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What should I charge?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jmcooper, May 14, 2001.

  1. jmcooper

    jmcooper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    I had a call today from a realtor wanting me to cut the grass on a repo house for a local bank. This realtor handles all the repo's for this area. She asked if I could cut and send them the bill and the bank would cut me a check. The house is about 10 minutes away from where I live. I went by the house to get an idea of what to charge and I couldn't believe what I saw. The lot is .57 acres. The front yard came up to my waist and the back yard came up to my chest. I have a 36" w/b with a 13hp kohler. I have it set at about 2 1/2 inches. Could this mower handle this height of grass? If so, what should I charge for something like this? I was thinking around $75 but not sure if this is enough. There are very few trees to cut around but the whole back yard is fenced, I peeked through the grass and found it. It is level but no telling how many snakes are hiding, if I see a snake, I quit. Has anybody ever cut grass this high before? If I do it I will take before and after pictures. On a yard like this, I could care less about stripes, I'll be happy just to get it cut. Thanks for any feedback.
  2. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    seems to me the realtor just said cut it and send me the bill... so , go in and charge per man hour..that way you can't lose...and to tell you the truth I would do it no other way.
  3. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 467

    One word... BRUSHOG

    Charge for the rental and YOUR hourly rate for the clean up.
  4. EROSS17

    EROSS17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 49

    Is the grass seriously that high? Man, I wouldn't even consider doing it. If your going to, I would walk every square inch of that property to make sure there aren't any hidden rocks, stumps, cars etc.
    $75 is way, way, way, way to cheap. Do they just want it knocked down or knocked down and cleaned up? I would charge big money for a headache like that.
  5. jmcooper

    jmcooper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 51

    I'm serious, it's that high. I did a walk through when I went by to check it and about all I saw were a few pieces of paper. I did find a dog house but no dog. Hopefully I won't find the dog if I cut it.
  6. DBM

    DBM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    I've done quite a few one time cuts this year as it's my first year in the business. I haven't had to cut anything quite that high though. You can be sure to do some damage to your equipment by running over something, as I seem to on almost every one time cut; even though "I was sure" I'd picked up everything. What are you going to do about disposal? I can't see being able to mulch 3 foot high grass. I would charge by the hour if possible as I can't see any way you can accurately forecast the time spent on that job. I would bid it as an all day job, if you get it great - if you don't you would probably be better off.

    If you do it, be sure to post the photos!

  7. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,910

    I do these once in awhile, you're already thinking along the right lines. Pictures pictures pictures. I knock it down with my 44" Toro then the next day I go back and clean it up with my Walker. I charge about 4 times the normal rate and tell them if I hit anything we share the repairs. I have never hit anything but this makes them think twice about calling you earlier next time. I charge extra for garbage removal and these places always have loads. These lawns will look like heck when you are done because the grass is so long it is thin at the bottom but it will come back. Sell them fertilizer to speed the process up.
  8. Vintage

    Vintage LawnSite Member
    Messages: 16

    I don't worry so much about what the mower hits in a yard like that. It's the damn bees, it seems everytime I get into an overgrown area I go over a bees nest. One time I got stung over 200 times, that was fun!!

    Price it per hour and tell them upfront your hourly charge.
  9. Lawn DOG

    Lawn DOG LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 276

    When I first got started, I use to do alot of these bank repo's. The problem with these jobs is they are almost always nasty.It really brought back alot of memories reading your post. But when you are trying to get started you will try to prove you are superman and no job is too tough. I did quite a few for $75 and that is too cheap. But back then it meant alot to me to prove myself. It really should be bushhogged. You may want to be honest with the realtor and see how much money they have to play with. Many of the repos have preset amounts they can spend on these services. This maybe one you might want to reconsider. Good Luck!
  10. joshua

    joshua LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,226

    all i have to say is that most likely your best bet is to rent a brush hog, or since your gunna make some good money off this job to just buy a brush cutter from echo or shaiwdia it will come in handle down the road if you do start to do work for this company, eve if not you have it for all those people who call in the middle of may and want their lawn cut for the 1st time of the year.

    i would charge $30 a hour for myself and $15 for my guy. brush cut it down to about 4 inches, rake it all up trow it in the bed of the truck then cut it at 3.5 inches and tell them you'll be back in 4 days to get it to where it needs to be, then charge them for what the lawn is worth after the 1st cut.

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