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Irrigation guys help me!

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Westbrooklawn, May 18, 2004.

  1. Westbrooklawn

    Westbrooklawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 427

    I have been in the Lawn Maintenance business part time for 14 years.....licensed, insured, and consider myself professional in the way I run my business. I retired from my full time job last year and want to expand my LCO services to include irrigation maintenance for my contract residential customers. I took a night course several years ago on irrigation design, installation, and maintenance, but haven't really used it until now.

    My question - I did my first job today for a long time customer, and completed the following:

    - Tested 9 zones (5 turf and 4 drip irrigation in beds and natural area).
    - replaced 2 pop up heads (customer provided)
    - uncovered 3 heads which had gotten buried over the years and made sure they were operational
    - replaced 5 nozzles on pop ups, I provided nozzles
    - moved one pop up about 2 feet, I provided funny pipe and fittings
    - adjusted direction and flow on approx. 15 nozzles
    - replaced 2' piece of drip tube and installed emitter ( I provided)
    - pruned shrubs back away from 4 turf heads that were in edge of shrub bed

    My real question - how much would you charge to do what I did? I am purposely not providing the time it took me because I know I am learning as I go, and the time I took to do the job was too long. I have a figure in mind, but would really appreciate an experienced irrigation person's input. Thanks in advance for all replies.
  2. greenwayirrigation

    greenwayirrigation LawnSite Member
    from ma
    Messages: 24

    $65 for start up$ 100 for the other stuff, i would have been out of there under an hour. i'd say $165. i dont know what you mean by uncovered burried heads. were they under the grass line or were they burried? and the prunned shrubs, did you cut a couple leaves off or did you break out gas powered prunners? those things im not sure of so if you were there all day obvously charge more
  3. Westbrooklawn

    Westbrooklawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 427

    Greenway -

    Thanks for the reply. To answer your questions, two of the buried heads were actually buried under grass, dirt, thatch buildup over the years to the point they didn't pop up. One was buried in a bed under about 8" of mulch. The pruning on the shrubs was just some quick clipping with the felcos....just low branches that were breaking up the spray stream. I spent a total of 3.5 hours there...... I told you I knew it was way too long, and all part of learning how to adjust the heads, etc. I feel I can only charge based on the time an experienced irrigation person would have taken. I was thinking in the range of $175, so I feel good that your estimate is close to that figure.

    I feel there is definitely a market for maintenance.....several of my customers have trouble getting irrigation companies to respond quickly, and when they do they are very expensive. There has been tremendous growth in this area, and lots of times the company that did the original install is either out of business, or the homeowner doesn't know who did the install. Again.. thanks!!
  4. greenwayirrigation

    greenwayirrigation LawnSite Member
    from ma
    Messages: 24

    no problem..
    $$$prices are different in different areas, around here we can get $60-$75 for a start up and break the other stuff down, i figured about $10-$20 for each of those small misc. repairs. and you could have charged more if they didnt provide you with the replacement heads. adjusting and things like that are part of the start up, so you cant really charge an hourly rate on top of the start up. youll just have to get quicker. $175 should be fine
  5. aquamtic

    aquamtic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 303

    I would of charged $75.00 for the first 6 zones and $10 for each additional. You should base your startup rates bases on zones or you will kill yourself on the 10,12,and 15 zone systems

    Thats $105.00 for startup.
    unbury heads, adjusting, checking controller and rain sensor is all part of the startup cost.

    Because you were there for a startup, you should really only charge for additional supplies needed to get the system in running condition.

    First- I would only install products I supplied just to cover any warrantee and of course to make a profit.

    If its a seasoanl customer of yours charge 10% less than retail for the products. And you should charge for everything , from the 8 inches of teflon tape, fittings, clamps, etc

    I would say that whole project would run about 175.00 also which includes the few minutes extra to prune the shrubs.

    What I have found is that everytime you take on a new startup account, the first year you will spend a bit longer than future seasons.
  6. greenwayirrigation

    greenwayirrigation LawnSite Member
    from ma
    Messages: 24

    6 of one , half a dozen of an other ,we all came up with about the same price. thats why i asked about the burried heads. if it was under the grass line thats nothing but ive found heads burried over a foot under the ground from landscrapers, in that case $$

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