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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.

Anyone know anything about cemeteries...?


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 12-08-2012, 05:52 AM
stck2mlon stck2mlon is offline
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Default Anyone know anything about cemeteries...?

I have been asked to bid on 16 properties in New England. 14 of the properties are small 1/2 hour jobs. There are 2 huge cemeteries that I need to estimate. Anyone know how to estimate these? Meaning, how much do headstones slow you down? Do you have someone on a big mower and someone going between the stones with a trim mower and someone buzzing the headstones?
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  #2  
Old 12-08-2012, 07:47 AM
willshome willshome is offline
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Here is a thread about this
I think DPLD put it best
Quote:
Originally Posted by dpld View Post
i have a 11 acre cemetary that i maintain for my church as well as i maintain the church but they are seperate locations.

if it is a standard old style cemetary with upright head stones and not the modern type with the headstones flush with the ground your price of 1,500 is too low.
my little 11 acre site takes 3 guys all day just to string trim around the stones and 2 guys bobbing and weaving in and out of all the stones with the mowers all day.

also, head stones devour string on the string trimmer being granite.
i use three times the string in the cemetary in one day then i use in two weeks with the rest of my accounts and i use probably 5 gals of mix in the trimmers each time i cut it.

i would also recommend not useing the super heavy gauge string in the cemetary either because it will damage some types of stones and the person in the ground may not care but the visiting family members can get very hostile if they see that their loved one's final resting place is disrespected.

there is also the matter of family members leaving little trinkets and knick knacks around the grave over and above the flowers which can spell trouble if disturbed as well as any graves for veterans will have flags and special markers that get blown around from the wind and need to be put back in place.

i can trully say that if i was not obligated to help the church because i am a member as well as my kids go to the churches school i probably would not do it.
take everything about mowing a big place and quadruple it and that is what a cemetary is like cutting.
i can also say over and above the work it is actually pretty intresting and depressing at the same time maintaining a cemetary.
our cemetary goes back a long time and we actually have some graves that go back to the civil war and we also have some soldiers from the civil war burried there.
i also find it depressing because there are a lot of children there as well and i find that years ago we had far more infant deaths then we do today and when you get to a grave that has a picture of a 2 year old childs face on the stone it really kicks you in the gut.

what is funny and odd is that i just about remember every name in that cemetary from walking around it so much cutting the grass.

my only advice is make sure you price it right so you can go there with the proper amount of help to bang it out as quickly as possible and i also would recommend investing in some round up and spray the grass around the stones very neatly to create a 2 to 3 inch buffer around the stones to minimize string trimming.
it will take you some time to do it as well as use a good deal of product but it will save you hours of string trimming.
also make the round up extra leathal and don't do it on a windy day.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:16 PM
dpld dpld is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by willshome View Post
Here is a thread about this
I think DPLD put it best

for what it is worth, after several years taking care of the cemetery i just finished the final clean up on Thursday and it will be the last time i service the property as well as the church and school.

they will have to find another sucker to rope into taking care of the place for chump change.
it has always had it's share of challenges taking care of all three properties.
the church always got something going on between weddings, funerals and weekend services. they also have weekday morning services and any time something is going on i got to stop what i am doing so i do not disturb them.

the school i can not do during school hours or i will have every teacher giving me the evil eye for disrupting their classes and the cemetery was always pretty good in regards to things like mentioned above but if there is a burial all operations cease when the funeral arrives for burial.

burials were not too often but you really do not need too many disruptions at the cemetery because it is such a ball breaker to do to begin with.

anyhow, i had all i can stand this year with these people.
being a member of the church and also sending my kids to school there i only charged them for my help and fuel and there was absolutely zero mark up.
as a member i had no problems helping them out and donating my services.

this year these people were full of complaints and it really pissed me off big time and they acted as if they were actually paying for a top service even though they were getting a top service for practically nothing.

when i took over the grass was two feet tall at the cemetery and the school looked like it was closed down because everything was a mess.
the beds were not edged, the shrubs were not trimmed, there were years of leaves that were not cleaned up gathered in clumps throughout the whole property in beds and up against buildings.

now the place is as clean and as manicured like Disney land and all the teachers thank me for making the place so nice and all the people who visit the cemetery go out of their way to thank me for making the place that their loved ones is buried in look so nice which makes me feel good as well as appreciated.

the priest however, bitches every time i give him a bill and complains about things that do not involve me or my business like when the graves get filled up and settle they want me to go in with a machine and refill the graves.
the grave digger dude gets paid like a thousand dollars a pop to dig and refill the graves and that's his problem not mine to make sure that they are filled properly.

so as a result i have already verbally let them know i will not be back and i will also be sending a formal letter to further elaborate.
and if they give me any lip i will also pull my kids out of the school and sheep shank them out of a couple grand a month in tuition.

i can say from experience and this was not the only time i took care of a cemetery that doing that type of work sucks, actually no, it f'in blows and i will never do one again.
if you are a new guy and you need the work then i understand but be forewarned that they will not pay top dollar ( because no cemetery does ) and the work is 10 times harder to do because of all the obstructions.

with all the added string trimming and the fact that you can not cut it any way you like and have to work in and out of all the stones as well as blowing the leaves in the fall around all that stuff i would say for every acre you do in a cemetery it is like doing 3 to 4 acres anywhere else.

if you are gonna take on a cemetery you have to go into it knowing you will be working harder for your money then anywhere else.
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Old 12-08-2012, 07:42 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
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I bid more then a few and never once came close to landing one. I been told before I was double the winning bid but ohh well.

I know a guy that does like 10 cemeteries. He uses 33" homeowner ZTR's. When i asked him why? It was so he could squeeze in all the tight places and cut down on trimming. He didnt complain about pay but again he was using dirt cheap equipment so his overhead had to be low.
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