any of you guys ever do grave maintenance???

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by joshua, May 13, 2001.

  1. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    i cut and landcsape 2 different company's that have funeral homes, one of the owners asked me if i would like to get into grave maintenance. he said all that is involved is making sure no weeds are around the head stone, plant flowers at the graves or shrubs, and place candles by the head stones as well. he said most of the accounts pay around $80 a month to just maintain them after all the flowers and other stuff is in.

    do you guys think i should start to add this to my business? i see it as a way to boast my sales.
  2. cos

    cos LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,253

    Me and another landscaper friend used to pull chrismas wreaths from grave sites javascript:smilie(':angel:'), and worked for the cemetary itself. It was from February till we had to start cutting grass. One guy that worked there part time too, loaded his car with the wreaths and flowers and thought that he could sell them. (whatever :))
  3. lawn and stump

    lawn and stump LawnSite Member
    Messages: 191

    I was kidding my buddies that I could continue working for my
    Customers this way ! Does the funeral home set up payment for
    the people with no relitives ? I have never heard a price mentioned
    at that price it would be a real money maker, who buys materials?
    and how would the service be marketed ?
  4. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    IT is funny that you mention this. I maintain the grounds at two different cemeteries. I see many families spending time preparing and planting flowers at the graves of their loved ones this time of year. In a few weeks, for Memorial Day weekend, the cemetery will look beautiful, with all the flowers in bloom.

    The problem that I encounter is that vary few of these families ever return to maintain the small flower beds that they so diligently prepared. They become over run with grass and weeds, and the flowers lose the touch that they had. It is policy of the board of directors, that if a grave is overgrown for more than 3 weeks, the flowers are cut down when trimming, and the remains mulched with the mowers. All that work, down the drain.

    I have thought of offering a service, to the families of loved ones, for maintaining the planted area of the graves. Since I am onsite to mow these properties on a regular basis, I could keep an eye on them constantly, and keep them looking their best.

    I didn't think about the pricing on this one yet. I really doubt that the $80/month is for a single grave, if that were the case, I would do nothing but care for graves.
  5. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    thats what the directory told me, $80 for a grave a month, i'm gunna go and talk to him tommorrow and get every detail to make sure i'm not gunna dig myself into a hole that i don't need
  6. jaclawn

    jaclawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    Don't get me wrong, that is great money, I just can't see anyone paying it. Most graves have at maximum, 18" x 36" planted area just below the headstone. Just how long do you think it would take you to care for that area? Even at a $60 hourly rate, that is 1.3 hours per month. I'd be curious to hear the EXACT details of this job.

    MATTHEW LawnSite Senior Member
    from NE OHIO
    Messages: 665

    where i live, people are dying to do graves
  8. AndrewLawn

    AndrewLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    lol matthew:)
    I too would be interested in hearing more about these grave sites.
  9. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    Believe it or not I have a cemetary in my backyard and I have talked to the guys that maintain it. In my area the dont make squat and if you think you are working for 1 person or corporation you are "dead" (I couldn't resist) wrong. You are working for the families of every one of those people and boy do they let you know if something isn't right.
    I stay in my yard and leave that job to the other guys.
  10. sdwally

    sdwally LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 386

    Check out the terrain! The cemetery I worked at had 70,000+ burials. The terrain was very uneven; head stones sunk or too high, burial plot sunk or had mounds. If your on a rider these things can take their toll on your machines. Most of the mowers stayed in good shape for about 2 years and then broke down a lot for the following 2 years, after that the units were a piece of crap. Also line trimming around headstones and other items takes more time than you might realize. If there are many burial plots to be trimmed you might want to invest in some carpel tunnel syndrome wrist supports! If you are running line trimmers for extended periods of time(more than 30 at a time), the line trimmers can cause wrist problems.
    Hope this helps, at least some food for thought.

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