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Old 10-17-2011, 08:30 PM
JCPM JCPM is offline
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Location: Middletown, CT
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what should we be making?

Ok so before anyone pegs me as a newbie, I've been in business for 10 years and have a pretty good handle on my overhead and hourly rates for all of my services. I also support my whole family and buy my own health coverage without any state aid. My wife still stays home with my 3 kids as they are all under four years old. I make a fairly good living and am not complaining by any means.

My question is this;
Given the skills required of properly installing hardscape projects, what should we be paying ourselves after expenses. There are lowballers and mega-companies in this trade driving down the price of these projects just like in the maintenance side of the business, but not as many. It is good money and I love the work. However, I find that after many projects, I didn't make anymore than if I were running a larger mowing route. I don't bid by the sqft, always by what the projected hours onsite will be. After its all said and done I feel as if I should be making more given the nature of the work, (and the headaches involved). On average, I tend to take home about $30.00 an hour for my hardscapes installations. Sometimes more, sometimes less.

I don't have any close friends in this industry and I'm not comfortable asking my contractor "friends" what they make. I'm really do want to know what everyone thinks and I'm more than open to any suggestions.
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  #2  
Old 10-17-2011, 08:41 PM
nepatsfan nepatsfan is offline
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I aim for 40-50 per man hour...sometimes more, sometimes less, usually close
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  #3  
Old 10-17-2011, 08:45 PM
JCPM JCPM is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nepatsfan View Post
I aim for 40-50 per man hour...sometimes more, sometimes less, usually close
I assume that includes your expenses? I'm wondering what we, as owners, should be paying ourselves at the end of the day.
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  #4  
Old 10-17-2011, 08:52 PM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is offline
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As far as my actual income, I have no idea how much I make per hour.

But for you, a stay at home wife and 3 kids all from your income ain't too shabby

you may find as the kids get older and as you get older that you'll need more crews and pump out more volume.

Under 4 is a great age! I cherrish the memories from when my kid was a toddler, I think I had more fun then he did!


,
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"People Throw Rocks At Things That Shine"


My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
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Old 10-17-2011, 08:59 PM
JCPM JCPM is offline
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Yeah, I'm realizing that I'm about at my peak as to how much I can make with one crew. I had separate crews for years, (doing a lot of mowing and landscape work), and I nearly lost my shirt when the economy tanked so I'm leery about going through that again. However, these 70 hour weeks have long gotten old with my little ones waiting for me at home.
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Old 10-17-2011, 09:36 PM
SDLandscapes VT SDLandscapes VT is offline
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subscribed....
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  #7  
Old 10-17-2011, 09:44 PM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is offline
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I don't think there is a stated amount as to what a business owner should earn.

But we should all earn enough to support whatever lifestyle it is that we are living.

If we have kids, we need to make enough to provide for the kids. If we live to travel, then we need to make enough to go on vacation and have the cash to pay for it.

Some people make their money by volume. I once did an estimate for a middle easterner in Potomac MD. Huge house. He's in the construction business. He just bought a farm in the county that I'm from. This man said to me "I believe in volume. Volume. Volume. Volume". How could I argue with him? There is no doubt that he is as successful as can be.

There is a hardscape contractor in my area that does all his jobs for dirt cheap. Multiple crews. I do not know the guy. Rumor has it that he's a paid fire fighter. If that's true - then he has a salary of $75k to $100k as a fire fighter, plus all the benefits. Again, if the rumor is true - then ain't no wonder he can install patios for so cheap.
__________________
"It's You vs. You"

"People Throw Rocks At Things That Shine"


My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
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  #8  
Old 10-17-2011, 11:07 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
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I'm not going to answer this in much detail in an open forum. But I will PM you. Check your private messages.
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Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon
"kickin' grass and takin' names"


www.lewislandscape.com - Portland Oregon Landscaping Company

landscape design Portland Oregon
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  #9  
Old 10-18-2011, 09:05 PM
shovelracer shovelracer is offline
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Based on published landscape publications the average owner / operator of under 250k gross, nets around 50k +/- Each facet of the green industry is slightly different, some were lower I think lawns was closer to 35-40 and higher was chemical treatments. Obviously this can vary greatly based on tons of factors. There are guys pulling in over 100k net and not actually touching a mower or paver, and there are guys that are busting their hump and making less than if they just worked for a box store. I want to know more about being a paid fireman if they are making 75-100k with benis.
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  #10  
Old 10-18-2011, 09:26 PM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelracer View Post
I want to know more about being a paid fireman if they are making 75-100k with benis.
In MD, there are a few metropolitian counties that pay very well. Along with the District of Columbia. Some with rank do more. Work 2 days a week. Your Federal Form 1040 may show an income of lets say $67k, but factor in the truck that your company bought for you, and the gas that the company pays for, along with all the other stuff and you're probably around $100k.



.
__________________
"It's You vs. You"

"People Throw Rocks At Things That Shine"


My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
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