Prices for bush trimming

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by clc2003, Oct 17, 2007.

  1. clc2003

    clc2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ia
    Messages: 284

    I recently trimmed 32 bushes at a residential account of mine and now i am uncomfortable with what to charge them. I have been reading some of the posts here and I have mostly seen people bid either by the hour or by looking at the job. I have only heard one person bid the job by bush. I told customer $10/Bush but now it seems too high to me. The bushes I did though were not done every year, they were pretty overgrown. I trimmed Spirea, Burning Bush, Evergreen type (not sure what they are 4 sure), and another kind of deciduous bush. I had about 10 man hours in the job, but I am still afraid of what they might say of bill even though I told them 10/bush. The working conditions were good, flat ground, easy beds to get to bushes, etc., but like I said earlier, bushes were overgrown and needed shaping not tightening up. Any Ideas to my uneasiness? I can get pics if need be. Please help, I need to bill them soon.
  2. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    may-be i'm wrong , but i charge $60.00 -$65.00 per man hour on everything but major clean-ups .... so with that said i would charge $650.00 for the job. if it is a current customer i would drop it a little ...was their a dump fee or did the debris left ed on site. if i have to haul it would $650.00 for the job because you have 10 man hours into it .......... take care of yourself and do what you feel is right.
  3. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    if you told them $10 a bush, the customer will expect to be billed $320 ...... you definitely under bid...
  4. soloscaper

    soloscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 25

    I usauly charge 35 to 40 per man hour for trimming and you have to think about clean up and hauling debris
  5. clc2003

    clc2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ia
    Messages: 284

    Thanks guys, I too try to get about 60/hr. for my services. The job did take longer than expected due to overgrowth and difficulty in clean-up. I guess at first I thought $320 might be too much and my thinking was out of line, but it sounds like I am on the right page but under bid this job. If I do it again next year it will be alot less time consuming and prices would be more profitable. Thanks again guys for your help.
  6. loom-gen

    loom-gen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    Were these big bushes? It should not take ten hours to do 32 bushes. unless they are almost trees. You better get more that 320 bucks. If they complain about 60 an hour, you call me; I'll talk to them.
  7. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    why didnt you know they were overgown did you bid over the phone?
  8. drumbo

    drumbo LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 336

    In the midwest, I'd expect you to receive $35-$50 per man hour. Your gas...your equipment...your cleanup....
    The clock stops when we get done getting debris disposed of...gotta pay for that windshield time too.
  9. Big Bad Bob

    Big Bad Bob LawnSite Bronze Member
    from zone 5
    Messages: 1,074

    If you undercharge this year, they will squawk when you charge more next year. Stick to your $60.00/hr and charge that.
    Was it due to bad planning and inexperience that it took as long as it did? If it was, then the lower rate would be right. If it was just the nature of the job, charge the higher rate.
    Also, trimming once a year is just not enough. Insist on twice and you will actually be able to charge much less total for the year and the job will be easier.
    I've underbid my share of jobs and I'd rather not get the job and drive by while the other guy, mostly unlicensed and uninsured, sweats doing it for nothing.
    To digress just a bit:
    I had a guy turn me down for a cheaper bid a few years back. The guys dropped a ladder on the neighbor's brand new Lexus. They just picked up the ladder, finished the job, collected the check without mentioning the $3000.00 damage to the neighbor's car. The neighbor came over to the customer's house to complain about the damage. Another neighbor saw them drop the ladder. The customer called the hillbilly bush trimmers and said they needed to turn it over to their insurance. The hillbilly bush trimmers just laughed and said "We don't got no insurance. Turn it in to your house insurance." To keep peace, that's exactly what the customer did and he has never collected a dime from the hillbilly bush trimmers. They didn't exist as a business and they simply moved to another town. The customer is still paying higher premiums for his "cost savings".:laugh:

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