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Hypothetical for solo's

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by GSO LAWNEN4CER, Jan 7, 2013.


    GSO LAWNEN4CER LawnSite Member
    from GSO NC
    Posts: 119

    Already have,she wants me to clean up and up keep till the house sells.They are gonna put it on the market this summer.
  2. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    GSO, I think you handled the situation correctly. Hopefully you will receive payment with no problem. Life is a learning experience, and although I always THINK I have made all the mistakes at least once, new ones continue to crop up. :) Next time you will realize you need to give people some idea of the costs involved before you start a job to avoid a problem on down the road.

    I also don't think you were out of line with your fee, which works out to about $35 per hour. If I were mowing for 14.5 hours, I would expect to get roughly twice that much.
  3. MOturkey

    MOturkey LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,757

    I mowed one summer for a gentleman who was apparently in the early stages of Alzheimer's. I realized it after he would tell me a story, then repeat the same story 5 minutes later without realizing he had already told me.

    Anyway, a week or so after the last mow, he stops by the house and tries to pay me. Again. I had a little trouble convincing him he had already paid me. I can certainly see how this could go the other way as well. In hindsight, if you are dealing with anyone you think might have a mental deficiency, it is probably a good idea to document each and every transaction in writing.
  4. Richard Martin

    Richard Martin LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 14,700

    Nevermind. This guy ain't worth it.
  5. StanWilhite

    StanWilhite LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,089

    If he gets a favorable ruling and stays after the court they can freeze the defendant's bank account and do other things to encourage payment.

    I went thru basically the same deal but fortunately for me one of my very closest friend was a circuit judge in the same county. He gave me a little advice that worked out really well. You just have to stay at it and not let it be forgotten....by the court, or the other party.
    Good luck!
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2013
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Yeah, you should have given an estimate before starting work. My book rate is $60/hr but I'll discount it to $50 if I don't need to involve my mowers and it's after I'm done with my regulars. You should be able to give an estimate plus or minus 20%.
  7. Valk

    Valk LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,711

    Would have loved to see some before & after pics...

    A season's worth of leaves would likely kill/smother some turf.

    Had you cleaned up this yard 4 times @$125/visit...would you have saved some time over all?

    GSO LAWNEN4CER LawnSite Member
    from GSO NC
    Posts: 119

    Your right.The leaves killed pretty much the whole back yard.Nothing but mud under the leaves.
  9. BrunoT

    BrunoT LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 741

    A professional would, at least within an hour or so. Estimating accurately is a big part of the job. And unless it's the Taj Mahal, you need better equipment and techniques to be competitive. 14.5 hours is a lot of time.

    If you're going to do your OTJ training with paying customers, expect some hiccups. But start with providing your rates up front, in writing, and getting a contract signed if it's for a substantial amount. Even if they were willing to agree to an open-ended pricing scheme, there should be a meeting of the minds as to the general price range expected.

    At $35/hour you're still way below what it takes to make a decent profit.

    As for the bill, it's probably illegal to stop payment on a check given as payment for services. You might inquire about that if they don't pay up.
  10. yardguy28

    yardguy28 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,464

    you have no idea what his market bears to be saying $35 per man hour is way under to make a profit.

    in my area the going rate is roughly just that $35 per man hour.

    guys who make statements like that kind of get on my nerves considering every location has a different market. talking about prices in your market does no good to him unless he's in your market.

    the market ain't the same everywhere bud......

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