Mulching price per hour

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Matt Hermann, May 3, 2010.

  1. Matt Hermann

    Matt Hermann LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    I'm a junior in high school And I have a lawn comany. Alot of my acconts are getting mulch, and re askng me what I charge. I want to do a per hour rate but don't know what to charge. I have a crew of 3 or 4 people. Shovels and rakes are all we need to use. What should I charge per man hour? Thanks in advance!
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  2. chris@perfectlawncare

    chris@perfectlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 198

    Hey bud good work on starting the business. For starters, i'd suggest going to the landscape maintenance board here. Also, the search function is a godsend. To answer your question, i'd figure out what you want to make to cover your costs and have some profit. First, take a look at how much gas you'll be using, set aside money for tool wear and tear, and how much you'll be paying for your employees. For me, this is 40 for me and 24 for each additional employee. With that said, i charge a set rate per yard of mulch installed. Take a look at the landscape board.
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  3. chesterlawn

    chesterlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 708

    Unless there is alot of cleanup to be done in the beds, I charge by the yard. With minimal weeding, and just touching up the edging, I charge $100 per yard installed. The mulch prices around me are like, $28-$35 a yard, and it's a fairly high dollar area.
     
  4. Matt Hermann

    Matt Hermann LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    What about per man hour? How much should I charge?
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  5. chris@perfectlawncare

    chris@perfectlawncare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 198

    How about $35? Or $40? Or $10? It's your business, dude. Figure out how much your costs are per hour, pay yourself, and give $ back to the business for advertising, tools, etc
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  6. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    Quote them a set price in a contract. That way you don't have to explain what you pay your guys or worry about those details.

    Working by the hour is tricky and to make good money is hard, the owner knows things he shouldn't and they'll watch you like a hawk so they don't get screwed.

    It's harder to quote but once you get the hang of it, by the contract is where you'll double or triple your money.

    We've had jobs where we would have made $75/hr per person by the hour but they asked for contract and in the end we figured we made over $150/hr per man in the end.

    It's up to you, but that's been my experience and the other businesses we associate with.
     
  7. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    To me a kid with a shovel or a rake isn't worth anymore than $25/hour, no offense. It really depends on how efficient you are too. You say all you need are shovels and rakes. Well I use a hell of a lot more tools than that when I do a mulch job. I bring the hand and power edger, long handled and short handled hoes, weeders/cultivators, wheel barrows, green barrels, power broom, blowers, tarps...the list goes on...sometimes even the tractor and front end loader. I try never to dump my mulch onto pavement if I'm hand loading it, way easier to get it directly off the truck or trailer. If I'm using the tractor, that's different.
     
  8. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    That's why I'm suggesting by the contract. If he learns to quote while still young he can grow faster and get the equipment you mention.

    Money makes these tools available. By the contract work will achieve that.
     
  9. Matt Hermann

    Matt Hermann LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    Well yeah I ment more than just a shovel and rake, I would bring a blower, shovel to edge by hand, and other tools, what I ment by saying that was I wouldn't be using like a blower the whole time and all so there wouldn't be too much wear and tear and all. So I'm thinking 20$ per person, I got a crew or three, and work pretty fast. Thanks for the help.
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  10. Darryl G

    Darryl G LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 8,033

    Might want to up that a little. You don't want to sell yourself short either. I usually bill my teenage son out at half my rate but now that he's 16 and I gave him a raise I think I may start billing him out at 75 percent of my rate. My rate is $45/hour for mulching jobs and other work that doesn't require much for power tools.
     

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