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Old 11-28-2011, 01:53 AM
markme markme is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Nov 2011
Location: Lynden Wa.
Posts: 1
new to bidding

Hey all
I have been approached by a few customers to hang christmas lights. I origanally was thinking about starting this up a few years from now but when a oppertunity fallls in your lap you need to take it. I am not gonna store any lights and i havent looked to far into buying wholesale. What do you charge a foot to hang them and then is the price included in taking the lights down? Any help would be appriciated in this. Any other tips is appreciated Thanks
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Old 11-28-2011, 04:27 AM
David Gretzmier David Gretzmier is offline
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: Fayetteville,AR
Posts: 3,654
welcome aboard ! I would encourage you to read through the posts here over the past few years for info on lots of stuff. the pricing for this service is all over the map, so there is no one good answer. I am the third highest guy in my area, and I am higher than most folks on the board here. most guys that I know that were pricing things in the low end of the range have went out of business here.

The best thing you can do is maybe hang the lights on your home or a friends home and put a stopwatch and cost sheet on the entire process start to finish. I think you also need to make a few calls to find out how much liability and workmans comp is to do Christmas lights. you will find the rates fairly high, as it is electricity and roof/ladder work.

You will find that prospective clients are fairly unwilling to pay a fair rate overall. most potential clients imagine this to be a total 200-500 cost outlay, yet sometimes this can just represent the initial cost of insurance divided by your first 10-20 clients. for example, the minimum premium for workman's comp insurance poilicy here in arkansas is around $4000. You will find that the cost of cords and timers on most jobs will exceed $200, without lights.

That being said, I do enjoy the result when finished, and if priced right, like anything it can be profitable. but I have watched many lawn care companies come into this business in my area and be very inexpensive, only to burn out and leave a trail of customers that no longer wish to purchase this service at a reasonable cost.

I do know one thing that is fairly consistant. most insured Handyman services throughout the nation will not do this service for much less than $100 per hour total for two guys with a ladder. That includes no product costs whatsoever, is jobsite time only, and no warranty on product. and probably is a good place to start as any. I find they charge about the same as me on my rehang costs if you figure install, takedown, storage, and drive time. They do not offer any warranty work or do any trouble shooting work on the home electrical system for free either.

most potential clients do not want to pay anyone that quotes 100 bucks an hour for two guys for anything that is not necessary, so you have to figure out how to price items per foot and per piece to achieve that result or higher, and that requires you to do some research on how much things cost you to buy and how quickly you can do this. which brings me back to doing your own home and a few friends houses. If you count every minute and every penny spent, and include costs of vehicles and insurance, I think it is the best way to help you learn how to price this service with material included.

good luck.
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