spring clean ups

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by robert fling, Mar 5, 2002.

  1. robert fling

    robert fling LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    i saw a great line here yesterday from a fellow user. i apologize that i cannot remember the persons name. but it said anyone who doesnt think money grows on trees has never done a leaf clean-up. that statement has stayed with me all day! my question being is how do you charge for clean-ups. is it by the hour or do you build and estimate for a flat price?
     
  2. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 525

    We build an estimate based upon how many hours we "think" the job will take on the high side. Then multiply the hours by what our hourly rate is (which includes all costs and PROFIT) to come up with a flat fee and add any dump fees we may incurr with a markup on top of that.
    Hours x (hourly rate) + Dump Fees (include markup or time you incurr driving to and from the dump) = Total Price for the job.
    If there is a large job that is difficult to estimate time then we go to the property owner with a per hour rate explaining everything fully.

    We find a lot of guys around here quote $15 per man hour! Then people wonder why the do such a crappy job.
     
  3. LawnLad

    LawnLad LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 738

    We simply bill T & M - our general labor rate. It's too complicated in our area to estimate how the seasonal clean ups will go - will it rain, will it be windy - will there be snow? How many leaves will be on the ground. Seasonal clean ups account for about 30% of our maintenance revenue. Since there is no easy "formula" we just bill T & M. We can estimate for a season what the estimated hours will be for a property - but how it will break out each week we can't determine.

    For non contract customers who request an estimate for a one time clean up, we'll give them a range. 8 to 12 man hours, depending on weather and quantity of leaves. No guarantees on hours. We usually estimate high to be conservative, and we tell them that too.
     
  4. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    We charge anywhere from $75 - $95 dollars per hour for each man on the job. Been doing it for 8 years now, so I guess it works for us.
     
  5. robert fling

    robert fling LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    is it better to clean them up weekly or wait and do it at once. if you do it weekly do you charge the customer extra on top of the weekly maintenance fee?
     
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    If you're talking about the Fall time, we never wait for them to all come down. Some jobs may require only 2 or 3 visits for the entire season, some jobs we have to go in twice a week for 2 or 3 weeks or more. Every job is different.
     
  7. Tony Harrell

    Tony Harrell LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 739

    Please-please don't take this the wrong way because I'm as serious as I can be. I'm looking out my window and all I can see are some sticks that have fallen off the maple trees. What exactly is the spring cleanup? Are these yards that have left over leaves or somethng?
     
  8. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    It could be just walking around the lawn and picking up dead twigs that fell of over the Winter. It could be leaf clean-up (Pin Oaks especially) of leaves that have fallen over the Winter out of flower beds, ground cover, and lawn areas.
     
  9. robert fling

    robert fling LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    dont worry, i am not easily insulted. i have a few people that have called me in and they (believe it or not) have never had a lawn service before. the yards are a mess, somewhere under there i think there is actually grass! some yards just have patches of leaves. but me being rather new to the business i am unsure how to handle it.
     
  10. robert fling

    robert fling LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    rodfather,

    when you handle the fall jobs weekly, do you charge anything extra or is it part of your weekly fee? isnt it harder to make money like that?
     

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