Fall/Winter work

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by lsylvain, Sep 26, 2006.

  1. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    I have been trying to come up with some ideas for winter work to keep both myself and any employees busy. We don't get enough snow for plowing to be a great revenue maker. I mean it is good money but you spend all winter sitting on you butt waiting for snow. I have one idea tell me what you think.

    I am thinking that since property around there is so cheap (you can get small lots for under $5,000) I am thinking about buying a couple of these smaller lots that are heavily wooded. I'm thinking that I will go in and clear building lots. Take any good timber off the property to sell for lumber then selectivly cut the rest for Firewood. Then maybe clear the stumps, put in a driveway, and leave a nice pretty lot.

    As long as the Timber and Firewood cover my labor cost it would be worth it to not loose any good employees over the winter. Keeping an employee or two working will make it so that they will be available to plow and do doorhangers.

    I am also thinking that this may be something that we could do on rain days durring the summer months to keep the guys busy.

    Then I'll get my profit on the flip side when the lot sells.

    That do you think?
  2. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    That's going to take time and money to do. You might want to start by offering to clear lots for a real estate agent instead. No money out of pocket for you and you can be in and out quicker if you find something better. Take a look at some local trailer parks, maybe you can do lot cleanups for them and make some money. My Dad has a place in Brandon and there are tons of places nearby that could use a clean up.
  3. jsf343

    jsf343 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,786

    First of all, you get snow in Florida?!
    second, do you need that much firewood for that area? maybe that isn't where you really are. I must be reading that wrong. good ideas other than that though.
  4. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    Yeah jsf I'm in FL but I'm moving back home to WV next season.

    As far as doing kind of the same thing for other people what a pain in the A#@. I did a couple of lots weigh back when and the problem with it is the people are always in a rush. They call you to clear the lot 2 weeks before they want it done and they usually call to have it cleared during the summer and they don't want to pay you anything,just let you keep the firewood.

    The main idea is that I own it so I can clear it when I want to and have no time contraints and agrivation. I'm thinking it will be easy administrativly. My help could work whatever they wanted to work, if a saw dies or something no big deal burn some brush and drink some beers, or go home for a little of the old in out in out with the mrs, whatever. lol

    I don't mind tieing my cash up in Real Estate because it is a good investment anyway.

    I guess I'm saying I would not want to do this for other people, I would rather do something else if I have to deal with "customers."
  5. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    No body else has any input?

    I am estimating that for every 3000 square feet I can easily get $100.00 worth of good quality fire wood if sold in bulk. A couple of junk loads of firewood $25.00 a load. A truck load of wood chips that could be used as mulch on lower end jobs for say $25.00 a load. (non delivered prices) So if I sold all this on site and didn't deliver any I would get $175.00 for every 3000 square feet.

    There is a 23000 square foot lot for sale right now for $5,000.00. So That would be about 7.6 Loads of the good, 15.3 Loads of the crap, and 7.6 loads of junk mulch. Or about $1,330.00 in "product." Then say I average 2 good logs on the whole lot and sold them for $750.00 to the lumberyard. We now have about $2,000 in product that we can sell. At a variable cost of $15.00 per hour I can pay my guys for about 130 hours at no cost to me. I could work one guy full time for a little over 3 weeks, which would be more than enough time for two of use to undergo this task.

    Now lets say I rent a dozer or escavator for the weekend at a cost of about $450.00 to clear the stumps, put in a driveway, and since this is WV get as good of a level spot as I can get in the time I have the machine. I get can 26 tons of crush and run for about $400.00 delivered for the Driveway which would be overkill, but I figure it will be nice for prospective buyers to check out the property and not get their cars all dirty.

    I would have to speak to a couple of Real Estate people but I would estimate that the driveway would be worth $2,000 and the cleared lot another $2,000.00 so I would sell it for $9,000. So in total:

    $9,000 for the lot
    $2000 product sold
    $11,000 in.

    $5000 for the lot
    $450 for the dozer
    $400 for the crush and run
    $2400 for labor and other variable costs.
    $8250 total cost.

    $2750 profit

    33% profit margin.

    Now I can take my $7750 (origional 5k plus the profit) and get another lot but bigger this time, or two smaller ones or whatever seems to work best.

    Plus most of this would be taxed as a capital gain at the lower tax rates. I mean every lot would be different like you may need to put in a culvert, less usable wood, etc, but I would figure that into the mix before I made and offer on the property.
  6. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    anyone? Anyone?
  7. Lumberjack

    Lumberjack LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    you forgot that you will lose some in closing costs on both directions...

    Breaking even maybe worth it if you can keep the workers busy and happy.

    Dropping in well and septic might get you some decent gains If you know what your doing.
  8. jazak

    jazak LawnSite Senior Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 843

    As soon as a property gets "logged" the value drops. Just wanted to give you heads up.
  9. lsylvain

    lsylvain LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 779

    I would be buying these lots for Cash so there would be verry little closings cost involved. A large portion of closing cost are "fluff" charges put in by the banks.

    As far as the well and septic idea goes many of these lots will have access to city water and sewer, but for those that don't I plan on atleast getting the design and permits for the well/septic.

    I'm not talking about large timber tracks and clearcutting them. I'm talking about going in and getting the lots ready to build and cleaning them up. Going in and putting in the house seat driveway and thinning the surounding woods.

Share This Page