curve ball with hourly quote

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by LawnMower, Oct 25, 2003.

  1. LawnMower

    LawnMower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    My next door neighbor hired me to do a job. As a matter of fact I just finished it.

    I moved a pile of dirt from the back yard and spread it all around the perimeter of the house. I originally quoted them $25 bucks an hour. They were a little reluctant but agreed.

    Heres the curve ball.
    I subcontracted a buddy of mine with his tractor/ bucket to move the dirt wile I used a wheel barrel as well. He also help me rake it out and did some roto-tilling.
    I paid him $25 bucks an hour.

    I plan on charging the neighbor $25 dollars a man hour. If it were just me, it would have taken double the time.

    I'm wondering if I should have explained this to them before I started the job. I have a feeling I'm only going to get half the money I'm expecting.

    Any inputs?
  2. gwwilson

    gwwilson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 89

    it would have taken you 3 times the rate. i think your neighbor got a great deal.........
  3. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    If it were just you, it would've taken you alt longer than twice as long! Now, if it were TWO wheelbarows, ok, but with a tractor? They got a deal, and yes, explain that to them.
  4. GardenTech

    GardenTech LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    Yep, should have told him first ( nobody likes surprises )...
    The Few times I got caught in a situation where I exceeded my original quote, I offered to split the difference with the customer ( the rational being that SOMETHING is better then NOTHING- and upsetting a customer generally results in nothing). IF he's a reasonable person, he'll accept that...Good Luck!
  5. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    You don't even know what the customer is going to say yet about the bill. I wouldn't get all in a frenzy over it yet.
    Also, charging $25 an hour and then subbing someone while paying them $25 an hour isn't the best thing to do. You just let profitable man hours go out the window to someone else while you will net nothing from those times that he spent working for you. Lastly, any customer who thinks $25 an hour is expensive is someone you shouldn't have as a customer. If you are a legit company, I don't know what you can be making after expenses by only charging $25 an hour. The guy using his tractor/bucket must like working for pennies as well.
  6. LawnMower

    LawnMower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    You guys are right. I probably just made Penny's. But then again I dont know what the customer is going to say.

    At first I was going to do it all my self. But then my buddy said he would give me a hand. Live and learn.

    I mainly do lawns at a flat rate. I know what the going rate is for lawn mowing.But when it comes to anything else, I'm still learning.
  7. NYRookie

    NYRookie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 240

    I would charge them per man hour, no matter how long it took. When I lived in RI, I don't remember too many poor people living in Newport. Next time I would charge alot more per hour, work smarter, not harder.
  8. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    You should have explained the rate better to the neighbor than you explained it to us. Working for friends (and family) can be a very dangerous game. Sometimes they only want a break on the price and don't care how you do the job.
  9. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Messages: 3,010

    L M--I mow my neighbors yard but I aint movin' my neighbors dirt.

    especially for an hourly rate.

    but since you did, you must charge by the man hour because that is what he agreed to pay.

    your mistake is not letting him know that you must charge for the tractor in addition.

  10. LawnMower

    LawnMower LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    Your right there. $25 an hour is way too low.

    Iv haven't done much work like this before. To be honest with you , I didn't know how nice the job would come out. I didn't want to rip them off. I think the job came out awesome, so next time I wont think I'm stealing there money by charging more.

    Newport definately is a high end town.

    I still haven't billed her yet. I'm very much procrastinating.

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