Hypothetical for solo's

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


    GSO LAWNEN4CER LawnSite Member
    from GSO NC
    Posts: 88

    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: 2,742

    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: 2,742

    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: 2,072

    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: 88

    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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