Did I charge to much for these 2 jobs?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by QualityLawnCare4u, Jul 17, 2004.

  1. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Heres 2 jobs I done ths past week:

    1) Azaleas about 15 feet wide, 6 ft. tall and a large trees 20 feet tall trees grown up n them 12 inches in diameter. Row about 45 feet down drive, trim sruns around house. Amout 2 1/2 hours. I quoted him $100. He then adds the fence in back yard to it, about 50 ft. long and extremely overgrown with vines, spanish bayonets, and crate myrtel. Yook about 2 hours of HARD manual labor. I charged him $60 for the whole this job and he had a fit!!! Total 160 bucks.

    2) customer calls last night and says her yard is bad after tornado thurssday night. I need to bring chain saw and be perpared to work for awhile. Tells me to leave bill when threw. (I have never had any troube with this lady on paying for her yard , $45) twice a month. mails check like clock work. I pull up to her house and did not want to even get out of truck. There was a oak blown across drive about 40 ft long and 4 feet in diameter. several large limbs and the grond was totaly covered in debris.. The yard is about 10,000 sq.ft. on the river, not a blade of grass, just sand and leaves and roots. Its the only yard I have left that I HATE to do with a passion.I underextimated it badly 5 years ago. It took 4.5 hours and I charged her 200 bucks. She pulled up just as I was getting thru and when I handed her the bill she jumped back like I had slapped her. She said she would have to mail me the check Monday, I told her I nicely that I expected it being I had came on Saturday and did it as an emergency. When I got thru was so exhausted I hardly had eough strength to pick up trailor tailgate. Went home and went to bed for 2 hours.

    I want to add that I have fybermyalgia, I cant hold out long on hard manual labor. About 3 hours of srub work or 2 hours of chainsawing and Im done for the day. Last year I was doing this kind of work for 15 per hour bucks! Dont laugh, I learned from my stupidity. I decided this past spring that on srubs or cleanups I was going to get 40 per hour or I would quit doing it period. Last fall I had actually quit doing all one time trimming jobs and cleanups altogether but started back this year trying to get new business.
    I think I was fair on my prices or too cheap, now Im feeling a little guilty, but it will pass LOL I dont care if I ever do another prunning or trimming job but I know it goes along with the lawn care but dang it, Im going to make it worth my while, BTW on job 1 the guys lco did not do trimming, also he did not edge or weedeat. How do you get by like this? I quoted the old dude 40 bucks to do the yard every 2 weeks and 35 for once a week and he acted shocked! Im a professional and Im going to get paid like it dam it!!

    Qualtiy Lawn Care

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    Nope, you didn't overcharge. Tell them to pay the man!
  3. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    You undercharged. When estimating work, I not only charge for the time I was on the property, but travel time and disposal fees for all clippings.
  4. TClawn

    TClawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,036

    you didn't over charge at all. I think that my prices would come out like yours.
  5. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Shuter, did not have to haul off clippings, city picks up from curb. I really feel like both these jobs were 275 jobs but not in my area,

  6. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    You still need to account for your travel time. If not, you would be working for free for a number of hours each day. You also can only get what your market will bear. If this work is difficult for you, sub it out and add a little extra on for setting up the job. I did this with irrigation last year and fertilization this year. I can use the time for other work, so my gross does not change, and I am making money on work someone else is doing for me.
  7. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Thanks TC, I thought I was fair to. Believe it or not, in my first year in business I did a hedge job for 4, yes $4 dollar an hour. Thats when I was desperate and broke and a scrub. I have came a looong way in 6 years.

  8. Stripe This

    Stripe This LawnSite Member
    Messages: 239

    I got $800 for a couple medium size trees that fell last week across one of my account's driveway. He called at 8am, gave him an estimate at 3pm and out of there by 4:15pm. 3 guys, just over an hour. Tell them to quite their whining and write the check.
  9. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    the easy way to answer is to ask a tree service what they would have charged. I promise it would have been a lot more.

    In my area what you did would have been cheap for a licensed professional with insurance.

    I agree with stripe this. But you should never do work without giving the client an estimate. If they think $40 and you think $400 you will have problems. Just like we underestimate sometimes, they estimate by what they can afford not based on reality.

    Remember there is no reason they can't get off the couch and do it themselves. They pay us for convience just as much for our work.
  10. txlawnking

    txlawnking LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,905

    Danny, I have no earthly Idea where Blackshear Georgia is..But if I were you I would move away in a hearbeat.. I thought the problem with cheapskates here was bad.. But every time I read your posts I cringe and thank God I live where I do.. Seriously, I'd either get much more assertive, or move where people actually can afford your services.. I feel your pain as I too, live in a Rural area.. Thankfully, the average income here is pretty good due to all of the Chemical plants, Otherwise I'd definately Move to Houston, population several milion vs. South Brazoria County, local total population of @ 220,00. Again God bless you and good luck...

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