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Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by detailed lawn care, Jul 11, 2006.
New in the bussiness and not real sure how to eatimate shrub jobs?
do a search on this site for shrub price and you get lots of ideas for pricing.
Assign a specific time length for each shrub (may vary whether you are using electric vs. gas), then add them, convert to hours and times it by your hourly rate. Go maybe a little higher than expected, and tell them it's a BALLPARK estimate. That way when it's slightly less than you quoted they should be happy. I'm assuming you are doing this for customers you already cut for and aren't competing on a huge bid.
Make sure you tell them about any disposal fees beforehand, and DON'T EVER DO IT OVER THE PHONE.
take into consideration how far you will have to haul the stuff to the truck after you cut it too
the worst part of hedge/shrub trimming is the cleanup. you need to estimate according to your surroundings by looking at how easy the clippings will be to clean up. Will the clippings be falling in a mulch bed that will be easy to blow out? or will the clippings be falling in a bed of lava rocks that won't blow out easy? sometimes you will have to have tarp it so the clippings don't get embedded in the rocks. Matt can trim hedges all day long, it's the cleanup that he hates.
I agree with sweetclipping... about assigning times. However, just starting out, that will not be easy. I suggest keeping good counts and timing records for the jobs. At the ene of each job, or even during the job if it takes a few hours, you can write in the journal the times, the strategy used for cleanup, ladders or scaffolding, etc. The unit times will start to emerge, making future jobs easier to estimate. Beware of odd situations, the 80/20 type bushes -- 80% of the time to setup, and 20% to do the trimming. Access and ease of use of your clipper will be very important.
I share 1MajorTom's comments about cleanup. Different situations will dictate the best way to handle, sometimes tarps are absolutely necessary because the debris will not come free. Other times, the tarps are a waste of time.
I purchased a huge mesh fabric tarp for bush trimming soley, and I wrap it around the entire bush leaving very little if no mess at all. It's big enough to do at least 4 medium sized bushes before throwing it back on the truck. Since it's mesh fabric with very tiny holes, it's heavy enough that wind doesn't blow it around.
my general guideline is $3 per bush less than 4' tall and $6 per bush from 4'-8' tall, over 8' tall i try not to mess with. i always try to sell pinestraw application or mulch application with hedge trimming if they are in beds as it greatly eases cleanup woes. never forget disposal difficulties either. if they don't want straw or mulch, i'll place tarps on either side of the hedge row and sweep the clippings onto the tarps with the hedge trimmers as i cut.
Up in this area (northeast Ohio) we charge 2.5 times the amount of the wholesale price for the DELIVERY ,INSTALLATION AND GUARANTEE of a tree or shrub. You cant be serious about charging hourly for that type of install. Do you know how many azaleas we can plant in an hour???? A lot. The 2.5X formula for example: Lets say one shrub costs you $20.00, We would charge the customer $50.00 for the D.I.G. A $100.00 crimson king maple would cost $250.00 and so on.It is very high profit as long as you know how to plant and instruct the customer on proper watering . We guarantee all nursery stock for 1 year from the date of installation. As far as trimming the shrubs , that is all done on an hrly basis
You might check the original posters questions. He did not ask anything about planting and installing, unless I missed something. Everyone else is giving pricing for trimming, not installing. SIMMER DOWN.