Jungle Lawn!!!!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by smc1984, Oct 8, 2006.

  1. smc1984

    smc1984 LawnSite Member
    from sc
    Messages: 6

    Hello again, here is the scenario.. an elderly lady calls me up- she asked how much would it be to remove vines along with maintain here lawn. well i jumped right over to look. I get here and the lawn is maybe 3000 sq ft. however the boundaries are old hedges with grown up vines- the kind with thorns.. approx 1500 to 1800 sq ft of total hedge line. the vines are very thick in places climbing up the trees. anyways I know I can handle the job, but it looks like a all day job. 6 to 8 hrs. Including a huge pile of debris, I sure It will fill up my 5 x 11 -maybe even twice. I want the job because i need the cash, seeing as i new. Beside I kinda like the job no one else wants! my problem is i priced her 450. I am not sure even after im am done she will like the look, due the fact it will show even more work yet to complete. " kinda like washing your truck, the more you clean it the more you see the dirt" Her husband call me, and ask me what is he getting for 450. as if I over priced the job..well I told him it will take two of us, all day to get manageable. so, he wants me to do a walk around with him. what do ya think... have any one ran into this type of yard?
  2. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Run away. They will nickle and dime you to death. If you do the job they will find something that they thought you were going to take care of and decide since you didn't do it they should take some money off. You will end up losing your mind trying to deal with this type of person. Next they will ask you if that is the senior citizens price. If you do a walkaround that is just more time you spent on the job. one time to bid, second time to walk through, third to do the work, fourth walk through again cuz they think you missed something, and time number 5 will be trying to collect your money. Your 8 hour day will turn into 12 hours over the next 3 weeks.
  3. kmann

    kmann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 298

    Not to mention he will probably come out when you tell him your finished and start pointing out more things he wants done. It will go on and on.
  4. smc1984

    smc1984 LawnSite Member
    from sc
    Messages: 6

    I figgured if it was put into writing, and make em sign it before we begin? Im under the impression if they sign and dont pay, we can call the authorities and fill a record and sue for it?:drinkup:
  5. huh

    huh LawnSite Senior Member
    from Lubbock
    Messages: 251

    all of the people on this forum that have been doing it a while have good points....and yes some people will nickle and dime you to death....BUT you said you need the money.....so YOU need to evaluate YOUR time and YOUR situation

    2 guys at 15 an hour +10 per hour overhead @ 8 hours = 400 bones....still leaving 50 more for dumping or more overhead ect.

    If it was me I would probably go back and do the walk through and make it VERY clear IN WRITING what is offered for that price...and make it CLEAR that EXTRAS ARE JUST THAT EXTRAS

    again I came to this site to learn and that I have, but some of the more established guys already have things they can be doing with their "work hours per day" and they can afford to pass over some PITAS....if you paid yourself 15 an hour that is 120 right to you and right to your friend.....with 210 left for equipment, fuel, dumping ect.

    120 can buy me a lot of meals....and 210 can cover a lot of overhead especially if you have only limited equipment and work out of your home

    yes down the road there may come a day you would not even go give the origional estimate for this job....but if it was me I would go back.....you have $5 in gas to lose and what an hour of your time (that you have nothing else to do with that time as it is now) if the client does not want to pay you 450....at least when you go back you know they have considered your offer at 450 and they MAY be prepared to pay it....only you can decide if 5 in gas and an hour of time is worth it to take a risk on getting the 450 for the work you quoted....If you pull up and the first think out of his mouth is I will only go to 250 well put it in drive and pull away....PERHAPS after the walk through AND YOU SELLING YOURSELF he will agree with you that there is more work to be done and you can get additional work from them....or you could lose 5 in gas and an hour of your time and chalk it up to learning your business
  6. MattsMowing3535

    MattsMowing3535 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 385

    This is my first year in buisness and im only 15 a nice lady down the street had a a lot of vines that were growing all there the brush in her back yard. I of course had no idea how many vines were down in the grass that I couldnt see. I price it at 40 dollers to mow the brush and 60 to get ride of 2 vines. In the end it took me 10 hours alone nad 3 with my dad so it was about 16 hours of work. Of course more and more had to be done. I underpriced the job and got 275 in the end. Just make sure that you tell them EXACTLY what your goign to do and like stated above extras are extras and nothing more. If they are going to try to nickle and dime you then forget it. But if you need the money its not all that bad. If you have a ZTR or you can get your truck in the back yard bring a chain hook the vine up and rip it right off the trees. It works great, Took me a while until i got my old lawn tractor and tried it. But it actauly doesnt hurt the tress much so. I would try it if I were you. Maybe take it easy with a truck though. . .good luck though!
  7. Shadowroll

    Shadowroll LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    SMC...my take is maybe he had another quote already and it was for say $900...now he is wondering how you can do the same for half the price. Worth the time to go talk to him I would guess...then make your decision.
  8. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,988

    I dunno, I just think that is low for what he's describing.

    I just did a small cleanup. Took me and one other guy an hour and a half, had a fair amount of crap piled on my trailer, and I charged 150 for it.

    If you're talking 8 hours for 2 people to complete the job, plus dumping, I don't think I'd touch it for any less than 750-900 including the dumping(especially if you have to make 2 trips to dump).

    I'd just tell the customer, if they're waffling on the price and what's to be done - 90-100 per hour(for 2 workers), 40-50 per trailer load for a dumping fee, and that way, if they want to come out and tell you do do this and that extra, then at least you will get paid, because you will be there longer.

    OR, type up an agreement and make it VERY CLEAR the scope of the work, and the price, and that anything above and beyone the original stated work will be billed at an hourly rate.
  9. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I have the proper equipment and am not sure that you do, but 2 guys and 6 hours seems like a really long time. However, you were there and know your capacity. Having said that. $450 is lower than I would charge based on your description.

    2 guys at 6 hours each would be $720 plus the $75 minimum disposal fee. So $795. And yes I charge AT LEAST $60 per hour for clean up work. Usually $75-100 per MAN HOUR.

    And yes make a detailed description of what is to be done and get a signed contract and get 40% deposit and terms that the remainder is due upon completion.

    If they refuse to pay, then put a mechanics lien on their house.

    If they refuse the deposit. Just walk away. Be nice but just walk away. It is way better to not get paid before you do work than after.
  10. paul vroom

    paul vroom LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    This ladies yard sounds like what mine used to look like. Vines get tangled in bushes and around trees and are a pain to get rid of. Stick to your guns, I would have paid someone $500 to do my yard if I couldnt have done it myself. They dont understand.

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