Just out of interest, how do you all work out how much to charge for hedge cutting?
Iv'e always charged per hour but I'm going to start pricing the job because I know I'm loosing out. Should I work out a price based on how long I think it will take (e.g. 3 hours x £20) or the size of the hedge (e.g. £2.50 per m). When I first started out I didn't have the confidence to price jobs, so I stuck with my hourly rate, now things need to charge because I'm getting too quick.
Personaly I charge per job, I tend to work out roughtly how long it will take and then add rubbish desposal on top. Also if it is a perticualy high hedge, my personal limit is arount 15' as i have a long reach hedge cutter, I will charge more! Around my way is it quite comman to pay alot for a decent hedge cut. I was subing to a tree surgon friend and he charged £450 to cut a hedge it took us around 5 hours but it was because of the height, we took 10' out and it was still 15-20' high. for shorter hedges I tend to charge a lot less.
hope this helps kieran
Another thing to add is if you are just triming hedges i.e. not cutting loads of a billy goat vacume is a great tool to aid in clearing up. have a look on ebay. new ones arnt cheep but a hell of a lot more powerful than the old ones!
Normally I would try and price hedgecutting jobs at £25 + Vat per hour + Waste disposal (but based on a fixed price so the customer does not know the hourly rate). I cut one laurel hedge every year which takes 2 man days (15 or so hours to cut and clear up, disposal on site) and this earns £600 + Vat for my business, so it is also possible to b oost your income if you work faster!
For hedgecutting jobs the customers are more concerned what the finished results look like rather than mucking about with hourly rates (in my experience) :)
Most of my work is lawn mowing which works out about £20 per hour. Most of my lawn customers will wait until the end of the mowing season for me to trim hedges etc, or as today, when it has been raining non stop I just turn up and get stuck in, doing it on an hourly basis. Although I may get a better price if I quoted for the job I feel that overall, due to the relationship and trust I enjoy with my customers I gain a continuity of work which compensates.
However like you I have a tendency to still do some of the one of jobs on an hourly basis. In my experience most potential customer are happy with an hourly rate coupled with an indication of how long it will take. The customer is then in control. If they want something else doing extra or they want a greater degree of tidying up for example, then they know its going to cost more. I would say that I get most of these jobs.
If I like or want the job then I proceed in that way, if I am not fussed about the job then I just pitch in with a good price.
holly - pain in the arse (and hands /gloves req)
hawthorn / mixed is hard to bag-up
conifer - maybe thick so only agree to cut to the LINE where previously been 'lowered' or price extra on top !
laurel - loads of bits possibly so clearing takes time though its enjoyable if you can get it all straight/not butchered .
charge full to remove waste (as they can and 9/10 never will ,unless have a van and go to skip on sat-day)tight
sometimes i add removal in on the job as its easier and tidyer/more proffessional and gets repeat business.
lots of money in hedge-cutting / lowering , the public Hate it !! unless its light trimming and low.
YOUR TOO QUICK _ time to finish off/ tidy / odd bits /talk to client (other jobs/trees?!) if working regularly you Will' after a year slow down.....................so it'll work out average £20p/h plus removal if bulky/trailer/busy...
you can if your rushing do a better job (without mistakes , cutting in, -watch safety /workers in your way and WIRES nr walls/buildings and fencing ,barbed wire entangled !! telephone/elec/etc :-) & watch you muscles dont eXplode ;-)