fall clean up-need advice

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by jsfrk, Sep 23, 2004.

  1. jsfrk

    jsfrk LawnSite Member
    from Ohio
    Messages: 126

    I am thinking about fall clean up and I want to bag leaves and clean out gutters. Should I wait until it gets closer to spring before cleaning out gutters? It just seems like a better option? Also, if you want to give a customer an estimate on a leaf clean up, what do you tell them. For example, do I give them a flat rate or do I say that I will charge them whatever afterwards.

    I guess I don't really know what to charge them for cleaning and bagging leaves up. Some say $60/hr others less than that. Well, do I tell the customer that I charge $60/hr. Or would I say, by looking at it, it will probably take me 2 hours so I will quote them $120. I don't know need some help.
  2. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    everyone has there own per hour labor rate....alway do cleanups by teh hour plus disposal fees....gutters I dont know about. I dont like hieghts.

  3. gogetter

    gogetter Banned
    Messages: 3,256

    You really want to try to avoid telling them your hourly rate. Most will sh*t when you tell them $60 and hour (or whatever it is you shoot for).

    But on the other hand, looking at a lawn and trying to guesstimate how long it will take to clean up all the leaves can be very hard.
    I hate to say it, but I usually underbid leaves. I look at a job and think it will take 4 man hours, give them my price based on those hours, and it ends up taking me 6 man hours!

    So this fall, I will only be giving ESTIMATES. No set prices. I'll give them a price range and that's it.

    And I will be multiplying my guesstimated man hours by 1.5 to cover my asss.

    P.S. check you PM's.
  4. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    If you chareg byteh hour you will never loose, all they can ask you is how many hours they must expect it to take you. Last thing you want to do is work for free.

  5. cklands

    cklands LawnSite Senior Member
    from MA
    Messages: 360

    I always give them an "around" price. I can usually estimate the hours pretty close but you don't want to be stuck with a price that is to low. Besides you might estimate the job on a day when there is no wind and then you go to do the job and the winds are whipping. Or maybe the weekend was nasty and alll the neighbors leaves blew over. There are to many variables to give them a set price. You just need to explain them to the customer. And never tell them what your hourly rate is. Gutters I don't do.
  6. Mark McC

    Mark McC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,565

    I'm not keen on doing gutters for the same reasons posted by two others, but as far as leaves and lawn cleanup in general, I'm going to try really hard to make it so that I can do the job the day I give an estimate for the simple reason that I don't want to come back and find the job bigger than it was when I gave the estimate.

    How? Maybe by telling folks that the estimate is good for only 24 hours and that any later may inflate the figure due to leaf spillover; or by stating in my flyers that the potential customer may want to call me when they're ready for cleanup and not before.

    As for the number of hours it'll take to do a job, the only thing I can think of is that experience will take care of it pretty quickly. I'd rather not get into this business of amping up the numbers 'cause I suspect that'll kill a lot of referrals. I do like the idea of using a fudge factor of 1.5 on the time I THINK it'll take 'cause I know from experience that I'm pretty crappy at guessing how long a job will take.

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