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Cost of mowing service

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-08-25          145003


We have bought a home in another town to use as a getway summer home type place. This home is about 60 miles from where we now live, and will see part time summer and winter use. This is a 1400 sq. ft. ranch style home W/2 stall attached garage on a 99X120 lot. The lot is flat with five or six semi mature trees, very little shrubery or other obstacles to trim around. The wife nor I are able to push a regular lawn mower anymore, so that is out. This seems like such a small lawn to invest much in a decent rider mower, plus we will need a sidewalk and a short 30-35 ft. drive cleared in the winter. This is an exceptonal summer here in that we have had lots of rain so the grass seems to never slowed up, in a normal August a couple mowings would be plenty. Our normal snowfall is about 30 inches per winter. Do tbose of you in this sort of business have a flat rate per season, charge by the time consumed per mowing/snow clearing?? What do you charge?? I know of at least one service in this town, but haven't talked to them. Frank.

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Cost of mowing service

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candoarms
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 1932 North Dakota
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2007-08-25          145005


Frank,

We are still able to find a few teenagers who don't mind working, but it is getting to be more difficult to find such types these days.

The elderly people here in town hire a teenager to do their mowing for them once a week. (We don't have any professional lawn companies available) and they supply the push mower, along with the gas and oil needed.

Once a week, usually on the weekend, the youngster shows up to do the mowing, for 20 bucks. If you want the house, trees, and garage trimmed around, you can expect to pay an additional 20.

Buy yourself a decent push mower and a gas can.....possibly a string trimmer, as well. Leave it at the new house. Find a young kid who does this sort of thing so that he can save up for college.

You can set the mowing and blowing interval ahead of time, or leave a phone number so that the kid can call you when he thinks you'll need to blow the snow, etc.

It will help if you know somebody in the distant town, but this is not always necessary. Most kids of this sort will advertise their services in the local paper. You can pick up a local paper when you're there, or subscribe to it and have it sent to your permanent residence once each week.

For best results, have the kid provide a list of references.

Joel
....

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Cost of mowing service

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earthwrks
Join Date: Dec 2003
Posts: 3853 Home Office in Flat Rock, Michigan
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2007-08-25          145007


Frank, I got out of the snow and grass business last year. There is no easy formula. I have had customers who wanted me to drive 15 miles to plow their snow or cut their grass for the same price or lower than what they were paying a local guy. No way. Grass and snow guys can only make money by having all the accounts very close to each other. Customers don't like or refuse to pay for drive time to and from the job. In our area (Detroit, southeast Mich. area) we can charge about 25 - 50% more for services than say two counties over in either direction. That said, in our area, residential grass and typically snow goes for about $60-75 an hour. Commercial jumps to $100 - $125. And that's just for smaller equipment like pickup snow plows. (incidentally, my former helper cuts the grass, trims the shrubs, waters the flower, etc. for Davey Commerical Grounds for the Ford/Mazda plant---the contract is over $350,000 a year)

If you need snow picked up and hauled away, then trucking for say a double bottom gravel train jumps from $75 an hour to $125 and up. Backhoe and loader help is about the same.

So, all that said, find a local guy and a neighbor you trust to ensure the work is being done. There can be shady guys out there that will bill you for never even doing the work. ....

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Cost of mowing service

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harvey
Join Date: Sep 2000
Posts: 1539 Moravia, NY
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2007-08-25          145010


40 years ago I was one of those kids that pushed the mower around with the gas can. I made $3 for a 1-2 hour lawn, a trimmer was a sickle. I had no overhead except gas and oil.

I did and, still do, as much of my generation have "Personal Responsibility" for my/our actions.

It scares the hell out of me today to ask a neighbor kid to come over and work. Stacking firewood, mowing, trimming the lawn. This is the law suit generation. The laws are stacked against hiring youngsters with out the proper working papers, insurance, etc.

What would happen to the vacation home, your home, your savings if a neighbor kid lost his toes under "your" mower?

I see in the trade magazines where owners that hire contractors are sometimes being sued for something the contractor did and got hurt because of his stupidity. Somehow the tort lawyers feel it is the owners responsibility because the contractor was hurt on the owners property. They might not collect a dime but how much money and time did you spend defending yourself?

I still hire relatives but I am very selective so I do most work myself.

Hate to sound pessimistic. But that is the way we're headed.

Hire a good quality lawn service with good insurance pay extra for a company that has english speaking employees.

So much for the RANT! Harvey ....

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hardwood
Join Date: Dec 2002
Posts: 3583 iowa
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2007-08-26          145026


Thanks for the responses. I have indeed been fortunate that I've never had any issues with kids I've hired getting hurt, so I count my blessings there. Even tho our farm activity is on a micro scale now I still this past summer had two neighbor teen agers and two of our grandkids for a month or more help me move my shop equipment to a new building. They all worked hard and were well paid for their efforts. I couldn't count the number of kids I've hired in the past to bale hay, shell corn, cut weeds, etc. I see a lot of them as adults with familys of their own today around the community, and they are now hiring teen agers to help out.
I had a pickup plow for a few years mainly to do my own plowing, but never did turn down neighbors who had to get out to go to work, school or whatever. It never was or was intended to be a business, so I had no fee scheduel, it was kinda fun to do so a plate of warm cookies was plenty of pay. I just looked back at how much I've spent so far this year on maintenece items alone for our lawn care equipment and it's pushing 500.00. I know the owner of the lawn care service in our new community as a coffee shop acquaintence, so I'll contact him, this seems to be the most senseable approach, I can always tell him no if his fee seems high. Frank. ....

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yooperpete
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 1413 Northern Michigan
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2007-08-27          145066


I'm with Harvey, get a reliable lawn service. There are lots of people out there doing that sort of thing. Ask your neighbors who they use. You get better rates if a service is doing other jobs within a few blocks of yours.

They will also mow every week or as you require but best is to be on the same schedule as your neighbors. You can't always rely on a teenager to be there when you want. If you want to stick with a non professional, go with a semi-retired individual.

The same guys will more than likely do snow as well.

A yard that size should normally go for $25.00-$35.00 per mowing. ....

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