Prices: mow vs aerate vs dethatch

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Expert Lawns, Mar 9, 2004.

  1. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    I added aerating and dethatching to our services this year. I have done them in the past on an "on call" basis, and have performed these services awhile back when working for other LCO's. I wasn't quite sure if my pricing was correct when I did them before, so I need some input from you guys.

    I will be scheduling all dethatching jobs for one day, and all aerating jobs for one day since I will be renting. My main goal is to divide the cost of renting the machine amungst all my customers. If I charge each indivudual customer for the full price of the rental, that would seem quite steep. Most of my residntials are $30-40 mowing accounts. The $30 accounts take me around a half hour, and the $40 accounts about 45 minutes. (solo).

    To compare dethatching and aerating to these accounts, how would they match up? Example: would a $30 mowing account be a $60-70 dethating and aerating account? (not including rental price). Just wondering how they are in comparison. Thanks
  2. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    You should charge much more for dethatching than aerating. Reason being, after you are done, you've got to spend the time picking up the thatch and getting rid of it. And that's the sucky part. Aerating takes less time. Generally, I charge aroud 3 times the cost of mowing for dethatching, one and a half to two times mowing cost for aerating. That's not a solid number, just a general guideline.
  3. Expert Lawns

    Expert Lawns LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,660

    thanks MTD. sounds like a good guideline. I just want to be as precise, fair, and profitable as possible
  4. mtdman

    mtdman LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,143

    In general, I've been discouraging dethatching lately. Pushing the aerating more, unless the lawn is in major trouble. Leaving the thatch to degrade and feed the lawn as the cores break down is probably better for the lawn, and it's so much easier than having to collect all that damned thatch.

    As with anything, I try to base prices on an hourly wage.

  5. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i don't have the price list in front of me, but we charge by the 1000 sq ft section for thatching. thatching and powerseeding i believe is $85 per k. i think thatching alone is $40 per k
  6. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    If you can get that much for thatching just think how much you could charge to DETHATCH:D

  7. bayaa

    bayaa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 43

    hey forty dollars for thousand square feet is low. Here in cailfornia we charge at least fifty to sixty dollars and about one hundred and fifty (at the low end) for thatching aerating seeding and topdressing.
  8. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,143

    That's some job security. They pay you to put down thatch. Where do you pick up all those rizomes and stolens? JK

    Expert, where about is this hockey town? There shouldn't be very much thatch in a northern lawn. Price a jrco tine rake. That should remove what you are after. If you have a vac for your Z it will go a lot faster. I did a few last year this way and priced them around a little less than tripple.
  9. Soupy

    Soupy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,125

    We charge $12 per K for Aeration. We measure the whole lot, this makes up for the obstacles. When I first started I would only measure the turf, but soon realized that it is harder to go around a house or pool. so I started charging for the whole lot.

    We have a $60 minimum.
  10. hartlawnmain

    hartlawnmain LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I/m in line with Soupy...We charge $13/1000 sq ft.

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