Undergrowth Estimate

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Revival1906, Mar 15, 2007.

  1. Revival1906

    Revival1906 LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 44

    Started my lawn maintenance co back in Aug/Sep last year and have been servicing 12-15 regular customers during the weekends.

    My dad's friend called me and asked me for an estimate to clear some undergrowth in his backyard. He said he received an estimate of $1,200 from another company and thought it was too high (feeling that he and his 17 year old son could just go out there and clean it up for less than that). Neverless, he asked me for an estimate. He lives in a very nice neighborhood ($350,000 and up in Alabama is "very nice") and the undergrowth is about 42 normal steps wide by 100 steps long (didn't have my measuring wheel when I went by there on the fly). I will measure later.

    Anyway, I have attached pictures of the undergrowth. I would only be clearing undergrowth, no tree work involved.

    My questions are as follows:

    1) What type of equipment would I need for a job like this (if I decide to take on jobs like this)?

    2) What would be a good estimate and basis for such? I am a one man operation (for those of you who remember me...my twin 13 year old boys would not be involved in this job.)

    3) In your opinion, do you think I should even consider doing this job with my limited experience (only doing lawn maintenance since August)?

    I'm looking for helpful feedback here. Thanks.




  2. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    A couple of questions come to mind:

    1. What is the intended result? What will the surface condition be when done? Is the area intended to be mowed regularly when you are done?

    2. What about disposal of the debris? Can you drag it to one corner and burn? Or, do you need to drag/carry it to some place on the street to load and haul away?

    3. What equipment do you have? Do you have blowers? Some kind of power rake? Or, is much of it hand work, without question? Can you cut the saplings with a standard loper?

    In my experience, these projects are far more labor-intensive than at first glance. The area is about 13,000 sq ft, right? If the surface needs to be cleaned off, that will require much work. If only a few saplings need to be cut out, and the leaves are to be blown out (assuming you have a heavy blower), then the work will be much less.

    The $1,200 could be a good price, or over-blown a bit. There are easier ways to make $1,200!
  3. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

  4. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,201

    for starters a good commercial trimmer w/brush blade would be a good idea.
  5. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,361

    Cut the big stuff with blade saw on trimmer and then go rent the big Billygoat bush wacker and take it down to the dirt. You might have to cut some with heavy duty articulating hedge trimmer but this dont; look bad.
  6. Revival1906

    Revival1906 LawnSite Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 44


    1. The intended result. He wants to clear the area and put pine straw down (himself).

    2. We haven't discussed hauling debris, but from the way it sounds, he wouldn't be willing to pay me to haul it off, so I'm looking at it as simply a "chopping" down saplings job.

    3. My equipment is listed in my signature below the pictures.
  7. Wheelz51

    Wheelz51 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    That's a lot of work and $1200 does not seem like a bad price. Sounds like you are looking at an area about the size of a football field. From what I can tell from your pics, that piece of property look a lot like the land here in Arkansas. I see lots of rock - big, deep rock! IMO, you would tear up a BillyGoat. How "clean" does this guy want the land?

    I would get some specifice before I ever thought of tackling this job!
  8. Roger

    Roger LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,940

    From what I can see from the images, some suggestions from the other thread sounds like they would work, that is, cut it down, leave it lay. Nothing would have to be cleaned off, rather just cut down enough for the pine straw cover. Check with some rental shops to learn what equipment is available. I see nothing in your list that could be helpful. The good turf equipment is not suitable for these conditions.

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