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Pricing Spring Clean-ups

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by DVF Lawn Care, Feb 5, 2012.

  1. DVF Lawn Care

    DVF Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    How do you guys price spring clean ups? I will be doing my first ones this year and I wasn't sure what the best way to do it was. I thought maybe price each specific thing they want me to do such as mulch, trimming bushes, edging etc and add it up to give them the total cost?

    Also, when mulching, how do you judge how much mulch a certain yard is going to need?

    Thanks for the help!
  2. matt25738

    matt25738 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 50

    I price mine by each individual task. Every yard is going to have its own set of challenges, having a set price will only lead to losing money. Figure out how long it is going to take you to do each task, then add them all together and multiple by your hourly rate. That'll give you a quick baseline to markup as you feel fit.

    As far as mulch, measure the area you are going to be doing (measuring it in blocked sections is a simply way of doing it) then just figure it being around 3-5" thick. So length x width x height and there ya go. Once you do it a few times you'll be able to eye ball a yard and come up with a pretty close estimate.
  3. DVF Lawn Care

    DVF Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Thanks for the help.

    Yea what you said is kind of like what I did last year. I would price each individual thing they asked of me and add it up along with taking into account the time it would take to finish the job.

    THEGOLDPRO LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,223

    I usually stare at the lawn and say to myself this one is going to suck, I think its going to take x amount of time to do, $250 bucks. My spring clean-up consists of picking up all sticks/debris, tine rake the lawn to get rid of the thatch, blow lawn off, power broom any sand left on the lawn from the town plow trucks, and fix any plow damage.

    Mulch is a completely different thing. I charge a set price per yard to install mulch.
  5. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,210

    After doing it for even a couple years, you start to be able to eyeball areas and can get pretty close sometimes. I usually take a list of properties, say if they're all the same like banks, you bid the first couple, and then go up for down in pricing depending on which tasks will take longer or shorter times depending on the property size. It would take forever to bid each individual one purely by its own numbers. I'd be glad to email you a couple of the mainstream companies bid sheets that will give you a better idea of how to break up the prices, usually i do it in an excel sheet, and then just total each up after that sites total of services.

    OUTLANDER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 576

    Well spring clean up should be just that, cleaning up first of all (beds, lawn, gutters, etc)...look at the complexity of it, and figure it hourly (is what i do)..no way, do trimming and mulching this early as with spring clean ups. Just saying (my customers had better see some growth first, and be able to see for themselves, to make some sence of the work im doing) But yea mulching early also is just asking for problems....all kinds of problems. Learn to schedule work accordingly (it will come to you with practice)
  7. living Green Property

    living Green Property LawnSite Member
    from PA Erie
    Posts: 68

    I just charge by the hour to do spring cleanup. I just figure how long it will take my guys to do it. This is a good subject. For mulch go to the hard ware store and get a wheel measure and measure the flower bed. That way you know exactly how much mulch you need. Last year the most I was ever off was 1 yard of mulch and that was on 120 yd install. Just do width x height then divide by 160 (1 yard of mulch spread 2 inches thick equals 160 sqf). It takes 5 mins and you then know exactly how much mulch to bring. And no waist you don’t have to worry about getting 6 yds when it only takes 4. And then I charge $78 per yd of mulch to install including price of mulch. bed edging I usually charged $34 for bed edging for under a 20 yd install. So a flower bed 120x16 will take 12 yds. of mulch so that’s $936 pulse bed edging. So you can give the customer a solid price. Not one of this ummmm I think it’s going to take 10 hours and umm 8 yds of mulch, if its less ill charge you less if its more ill charge you more, that’s not professional . I get a lot of contracts because I give a in stone price. I think people are weary of by the hour stuff they are afraid you are going to run up the price. But you have to figure out what it costs you to put mulch down.

    OUTLANDER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 576

    i start my trimming and mulching May - June....also gives some of these guys a chance to use up all the leftover mulch from last season doing their early season mulch jobs.$$$$$$ Which if you can help it, dont use it (might get fungus from it), but you will anyway if you mulch too early
  9. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    I say this after I stop banging my head on the steering wheel. I don't bang as hard as I use too.(air bag's are dangerous)
  10. DVF Lawn Care

    DVF Lawn Care LawnSite Member
    Posts: 29

    Yes an e-mail of those would be great thanks!

    Yea I wasn't going to mulch this early I just threw that in this thread to kill two birds with one stone because I am going to have to mulch eventually.

    So thanks for all the help guys, I appreciate it. I only did one clean up last year cause it was my first year, and I severely underestimated how long it would take (took me 8 hours by myself, plus the only blower I own died on me). Luckily for me the guy was nice and paid me $75 more than what I charged him so it made it a little more worth it. I just didn't want another embarrassing thing like that to happen again! Anyways I think I have a pretty good understanding of how to price it now, thanks guys.

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