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1.5-1.75 acre leaf cleanup. Help please!

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Honey Do Crew, Oct 19, 2012.

  1. Honey Do Crew

    Honey Do Crew LawnSite Member
    Posts: 13

    I recently had a homeowner ask me to bid on their leaf removal on a 1.5-1.75 acre yard. I don't often bid out leaf removal and this is a big one. So a few questions:

    Do I just give an estimate and charge by the hour?

    How much time do you think I should budget for in the estimate?

    What equipment should I use?

    I was thinking of charging by the hour, giving him a 4 hour estimate, and I'm lost for what equipment I want to use. I'm thinking leaf blowers and tarps but I don't what my options are. Hoping you guys can help.

  2. acculawnsystems

    acculawnsystems LawnSite Member
    Posts: 163

    I would charge by the hour and give a range of what you think it might take. Meaning between 40 and 55 man hours at $35 per man hour.
  3. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,925

    Going to need a little more info for people to help you. How many trees and what kind, what type of equip you have, haul away or leave on site are a few that we need to know. BP blowers and tarps are the min for a yard that size.Good luck
  4. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Could be $200 and could be $1,000. As said already, need more info and/or pictures. Best case would be on-site disposal for a job that size. Usually I'm 1.5 to 2x the price to haul as to leave on site.
  5. caseysmowing

    caseysmowing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,925

    Also if it's going to be done once or twice would help.
  6. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,200

    $1400 min would get their attention......After you tell them $1400 then say you will mulch them for $200 and see what the select.
  7. newguy123

    newguy123 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,094

    Given that you could get your large mower to all aspects of the lawn, I usually bid clean ups at 3x's the price of the mowing. For a property this size, you're going to be taking away a lot of leaves. I would ask if they have a spot to dump on site, that would make things much quicker for you, and if so you could offer a discount from the original price.
  8. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Absolutely no way to give you any info with what you gave. Is it 75,000 sq ft of solid trees or is it 1 tree on a huge lot? Can you mulch? Do you have backpacks? How many beds, tight areas, hills, house size and how detailed do they want the clean?
    What are you using? Equipment, helpers, any experience? It isn't gonna be fun if you are not equipped. You may want to pass if you don't feel you can do it profitably otherwise you will get your tail handed to you.
    There is no way I would in good conscience give you a number on how much to charge. You have to know that. You need to know your cost of operation and how to charge for a yard with whatever details there are about the place.
    I am not trying to talk you out of it but wanting you to know that this can be a nightmare if you aren't sure at this point.

    Tell us everything you can about the property and your operation and someone will help. The numbers above are right out of the blue and while given in good spirit will definately cause you trouble if you pick one and use it. Good Luck.
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    I learned my lesson on one leaf job that didn't look too bad. I was doing great on it, until I got to the deck and patio areas. The reason I was having such an easy time at first was that all the leaves had blown down into the hollow where the deck and patio were. There were 2 to 3 feet of heavy wet leaves to drag out of there and access was poor. It took forever and I was dead tired and filthy by the time I was done, as well as about double what I had budgeted for time.

    Now I always carefully walk the whole lawn and use my feet to "find bottom" anywhere I see a leaf accumulation. Look along walls and fences and corners and near shrubbery and hollows etc. etc. It's really hard to give a price until the leaves are actually down. You can stare up at the trees and try to estimate the amount of leaves all you want, but where they land can make a huge difference in how long it takes to do the job.
  10. BOSS LAWN 2343

    BOSS LAWN 2343 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    Had a guy wanted us to do a 4 acre clean up on his home. House was a foot of leaves on the ground, trees everywhere and had to haul it away.

    I underbid the property, called the guy and canceled.

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