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Help with Price for Cleanup

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by tbambersvc, Dec 7, 2006.

  1. tbambersvc

    tbambersvc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    I was asked by a coworker today to price a cleanup job for him. I would be cleaning up about an acre of property and getting rid of leaves, sticks, branches,etc..... I am not sure what to charge him for it. He wants me to charge him a flat rate even though I told him that I usually just charged by the hour. What do you guys think I should charge?

    BTW, not sure if it is important, but he is going to rent a commercial chipper and he said the leaves can be disposed of behind his house. Thanks!!!
  2. Clear-Cut

    Clear-Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 481

    charge by the hour if thats what you do...if not estimate how long it will take to do all of the work and then use your hourly charge to figure out how much it will cost him. i would estimate how many hours you think it will take and then add an extra half hour or more..u never kno
  3. extremerc76

    extremerc76 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 93

    do you have to pickup the leaves to get them to the dump site, or canyou just blow them all the way there. that makes a big difference!!
  4. tbambersvc

    tbambersvc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    Thanks for the replies guys. As far as the leaves go, I can dump them in the woods behind his house, so I don't need to truck them anywhere.

    If you guys were doing a cleanup, how much would you charge per hour?
  5. LawnScapers of Dayton

    LawnScapers of Dayton LawnSite Silver Member
    Male, from Dayton, OH
    Messages: 2,572

    $45 per hour for me....
  6. Mow Money Lawn Care

    Mow Money Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 762

    I charge $60 an hour, with me and another guy. I had one job that was in an old neighborhood, meaning that they had some huge trees with lots of leaves. It took us 4 hours to finish. That would be $240, I told the lady that for the refer/customer that she gave me in the past that I would only charge $200, and she still complained. She is a nurse, she has lots of money, but she didn't think it was worth it. Most people don't understand how hard it is to clean up leaves, and they don't know how rough it is on your equipment(if you mulch or bag). My lesson out of this is don't undercharge, if they don't want to pay full price, then you don't need to waste your time. I'm sure you can still profit by charging less, but it is a lot of work, and you need to get paid for it.
  7. tbambersvc

    tbambersvc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    Thanks for the help. I went and looked at it today, and it doesn't seem like too bad of a job, just time consuming. He wants a lot of small trees and pricker bushes cut out and disposed of. All leaves will be bagged and taken to the recycling center in the town. He says he will help, and I will bring my g/f's brother with me to help also. I think it will only take me about 6 hours to do and was thinking $40 an hour, so I will charge him $240 for the cleanup and if he wants me to haul the stuff to the recycling center, than I would charge another $20. Does this seem fair? I am going to present a price to him on Monday at work. Thanks again for the help.
  8. Grimmy

    Grimmy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Base rate is $45.00/hour. Clock starts ticking the minute once I start out of my driveway.
    Seems reasonable you quote, however hauling, depending on the distance still would base rate charge $45.00.
    Best to you on the quote.
  9. goodgreen

    goodgreen LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 374

    Charge an hourly but look over the jobsite and establish a maximum on the hours. For example, say you guess it would take 10 hours - so your maximum charge is 10 x hourly rate. That way you get what you want out of the job if it takes a long time. Seems to work well for me.
  10. jeremyt1998

    jeremyt1998 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 71

    you should charge based on time not how easy or bad it is. You say it is not that bad, but time consuming. There's only so many hours in a day and you should remember that. How did you come up with $40 an hour? It sure seems very low. I assume that is for 2 people. That is $20 a man hour. You're in the service industry and one way you make money is from your help. You find them, hire them and are responsible for them. You must make money off of them. There is more to coming up with an hourly rate than that, but that is a start. As for the haul off charge you didn't calculate that right. I don't know if you get charged for dumping, but don't forget your hourly charge for getting there, unloading, and getting back where you started from. Usually at least an hour. $40 + $20= $60 sounds much better. Just don't under estimate time. Once your finished let us know the actual time. It sounds like an all day job (8 hrs) and you are only making $220. It probably should be double that (at least). Just watch out it turning into two days. That is when you really loose money.

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