Help with estimating for weed pulling jobs

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GreenCloverlawnCare LLC, Jun 15, 2011.

  1. GravyTrain

    GravyTrain LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 375

    I've got the wrong philosophy then. I love mowing grass, laying edges and trimming (not so much on the trimming to be honest). I'm not a fan of installing mulch and hate pulling weeds even more. When a customer asks me to clean out their flower beds and pull weeds, I try to price that at an even higher rate.

    The way I see it, if the customer was going to do it at all, they would have done it long before their landscape was completely consumed by bermuda and crabgrass. I also know about how long it will take me, and how much I'm going to pretty much hate all of it. I know how bad my knees are going to hurt during the process and how much my hands will hate me when it's all done. If a customer wants my services, they will pay for it.

    $25 an hour for pulling weeds? only $10 an hour for pulling weeds? If my customer isn't paying $40-$50 an hour for me to pull weeds, I'm probably not going to be doing it.

    And yes, for me, it does matter how long I'm doing something. The only catch is when I'm doing something that doesn't require expensive machinery. When I'm mowing, I've got maintenance on thousands of dollars worth of equipment, plus have to have a large trailer, plus towing all that increases gas. That merits my higher rate. Pulling weeds requires a good pair of gloves and a trash can, not as much overhead, therefore, my lower rate.
     
  2. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Gravy train I think your right if the customer is willing to pay someone to pull weeds it's most likely cause they hate doing it themselves, so they are willing to pay someone to do it, well, labor aint cheap these days so I stay at my hourly rate no matter the task at hand.Folks WILL pay for it I just got a bed maint job mostly weed pulling last week I bid it at 45/hr Hell I think I underbid the thing.
     
  3. jsw2008

    jsw2008 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 513

    I had a weekly gig doing this a few years back. The lady had about 20k sq ft of beds full of little flowers and herbs that she refused to put mulch around because it was so expensive. She hired me to weed them weekly. No roundup allowed. I got myself a weeding hoe which is a steel loop on a handle. It worked well. I charged $35 per hr and I was there 4 hours a week minimum. She finally decided it was too expensive and dropped me, which was fine with me because it was the worst job I've ever had. I wouldn't do another weeding job now for double that.
     
  4. 4 seasons lawn&land

    4 seasons lawn&land LawnSite Gold Member
    from NY
    Posts: 3,587

    damn, must suck to have to compete with the illegals
     
  5. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Exactly! DON'T! Hire a P/T teenager for these jobs I have a new account that is just bed maint, I charged my minimum $45/hr two hrs a week there are plenty of teens that will gladly work for $8-$9/hr a couple of hrs a week for some play money. Don't tell me people won't pay it cause they will! One of the stipulations this customer had was no illegals on his property, I gladly told him there wouldn't be. :usflag:
     
  6. Gilmore.Landscaping

    Gilmore.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 645

    I have started looking at pricing jobs to include weed pulling and small pruning...example, I will tell the customer I will work their site for 1 hour each week and maybe it takes 40mins to cut, blow trim, I will spend the next 20 pulling weeds... A little bit each week keeps the garden looking good and hopefully prevents me spending all day pulling weeds!!... oh and people Love it.
     
  7. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Not a bad idea! I would move my minimum hrly rate up a bit and see if it works.
     
  8. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 12,963

    You guys are on the gravey train up there. We don't actually ever pull any weeds those are treated with chemicals. Ops I forgot today I hand pulled a bunch in some beds that our guys let get out of control. And I didn't get anything for that. Did chop horse weeds out of 6ft high corn fields in Indiana when I was a kid, in August so bed weeding isn't much to me.
     
  9. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,776

    Ha! I used to walk beans before the days of round-up ready soybeans.
     
  10. cpllawncare

    cpllawncare LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,659

    Yea my ex used to tell me stories of how she used to walk beans as a teen, she grew up in Iowa, her family had thousands of acres of farmland, the first time I went for a visit I was in AWE!
     

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