Hourly charge?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by BAMARED, Aug 23, 2001.


    BAMARED LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    I was just wondering if anyone here has ever tried to charge his customers by the hour? I've been "toying" around with idea for a while and am curious to see what you guys think about it. Basically, I would like to charge $25 for < or equal to 1 hour. From >1 hour to 1 1/2 hours $35. From > 1 1/2 hours to 2 hours $45. (You get the idea.) Please bear in mind that I'm a small-timer and I'm sure that I'm charging > the market average. The advantage to doing this is 1. that I feel like I would be able to do a more quality job - not worrying about spending too much time on a certain area and 2. I would not underquote myself thinking that a job will take me 40-45 minutes to finish when it actually took 1 hour 15 minutes.

    Thanks for your time and I'm looking forward to any comments, suggestions, etc.

    Steve Parsons
  2. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,205

    are you talking about mowing too? i only charge an hourly rate for miscellaneous jobs, like shrub and tree installation and other manual labor situations. i have a flat rate that i always use for mulching by the yard. i do use an hourly rate for hedge trimming as well.
  3. lawnboy82

    lawnboy82 Banned
    Messages: 957

    You would probably be better off posting this thread in the Landscaping forum. When it gets over there prepare to hear it from those guys.
  4. fivestarlawnken

    fivestarlawnken LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 438

    Same theory as MDB. I think most customers want a price up front instead of it might be this or that.The only time i've done hourly is if the customer buys the material.Good luck;)
  5. dmk395

    dmk395 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ma
    Messages: 1,006

    You are really better off pricing things by the job. Just estimate the time it will take you to complete the job, heck even add an hour or so for safety sake. Think in terms of the hourly wage you would like to attain. Trust this way should lead to be more profitable, unless of course you are a greenhorn in this business and cannot really estimate correctly. Either way in time you will figure it out.
  6. wallzwallz

    wallzwallz LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    My mowing is set rate but almost everything else I charge hourly.My customers don't care about the price,it's the quality work done right the first time their after. I get $35 per man hr, don't do the 1 1/2 - 2 hr,just total the man hrs x rate. Don't set your rate too low to start off, I did, took last 4 yrs to bump up $ 10/hr. I think it works well for myself and customer, if i bid it i figure $45-50 per hr,costing more usually for customer.By the hr i don't have to bid ,propose then rush to make the rate you need.
  7. GLM

    GLM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 101

    I don't give any one an hourly rate any more. I look at the job and figure what it will take and give them a total price and thats that. Poeple like getting one price for everything and they either say yes or no. Some times I will underestimate and make less that I want but it won't take to many times of that happening for you to really figure out what you need to figure for a price. I now usually make out way better than if I did it hourly. There are jobs this year that I got done way faster than I imagined and I made 4 times an hour what I usually make and take a lottle off of the bill and the people are thrilled that is less. Most jobs I make just what I wanted to make the estimating just comes with experieance. Good luck and don't sell your self short.:cool:
  8. Eric ELM

    Eric ELM Husband, Father, Friend, Angel
    Messages: 4,830

    Could you tell us if this is for mowing or landscaping? This way we can figure out if your in the right forum with this question.

    For mowing, it's always by the job for me.

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