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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.

Shrub Mess Reclaimed


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 07-07-2011, 12:14 AM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Default Shrub Mess Reclaimed

I did a "shrub rescue" today.

The whole front hillside just looked like one, solid mass of... something.
Weeds, flowers, trees, shrubs... all overgrown, and in need of some help.






I started out by looking at everything and realizing I hadn't peeked "inside" these shrubs when I gave the quote. Summinabit˘h!!! Some of the stuff he wanted cut down by half had trunks and branches nearly as thick as my arm!
Guess where my chain saw was? Sigh... back home I went. Lesson learned.

When I finally got started, I realized that there were two "small" shrubs out front, so I started by giving them a bit of shaping as well as the "face" of the massive "wall" of shrub that lined the hillside. I figured I'd work "in" before cutting the height off.







From the yard looking out at the street...
You can see how much I took off on the left compared to the stuff still left to cut on the right.




The FS90R with the articulating hedge trimmer attachment. I don't know if it was a good idea, but I cut some thick stuff with that thing today. If you're going to buy the hedge trimmer attachment, don't waste your time/money with the one that doesn't "articulate". Being able to adjust the angle for different cuts is WELL worth the extra money this unit costs...





I didn't get the greatest "after" shots, but here you go...
There were essentially 5 "sections" to this job. The two round shrubs near teh road, the big juniper that can be seen behind the trailer ramp in the pic below, the "long row" along the hill, and a big holly bush back near the house that isn't visible in the pics.







Sorry, the truck wanted to be in the picture, so...





Here's the best before/after comparison...








It was hot, and the terrain, while not horrible, was uneven, and difficult to work on due to the close proximity of the (also) overgrown pine tree behind all the shrubs.

I thought it would take 3 hours. I quoted $85 and I ended up doing more than I had anticipated. About 3/4 of the way into it, the owner came out to see how it was going. "I'm going to give you a little more than the price you quoted me", he said.

I explained that while not necessary, I appreciate the offer, as the job was "more involved" than it appeared when I stopped by for the estimate.
We chatted for a bit and I continued on with the task at hand. Before the final cleanup, I asked if everything was to his liking. He seemed pleased with everything and was happy to see things getting back to the way they should be. (He's an older gentleman and can't keep up with this type of work)
I loaded up all the debris in the trailer and rather than leaving the grass and weeds standing around the freshly cut shrubs, I got out the string trimmer and cleaned up along the roadway. I just couldn't see leaving a mess around freshly cut shrubs - even if that wasn't what I was being paid to do.

Ultimately, I was given $125 for the job. A $40 "tip" isn't too shabby - I was shocked when I saw the check.
He said that he "wanted to make sure I was willing to come back" to do some other work in the fall and spring. He saw the extra effort I put into the job, and apparently appreciated it.

I think I'm going to send him a "thank you" card. It sucks to work hard on a job that you KNOW you've shorted yourself on, and it's really nice when a client recognizes a good job and throws in a little extra.


Note to self: Buy a bigger trailer.
LOL! I forgot to take a pic, but the trailer was nearly filled to the top.
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  #2  
Old 07-07-2011, 12:57 AM
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Nice work! You come by your name naturally!!

How about them Pirates!
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Old 07-07-2011, 08:24 PM
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That is some great work! And a great learning experience.

What's your view on why you feel you underbid it? What do you feel you should have bid it at?

How long did you think it would take you versus how long did it take?
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Old 07-07-2011, 11:04 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
That is some great work! And a great learning experience.

What's your view on why you feel you underbid it? What do you feel you should have bid it at?

How long did you think it would take you versus how long did it take?
All good questions and hopefully someone reading will learn from my "mistakes"!

I underbid because I lack experience. I have a pretty good handle on how to charge for "normal", straight hedges, but this was simply an overgrown mess that didn't lend itself to a "price per foot" estimate.

If I had to do it again, I think I would have quoted $125-$135.
I think that in the future any "oddball", non-typical hedge job is going to start at $100 and go from there. I mean, really, what does a hundred dollars get you these days? If it's a tricky job that the homeowner isn't willing to do themselves, I doubt they will complain about paying $100 to get it done.

For this job, there were several things I did not factor in:
• The hill
• The huge pine tree that was in my way
• The amount of debris that needed to be removed
• The thickness of some of the branches necessitating the use of a chain saw
• Dump fee and time/gas to take debris to dump

I estimated (in my head) it would take 3-4 hours, but really thought I could do it in 3. It actually took 4 to 4.5 hours - I'm not certain, as I forgot to note my "loaded up" time in my book.
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Old 07-08-2011, 06:12 AM
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Its amazing how you can find those nice round bushes in among all that mess.
Very nice work two Thumbs up
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Old 07-08-2011, 09:31 PM
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Once you got the job done, do you try to schedule another visit in the future to keep everything looking in tip top shape?
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Old 07-09-2011, 03:05 AM
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Nice Job! looking good i'm sure they got lots of quotes but people didn't know what the charge them since it was such a mess
how much is the hourly charge for trimming in your area?
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Old 07-10-2011, 10:30 AM
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Excellent job on those bushes they look awesome!
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Old 07-10-2011, 07:15 PM
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Nice Job! looking good i'm sure they got lots of quotes but people didn't know what the charge them since it was such a mess
how much is the hourly charge for trimming in your area?
Thanks. I'm betting that he had other quotes that were at least $125 or more, and decided to give me something more in line with what he was "expecting" to pay.

I don't know that there IS an "hourly" rate and if there is, I don't know what it is. LOL
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Old 07-10-2011, 08:53 PM
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Hedge
How do you like the Sthil Trimmer/ weed whacker.
My old Sthil weed whacker is on the way out and I was looking at buying a new one and may consider one of the combo units.

Graham
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