Just making a cut for a customer

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by CT18fireman, Aug 9, 2010.

  1. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    I have a TS400 with diamond blades we usually use wet for cutting pavers etc. I had a call from a customer that just needs a cut made in a slab on grade. Probably 4-5" thick. Not exacctly sure of the length but based on what he described about 3ft. Never had a call for this before. What should I charge him? Per inch cut? I think if I charged time I would not really make out as it should only take a 15 minutes with setup. He is not the type of guy to go rent so I know he will pay for the job.
  2. joes169

    joes169 LawnSite Member
    from WI
    Messages: 236

    Understand that this is merely my own opinion:

    Cut it for free IF he's a good current customer. Often times charging for a few minutes leaves a bad impression on the customer. I'd personally "write it off" as advertising, as this could lead to far more paying work for you down the road by doing a small favor like this.

    On the other hand, if he offers you some money, I'd feel free to take it, as he will still appreciate your good intentions.
  3. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    That's what I would do.
  4. CT18fireman

    CT18fireman LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 611

    I was thinking that. My fear is that the recommendations will be for free cuts. I will do his for free he will probably offer to pay, but I need to have some sort of rate established. What happens when someone wants 20ft cut?
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  5. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    What's your hourly rate? How much fuel will you use to get there? How much will it wear out your blade? What's your overhead?

    Personally, it'd take one of our guys about an hour to go and do that... I'd charge $75 (if I wasn't doing it for free, which, like the other guys, I would for 3' worth of cutting).
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    Now every homeowner has a chunk of concrete they want cut.

    I think its a safe bet to say this will be the only time such a request comes your way.

    In business, as we get older - we learn that there are times when you do stuff and do not charge for what you did. In return you hope that you'll get a referal or two or three sometime down the road.......

  7. joes169

    joes169 LawnSite Member
    from WI
    Messages: 236

    If these folks start coming out of the woodwork, looking for free sawing, you'll need to get creative with how you handle that. Like DVS said, not likely though. If it happens, you'll get to learn a few new leasons on holdign your own as a biz owner, not really a bad thing.

    As for charging for 20', I'd figure at least $75-125 per hour for the operator + saw + blade use + maintenance + biz overhead + etc... Make it worth your while if you're in a position that you can do so. One more pointer, make the cost at least slightly over the cost to rent the saw & blade (with any extra charges applied by rental yard) so the HO feels compelled to just have you do it for a few extra bucks. The point I'm trying to make is don't do it cheaper than it would cost the HO to rent and DIY.
  8. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    If it's not for an existing customer just tell 'em you have a four hour minimum charge for that type of work. That ought to take care of that.
    Like DVS said, I doubt that you will be swamped with this type of request.
  9. AzLawnMan

    AzLawnMan LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 409

    I like your thinking :drinkup:
    15 minutes of work goes a long way on other jobs he may have, and if he doesnt, he may refer you just cause of what you did.
  10. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    I would tell him to rent the saw and blade and I'd be happy to cut it for him.

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