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Prices for differnt work

Hi all

I hope you are all well and busy!

Just wondering if you have different prices (charges) for normal gardening jobs, grass cutting to weeding to hedge cutting or you change for each job done? Like the following

Will you charge less for cutting grass, please? And you include trimming the edges too or is that extra?

What if you are weeding a garden is that cost a bit more, please?

Do you charge more for hedge cutting, please? Is by the hight of the hedge to be cut from low to high hedges?#

I look forward to hearing from you.

Thanks, B



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  • PRO

    With my regular clients the grass cutting only ones pay a bit more.... they have to pay for the replacement, servicing and other costs on the machines + of course the petrol. I charge a levy if I use some bits of kit - a chain saw for instance. THe chains need sharpening and it is cheaper (in time terms) to get them professionally sharpened than spend my off time sharpening them... so if I start a chain saw in their garden it costs them £13 extra.... things like that.

    In the deep mid winter if I need to, or think it worthwhile I will drop my prices by 10% for non gardening work. For instance in those really cold damp weeks running up to Christmas I got the chance to fit bookshelves and fit out a gun room - so we were very glad not to be outside - and it allowed us to work from 8 through to 5 so they got a discount. 

  • We have been here many times before.

    It is very difficult in some ways because of the diverse nature of each gardeners own work. I am mainly grass cutting and hedge cutting and no longer do general garden maintenance like weeding or planting. I tend to do larger scale work like cemeteries, playing fields and generally work which is much larger than normal domestic size. But I do still have a very small number of normal domestic sized work.

    But any formula for pricing will work across the size scale and across several disciplines.

    Any charging system should always be price per task. You should never, never quote an hourly rate to any client at any time.

    The hourly rate is only ever a device that you keep inside your own head in order to calculate the price you then quote. So you look at a particular task and think to yourself ‘that will take me three hours’ so you then times your internal hourly rate by three and the resultant figure is the price you quote to the client.

    Grass cutting should be £1 per minute or better. So £60 per hour. More is easily achievable. If you are mowing a lawn and edging is required then you include this in your time calculation.

    Hedge cutting should be about £35 per hour. £40 can be achieved.

    For example I have a mowing job which is £240 per cut. A churchyard. I pay my strimmer man £80 so I get £160. It takes me two hours to mow it to a high standard. It takes the strimmer guy about two hours also.

    It sounds like a lot of money until you take into account certain factors. The machine I use on this job is a £6500 machine which uses four, to four and a half, litres of petrol an hour. The mulching kit was close to £300. It will need replacing at some point as they don’t last forever. The strimmer is an expensive machine in the first place which also consumes fuel and line. I have to be insured [P.L.]. I have to travel to the site towing a trailer with the machine on. A Hilux like mine is about £36k list price. I had to buy a £1200 trailer, I have to pay for service items, replacing broken or worn out parts, tyres, new blades, vehicle servicing, vehicle insurance, VED etc.

    I have another machine which is four wheel drive. That machine is a £7500 machine. Each machine has its particular niche and both are needed. I have just ordered about £800 worth of battery kit to go with the £2000 worth I already bought within the last 18 months. I also have two stroke strimmers and chainsaws.

    I could go on.

    So don’t undercharge and don’t be afraid to quote realistic prices.

    Pricing is a bit of an art form that comes with years of experience. It’s a difficult nut to crack when first starting out because you need to be able to look at a job and know how long it will take you along with other variables. It’s all about precedent. You really need to have seen it all before.

    • Thank you Vic 575 for your advice that great help!

      Just one other question with more commercial clients what the rule with the pricing there? If you said £1 per min cutting grass so £60 for the hour, what would it come down to please?



      • I’m not sure exactly what it is you are asking me. Are you asking if there is a difference in charges between domestic and commercial clients? And what those differing rates would be?

        • Yes, what those differing rates would be, please?

          • Broadly speaking there is no difference between commercial and domestic rates. The only caveat is that as commercial jobs tend to be on a much larger scale, there is greater scope for more efficiency, or getting quicker. So if you save time you gain a better rate for that time.

            As already stated, £60 p/h is a good guide. This is time on site and wouldn’t normally include travel. All my work is well within a seven mile radius so that isn’t an issue to me.

            I have one job that is nearer to £150 p/h and some others that are nearer to £80 p/h. This was achieved through efficiencies like mulching and not collecting and removing clippings like the previous contractor did. I could charge the same price as they did but be much quicker.

            Also, twenty odd quid for a small domestic lawn which only takes fifteen minutes, works out at a good rate for the time taken.

            Hedge cutting is the same whoever the client is. Again the guide of £35 p/h is only in your own head, as you quote a price for the job. Then as you get faster on repeat visits your fee is earned for less time spent on site.

            • PRO

              Agreed 110% on most of that Billybop, that said...

              We have just booted out a new boy on lawn mowing even though we take less time but charge more. We leave the garden with a  beautiful striped lawn looking towards the sunset. The new guy undercut us, but uses a mulching mower and apparently didn't do the edges neatly. We are back, even though we charge twice as much.....and 2 of us are in and out in 20 mins and he took ....wait for this 1.5 hours!!!

              • I’m Vic not Billybop.

                You have to remember that whilst I do mulch, and we are talking in the main about cemeteries, church yards and large scale work that you just would never collect on, I take a great deal of care and pride in what I do. The finish I get with mulching is perfect, because I take the time to do it properly.

                So while in your example the guy isn’t very good, it’s not because he is mulching it’s because he has the wrong attitude, not the wrong mower.

                I never undercut anyone either. I usually charge more. I am talking about new work being offered to me because of my good reputation and when the clinet wants a better finish than is being delivered by the existing contractor.

                Mulching as it should be done here – Enlarge the picture and see.


                • PRO

                  Sorry for mixing you up Vic....answering too late in the evening 😟

                  And agreed re the guy, he should easily be able to undercut us on time taken....and therefore do more lawns per hour/day. The stripe thing just looks really good on this lawn in particular....and the fact that he doesn't have a roller mower is a business decision he has made

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