Clean up estimate

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by pomcguir, Mar 27, 2004.

  1. pomcguir

    pomcguir LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    We raked and bagged a yard full of pine straw. the yard didnt look that large, yet we filled 48 large bags, 4 hours. Our estimate was way off, 45.00 because we cut the front yard also.
    What is the best way to estimate a rake job, and the fastest way to get it done?
  2. BW4486

    BW4486 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    I think its best to estimate by the hour,,, BUT you gotta do a better job of figuring out how many man hours its going to take.

    As you do more and more clean up jobs you will get better.
    Im guessing you bid it at $30 per man hour X 1.5 m hrs= $45.00
    Thats two people spending 45 min to rake, bag, pile or load, and mow. Seems way low
  3. Ryan Lightning

    Ryan Lightning LawnSite Senior Member
    from CA
    Messages: 554

    I remember my first year, I probally did $20,000 in work for $6000
  4. amar

    amar LawnSite Member
    Messages: 203

    If you dont know what you getting into go with hourly but tell them a range of hours 1-4 hours or what ever. It hurts when you screw yourself. The more jobs you do the better at estimating youll get
  5. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,309

    Whats a rake???? That's a four letter word around here!!!! Blowers and/or mowers are the only way to go.
  6. the scaper

    the scaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 690

    LB hit the nail on the head - "whats a rake?" Blow it in a pile, tarp it, mulch it with the big mower , dump it in the woods, whatever, make it go away and get on down the road! Rake= slow!
  7. pomcguir

    pomcguir LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Thanks very much for the advice. The yard was mostly pine straw, very matted and deep in places with lots of ornamental trees and other obstructions such as a dog pen, and low hanging branches not to mention that upon raking, we found numerous pine sticks some as big around as a paper towell insert. I dont know how a person could have used a blower on this yard, as it appeared to have not been cleaned up for a while. The main slow part was bagging. What type of mower are yall using to run over this stuff, I have a 33" rear engine rider. And on using a tarp, is that used to haul off the debris? I may not have the equipment to do these jobs, as I have badly underestimated the price and time on the last two. I thought about renting a chipper and grinding it to make the process faster, but that would probably run the bid up too much. And ryan, I feel I am going to do the same thing my first year, its hard to estimate a yard because everyone is different and It seems that the public is not aware of the cost, work, and maintenance involved with lawn care. I know their old ladies cant get their hair done for what they think we should be able to do their yard for...I am almost ready to bail out.
  8. charlies

    charlies LawnSite Senior Member
    from earth
    Messages: 587

    don't bail out, fix your pricing structure. that job should have brought you in at least $250. don't be fooled by little old ladies, or anyone else for that matter. most of them know how much it should cost, they just want to complain.

    for mowing, call 3-5 local companies, have them come out and price your lawn, or a friends lawn. a nice square one. at the very least, figure out how to step measure the lawn, take the average price given to you, and break this information down into a formula you can apply to estimates you do. this method in no way takes into account your costs, but those are probably very small if you are just starting out, and it should give you a good feeling for what the market will bear.

    a commercial blower would have blown off the property fine, using the blower, blow into piles. using a rake, put onto tarps, drag tarp onto trailer or truck. don't forget you have to dump them, this takes time, and the landfill charges a fee.
  9. LB Landscaping

    LB Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 1,309

    Try out a Redmax 7001 or an Echo 750 and you'll see how much easier clean-ups can be.

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