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Landscaper PMH rate to charge?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Acute Cut, Mar 14, 2004.

  1. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    I am sure this has been covered, but i didnt see it when i searched. If yall could point me in the right link i'd appreciate it.

    Here is my delima. My landscape foreman owned his own company for 15 years. His rate that he was charging was 15 pmh and 20 for himself. Materials were pretty much at cost. Am i ignorant or is this too low? I am letting him bid because he can usually toss out a pretty close number on the spot almost. I want to defer to experience, but i also want to make a living here. If it was lawncare (my specialty) i would say it is way to low. I charge between 1-2 dollars per minute on the job with myself and one other employee. My minimum is 30$. (25 if it is a neighbor and then i lower my regular customers price as well)

    Example: We just bid a job. making some beds behind someones house with allen blocks. Basically it is all layed out. We figure on about 254 man hours. (Rather elaborate, mostly hand work laying bricks and such.) Materials comes in at about 6K. I know every part of the nation is different but he was originally thinking 12K tops. I was thinking 14.5K. That still is low i think, but i am learning and have to acknowledge his experience and much superior technical knowledge. We only have wheelborrows and shovels so far. No bobcats or anything yet. (one step at a time) I know there are vairables and i am afraid i cant give them to you as i am not technically knowledgeable yet. Figure, bare bones, hand work, some digging, doing back fill, etc. Materials are 6k and labor is 254 approx man hours total.

  2. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Well, 254 man hours would be billed out at $55 per hour (on the low side for this type work). That's $13,970.00 right there. Then about 30% markup on the 6K is $7800.00. This job should be over $20K.

    I don't care how much knowledge you THINK he has. I think I know why he doesn't have his own company anymore. And if you keep letting him do your bidding, you won't have one either.
  3. Acute Cut

    Acute Cut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 980

    Ouch! Actually, he is only working for me because he wants to spend more time with an ailing wife and his four kids. That is 80% of the reason he wanted to do this in the first place. I talked to the wife and she says we need to be doing the final bidding. I mean, he can look at the job and give us a material listing, but we need to be doing the numbers part anyways. So i guess i am just going to try and do that part myself. Thanks for your help Randy.
  4. Gordons Landscape

    Gordons Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    Charge at least $30 per man hour AT LEAST. Remember you have a lot of overhead and you don't do this for free!

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