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How much to charge for side jobs?

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by TheLawnRangerTX, May 6, 2005.

  1. TheLawnRangerTX

    TheLawnRangerTX LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    :help: Just picked up a new customer yesterday. He wants me to only do weedeating & edging on a weekly basis. His sons are doing the mowing. I can handle that. But, he also wants me for a one time deal to do a bunch of clean-up around the perimeter of his property(5 acres) and around his pond. I told him a price for the regular weedeating, and told him $25 an hour for the clean-up. He agreed on the $25 an hour for the perimeter, but told me he'd pay me $40 an hour around the pond. Am I leaving to much money out there on bidding these type of jobs? How do others charge? I'm only in my 2nd year, so I take what I can so my family can eat. Unfortunately, I can't say yet that I only do yards. He may want me do redo some beds for him also. Any clues on this? I appreciate in advance any help. :waving:
  2. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,516

    You are leaving a lot of money on the table by not bidding the whole job, not just by the hour. IMO Your hourly rate is too low, I would be looking at least 35-40 per man per hour. payup

    The problem is that you have not done jobs like this and it is hard to bid the whole job, so I would do them by the hour until you do some of this work and can see how long the jobs take.
    You have to take into consideration all the job when bidding.
    labor time
    disposal charges and time to get to the dump area
    you also have to cover costs of the commerecial equipment you will be using on the job
    degree of how hard the job will be( if it is on a steep slope, or next to a pond it will be a lot harder to do and the proper charges will need to be added in)

    Until you do some jobs of this kind, I would go with the time and material charge.
    Good luck

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    I try to get $56.00 for the first hour of work and $39 for each hour after that.
    This is the rate for the labor only. Always keep in mind the tools to do the job. Any power tool has to have a per hour charge on it or day rate.
    And yes keep in mind the drive time and dump fees.
    I do not tell my rates to the customer, just the end cost.
  4. TheLawnRangerTX

    TheLawnRangerTX LawnSite Member
    Posts: 8

    Thanks Premo & PM! That helps a bunch! :)
  5. AdamCByrd

    AdamCByrd LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    I agree totally with the posts above. Any green company is going to be approached with additional jobs. Yes, they are not as fun or easy as mowing, blowing, and going, but if you do your estimating right, they can pay well, and they improve your relationship with your customers. A lot of customers will, after they determine that they like you, enjoy the idea of "one stop shopping" for all their outdoor care needs. This translates to money in your pocket. It will also set you apart from the fly-by-night operations that will only do mowing.

    If they ask you to do something outside your expertise, think about subbing it out. For example, I had a banker ask me to paint the inside of a garage for a repo property (BEAUTIFUL property on 4 acres). I said, "No problem." I don't like painting, so I called a painter, paid him to do it, and tacked on 20% to his price. I saved the banker the time of dealing with it himself.

    Unfortunately though, a lot of clean-up work is labor intensive and cannot be done with power tools. I would recommend getting yourself some day labor, paying them $7-10, and charging $15-20 for them per man-hour.

    Hope this helps.

  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    You need to walk the perimeter of the pond and watch out for snakes,walk the whole property and go home and think about it before you give a quote.
    Figure out what it's gonna take,rental equipment?Dump fees?Trailer?Chipper?Help to hire?
    Never give a quote to a client the first time they ask,tell them you will get back to them then call with it that eve or next day.

    Go away and figure it out,walk the property do measurements if needed,whatever will help you come to a price.

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