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Clean Up's: Hourly or Set Price?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Acswaupaca1, Apr 1, 2009.


Hourly or Flat Rate Clean ups

  1. Switched to Flat Rate

    9 vote(s)
  2. Stayed Hourly

    21 vote(s)
  3. Always went with Flat Rates

    26 vote(s)
  1. Acswaupaca1

    Acswaupaca1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    How many of you that would normally charge by the hour for residential clean ups are charging a flat rate this year because people are concerned about how much they are spending?
  2. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    your post implies you charge less with a flat rate..........

    I do not price according to what someone can pay. a solid formal business plan will indicate a minimum hourly rate that estimates or bids you give customers will be based on. (common sense) Either flat rate or hourly rate the figures should be close to same if not more with a bid or flat rate.
    Flat rate cleanup is playing with fire, with some customers you will never have done a good enough job for that flat rate you charged. it doesen't matter how much experience you have it is really easy to under bid a clean up and where does that leave you with a flat rate.
  3. Acswaupaca1

    Acswaupaca1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    I guess it does sound like you would be charging less. I guess the way I see it is you might even come out at a higher hrly rate but people will know they won't pay more than $XXXX's
  4. Mahoney3223

    Mahoney3223 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 995

    I price hourly per man per hour at $30.00 for all clean ups/ leaf removal weeding etc. flat rates will screw you b/c they will always add something you didn't bid and expect it for free. hourly you can do it right take your time and if they add something they are paying for it!!
  5. david shumaker

    david shumaker LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 721

    I would rather charge a hourly rate in case there are any surprises, but some people growl when you say $40.00-$50.00 AN HOUR. So I usually give a flat rate. I usually get them to sign a proposal with a detailed list of what is to be done and include the statement "Any additional work will be charged extra at an agreed upon price".

    Some people will try to add other things. They will say "can you do this too while you are here?" I've had them pay me and then try to add more stuff.
  6. Acswaupaca1

    Acswaupaca1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    Thats exactly it david. Its one thing when you charge hourly and your in and out when mowing, but boy you start talking hours then they tighten right up
  7. Handy&Sons

    Handy&Sons LawnSite Member
    Messages: 4

    For my regular customers I give them a lower hourly rate (because of the income that I will make over the season and I usually know what to expect). For the new -one-time clean-up customers their hourly rate is higher and I usually will give them a max cap that I will not exceed.
  8. wildlandscape

    wildlandscape LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 54

    I like to look at the job and give a price of how long it will take, i try to overestimate so it will not hurt me down the road. I then explain it to the customer, anything other than what we talk about is extra and they accept that. Like "david shumaker" stated, people get scared of a $40-$50 per hr cost.
  9. Brett's Cutting Edge

    Brett's Cutting Edge LawnSite Member
    from novi
    Messages: 150

    I feel when giving a estimate for a cleanup im able to figure out the time its going to take then work from there. Its almost an incentive to do it this way because if you get done quicker than you quoted for you will be able to make a few extra bucks.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    i still charge by the hour

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