Perennial Gardens

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by GolferTurf, May 19, 2006.

  1. GolferTurf

    GolferTurf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hi, just went to a site where the customer has 900 sqft of a once was perennial garden. He wants it all out except for a very nice rhododendron & lilac that ancor the ends. The rest is all over-grown junk. Giving the price list for materials is easy, the hard part is labor...I have to rip out all the old bushes and over-grown weeds, rip up black weed barrier, then rototill and prep for planting. Do I charge by the hour seeing how I am not sure what I am going to run into...or just by the whole job, thanks for your advice and comments in advance
  2. scagwildcat

    scagwildcat LawnSite Senior Member
    from nw. ct.
    Messages: 507

    seeing that your not sure on what you will run into or the time it will take you to do the job, i would say think of a ball park time frame + your hourly rate. tell that to your client, but tell them that your not really sure how long it will take you because of the weed mat .so your final price may be a bit more. in this case when in not sure i give them a low price and a high price. and tell them that you will not charge them any more then your high price for the job..then i just take $10.00 off the price in the end to make them happy .. so lets say that im thinking $135 total but im not really sure ill tell them a high price of $200 ball park. then i bill them for $190 there happy because i didnt charge them $200 and im happy because i made an extra $55.00
  3. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    That's a tough one when you're first starting out. I've found it's better to not go by the hour. Customers will often squeal and run when they hear your hourly rate.:cry: Estimate how long you think it will take you, then add half again as much time and multiply times the hourly amount you want to gross. These are always harder and take you longer than you think. Don't forget to factor in disposal costs and time.
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,652

    Way I see it we got two choices, the easy way or the hard way.

    The hard way is what you're thinking, and hundreds of dollars if not close to a thousand. Oh no I ain't pulling nothing out of the ground for cheap, I done learned my lesson with root systems. Maybe with the weed-eater, but what a royal pita of crap hitting you and stinging and stuff everywhere. Either way, whatever they want...

    The easy way, grab a sprayer and fill'er with round-up. I prefer the backpack sprayer but they're 80 dollars so if you have a 2-2.5 gallon one that is fine. In either case you want at least 5 gallons of round-up around, so mix plenty and buy an empty 5-gallon fuel can (kerosene or diesel so the color sets it apart) and mark it with a magic marker say ROUND UP on it, then mix it all in there so you got some stuff, the fuel can makes refilling the sprayer a breeze.

    So then spray it everywhere real nice and heavy but NOT on the plants they want to keep! Also watch for drift, do this on a nice, calm, sunny day.
    2 weeks later, you may have to spray it again, spots you may have missed, weeds that still grow.

    Cost: $15 / gallon, you'll likely need 3-4 gallons the first time, maybe a couple gallons the second time, so 100 dollars to clear it all out.

    So then a month or two later all that stuff is dead and gone and now you can start working on the project.
    The only question is, you wanna do it the easy way or the hard way?
  5. Kate Butler

    Kate Butler LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    How does this solve the weed barrier problem (removing it so that the area can be tilled up for planting anew)?
  6. Cahsking

    Cahsking LawnSite Member
    Messages: 111

    How much time can you afford to waste on this job? add two hours and multiply by hourly rate! Hopefully it fulfills your overhead, and you make some kind of profit.

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