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Old 08-06-2013, 04:03 PM
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Townhouse Yards Townhouse Yards is offline
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Hedge trimming and weed removal estimate

I got this job recently where she wants the hedges trimmed, and weeds/vines removed. The woman who owns the house is a single earner and my mom's friend, so my mom told me to give her a discount. I have three questions: How much should I charge per hour for something like this? Should I give her a discount? Lastly, what type of equipment should I use for this? I have something similar to a stihl kombi that I was going the hedge trimmer attachment for, and I have hedge shears and handtools.
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Old 08-06-2013, 09:51 PM
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Townhouse Yards Townhouse Yards is offline
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Bump, I'm supposed to get back to her soon with the total cost. Can anyone please advise me on this?
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18 Years old
2005 Ford Ranger V6 4WD
Toro 20' Gas Push Mower
Toro Gas Straight Shaft Trimmer
Stihl BR 600 Backpack Blower
Stihl HSE 60 Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS 180 C Chainsaw
Toro Corded Electric Blower/Shredder
Hand tools, gas can, wheel barrow

My 2014 picture thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=423362
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  #3  
Old 08-06-2013, 10:01 PM
Steiner Steiner is offline
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How to Price it...

Wow that is a ton of work, and many of those shrubs are so neglected they cant be saved. They are too leggy, and too large for the scope of the yard, but anyway:

1. Figure out how many man hours it would take you to complete the job to your satisfaction and your customers (ASK THEM SPECIFICALLY!):

I charge around 40 dollars per man hour for labor plus materials/supplies/fuel would get a 20% markup. (My 40 dollars per hour rate includes my overhead to run my business by the way.)

It looks like it would take me and a helper a full day so 8 x 2 = 16 man hours.
So I would say about 640 in labor alone.

2. Figure out your costs to do the job.

It would take a tank of fuel, plus hauling and disposal fees as this job would make a ton of debris. Also fuel for the truck and trailer.

2 dump runs 120
Fuel for truck 60

180 x 20% markup (to cover time to haul and also to cover mis-calculations) would be about 220 dollars total.

So for me 640 in labor plus 220 would be 860 total for the day for what it would cost me to do the job plus my 20% profit on the top and any taxes.

I would say about $1,032 to the customer would be fair but looking at the pics again I might add a few hundred extra as an annoyance factor as that job looks like a nightmare for three reasons.

1. They don't have the money to do the job properly or the care to have it done otherwise it would not look like that. There is a reason why she has never had it done!
2. Your mom wants you to give a discount which means if it seems too much your a rip off artist, if you come in low your going to hate yourself for doing the job for nothing. Basically your screwed.
3. The job needs way more than pruning and weeding. It needs a hand saw, a large set of loppers, and a trained eye for pruning. The plant material is way overgrown! Get a good pruning book!

I do these jobs all the time. Let me know if you have any questions. I would like to see how it turns out. Maybe prequalify her by asking what her budget is. I have had people tell me their budget is 40 dollars on a job this large!

-Chris

www.steinpropertyservices.com
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:04 PM
TTS TTS is offline
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You're going to get the same reply as every other post asking how much to charge. Find out your hourly cost to operate, add the amount of profit you would like to make and you have your hourly rate. Personally I say no discounts because there is no good place to draw the line. If you want her to feel like she's getting a discount raise your price by 10% then mark that you're giving her a 10% discount. For equipment whatever you have that's paid for. It's doubtful you will make enough profit to pay off a new equipment purchase from one job so unless you have more trimming jobs in the pipeline just use what ya got.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:30 PM
sehitchman sehitchman is online now
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Those combi hedge trimmers are great for the quick job or hard to reach places. If you seriously plan to use one for a job that big, and dont have Guerilla arms and shoulders you will not be able to lift your arms the next day. Pick up a quality dedicated hedge trimmer. I think using a hedge trimmer can be the most dangerous job we do, so only go at it when rested, I've got the scar on my left thigh to prove it. They grab your clothing and pull the cutter right to your skin.
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Old 08-06-2013, 10:54 PM
GreenGuysLC GreenGuysLC is offline
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Ok.. that looks horrible. I know at first look you think oh my .. a full days work and tons of work. But honestly...it isnt that bad. Yes I agree the shrubs arent gonna look good.. they are neglected...As far as the weeds/vines... they are usually pretty easy to remove. Start with some trimmers on the tops to remove the initial layer... then clean the sides and start pulling vines.. they will come out in droves. My crews (two Man) could have this done in 4 hours, 5 on worst case... if I were bidding it.. I would be bidding on $100 per hr... and going worst case... $500... plus my time in debris removal and disposal.. another $75. Then try to sell her on some mulch.. the beds are gonna look pitiful without it. Over all... I would say it is a $600 - $700 job. And can be done in half a day with the right tools and knowledge.
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:37 AM
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Townhouse Yards Townhouse Yards is offline
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Thanks for all the great responses. It would just be me doing the job, as I am solo. I could also hire a helper for day if need be. I was thinking of coming in at $50 an hour. The "kombi" like machine I have is my toro trimmer in my signature. It's attachment capable for a hedge trimmer, but all the reviews I read about it are horrible. My local dealer has an echo hedge trimmer for $289 and a stihl hs 45 for $299. Should I jump on it? I don't have a big enough vehicle right now to haul stuff to the dump, so it would be curb pick up for the yard waste. Total price, I'm thinking around $700, but I don't want to screw myself over doing it for nothing.
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18 Years old
2005 Ford Ranger V6 4WD
Toro 20' Gas Push Mower
Toro Gas Straight Shaft Trimmer
Stihl BR 600 Backpack Blower
Stihl HSE 60 Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS 180 C Chainsaw
Toro Corded Electric Blower/Shredder
Hand tools, gas can, wheel barrow

My 2014 picture thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=423362
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Old 08-07-2013, 11:50 AM
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Townhouse Yards Townhouse Yards is offline
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Sorry got my math wrong in the last post. $50 an hour, total price around $850
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18 Years old
2005 Ford Ranger V6 4WD
Toro 20' Gas Push Mower
Toro Gas Straight Shaft Trimmer
Stihl BR 600 Backpack Blower
Stihl HSE 60 Hedge Trimmer
Stihl MS 180 C Chainsaw
Toro Corded Electric Blower/Shredder
Hand tools, gas can, wheel barrow

My 2014 picture thread: http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=423362
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  #9  
Old 08-07-2013, 02:56 PM
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Colaguy Colaguy is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Townhouse Yards View Post
Sorry got my math wrong in the last post. $50 an hour, total price around $850
+hauling debris to landfill & any dumping fees.
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Old 08-07-2013, 07:10 PM
Will P.C. Will P.C. is online now
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Due to inexperience and not doing my due dillegence, I have killed shrubs by taking too much off. Some shrubs/plants you can take a chainsaw and cut them 6 inch from the base and they come back perfectly, while others you take more than half off and they die. In other words, make sure you know what each bush/shrub is and the correct way to prune it.

I have an HS45 for my house and it is great for hedge trimming maintained shrubbery. Anything over 1-1.5 inches in diameter it struggles with

I would do much of that work with hand tools. A small chainsaw might be good as well.
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