Basic clean-up rate?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by DeWitt Lawncare, Apr 15, 2005.

  1. DeWitt Lawncare

    DeWitt Lawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    I've been charging by the hour. $40/hr for one person, $20 additional for a second person, plus a $40 dumping fee. Is that too much or am I in the ball park? I'd appreciate your input. Thanks.

  2. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,433

    I guess it all depends on how much you are paying the 2nd guy and what YOUR dump fees are. If you are making a profit and its acceptable to you then its fine.

    I charge 55 an hour for fall and spring cleanups.
  3. proenterprises

    proenterprises LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,296

    Your rates seem to be a little low. Regarding the dump fee, I assume that is just for one load that you leave with. Are you actually being charged 40- to dump, or is that profit. If dumping is free and your making the 40-, than you are doing well.
  4. cbelawn

    cbelawn LawnSite Member
    Male, from syracuse
    Messages: 96

    45-65 depending on the type of car in the driveway
  5. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    This is a perfect thread to relate my cheap customer story.

    Went today to look at an existing customer I've had for 5 years now, friend of the daugther as well and what not. Last fall they had some landscaping done ( I was underbid by $3000 and they were doing more work) so she needs a clean up done. The guy who did the work left all the crap in the grass and flowerbeds and a pile of cut offs in the backyard. She also wants old growth cut out, shrubs trimmed and a rose bush removed. So she asks me how much for the job. Knowing the customer and how she likes to tack extra work on, I say by the hour. She's not happy about it cause she wants a firm price, I say by the hour. So she asks how much, now before you flame me on a price, I've had them for a while now, I've known the family for a while so I cut them a deal now and again. So I'm charging $45 an hour for 2 ppl. Average going rate for 1+1 on labour is a combined $60.00. I can tell she doesn't like the price. She says fine.

    A couple hours late she calls me back and lets me know she doesn't like the per hour and she feels $120.00 would be a good price. Yeah right, tell me my price. I say no per hour. I said u could save money depending on how fast we work. So she says, well fine but I think you should only charge $20.00 an hour for this kind of work (Me and general labourour). Anywho I laughed said no way I'm doing it any less then $45.00 an hour and she says, "Ill see you tuesday". On a bright note, she always pays on time lol.
  6. fga

    fga LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,449

    i never understood the per hour thought. why limit yourself?
    i guess you canuse it for a reference in your head, but price the job for what you feel its worth, and what you can get for it... then do it as fast as possible. the only time i calculate per hour is when i'm defending $10/$12 lawns on this site.. payup
  7. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 576

    My flat rate for the job turns into more work. I know my customer.
  8. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,433

    Like you said, its a reference. All I did was try to price what I thought my expenses would be for each cleanup and then come out of it with a decent profit.
  9. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    $36 per man per hour. I never quote a firm price. Firm prices leave you with too much potential to underbid. Shrubs are very deceiving.

    Also, as long as the customer is paying by the hour, they won't complain about things that they think need more work.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  10. packerbacker

    packerbacker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,433

    Thats exactly why when I say 55 an hour i include I always give myself an hour to hour and a half cushion. For example I tell them it could take 2-3.5 hours. That way Im not locked in on a price.

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