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-   -   De-thatch, Aerate, and overseeding with moss removal bid (I'm nervous!) (

Von Bobbeh 03-05-2013 10:26 PM

De-thatch, Aerate, and overseeding with moss removal bid (I'm nervous!)
What would you charge to de-thatch, core aerate, lime, ferrous sulfate monohydrate (moss remover) and over seed half an acre?

I came to:

150 for core aerate,
150 for de-thatching,
about 200 for chemicals and seed and
150 for labor.

$650 for lawn repair seems about right, but also really pricy, this is the biggest project I have taken on to be honest. should I charge more, or less? I live in the pacific north west, medium high cost of living.

Blahhhh I'm going crazy and I need to send this bid soon as possible help me gopherites!

phouse65 03-06-2013 12:18 AM

core aerating
Did they request to core aerate and dethatch? The core aerating is basically taking care of thatch. The only time I would do both is if it is over 1 and a half inches in thatch. If you were worried about it being too pricy, you could eliminate that. I have a half an acre priced at $255 for core aerating and another $365 for the seed. If I just dethatch without aerating, it is also $255. How do your prices compare to others?

Von Bobbeh 03-06-2013 12:28 AM

Hmmm well the main problem (like most north west lawns) is the moss which the de-thatcher should tackle well. The customer did want both, but that is a very good alternative if he finds it too pricey (and I know I would, even if he's in a $400,000+ neighborhood.) I tend to do things slightly cheaper than other guys around here, but I'm not rock bottom cheapest by any means either.

LawnBoy0311 03-06-2013 06:47 AM

Here is how I do it.

*Aeration cost is 4x the mowing cost
*Dethatching is 4x mowing cost
*Calculate out the chemicals/seed, add a small mark up for gas and time to get it

So if I charge say $45 for a half acre, the aeration and dethatching would be $360. Lets say to get the chemicals and seed is a 25 minute roud trip, I feel like charging $25 for that.

The total for that property is $385

NOW, if your renting an aerator and dethatcher, you have to factor that stuff in. I own mine, so it's not a problem. I don't factor in labor because that price of $385 includes my labor.

Thats how I do it, others may be different.

Grass Doctor 03-07-2013 09:11 AM

did u measure to make sure how much seed u are going to need for this project higth quality seed its always a 1poundx1000sqf. i like to put 2pdsx1000 just to make sure.10.000sq=20pds

Von Bobbeh 03-07-2013 12:52 PM

Alright so he took the bid for thatching and aerating at 160 a piece 200 for chemicals and seed and 100 for some brush clearing and is referring me to his next door neighbor for the thatching and aerating too.

I probably low-balled myself a bit but this is the first time taking a project this big for me. Since I had been doing all small lawns all prior to this I just did thatching with a hand thatcher and just charged for my time, which in that scenario was profitable.

Lord I feel like a noob haha. :o

I'll keep you posted I'm going to give him a written bid and talk to his neighbor Saturday and I'll get some before and after of the project.:cool:

Grass Doctor: I did some measuring on Google maps it is a triangular lot and it came to about 12.5k sqft, maybe I'll measure again.

LawnBoy0311 03-07-2013 01:13 PM


Originally Posted by Von Bobbeh (Post 122974)
I probably low-balled myself a bit but this is the first time taking a project this big for me. Since I had been doing all small lawns all prior to this I just did thatching with a hand thatcher and just charged for my time, which in that scenario was profitable.

Lord I feel like a noob haha. :o

Don't feel bad at all! Congrats! Aeration and seeding is a different kind of job to sell. So you gave a quote of what you thought was best for you. Shrug off the fact that you may have lowballed, because I know there are others around you who will do it for less. Heres a case of what happened to me twice last year:

I sent out quotes to all of my customers last fall on aerations as well as educating them on MY process. My prices are a bit higher than most, but my methods work and work well. (Poke as many holes as you can, use high grade seed -I only use Pennington, put down starter fert, etc.) Of all my customers, 2 chose to go with someone else. The other company was doing it for half my price. They must have thought I was a liar or something, who knows. But when I saw them next, both were upset with the job that was done. Both also let me know it wasn't worth the money and they wish it were done by me.

I also picked up another customer a few weeks ago. I explained aeration and all that stuff, but she said she was hesitant to do it again after all the money she paid to a guy last year and the piss poor job he did. Her yard would have taken me about an hour and a half, she said the guy was in and out in 10 or 15 minutes. Guys like that ruin this business, and unfortunatly make it harder for us to upsell.

Some companies do one quick pass with an aerator, throw some "contractor blend" seed down, and rush off to the next job. NOT the way it should be done!

What you did was perfect. You set a price for YOUR work. Do a good job, make them happy, and more jobs will come! Heck, I finished an aeration and found this ladies sprinklers in her bushes and set them up, got the angles rights, and told her all she had to do was turn them on! A quick 2 minute process made this lady very happy with the service!

Von Bobbeh 03-07-2013 03:14 PM

Ahhhh that's why I love this forum, thanks. I feel REALLY bad for guys out there trying to do it all on their own without any support. I'm really excited to get this experience under my belt, and of course watch this customers lawn turn from moss to lush.

Grass Doctor 03-07-2013 04:41 PM

460.00 does not seen in my eyes as low balling for 3 to 4 hours of work haaaa nice day:D:D:D

Steve 03-08-2013 05:16 PM

Good luck with it all. I'd like to hear more how your estimated time compared with your actual time when you are done. And what if anything you would change about the bid.

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