Aeration Charge Help!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by clintjw95, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. clintjw95

    clintjw95 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    Just got my first aeration job today. Wasn't sure what the going rate is per 1,000 SQ. FT. Can anyone help me out with this?
  2. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    First I would do some quick research in the local newspaper and on craigs list to see what the competition is charging.

    I would have a standard price. l call this my tailgate drop charge. It goes for lawns too.
    It is a standard minimum.

    In Vancouver it seems that the average advertised price for an aeration is $55.00
    for a 2000 square foot yard (with a house in the middle)

    How much does it cost to rent the machine? Is it a four hour increment?
    How long will the job take? Are there tricky hills to aerate.. Travel, load/unload and clean-up if it's rented.

    Can you hold off on the job until you have two or three or more clients lined up?

    I don't know where you are. It doesn't display on my computer.
    Can you upsell too? Get them to add lime and you'll return the next week to

    Sorry man, respectfully when I write is relevent to you, but I also want to convey an answer so that other interested people can benefit from it too. I hope no-one gets offended if I write any-thing they already know or if they don't agree for some reason.

    You can buy an aerator new for say $2500 up here. It's paid for in less than
    50 uses. Same with a power rake. Ours stuff gets used alot because we do hoa sites.

    Some-times you have to book ahead to get the machines. In Vancouver, if you have to power rake three inch thick moss and your rental time is during a rain storm,
    then you have to work much much harder and your dump fee goes up too.
    There's extra work trying to scrape mud off of the walkways and the machine has to be washed off or you lose your deposit.

    I like to own. Then I can watch the weather and maximize the profit on the job with minimal effort.

    I would say, up here for a 1000 square foot yard $45.00 would be fair
  3. DA Quality Lawn & YS

    DA Quality Lawn & YS LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 9,265

    I avg around $12/K. Some guys on here will think I am crazy for doing so cheap...others will say I am crazy for charging so much. IOW, asking for pricing on here, you will get a crapshoot.
  4. aeration

    aeration LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 68

    I think the responses are appropriate. Let the market price the job. Some think $8-$10/k is too low, but if nearly every other company is in that range, it's difficult to convince a customer to go with your service. Attributes such as quality and quick turnaround can put you ahead of your competition, but most customers won't pay a lot more for it, but rather only a small premium.

    My prices are somewhat mid-range of the market around my area. My strategy is to offer them at this price point to help ensure repeat customers. Once I hit my goal of total number of clients in my database, I will simply call them prior to the season to schedule and eliminate almost all marketing activity, which costs money and a LOT of time. So charging a little less than what I can get, should pay off for me in the long run. Hopefully, my strategy works. So far it is, but I'm still trying to grow the business.
  5. f50lvr2

    f50lvr2 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 277

    I charge $17 per 1k. It's a little higher than some but pretty inline with what I see most other legitimate LCO's doing it for around here. Good advice on a minimum fee as well, especially necessary if you have to rent. I'd say $50-$60 minimum is fair because if the homeowner can't do it for that themselves if they have to rent the machine.

    Most of my jobs come from maintenance customers so they like the convenience of having me do it and knowing they can trust that I'll do a good job. Plus, a lot of people like the convenience of having everything on one bill at the end of the month.
  6. lbmd1

    lbmd1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 462

    We get $99 for the first 5000 sq ft and $10 per additional 1000 sq ft up here in NH. Haven't had any pricing complaints at all.
  7. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    As an absolute bottom price on smaller lawns 1.5 times the mow rate and I save this pricing for smaller lawns and my regular mowing customers only. When I first was researching this years ago I had 2.5 to 3 times the mow rate stuck in my head. I had a few jobs my first year but quickly realized that I'd better be willing to aerate for 1.8 to 2 times the mow rate to get any cash flow.

    Craigslist prices here are below the mow rate and one of the bigger well respected Co. In my area is now offer aeration and just bid on I thought was my most loyal customer under cutting my rates for mowing and aeration.

    My claim to fame here is I run aerators with the highest plug count of each type: rolling tine. Lawn Solutions WB 21" [stander has the same spacing] both of these pull 17% more plugs and the Plugr 850 pulls 33% more than the others and 17% more than the lawn. Solutions unit. I use this as a competitive advantage but that angle.has been a.tough sell I'm years past
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    ...Continued from above...

    I've really grew weary of pulling up to a house doing a single pass with my Plugr 850 and delivering a VERY noticeable amount of MORE plugs for a rate similar to what the neighbor was paying for a typical common machine just the day before. This year I'm going with using the Lawn Solutions machine for the noticeable notch up in plugs pulled 17% more than the other guys as my base service. If they want the stunning results of the Plugr 850 they need to pay 15% more. The HIGHER cost of operation [Plugr 850], burned up tines, fiddle factor and repairs needs to be offset some how. All this makes marketing more complex but this is the path I have chosen.
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2011
  9. FreeriderVisa1

    FreeriderVisa1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    $20-25 per 1000 is what I used to charge for a single pass
  10. Exact Rototilling

    Exact Rototilling LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,378

    Sounds reasonable if there minimal obstructions and this is on top of a minimum charge? I may get very few calls on this but I was thinking on running a Craigslist High Baller ad charging $65 minimum for my Lawn Solutions just to show up and $75 for my Plugr 850. Just can't Zig zag across the region and charge what others in my area do and make any gainful income.

    One extreme difficult property I aerated last spring, total lawn area was super tiny but access and difficulty was off the chart. Charged him $85 took me about an hour much of the time spent was getting my plugr down a flight of outdoor iron stairs with 2 pairs of atv ramps strapped to the stairs. I would of passed on it but I like a challenge now and then.

    One of the well respected companies in my area with higher much higher overhead and multiple crews just lowballed one of my client for aeration at just $30. Lawn is not big pretty small but really....what happened to a minimum charge. Their website is down for reasons of non payment from the host Co. Posted via Mobile Device
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2011

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