Fair price

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by Lawnut101, Sep 23, 2011.

  1. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,254

    I am pricing out lawns for aerating between $10-$12 per thousand sqft, with a minimum of about $75. Does this sound fair? I haven't done much aerating other than really small lawns, so a little help would be good. I am using a Bluebird 530A that I picked up real cheap :cool2: So I plan on going over everything twice to get the right amount of plugs out.

    Thanks for the help.
  2. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    Could be worth the cost if it was a useful tool for the specific lawns' needs... You could also upsell to something that the lawn does need...
    What is your philosophy on aeration?
  3. JDiepstra

    JDiepstra LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,511

    Please.... It will benifit 99.9% of lawns.
  4. Smallaxe

    Smallaxe LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 10,081

    A good overseed is usually better than an aeration... on clay soil, both can be beneficial, but on lighter soils it is usually a waste of money. unless there is a "Real Thatch" problem...

    My problem is that aeration is used as a fix all solution, to compensate for poor cultural practices, instead of addressing a lawn's actual need, and getting correct overseeding done... Your 99.9% rule is just another exa. of what I mean... One size fits all... fly by nite business model...

    What really irritates me, as the "Professional" approach being the idea that aeration makes a seedbed for overseeding...
  5. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Posts: 1,537

    I'm not arguing your point, smallaxe.

    I'll ask, though.....what's the cost to do "the right thing" on say....a 30KSF cool season lawn?

    I'm betting there's more to it than just an easy way out (re: aeration/over-seeds).
  6. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,297

    All depends on what you do, I tell my customer aeration is only one service, but other services will benefit from having done the aeration. Some "Fly by night" company will tell the customer they will have a golf course if they aerate, their lawn will be super thick and green, which is never the case.

    You will see a bit of change with aeration, but even more changes if you combine aeration and over seeding together.

    But then again, over seeding alone where I live has little to no success. Most of the time the seeds fly away, get eaten by birds, or land on thatch, or even if they land on poor soil like clay, home owners never keep the soil damp to maximize germination.

    Top dressing + over seeding in my opinion has way better results. Like I said, I make sure to tell my clients what really is suitable for their lawn, and what results they will get.
  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,362

    Starting prices for aeration in this area start around what one could rent one for roughly $50. I had one customer practically argue with me that she could rent a machine for $39 and I should be willing to do it for less than that. On smaller residential properties I have struggled to maintain the $68-$75 price range. I run into resistance on price all the time and told I'm expensive. Several of the application Co.'s here run low baller specials on the aeration part of the deal $29.95 upto 5k sq feet.

    The BlueBird 530 is featured in one of my thread vs. the LS and Plugr. The 530 needs ideal soil moisture. Tell your customer up front you're doing a double pass.

    My Plugr 850's do a much better job in soil prep for over seeding over my rolling tine aerator. Call it vertical tilling or pulverizing etc. plus more plugs thus soil for seed top dressing. Use the front hydro drive as a brake PL850/PL855 and the tines really do a number on the soil in the correct condtions. One can also adjust up the tines to limit plug depth and/or use older shorter tine that pull fatter plugs for even more soil volume. The Plugr hydros are excellent renovation prep tools.
  8. JFGauvreau

    JFGauvreau LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,297

    Here is almost the same, 45$ for 4 hours for home owners. + the time to get there, picked it up, come back, do the work, bring it back, come back home.

    I really have a hard time with customers asking me to do it for less then the rental price. These are trully lowballers customers I don't want to have.
  9. fl-landscapes

    fl-landscapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,542

    What irritates me is when someone thinks an aerator should be used for a "real thatch" problem. Stick with compaction issues for the aerator and use a verti cutter for removing thatch.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,254

    My reason for doing aeration is because the customer wants it done. And it can be beneficial to the lawn, especially if I can sell them an overseed and fert program. Aerating can definitely help level out bumpy lawns, and topdressing creates a good seedbed. I went to school for all this stuff, so I know the benefits to most everything and other services that aren't worth it. Still, people have their own oppinions and are definitely entitled to have them.

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