Tree work pricing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by EvandSeby, Dec 14, 2003.

  1. EvandSeby

    EvandSeby LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    I have got the lawn work pretty much standardized, but am having a hard time pricing tree trimming. I quote a price and it either takes me a lot longer than I think or a much shorter time. Should I go to hourly until I figure it out? How do any of you do it? To assist in responding, I only bid on small to medium sized trees and haul the trimmings to the local dump. My quoted price includes time from stop to completing the unload. Help please!
     
  2. Shady Brook

    Shady Brook LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Indiana
    Posts: 1,517

    When you are not accustom to doing something like tree pruning, it makes it very hard to estimate a reasonable price. I have many clients who do not ask for a price, they trust me to be fair, and I do the work. I base my price on the duration on the site, level of difficulty, and amount of debris to haul off. Using this method, I would consider skill level when determineing an hourly rate. What I mean is, I may have 7 years pruneing experience, and may charge $80/hr, where a green pruner maybe takes twice the amount of time to do the same work. $80/hr may be way to high for him. If you treat your customers right, and give them reasonable prices, they will be more inclined to trust you to do the work without asking for a bid in advance.

    When a customer wants a price before the work is begun, you can go with two options. I will often give them a price range if the work looks like it could have unforseen problems. This protects you, and is usually fine with a customer. Occasionally a customer will want a firm price, and you just have to do your best to project time, level of difficulty, and debris removal. This comes with time, but even with experience you can eat it on some jobs.

    Try to do the work without giving a price first. Second if the a customer wants a bid, give a range first, and explain with this type of work there are often unexpected circumstances which make giving an exact price difficult. And finally do your best to project a price if they want an exact bid.

    Hope this helps, and be careful, tree work, even on small trees can be very dangerous. Also make sure your insurance covers the type of work you will be doing.

    Be careful, and good luck
    Jay
     
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,494

    Exactly. Also, once you start getting into a certain degree of size of job, this is when you reach the threshold of not being practicle. There are some jobs out there, that aren't even considered large jobs, that a tree service can come in and do for what it would COST you to do. It's just that they have all the right stuff,... equipment and experience. I reached jobs that for what I wi=ould have to charge to do it, a tree service could come in and do much faster, and cheaper.
     

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