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Aeration price

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by dbc45420, Sep 4, 2005.

  1. dbc45420

    dbc45420 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 21

    Hey everyone. real quick I wanted to ask what you all thought. I bid an aeration job yesterday at 9.00 per 1000 sqft. It was just under a half acre lot and after subtracting house and driveway was 17000 sqft. i told her 135.00. She said she has had it done for 85.00. Was i too high? This was my first estimate and had no idea of how long it would take. Should I call and meet her half way on difference? I dont want to seem desperate but Its a nice area and nice yards. I would like to work out there. I am leaning towards not calling back. What you think?

  2. AboveTheCut

    AboveTheCut LawnSite Member
    Messages: 137

    thats the cost of the machine rental. do you have an aerator? were you over seeding as well? you would probably spend $50 in seed. i think your estimate was fair. if you were aerating and seeding a half acre, i would say it should be around $250-$300. jjust remember that when you give an estimate, make sure you sound confident in your self. if the customer feels that you are confident, it will sell more jobs. good luck
  3. arnoldoutdoor

    arnoldoutdoor LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    In my area, northern lower peninsula of michigan, you cant even rent an aerator for the price she mentioned. So what are your costs? If you mowed the place nice and slow, how long would it take you? it shouldnt take much longer than that to aerate, unless for some crazy reason she wants the plugs off her grass when you're done. Anyway, actual time at the job shouldn't be much more than an hour, plus travel, rental, your labor, etc. are your costs and go from there.

    she may have seen your inexperience and threw you a bogus figure hoping you'd bite. I can tell you that i wouldn't do it for any less than $135, but i would certainly call her back, always, always, always leave the customer with good thoughts of you, even if you dont do work for them. If you think you can impress her with your work, and that you will get more work from her as a result, then use the aeration as your loss leader (except for the loss part...dont lose money on the deal) do the job for cost...and that means that your employes get paid, and if you are the only employee, then make sure when you throw her a figure, that you are getting paid whatever you would have to pay an employee to do the job.
  4. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    She could very well have gotten it done for that cost. Tru-brown is one of the most common companies that sell alot of this type service, and you can BET that they would do it for that cheap. 1/2 acre lots go for around 150 - 180 around here.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    This is just aeration now, whether you rent the machine or own it, it's the same price because it's based on actual labor in yard.
    gawdd@mn reading y'allses prices you must be in Iceland or Norway or some other expensive place. Here in Virginia, I price aeration at cost of grass-cut + $15 or so, thus a 1/2 acre would get cut for around $35 then + 15 = $50, maybe a little more if demand is high but never more than $60 for 1/2 acre, that's almost double the cost of grass-cutting and you can rent a machine around here for 25 - 30 for a half-day.
    You did say 1/2 acre which means HALF an acre, NOT one-to-two acres.
  6. scout279

    scout279 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 82

    You price is good. I wouldn't do it for less. Normally I am getting $10 - $11 per 1000sqft. w/ a min charge of $50 - $60. Need to figure your time and time is money. If your walking it would take a while. Most of my customers have no problem handing over $100 or more for 10,000 sqtf lawns. Like someone else said be confident and sell yourself that way and you normally will not lose and also will leave a good impression.
  7. dbc45420

    dbc45420 LawnSite Member
    from ohio
    Messages: 21

    Thanks for the advise everyone. I am happy with sticking with my price but I did it over the phone. I looked at property when they weren't home and when she called I told her over the phone. I was planning on doing it in person.... I don't know why I did not do it that way then. I explained to her that I am a recognized busisness with 1 million in liability and I pay taxes on my income. She said if she was mistaken on the 85 dollar price she would call back. I really am in no position to turn down work but I always had the attitude of not working cheap. And this was just for aeration, no overseed. I really have no experience in overseed and choose to stay away from that for know until I learn more. Thanks again everyone.

  8. BravesFan

    BravesFan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233


    I have no idea why you are charging so little. My crew will do close to 2000 aerations throughout central virginia this season. We haven't done one yet for less than $65. We're normally $75-$95 on average yards...and people are happy to pay it. $300 is the most we've charged so far this season.

    $15 more than the price of cutting the grass? Gas is not cheap..and neither is the maintenance on a machine that is only used a couple months per year.

    Where are you working...Church hill?

  9. BravesFan

    BravesFan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    65Hoss posted this in 2003...and it's never been more true...

    "As far a price, I'm between $10-$12 per 1k to aerate only. Good equipment, tines and upkeep say there is no way to charge less. For seeding and fertilizing its $50-$55 per 1k with a $100 minimum. Problem with so many here they are thinking like a worker. They still haven't got past the "hourly worker" mindset. A business man thinks in profit. There is a huge investment in your equipment, you, your family, your name, etc to accept the low prices you have imposed on yourselves. Your only worth what you think. If you think your only worth $15 an hour then fine. That is probably true. Me, I didn't invest tons in this to make $15 an hour. I give the customers much more than they expect, but I also demand to be paid well. To each his own, but you will only get so far with a "dollar" mindset verses a "hundred dollar" mindset."
  10. stumper1620

    stumper1620 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,889

    How much would you guys do 4 acres, double aerated, seeded & fert.??
    Keep in mind that this is one of my best residential accounts.

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