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Totally Green
08-19-2008, 11:19 AM
When dealing with my regular customers, when (and how) should I start to charge for leaf removal? For example, we go for the regular scheduled cut and there are leaves in the yard. If you chop them up, they look bad. If you bag them, it takes longer. How do you charge for the leaf removal without making your customer mad?

UniversityLandscapers
08-19-2008, 09:04 PM
I would think to just let them know ahead of time, and give them the options...either you mow over them and they stay behind or you bag them up for a certain amount...

That gives them the option to clean them up themselves if they don't want to pay.

Steve
08-19-2008, 11:00 PM
Gary,

I don't know how your area is but is there a slow down in mowing when the bulk of the leaves fall?

Totally Green
08-20-2008, 01:20 PM
This is my first year, but our grass can grow all the way into October. That leaves us at least a month or so of doing both.

Totally Green
08-20-2008, 01:35 PM
Hi Steve,
This is off subject, but yesterday I was looking over a thread searching for a business plan (now I can't find it) and noticed you use to help companies through, I think you called it, a "head start" program. I was curious why you don't do that any more.

Steve
08-20-2008, 05:35 PM
Here check this link out http://gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=357

Steve
08-20-2008, 05:38 PM
This is my first year, but our grass can grow all the way into October. That leaves us at least a month or so of doing both.

This is a very interesting question especially for those who live in warmer areas. When you don't have a break between mowing and leaves falling, how do you tell the customer that cleaning up the leaves will be an additional fall cleanup rate?

Any other thoughts on this?

StartALawnCareBusiness
08-21-2008, 10:27 AM
Anyone who has read the "leaf work" section of my lawn care material (http://www.startalawncarebusiness.com) or my posts on this board knows I'm not a huge fan of annual contracts. However, this thread is a perfect example of one benefit of contracts.

With an annual contract, leaf work will have already been outlined. The cost of leaf work is either tacked onto Autumn invoices or adjusted into the monthly price during the entire contract.

I have never had much of a problem getting people to pay more for leaf work. The main problem I've seen is with customers calling a day or two after their service wanting to know why their are leaves all over their lawns. Sometimes it's difficult to make them understand that they are paying for removal of the leaves that are on their lawn at the time of service and not the ones that fall 10 minutes after we exit their neighborhood.

Keith

Lukacs Property Maintenance
08-21-2008, 07:12 PM
i have always seperated the lawn care with fall cleanup. I have a leaf blower vac that i use for the debris jobs and include bed clean up also.

Mike

Steve
08-23-2008, 08:16 PM
Mike is there a slow down for you between lawn cutting and when the leaves fall?

Lukacs Property Maintenance
08-25-2008, 02:47 PM
Good question. My slow down starts when the tempurature gets to almost freezing. The grass stops growing and the waiting for the snow to fly starts. The gutter cleaning is also picking up at this time. Everyone usually waits to the last minute. Then they give me a call when the laeves have backed up the gutters.

Mike

Steve
08-25-2008, 08:33 PM
Do you have any advice on how to estimate gutter cleaning? Do you offer additional services to the gutters like putting screens on top of them or those gutter helmets to keep leaves out?

Totally Green
08-26-2008, 11:49 AM
To let my regular customers know about leaf cleanup charges, here is a letter I worked up and plan to send out with their next invoice. Comments are welcome.

We clean gutters at $60.00 per hour (1 hour minimum).

Steve
08-26-2008, 09:41 PM
I really like that. I do wonder if it would be helpful in selling more services if you had prices and a check box where they could check off the services and return the letter in an invoice.

Or maybe they could just check off the services they want a quote for and return it with their invoice?

What do you think would work better?

Also when you are bidding your gutter cleanups, do you at all use linear feet of the gutters in your mental calculations of how to bid the jobs?

Do you take into account the use of ladders and the difficulty of getting to the gutters?

mario543k20
08-28-2008, 10:07 PM
To let my regular customers know about leaf cleanup charges, here is a letter I worked up and plan to send out with their next invoice. Comments are welcome.

We clean gutters at $60.00 per hour (1 hour minimum).

Hey Steve do you think us landscaper's here in the Northeast area, can get away with charging more than $60 an hour? Price's tend to be cheaper out West, would $60 an hour be a competitive price for the Northeast? Any other landscapers in the Northeast area have any advice? $60 sounds fair to me, but I don't want to sell my self short if I could charge more. :D

realhuntin
09-04-2008, 08:56 PM
To let my regular customers know about leaf cleanup charges, here is a letter I worked up and plan to send out with their next invoice. Comments are welcome.

We clean gutters at $60.00 per hour (1 hour minimum).

Your leaving money on the table doing it by the hour.

If you are called to a resi just for gutter clean out you should be charging by the foot and it should include down spout flushing. $1 a ft and if its 2 story it should be a little extra for the height. ALWAYS PRATICE SAFTY WHEN WORKING OFF LADDERS AND ON ROOFS, AND INJURY CAN TAKE YOU OUT OF THE GAME COMPLETELY, COSTING YOU MORE THAN MONEY.
If your doing a fall clean up,(leaf clean up and removal) gutter clean out should be included. Plant beds are not extra either, they are a part of the lawn.

These are common practices with-in my area.

Steve
09-05-2008, 07:56 AM
If your doing a fall clean up,(leaf clean up and removal) gutter clean out should be included. Plant beds are not extra either, they are a part of the lawn.

Very interesting! So when you give a bid for a fall yard cleanup, do you include a line item that shows gutter cleaning and a price for that? Do you include another line item for plant beds? Or are all these included into one price and it isn't broken down at all?

realhuntin
09-06-2008, 12:13 PM
Very interesting! So when you give a bid for a fall yard cleanup, do you include a line item that shows gutter cleaning and a price for that? Do you include another line item for plant beds? Or are all these included into one price and it isn't broken down at all?

We here by propose to; clear all lawn and plant bed ares of leaves to the best of our ability. Clean and flush all gutters and down spouts as follows,

Fall Lawn Clean Up $$$$$$
(All lawn and plant bed areas)

Gutter Clean Out $$$$$$
(Cleaning and flushing all gutter & down spouts)

Total Due $$$$$$


If the customer bulks at the gutter charges then explain to them the importance of having them cleaned out. Most will go for it.

All Aspects Landscaping
09-09-2008, 05:05 PM
anyway you can do pdf files??? Us mac users dont necessarily come with microsoft word...lol