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Old 10-20-2000, 02:16 AM
TGCummings TGCummings is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: Salinas, California
Posts: 773
Question How's this for archiving?

Bringing up an old thread (last posted on in January 2000!) because it's relevant to a job I'm quoting this coming week, and I'm hoping y'all can help me with it.

It's a big cleanup job that includes heavy beds of weeding, many unkempt shrubs and plants, and possibly some tree pruning if I decide I want to do it. This place has just really gotten out of shape.

These customers are high end residential, elderly, and I've been cutting their lawns for 4-5 years. Very nice people, always pay on time, and I've done some trimming for them in the past (albeit some years ago and for a flat rate of $20/hour ).

Now, after trying to take care it all themselves, they mention to me their inquiring about a gardener to keep everything in shape on a regular basis. Since I'm expanding in this direction, I tell them I can work up a quote.

Here's my quandry: After walking it off, I'm estimating the job will take more than 50 hours to complete, not including the tree work. This is twice what I figured in my head before walking it off (but I never mentioned that to the customer, don't worry!), and seemed, well, eye-popping to me. When I run the numbers, I come to an estimate of $2180.00 to get their place into shape. That figure makes me a little nervous, so I know it will give them sticker shock.

Now, what I need advice on is how to proceed. Should I break it down into categories of trimming, hauling, weeding, cultivation, etc. to make the numbers seem less all-encompassing? Should I call the customer and let her know where the numbers are leading us before we proceed in writing up a detailed estimate? Should I just pass?

It's an awful lot of work and I would have to spread it out over several weeks or bring in labor. I'm not adverse to doing either, nor am I afraid of hard work. In fact, this is just the sort of job I relish, since I can really strut my stuff in all areas of landscaping and even sell the customer on covering those weed beds with mulch once we get them in shape. They want their place to be as beautiful as any in the neighborhood, they have money, and they simply can't keep it up themselves. It could be, as they say, a money tree.

Have you ever bid a residential cleanup this high?

Any help you give would be appreciated. I definitely want to branch out to these areas of the business (and just completed and got paid for a similar, albeit smaller $420 cleanup job), but am faltering at the gate on this one.

Like I said, these numbers make me nervous. Advise me?

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