Pricing a two acre fall cleanup

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by wmcrum6, Oct 17, 2005.

  1. wmcrum6

    wmcrum6 LawnSite Member
    from NE Ohio
    Posts: 12

    I am new to the industry and am facing my first challenge of pricing a two acre heavy forested residential property. This guys yard looks like a forest with hundreds of mature trees. He wants a firm price of cleaning and removing all of the leaves. He will not accept an estimate. If I weren't hungry for work, I would just walk away. My biggest challenge is loading and hauling away the large volume of leaves. I made suggestions that he (or I) create a mulch bed in his back property, but he didn't like the idea. Nor would he accept the idea Mulching and blowing the leaves into wooded area. I have been planning on charging a rate of 50.00 per hour, for a two or three person crew. Any ideas on how many hours it would take to clean two acres? Weight/volume of leaves?
  2. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 453

    hundreds of trees? how many trees are there? 2 acres is huge, you ever done a clean up this big before? $50 split 3 ways is not enough. You'll barely make anymore than your employees. The way you describe it, and hauling the leaves away, I'm thinking around $1500-$2000. Hard to say with vague info.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Better to be hard up for work than to pay to do work. Wait a year or 2 before doing one this big and get some pricing and cost info under your belt.
    Start small and make small mistakes to learn.
  4. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    See now I disagree with waiting for a couple of years to do a job this big. If you have the equipment, (I guess if you dont have some serious leaf removal equipment then wait) but if you have the equipment then go for it. If nothing else it will be a valuable learning experience. Leaves around my tight-wade city go for at least $35.00per hour per guy. Well after trying to come up with an easy way to try to explain how long it may take. I may tend to agree with PM, because if you don't have any idea how long similar jobs take on a smaller scale then bidding this job might not be such a good idea. My first year I bid some jobs way tooooooo low! and I lost my butt! Thank God it was only 2 of us so the money I lost was kept to a minimum. But if you still want to bid it then all I can say is bid it very high then if you get it you can now stand to loose more money to labor. But this guy seems like a perfectionest so if you bid it at 8hrs you better be there the whole 8 hours. Good luck, welcome to the jungle.;)

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Ditto That!
  6. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    could you try and sub it out, ..... thats alot of leaves man, ive already learned the hard way this year that i under bid a couple of leaf cleanups.

    could you rent some bigger equipment for this job and work that cost into your estimate?

    as a solo guy, id have to bid it way high not really wanting it, so if i got it anyway it would be way worth my time....
  7. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,758

    I agree with Pmlawn on this. My first year I did a 3 acre cleanup and I lost my arse super big time! I did not average 3 bucks an hour when it was done. This guy sounds like he could be hard to please from reading your post. If you are not sure either walk away or big high on it! Without seeing pics its hard to say. In my area they would expect you to do this for around 100 bucks:D :D :D for a 2 acre cleanip.
  8. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    personally, I'd count the trees, and times that by $35 and then charge that.
  9. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    Count the trees? Thats a new one. How do you account for the pyles and plyes that build up from the neighbors yards. You could be doing a customer with 3 trees on his/her property and bid $105.00 and have the leaves from another 10 trees blow into their yard the day before you start. I just go by the hour per guy and try to give them a rough idea and let them know that its not carved in stone (the price). Iv'e had good luck with this so far and have only been within an hour or two of a man hour.
  10. RedWingsDet

    RedWingsDet LawnSite Gold Member
    from Detroit
    Posts: 3,556

    I dont go by hours or trees.

    My normal method would not work for this type of job, nor will I explain my normal method, but with it being so many trees and acreage, I think the trees and 35 a tree would work best considering there is more than 50 trees on the property.

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