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Anyone else do Christmas lights?

Discussion in 'Christmas Trees & Seasonal' started by MapleGuy, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. MapleGuy

    MapleGuy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    Has anyone else hung Christmas lights for any of their clients? It was something we had discussed offering and then we had a landscape client ask about it so it really has our minds going. Has anyone else done Christmas lights? We are thinking of charging a little less than our regular Misc. work hourly rate considering we won't be using any equipment other than maybe a ladder or two. Any thoughts or suggestions would be appreciated.
  2. DJJS

    DJJS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 249

    i do it, it pays pretty good pay with low overhead, just a couple ladders and handtools...generally i charge $ 45 an hour, $ 36 an hour for a regular landscape customer (20% off) for the installation plus the price of clips, and any other materials, 99% of the time customers have the lights and extension cords though.....my employees dont do the christmas light installations, other then one commercial client, a strip mall were we outline the roofline with lights, we should be doing that this week, and charge $ 375 for it. besides that one though, they only work with me on the really high stuff (3 story homes) usually its just me and my fiance helps out with them sometimes also. I usually do about 25 installs, then for christmas light removals in january i charge about $ 50 an hour, it takes a lot less time to take them down since its less precise, usually we finish in less then an hour, so i charge a min. of $ 45, the only thing with the removal is that theres usually snow on the ground, its -10 degrees out and sleeting. Also people contact me who put up their own lights, to take them down since the weathers usually crap, i usually charge a minimum of $ 55 for those. Goodluck
  3. cmturner

    cmturner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    Dang thats some of the cheapest prices I have heard. You need to move around and become a sub for those prices.
  4. hotrod1965

    hotrod1965 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 587

    Wow, my two guys, truck, gas, insurance..ect. cost more per hour than what you charge!

    I have to ask.... do you have the correct insurance to cover for electrical installation and at least 32ft in the air?

    I would suggest you re-visit your numbers because you are WAY under charging and are not making a whole lot of money (if any), for a ton of work.

  5. addictedtolandscaping

    addictedtolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 569

    Maple there are a ton of guys (and girls) on here that do and have been doing lighting for holidays. Tons and tons of info on this site, and some really helpful and friendly pros.

    the way I set myself up this year, 100% ,mark up on product, we offer a 3 year warranty, on all products and 24 hour service response. With the warranty, I bring in everything right down to and including extension cords and timers. I offer a professional service and with warranties like this, I need to know #1 that the product is brand new, and #2 rated for what it is being used for. All of the cords and timers are UL rated. I charge $65.00 per man hour for installs and take downs regardless with exception made to difficulty. For example, we have a huge install for us any how coming up on Thanksgiving, I upped the rate, plus upped the cost of the aerial lift and anticipated 2 days. We are handling Holiday Bright Light products and with the training class, there is a cheat sheet that is provided with approximate install times on different types of piece.

    Read through this thread a few times, there is tons and tons of info here, and the senior guys, Dave, turfhokie, hotrod are very willing to give advice and guidance. I am a newbie this year, and they have helped me more than I can say. Soon as I get time, I hope to actually call them all with my thanks; I would love to meet them all some day and buy them a coffee or beer.
  6. turf hokie

    turf hokie LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,751

    You, my friend, sound like some of the homeowners I have met with lately.

    Only a couple of ladders. Yea, that is all we have invested.

    A strip mall for $375? what do you do? bring the business owners a cup of coffee and call it a day? My goodness, I wont pull up to a house for that much, not worth it.

    Especially in North Jersey you are losing money, and at the very least killing yourself to try to keep busy, I would rather sit at home than go out for those numbers.

    Sorry to sound harsh, but we have some guys around here that think "it's only hanging lights" make us look bad because they dont get how much is actually involved in what we do.

    Look thru these forums and you will get a feel for how it should be done, lots of guidelines and information that everyone should see before venturing into this.

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