, and as long as you are up front with friends neighbors and relatives there shouldn't be any problems

12-19-2000, 08:46 PM
Scraper-Gfras: No offense., but you're only 14 so that's what one would expect. Wait til your 30...I assure you...you will change your tune

I dont know what you mean by this "thats what one would expect" but all my customers/neighbors are all in a row except a few of them so how would this differ from when im 30. Anyone would be thrilled to have a least 9 customers in row and get paid $20 for them fair enough for me.

Merry Christmas and happy holidays

12-20-2000, 11:44 AM
Have several neighbors as customers and have never had a problem. The key is to establish the rules UPFRONT! Ex.) have a neighbor/customer directly across the street who just had surgery and was looking for someone to shovel her small driveway and walks. Yesterday when she tried to pay me I explained that I was not in the snow removal business but just being neighborly. There is no doubt though that anything lawn related will be charged for REGARDLESS of the circumstances.

Paradise Yard Service
12-22-2000, 04:19 AM
Almost half of my accounts are my friends. They can't trust the 'five Filapino men in a van' locally advertised concept. (Not saying anything bad about my good Manong friends. I just quote what is locally advertised in the classifieds) So, they get me whom they respect, trust, and speak the same language, and know the only thing I use my Bolo Machete knife for is killing run away centipedes and cutting coconut branches! Hope this adds to the ol' professionalism spin we like to talk about.

Oh yeh they all pay above bidding price. Minimun $45.00 per show. And never say are you done already?!


Be Kind To The People You Meet On The Way Up, Because They Are The Same Ones You Meet On The Way Down