Help Me Price

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by HokieHort07, Aug 10, 2005.

  1. HokieHort07

    HokieHort07 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Hey guys I just lurk here mainly, Im still in school studying horticulture but I do side jobs for friends every now and again and this is one of those cases.

    Anyways this job entailed me clearing about a 100'x60' natural area of suckers and weeds mind you it wasnt totally covered but they were widespread. I also did some spraying in other areas of brush. I also cleaned up all the leaves in this area to prep it for mulch later on. I cut down a bunch of small saplings maybe about 10. I cut down three larger/taller trees that required me to actually use rope to guide them down as they were tall enough to hit the house. All of this debris has to be cut up and hauled away to a dumpsite. I also cut the grass while they were on vacation but I charge $50 for that.

    I just dont know what a fair price to charge is, the guy makes 7 figures so he has no problem paying but I dont want to charge too much. I was maybe thinking ~300-350 bucks for everything including the mowing. What do you guys think?
     
  2. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 497

    Well I would advise NEVER to base your prices on what a customer makes, I feel this unethical. But thats your business.

    As for the work you aren't far from my area, charge $30/hr for your time, this will include wear and tear on your equipment(chain saws,shovels,tillers etc..) and if your sprayed round-up about $35-$65 per backpack sprayer (including labor, don't double-dip) as for the dump fees charge what it cost you +10% if the guy will pay your invoice when you present it. And for each trip on a pick-up charge $35 a load. Add your time to unload in your labor. If you used a dump to haul off usually $50 (1-ton) $55.00 (2 ton) if the dump is not too far.
    I hope this will help, I am interested to know how much it cost him after you figured your time.
     
  3. HokieHort07

    HokieHort07 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Oh no Im not trying to base my price off what he makes thats why Im trying to get a good baseline, trust me, my main concern is charging too much rather than short changing myself...

    I was wondering if it would be better to charge by the hour, I think Ill do that. Dump doesnt cost me a thing but Im sure going to charge for the 30 mile round trip to the dumpsite.
     
  4. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 497

    nothing ugly intended by that comment. I price most of my work hourly, not always broke down, but when I estimate a job I know hourly for all my equipment costs and such and estimate time involved to create a price. Some jobs are by square foot or materials x 2.5, but they don't all fit in a box. LOL
     
  5. HokieHort07

    HokieHort07 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Well with you're cost my estimate of ~300-400 is about right cause I dont anticipate much more than 3 or 4 more hours of work tommorow so that plus dump cost will put it around 350 bucks
     
  6. LandscapeSolutions

    LandscapeSolutions LawnSite Member
    Posts: 59

    The safest way to bid jobs when you are inexperienced is by the hour. Usually people don't mind too much. Just let them know approx. how much time you think it will take so they have an idea of how much it will cost.

    An accurate bidder is only bred through work experience.

    Just telling us the area size and tid bits of information about what you'll need to do to the area isn't enough information for us to give a good, accurate bid price.
     
  7. HokieHort07

    HokieHort07 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    "An accurate bidder is only bred through work experience." - That is definetely the truth and a great statement. Only with time and experience will I get better at this.

    I think I got everything figured out. Im going to charge $40 an hour just because its quite a ways off the beaten path to get there. In the begining I figured hourly was going to be the best bet for me.

    Thanks for yalls help.
     
  8. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 497

    If you can get that great, I'm not familiar with your area, my rate of $30/hr includes workman's comp, unemployment ins., SS, and all payroll costs. I doubt you have that overhead being in school and all, but hey if the customer is happy rock on.
     
  9. HokieHort07

    HokieHort07 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    Customer was very pleased and even wanted to pay more but I declined. Thanks for the help guys....
     

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