De-Thatching Estimates

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by DBM, Mar 1, 2001.

  1. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Hi folks. I've been browsing through the forum for the last couple of weeks and I can't believe how valuable it's been for me. I'm new to this business and I'm starting on a part-time basis.
    I had placed an ad in the local paper yesterday and I've had several requests for power-raking. How long do you figure it will take me to complete the job on a standard 5000 square foot lawn? (I may have under bid on the one I had visited today as he jumped at my offer of $150.00 for a 5000 square foot lawn.)
    Any help is appreciated. Thanks.

  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    In our area that would be a high end proposal for 5m/sf.

    A general rule of thumb for lots of the same size is this:
    If you find that people are jumping at your price, then you are too low;
    If they close the door in your face, then you are too high;
    If they want to haggle price then youre in the ballpark.

    Good Luck!
  3. Mike Paulsen

    Mike Paulsen LawnSite Member
    from Idaho
    Messages: 99

    I would love to get that for 5000sqft.At one every hour to hour and half it would make for an good days wage.
  4. AB Lawn Care

    AB Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Messages: 585

    Good to see an other canadian on the forum.There is a small groupe of us on here now.Cantoo Cutntrim and more.I would say there is about 10-15 of us.Keep in touch!
  5. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    Guys, thanks for the help. I guess I'll keep my quotes in the same ballpark for the next couple of estimates. I'd be happy to make these kind of margins. If I get the next couple of bids I'll raise it a little. AB Lawn Care if you're still out there, are there any other Canadians in this forum from B.C.?
  6. Twotoros

    Twotoros LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 494

    The last time I thatched was in 1999. I hate it and most lawns do not have a true thatch problem. I usually talk these people into aertion instead. If there was that problem I would de-thatch. Most people are really asking for power raking because of the brown grass on their lawn after winter dormancy. I explain this is not thatch and show them a core sample. If I was to de-thatch I would charge 30.00$ per-1000k with a 3k min. Then I would mow it shorter,power rake both directions, rake & remove, mow and edge. at that time I would try to sell areation and fertilizer and that lawn would be good to go. I only like to power de-thatch when the lawm is dormant and dry. This is a small window here.
  7. Lee Homan

    Lee Homan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 163

    Twotoros or anyone else,

    Is power raking equivelant to scalping with a mower? And if so, would it be easier and/or not as hard on your mower? Also,
    you mention aerating, will that take care of most of the thatch problems? Thanks! Lee.
  8. SJR Lawncare

    SJR Lawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 250

    NO, Power raking is NOT the same as scalping with a mower. The Power rake uses tines that pull up the dead grass or "thatch". Then you either blow into a pile & pick up or rake up. I've read that some guys on this forum mow over the pulled up thatch. But I dont.

  9. John Deere

    John Deere LawnSite Member
    Messages: 128

    Hey DBM, just so you know, if you can get $150 per 5000 sq.ft. tell them they are getting a great deal and go home smiling! That price is unreal for 5000 sq.ft. If you can get $10.00 - $12.00 per 1000 sq. ft. that's doing pretty good. You just got $30.00 per 1000!!!
  10. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    $10-12/m sf is what most in our area get for aerations. That service is basically walking behind a machine w/o labor intensive efforts.

    Power Raking involves more than just the machine. First off the machine is not self-propelled you push it. Next the entire turf area in question has to be raked free of debris. Then the thatch is not only bulk-loaded onto our trucks but needs to be disposed of as well. This service is so much more labor intensive than the other thus the charge to reflect your efforts.

    I hope that you can educate your customers to how extensive the labor is in offering this service so that you can make what alot of the rest of us are.

    On a side note Gary, you should be charging $10-15 for the mowing in addition to the cost of the thatching service.

    Good Luck to all.

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