When you are just starting out doing landscape maintenance pricing your services may seem a bit intimidating. You may wonder if you are overcharging clients or underpaying yourself. There is no clear answer, however, with careful planning you should be able to come up with pricing best suited for your situation. Both new businesses and individual workers have a lot of overhead costs that need to be taking into account before seeing a profit margin.


New businesses must buy equipment, pay insurance, pay employees, pay yourself, pay for a license, insurance, and advertising. All these expenses will add up very easily. Most often profits need to go back into the business in order to keep it going.   Working independently cuts these costs in half, but limits your ability to charge more. Bigger paying jobs require you to be licensed and insured.

Should I charge per hour or give an estimate?

careers to consider if you love yard work.

Charging by the hour

If you are not experienced with bidding on jobs then charging by the hour is a good way of starting out. When you have gained enough experience, then you can do an estimate based on how long it takes you to complete a job. Always add in an extra hour when doing it this way to have some cushion for anything unexpected. Make sure to have a minimum number of hours so that you do not end up working on a project that’s 1 hour or less.

$10-15 an hour is the going rate for standard Gig workers who are inexperienced. This rate may increase to $25-30 if you are using your own tools and have experience. If using personal tools always make sure to choose jobs that pay enough to cover the cost of repairing damaged them.

Giving estimates

Estimates under the right circumstance can work out in your favor. A good example is quoting a job for 160 dollars. You gave the quote based on the time the job was expected to be completed which was three hours. Even if the job is completed within an hour, you are guaranteed to get $160.  If you had done that same job at a rate of 20/hr., then you would end up with only $20 in the end.  This is where “the minimum number of hours” comes in previously discussed.

Make sure you decide which one is best for you by trying out both methods. Keep in mind when you give an estimate, you are going into a verbal agreement to do a job for that amount. Never take a client word about the size of a job. It is always a good idea to see pictures and visit the job site. Weed eating one acre of flat ground is easier than weed eating one acre that is hilly.

Final thoughts

Landscaping work is seasonal with spring and summer being in high demand. If working as an individual remember you may be making money now, but that money will have to last you throughout the slow season. An established business will likely have year-round work.

Never lower your price to a ridiculous amount in order to get a job. This can come off as being desperate. Customers will always try to get the lowest price possible, but you can also refuse. Customers who constantly complain about prices are likely to drop you for anyone offering a better deal. Weed out these types of customers unless you plan to go out of business quickly.

It may seem exceedingly difficult when first starting out, but it gets easier after a few seasons. Finding what works for you personally is a key factor in determining your success.