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What a job!

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by crc13, May 15, 2006.

  1. crc13

    crc13 LawnSite Member
    from 54313
    Messages: 43

    I am just starting out in this business. My first call was today and just got back from looking at it. This is what they want. Two duplexes right next to each other. Small yards, but all the bushes need to be trimmed, replant some hostas, lay down edging and bark. This is a lawn that has not been looked at in years. There is no seperation between landscaping and grass, so I have to make it. Also, thatch, thatch and thatch! Also, plant seed and fertilize. What a first job. Where do I start with quoting this??? Just myself, I am figuring on at least a week straight of work here. Any help on quoting would be great. I know the estimates you guys might give me are rough, due to not knowing how much of everything I need. Am I looking at a 1500 dollar job? Or a 500 dollar job? I don't want to get shafted.
  2. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    I don't think that will take you a week. Even by yourself you are looking at 2-3 days max, I am thinking about 10 hours for me. Find out you overhead costs per hour and add what you want to make. I'd say $30-45 an hour.
  3. crc13

    crc13 LawnSite Member
    from 54313
    Messages: 43

    Thanks for the advice. Do you add any cost of rental and materials into your 30-45 dollar per hour?
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I learned from jobs like the above that when my mind is reeling, it means potential trouble. If you are having to invent ways and means to get around the problems, it means you can not see clearly the solution and you're likely to go for a ride either due to your inexperience, the customer seeing that you are new, or both.

    I can not tell you what it would cost, I am not there and I can not see this problem but I know you can do one of two things:
    - Quote it however you decide and take it all in stride, knowing it may become an educational experience.
    - Run, and fast (But you won't learn anything).

    Best of luck.

    Yes, but carefully... If a material costs 5-8 dollars and it takes me 10 minutes to deal with it... Example: A bag of 34-0-0 fertilizer costs me 9 bucks, I charge 30 dollars to spread this over 1/4 - 1/2 acre lot, so do I add 9 + 30? No, I charge $30 because it only takes me 10 minutes to spread the whole thing but I always try and combine this with something else (like grass-cutting) so I don't take as much of a beating because 20 dollars to go pick up 1 bag of fertilizer and drive to-from the customer's house just isn't worth it (neither for me nor the customer). If all I did was fert their lot then it would take close to an hour total, so I combine other stuff to do and it's not so bad.

    Hope that helps.

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