What does a gardener charge?

For those of you who are new to Landscape Juice, you might want to check out a post called 'what to charge per hour', I wrote in early 2007. Attached to that post is a method for charging out machinery and how to charge-out your travel costs in the post 'hidden costs of travel'.

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  • We offer various rates across the board for various services and we also offer discounts for OAP and long term contracts. Fee's start as little as £13 an hour for a standard grass cut service and general gardening, charged at min' one hour but we do not do this horrible thing of charging you an extra hour for going 10/15 min over the hour!.. Our design service is based more around a clients budget, tell us what you can afford or what you want to spend and we will show you what we can do..
  • Just stumbled on your web-site as we are wondering what labour rates we should be charging too. At the moment we charge £12-14 for general garden maintenance, and the same for lawn cutting which we reckon covers for wear and tear and petrol. For Landscape projects we charge £15, which would include turfing, clearing, and all the heavy jobs associated with a new scheme. If a customer wants fencing, patios, or garden electrics we charge £20. For these labour rates we work hard, take 15 minutes for lunch and charge travel at the same rate which is usually no more than 30 minutes and only in one direction, i.e outward. We don't spend time leaning on the spade and are truly worn out at the end of the day. We remain dismayed when hearing we have been beaten by a quote charging £4 per hour but assume the guy is 99 years old and short sited. Having seen the result of the undercut quote - You do get what you pay for with us. Richard
    • PRO

      Hi Richard

      A professional gardener should be charging a minimum of £15.00ph.

      I remember my accountant telling me many years ago, if you raise your prices by 20%, 90% of your customers will agree to the raise and the remaining 10% you can afford to lose.

      I am aware of the economic climate at the moment and trading is not easy so every business must set it's own charges according to their circumstances.

      But, a rule of thumb is: if you work on the basis of there being 2000 chargeable hours in a trading year (i.e. 50 weeks x 40 hrs - assuming a two week holiday) and you want to make a minimum of £20,000 salary (not unreasonable) this equates to £10.00 ph.

      Add tax of circa 25% which equates to £2.50 ph, vehicles costs and sundry costs we can easily eat up £15.00ph.

      I would like to see a basic wage for a self employed gardener.

      • Thanks for the reply, Philip. We,that is the wife and I don't think £15 unreasonable. You say trading is difficult but it seems to me that in today's society employers expect more and more from employees. The net result being more hours worked by all, people then find themselves on a downward tread mill, forced to buy in all their needs including Gardening as they have no time or energy. That was certainly the case with us - this is a life change from 3 years ago and a former Directorship in the Public sector. We won't be going back to that rat race again ! What I still find difficult to come to terms with is the rate at which to work. When in the Public sector I managed 70 staff and motivating them into what I saw as a decent days work was very difficult. I know they have to do this for a lifetime so tend to pace themselves but it was still very disappointing to manage. I can only assume that our business will continue to grow by word of mouth for a worthwhile job done. Richard
    • Yeah, I did a similar thing. Started off about 3 years ago, after finishing college, with my suzuki and trailer with hand tools and the essential machines. Was charging £10/hr as I didn't feel I could warrant charging more. Once I started to get things going and things like van, insurance, licences, wages, fuel, waste disposal...etc are all factored in the price needed to be £15/hr though - which I still feel is extremely low for what I do (most of my work is either large gardens(2-3acres) for which maintenance is major or small estates where woodlands, fencing, driveways, and general management comes into it; then other smaller gardens and medium size grass cutting contracts fill the rest out)

      For existing customers, hourly rate went up in 2 increments - £12.50 then to £15 another 3 months later. For new customers it is a straight £15 unless it's a particularly massive amount of regular straightforward work, whereby I can take along the 2 boys, and I'll give a small discount. I shouldn't really give a discount but it does secure worthwhile work.

      For grass cutting work I give price for job but base on same hourly rate. If it's a job out on a limb somewhere I'll maybe just round figures up to cover travel.

      All of my work is through making a thorough, honest job and word being passed on. A dribble came from yellow pages/

      Hope you all enjoying this fine weather!
  • Hi everyone,

    I charge £15/hour and 30p/mile for travel. I started out at about £12.50/hour and put my prices up last year. I only work in domestic gardens and no longer consider smaller gardens - I had a few bad payers last year so rebranded my advertising to aim for a higher end client. I don't get as many enquiries but have had no bad payers this year.

    Most of my client base is return work each Spring after the Winter break and I now have a core of 4 regulars who get a full day each week. Having the capacity to give an extra day when it's needed has actually worked quite well for me.
  • PRO
    Does anyone have a view on the call by the RHS to reduce VAT on ornamental plants and seeds?

    It will certainly benefit anyone who is not VAT registered and does a lot of planting.
  • Hi Philip

    why is it that gardeners don't seem to charge as much as other business a friend of mine in a chippie and he charges between £30 and £40 an hour another dose flooring and he charges the same and people pay these prices and don't batter an eye lid,the same as people will moan about what a builder,electrician,a plumber or even a mechanic yet they still seem have to pay but when it comes to some ones garden were people do like to entertain and want there gardens to look nice people seem to think they are getting ripped off from what i read what do you think
  • ok under stand what you are saying but what about the tradesman building an exstention or a converstion they can be there for some time weeks or even months at a great cost
  • Hi Martin,i'm thinking of going into business my self at the moment i work in distribution get payed holidays and sick leave payed and am payed £12 per hour it's taken my 24 years to work out what i'm going to do and i don't see why with the things i will have to sort out my self why should i sell my self cheap
    my two mates earn £40.000 a year have holidays a nice car and much do you charge
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