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Fall clean up, help pricing?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Frenchie, Sep 19, 2008.

  1. Frenchie

    Frenchie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I went to look at a potential leaf clean up yesterday. It was 25 minutes from my house. The yard is wrecked. The guy has done all kinds of this and that from yanking bushes and leaving stumps, all different ground levels, and the whole yard is covered in Maple trees. There are at least 50 good size trees. The actual acreage is .49. Doesn't sound like allot but there is no room except for maybe 50 ft long and 10 ft wide in the front to use the mower with vacuum. Most of this would have to be done by hand, rake and tarp the leaves to the truck vacuum.
    I am in CT. The job is in West Hartford which up here is considered "Ritzy". I'm not the type to charge more just because the people are considered well off. I 'm thinking a yard this size is about 4-450.00 under normal circumstances but do you guys think this yard is worth it? Should I bid higher expecting allot of man hours due to all the hand work. I'm really a one man show. I might have 1 person helping me with clean up this year.
    Any thoughts or suggestions would be greatly appreciated!
    Thanks allot!
  2. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,633

    Considering all the trees, I'd stand firm on an hourly pricing plan. I usually am willing to set an upper limit, but you are describing a real nightmare. I'd be careful on this one. Bid high. In this case $450 is not high.

    Besides, when it come to cleanups, there is way more work than you would ever need. When November come, the phone doesn't stop ringing. Besides, I'd rather do 3 cleanups at $250 each in a day than to get stuck on a nightmare for 8 hrs.
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah... :p

    Personally I think I would pass on it, but if I really needed the work
    I would see about coming to some kind of an agreement regarding
    several cleanups... That is, come in about once a week from the
    time they start to fall and clean it up, then 4 or so weeks later it is done.

    As for the pricing, you would probably have a better idea once the first set of leaves are on the ground, ready for you.

    Just speaking for myself, I rarely if ever give an upfront quote on leaf cleanups, that's not to say
    I never do it but I'm not much about that when the leaves are still up in the trees.

    STIHL GUY LawnSite Fanatic
    from CT
    Messages: 5,226

    give a per hour price
  5. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,775

    Contractors make money by the hour and retail does it by the unit. If Wal-Mart has more overhead in a television than they do in another T.V. hey will inevitably charge more. This goes for you also, since your product is hours then the more hours...the more money.
  6. Frenchie

    Frenchie LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    You guys have been a great help. Sometimes I think it is me being to picky but this really does look like a tough one. I think I will either bid high or split it up. That may be the best bet. We'll see what kind of arrangement we can make. I have eaten too many as a business only a couple years old and learning as I go!
    Thank Alot!
  7. milkie62

    milkie62 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    I would NEVER give a set price for a leaf cleanup.HOURLY only !!!!!! I told one customer in the spring when she asked me what my fall cleanup price is.I told her $45/man hr.She said we will discuss that later.I told her I would not budge on the price because I am very efficient at it.She said no more.Will see what happens in the next couple of weeks when they start to really fall.
  8. RLS24

    RLS24 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,603

    you gotta make it worth your time. like someone else said, why spend an 8 hour day making $450 when you could do 3 other jobs at $250 each? price it whatever you need to price it at to make it worth you're time, and if they don't like the price, just kindly explain to them thats the price that I need to do it at to make it worth my time. and if they are cool, they will understand. if not then they will prob be a pain in the ass to work for anyway.

    M RASCOE&SONS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,475

    i would tell the owner that you get $45 to $65 per man hr and that due to the yrd conditions it could take awhile .in this day in age dont pass up a hourly fall clean-up. just be clear with the PER MAN HR PRICE so there is no confusion when they get the bill.good luck
  10. Kglenn04

    Kglenn04 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 266

    but how long will the 3 clean ups at $250 take you?

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