Need some opinions on how to estimate a spring clean up job.

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by fczaro, Apr 17, 2014.

  1. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,139

    One thing I have learned over the years, is looking at the scope of the job and the type of property it simply doesn't appear like the kind of folks who would want to spend upwards of $500, and don't get me wrong... But the trick here is to make a visually appealing difference for the kind of money these folks are willing to spend, without cutting yourself short.

    The fact is, we don't know how much these folks are willing to spend.
    We may think we do, but we don't.

    Throwing a bid out there without the above clarification is apt to result in fast denial.
    So then we start lowballing, in an effort to get the work.

    That is the trick with most jobs I run into, few of my customers are simply willing to just throw money at me...
    Not saying it's not worth the $500-$1000 but when I am out giving an estimate I make it my job to determine:
    a) Where does the customer want to go with this?
    > You'd be surprised, some want a complete overhaul, others do not.
    b) how much better do they want it to look?
    > In this process I start to outline some things I can do, and how much each will cost.
    > This gives them a good idea of what buying power their money has, it also lets me see:
    c) how much are they willing to spend?

    And last but not least...
    d) are they wanting a long term plan, or a one time all out thing?
    > Because believe it or not, that's an easy 6 month project as well.
    This would allow the financial hit to get drawn out some, this may or may not appeal to them, but I want to know.

    And so on...

    Therein lies the trick in selling, is finding out what the customer wants, and how much they can spend.
    Whether at once or over time.

    That having been said...
    You may not need to haul the leaves away if there's something like a wooded area where they can be blown into
    Last edited: Apr 19, 2014
  2. AMW Landscaping

    AMW Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 630

    Two hard to tell in the pictures.
  3. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,372

    clean ups are hard to tell on production, it's not like mowing where you can do X square feet in Y time.

    I generally think of it in terms of a portion of a day.

    If a team is 3 guys, I have 24 hours to bill for that day.

    So if its going to be a half day that's 12 hours

    12 x 60 = $720.00

    If it's going to be half that time ( a quarter day) 6 x 60 = 360…

    I have a minimum clean up of $250… so quickies make a decent amount of money…

    Especially if you can blow out all the beds into the lawn, cut it with a walker, then hook up the tine rake, cut it again and your done… whooo! $200 an hour baby! yea! (solo clean up crew with a walker always makes decent coin)
  4. smlc451

    smlc451 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    400-500$ bucks for sure. -- check that, go with what the previous poster said :)
  5. forkicks

    forkicks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    Those type of jobs require knowing all the variables that are involved. Like is there a large wooded area behind the property that you can dispose of all that stuff or do you have to take it to a recycling center. How close is the center? Also if that is the case are you doing this solo with a pick up or do you have a crew with a dump trailer and or mason dump. If disposal is the way you are going than to do a average clean up nothing special just a neat sellable look than from what I see in the photo's it would be about 650.00 plus dump fee's. Looks like alot of brush and I think I see a tire or 2 maybe some scrap medal too. So That all adds up on disposal fees. The dump fees which should include your time and gas should be separate from your rate for the clean up labor.
  6. smlc451

    smlc451 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 109

    When we do spring cleanups, if there is a lot of brush we only take it out if we're being asked to and if we're being paid. That is because a) it's a pain in the butt, and b) we usually have to split our load or make two trips to the dump, also a pain, and it costs more.

    Also we haven't offered or been asked to take out scrap/junk and don't plan on it either. Only include what you're being paid for really. Make sure you are clear up front with the homeowner what that is.

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