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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job
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cemetery client? help!


Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.
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  #1  
Old 03-04-2012, 10:36 AM
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element009 element009 is offline
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Default cemetery client? help!

One of my clients is a caretaker at his church and left me a message earlier asking if I had any interest in taking care of the grass of the cemetery. Anybody have any experience with this? I am only doing residential so far but this could be an opportunity to get experience on a more commercial property. Then again, those gravestones will presenta lot of obstacles. What do y'all think?
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Old 03-04-2012, 06:15 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by element009 View Post
One of my clients is a caretaker at his church and left me a message earlier asking if I had any interest in taking care of the grass of the cemetery. Anybody have any experience with this? I am only doing residential so far but this could be an opportunity to get experience on a more commercial property. Then again, those gravestones will presenta lot of obstacles. What do y'all think?
i take care of a 10 acre cemetery in nnj and they are very decieving.

lots of string trimming and leaves can be a pain in the butt because the grave stones limit in how you do things.

i only do mine because it belongs to my church and my kids also go to school there and when i was asked it was a situation where i could not say no to as well as i got roped in to taking care of the church and school too.

for me it works out because it does not take away from my other jobs and by the time we get to it each week i have allready made my money for the week and it is all gravy anyway.
it also works out to be tax exempt so i do not have to charge sales tax on it.
i also right it off partially because i do take a considerable amount off of what i should charge so the difference goes down as a charitable contribution to the church.

and for me the best part is that they have their own dump and i get to sneek in a load here and there from other jobs for free disposal.

there are things you can do to cut the work back like spray round up neatly around the stones to create a clean 2 inch border around the stones because that will save you hours of string trimming as well as minimize any damages to the stones.
but i can not stress enough if you choose the round up method to do it slowly and be very neat and be prepared to use a lot of it and the time and string you save will more then pay for it.

the stones are made of granite and they destroy string trimmer line regardless of how thick but yet over time the string can damage and discolor the stones and they cost big dollars and a graveyard may seem like a place that no one cares about but in fact they are very well looked over by the families of the deceased and when they see care has not been taken they get real angry real fast.

and be carefull they do tip over easily if bumped into by a mower and if it breaks you got issues.
our cemetery goes back to the civil war and we have some stones that are like wafer's 1 inch thick leaning heavy to one side with cracks and if you even blow on that stone it is lights out.

it really depends on the type of cemetery it is, some of the modern ones keep all the stones flush with the ground and a mower can just drive over them and there is barely any trimming.
or it is like mine hills and 5 million stones 3 to 5 feet tall and wide.

Last edited by dpld; 03-04-2012 at 06:17 PM.
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Old 03-05-2012, 04:08 AM
rodzilla99 rodzilla99 is offline
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Dpld,

If you dont mind me asking, approximately how long does it take you mow this ten acre cemetery? How many hours of the total time is spent behind a trimmer?
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Old 03-05-2012, 07:21 AM
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Dpld,

If you dont mind me asking, approximately how long does it take you mow this ten acre cemetery? How many hours of the total time is spent behind a trimmer?

on average it can take two mowers 6hrs and 2 guys trimming all day and then when the two mowers are done they join in on the trimming and we usually on average get out in 7 hrs with 5 of us.

that amount of time may seem like a lot for 10 acres and it is but when you are talking about a cemetery the game changes big time.

with the grass it is not like a normal job where you make a couple passes around the border and then set your pattern and go back and forth until you are done. there is a lot of bobbing and weaving and the string trimming is simply just a lot of it.
i use my trimmers more and use twice the gas and 5 times the string doing that cemetery then i do on my entire route and just to give you some perspective i do only commercial properties, highly manicured big commercial properties and the smallest i have outside of the cemetery is about 10 acres and the cemetery is like 1/20th my income.

as i said, i am stuck with the cemetery for now because i am the only landscaper in the church and school and they have a way of roping the parishners into doing things for the church and school based on what they do for a living.
one guy is a plumber and he gets stuck doing all the repairs for a song and a dance, another is a accountant and so on and so on.
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Old 03-05-2012, 10:05 AM
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Old 03-05-2012, 12:28 PM
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I know you said you are doing the property for a lot less than you normally would....but assuming this wasn't the case, what would you normally be charging for this job?
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Old 03-05-2012, 03:20 PM
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I know you said you are doing the property for a lot less than you normally would....but assuming this wasn't the case, what would you normally be charging for this job?
the cemetery by itself i charge about 2,300 a month and if it were to be priced accordingly i would be closer to 4,000 per month.

you also got to realize it is the catholic church and they will not pay top dollar for anything.
that is why they use people from the parish because they try to use the guilt in helping out and contributing to force you in to it.

as i said earlier it was a offer i could not refuse, literally.


it all boils down to you can still make money doing it as a outside contractor with no affilliation to the church, you just got to expect that you will be working harder for your money and when you do it you got to go at it with your best A game and beat it out, even if you need extra help.
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