On the job too long?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Turf Professionals Inc., Jul 1, 2007.

  1. Turf Professionals Inc.

    Turf Professionals Inc. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    I did some landscaping for a client yesterday and I was wondering if my crew took too long to complete it. I charge by the hour, but if your crew is slow, then it is not very fair to the client.
    We landscaped a 30' X 5' strip that has been neglected for years. The weeds/grass was so tall that you could not see where the client had plants in the bed. Here is a list of what we did:
    1) We removed ALL the weeds via good ole back power
    2) Layed landscape fabric (owner's request, I hate the stuff)
    3) Planted 6 new plants
    4) Spread 1 & 1/2 yards of Marble rock (very thick)

    All together, between 3 laborers, We had 19 man hours in the job. How long should this job have taken? Do you guys think I am about par with what you think it would have taken you?

    The reason I post this, I am making an invoice for $855 plus the $150 in materials for a total of $1005. This is the largest invoice I have given and when I look at the work, I cannot say that I would be willing to pay that much for the work we did. Not that the work is bad, it just does not give the appearence that it is $1005 worth of work TO ME. With that said, I do not exactly have a pile of money (like these clients). I just want to make sure that I am being fair. That is my main concern.

    As always, thanks for the input
  2. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    I think your price is dead on... $45 per man hour is pretty fair price. It is going to be impossible for anybody to tell you if you spent too long on the job w/o seeing the layout, conditions, etc. I know I find my landscaping crew has been dragging in the last week or so... the heat and humidity have really been bad.

    I guess it all really depends on the client expectations. I have some clients that "just want it done" and I bill them for materials and man hours.... other clients have budget limitations... I always try to give them a price upfront.
  3. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,857

    I run tinto the same thing as well. Anymore though I just charge. There was the weed eater, the shovels, loading, materials to chase - alot of time them little jobs can cost alot of time for the final "show case" of what was done. I say bill them!
  4. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Male, from Central NY
    Messages: 1,582

    I'm running into the same type of things. Its my second year, and I've landed some pretty good jobs. Some times I feel a little guilty handing off a bill that I think may seem a little high b/c of hours, etc.... but, then I think about the gas prices, insurance, labor, down time, etc, etc. I'm not getting a break for anything, he!!, my internet service and electric bill is costing me money as I type this.....
  5. richallseasons

    richallseasons LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    sounds to me like you came to a fair price according to how you charge everybody, and the first thing that I noticed when I read your post was you saying that the bed was extremely overgrow and this took extra time to cleanup, I would submit the bill as written and come up with a back up plan if they dispute it, you deserve to be payed for your time.
  6. Turf Professionals Inc.

    Turf Professionals Inc. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    I appreciate the help guys. I will let you know what happens. Thanks again
  7. drmiller100

    drmiller100 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 562

    if i had done the job, 2 guys, 3 hours, with the excavator.

    would have hard bid it uup front with the customer so i would know the value to the customer, and whether i was happy doing it for their price.
  8. bullethead

    bullethead LawnSite Senior Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 273

    It is what it is. Quit second-guessing yourself and bill it. You are in business to make money. Think of how many times that you felt that you should have charged more but your feet were nailed to a bid.

    I always tell myself - do the job right, bill accordingly, and move on down the road. You are going to have people that appreciate the quality product you put out and are willing to pay for it - and you are going to have others that complain about the price and you will never hear from them again because they are cheap arses. Don't sweat it, focus on making money on each job and make sure you provide a quality product.
  9. Turf Professionals Inc.

    Turf Professionals Inc. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 131

    I normally right an estimate up front and have the customer sign it. This particularly job, the fella I am doing it for, I use to work for him in his business so I know he is good for the money and he would never cheat me. He is just a good quality guy. I just want to make sure I am returning the favor. I know he will pay what ever I say it is. His wife on the other hand, Whoa...., now she is a fire cracker. I know what we did is right! That is the only way I will ever do work. I am submitting the bill today, so I will post how it went. Thanks for all the help guys!
  10. prizeprop

    prizeprop LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    I think your being fair.Just say you pay your 3 men $12 hr incl.payroll taxes etc.$12x3=$36 x 6.33 hrs =$227.88 from $855 =$627.12 gross before your fixed overhead is even subtracted.Plus does the 19 man hours include travel time to and from the job,loading and offloading tools,picking up the material and setting up the job?Use of your truck and tools etc.What about a guarentee on plants?Your more than fair! With three employees you better make at least that a day to stay afloat. Try renting a truck and tools for a day and youll see what there worth.Not busting chops here.

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