Need help with quote for fall clean up.

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by Lone Mower, Nov 26, 2018.

  1. Matthews Lawn Care

    Matthews Lawn Care LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,007

    I’d figure it 6-8 hrs based on how effecient you are. Shaggy grass will slow you down a bit and so will the fence.

    I’d get the majority of the leaves to the curb and mulch the rest.
    Lone Mower likes this.
  2. JMK26

    JMK26 LawnSite Fanatic
    Male, from Missouri
    Messages: 14,505

    Leaves can be difficult to estimate....with experience most are easily done, but I still run into those leaf jobs that i'm like "wtf?"

    In these cases I come up with a time....and then add in a fudge factor....then my estimate states $300 not to exceed $450".....This way you get a lot of room to play with.

    I have also rain into the opposite. I've shown up to give a price....lots of $ up...wind has cleared a lot of many leaves in fact that I pulled the mower off and mulched them, double cut, and I charged them for a double cut....I did explain why it was so much cheaper and following years may be different. Couple years later all the leaves blew ONTO their lawn...price ended up being $300.

    I love leaf cleanups...but I hate pricing them.
  3. OP
    Lone Mower

    Lone Mower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    Thanks guys! I told the customer $350.00 for the job this morning. I'm also a newbie but I'm not going to low ball any work just to have work.
  4. That Guy Gary

    That Guy Gary LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,387

    Good for you, you'll be grateful in the end if you don't have to deal with the realization that you need to raise prices by 50% on all your clients in order to stay in business.

    Don't be afraid to overbid one time jobs either if you are unsure and your focus is maintenance. I burned myself a few times, for a regular customer it's just a lesson learned but for someone you'll never see again it smarts.

    If I'm uncomfortable with my time estimate I'll add on 50% so I don't feel anxious if they accept.

    A one timer is only asking me for one of two reasons imo. They either like the quality of my work or they think I'm cheap. If it's the former they'll pay a premium, if it's the latter they can kiss my ass.
    Green Industry Pro likes this.
  5. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,956

    If the customer wants a price set in stone, I do what any other biz would do... Pad it in your favor. Now what I will usually do is knock off some of it if we do it in a lot quicker time than I thought... I know I know I'm soft on that. But I try to be fair. Under promise and over perform right?
  6. Rockbridge Lawn Care LLC

    Rockbridge Lawn Care LLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,089

    Depending on the amount of leaves I go two ways

    1) normal clients I charge $15 per grass catcher full (which I dump into the woods many times when authorized to, or in the truck bed) SO I'm covered as more leaves = more money and these are weekly accounts so its never a ton at any one time.

    2) one -timers I charge $75/hour and if they go well how many hours I add in an extra hour and say "if it's more then we'll get your authorization when it's more than X/hours"
    Lone Mower likes this.
  7. Green Industry Pro

    Green Industry Pro LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Tyler Texas
    Messages: 609

    Couldn't agree more. When I started I did a lot of one time cleanups. We don't take any one time cleanups any more. Zero. I figured out that they usually want a really hard job taken care of, and for cheap. They'll go down the line collecting bids and go with the cheapest. Give them a price that you are comfortable with and then some. If it works out, good. If it doesn't, you're not losing anything.
    hort101, That Guy Gary and Lone Mower like this.
  8. Gregg Lambert

    Gregg Lambert LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    There are a lot of variables, and you can use that to propose a time and materials proposal. Tell the homeowner this is your policy for new one-time cleanups, and maybe they will take the bait and ask about maintenance.
    Lone Mower likes this.
  9. OP
    Lone Mower

    Lone Mower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    Thanks to everyone for the help. I really do appreciate it very much!
  10. Jack Hammer

    Jack Hammer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    I don’t bid leaves. Too many variables at play. Wet, frozen, swirling winds... how can you knock down a price? Hourly rate only... Gone are the days of bidding $150 and spending all day chasing my tail.

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