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Quoting for fall cleanup

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Rich's landscaping, Jul 5, 2008.

  1. Rich's landscaping

    Rich's landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    As stated before in a different thread im just starting out. Im begining to get calls on fall cleanup but unsure what to charge. I have my rate of 45$/hour. Do i give the customer a set price or should i do the work and then bill them. To me if i charge them for 3 hours and then i go back 2 or 3 times im screwed. :dizzy:
    Right now i have a backpack and a rake i plan on buying a used walk behind blower.

    This site has been really valuable asset for me thanks everyone.:)
  2. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,710

    Tell everyone it is $55 per hour (you will use more fuel per hour than just mowing and there will be time spent dumping leaves) for fall clean up there will be a minimum charge for a lawn cut (whatever it costs to cut their lawn) PLUS $55 per man per hour, time spent OFF site is still billable hours as the crew will be dumping leaves from that job.
    If they dont like that deal you could tell them its a minimum $110 dump fee per visit.
    After a year of billing this way you can tell the customer, oh well last year it was $400 for your fall clean up. So assume it will be similar to that (plus or minus 20% depending on rain, volume of leaves etc) but still charge hourly, the fall is persnickity, some years the leaves dump inside two weeks, some years customers call me up to ask if I can "shake the trees" to get the leaves out so I only have to come once.
    SOME properties will let the leaves fall and only want you to come ONCE (these jobs always end up costing MORE) and some people want their property cleaned once a week or at least every 10 days (this is the best way to do it, and the most cost efficent) and still others prefer says 2-3 times per clean up.
    Anyway just go hourly plus or including the dump time/fee, but fall lcean ups will always cost more hourly than regular cutting.
  3. ALC-GregH

    ALC-GregH LawnSite Fanatic
    from PA
    Messages: 7,051

    I'm going to charge $75 per hour and do it myself. Mowing is a given when clean-ups are done. That will be included in the price. Dump fees for me are only $5 per trailer load so those fees will also be included. In the end, If I normally charge $50 to just mow and it takes me about an hour, I'll be getting $75 to mow plus the time spent cleaning up. So if it takes me 3hrs to mow and clear all the leaves out, I'll make right around $165 after expenses. :D
  4. hackitdown

    hackitdown LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,632

    Here is how I price it for a customer.

    1. It is a $240 minimum
    2. The fee is based on $60/hr/man
    3. Based on my best ESTIMATE, your property will cost between $360 and $420
    4. If more leaves fall after I clean up, I will return for a reasonable fee.
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220

    That's too LOW.............
  6. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    you have fall cleanups down in Texas?
  7. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,710

    people dont understand fall clean up until theve worked in New England... Ive heard people say "how can you charge that much?" Or "Idont even have a blower or a bagger I just mulch the leaves"

  8. milkie62

    milkie62 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    NOWAY can you mulch leaves all season in New England.You cannot "mulch" 4-6" of maple leaves and still falling.I have had some maples hang on until after Thanksgiving in upstate NY. I could never give a price on a cleanup around here.I charge hourly and it will vary from year to year depending if we get early snow and the blower will not peel them up etc....
  9. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    agreed. they have no clue.
  10. Wayne's Lawn Service

    Wayne's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    Cleanups are a great opportunity to make money. Too bad we don't have more day light in the fall to work a few more jobs.

    I agree with you guys 100%. Cleanups are jobs that must be priced hourly and at a higher rate than mowing. The conditions are such that is harder on equipment and requires specialized equipment to do it and make a good PROFIT.

    Before we know it, many of us will be hooking up Vac's and firing up parking lot blowers. Oh Gosh, where is the summer going. In the mean time, check your plow and salt box. Okay, maybe not just yet!

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