Ever been asked to do work way outside PW'ing?


#1

So I got this job in a pretty nice neighborhood. The whole House wash and all the flat work came out to be a little over a thousand. Alright cool. So while i’m working, she starts talking about wanting to get rid of ALL her landscaping. It came up that she wasn’t worried about her plant life, So I knocked off a little on the quote, and got her under a thousand, seeing as how id woud save at least an hour not having to pre-soak and rinse the massive landscape surrounding her home.

She asks me If I could remove all the landscaping for her. It’s mainly large bushes and small plant life, no big trees. She even went so far as to tell me her last quote was over $5,000! At first I said “well shoot I’m in the wrong business”. I have never done any landscaping before. I own some nice Gas hedge trimmers and a small chainsaw never used. I told her When i finish up the job( I had to come back because one of her vehicles wouldnt start and I couldnt clean the driveway around it) I could possible give her a quote on the landscaping. Not sure what im getting into, but damn, I feel like I could get away wth $3,000 being fair. shouldnt take no more than 2-3 days with a helper to get all that stuff chopped down and hauled off. Just wondering what you guys think. Take the job? it would fill a week where I couldnt get to my House wash customers, but could make some good dough on the side.


#2

I’ve been asked, but I always turn it down.

Someone like that thinks of you as a peasant and money will make you do anything.

I mean, if your hurting for the money then by all means… do what you gotta do.


#3

Burn the ship and take the land! If I ever do anything outside of my trade it’s time not spent making operations run smoother, more efficient, more profitable and so on. I’m great at a lot of things and family, friends and friends of family know this but the second I step out of my role I have a lot of explaning to do with my myself and my wife. I hope to see you ONLY focus on the one thing that you’ve committed your life to. If you’re not committed by all means to go get those shrubs but just know this will take you down the path that will lead you to have less than you envisioned for your small business.


#4

Appreciate the responses. I really dont see my self getting into landscaping. I made the decision the start a pressure washing business for many reasons as opposed to the other fields of service out there, and plan on sticking with it.

I have been asked many times to step out side my trade and be a little “helper” but always declined as well. Work has been slow during the cold season, I made quite a few high dollar purchases a little too fast paced and I’m looking at red these next couple months, which i think is why I was seriously considering taking this side job. It would help put me in the green a little faster.

These people seem like good people as well. Most I just say “well washing is my specialty and I dont really have the right tools for right now” But I really liked these people, we formed a bit of a relationship as we both got flooded by harvey down here and had that in common.

On the business side I think I would get some good referals out of it, deffently a repeat customer(for washing) and more time with me being seen in the one of richest neighborhood in my area. On a personal level I felt like being nice and giving them a cheaper quote, saving them money, but also helping me out as well. Then again, I dont want to get caught up in a huge job im not prepared for, and have calls and quotes backing up, possibly losing on wash jobs.

man that $$$ can get a hold of you real quick huh?


#5

I rotate these jobs to different landscapes depending on which of them is throwing me work… We normally get asked once a week in summer. My suggestion is to make friends with a few landscapers, because they probably get asked twice as much as we do.


#6

Also if you sub it out you could make a bit of coin and not even have to touch it


#7

Any time you recommend someone and it doesn’t work out, you are the bad guy. We don’t recommend any thing to anyone with the exception of a couple of local companies I give house washes away to. Less time talking with the customer, the better for everyone involved. Don’t discount for not rinsing landscaping. You shouldn’t need to do that anyway unless you are doing the roof, and who wants to do that :slight_smile:


#8

A jack of all trades is a master of none. That fits pretty well we we get asked about other services. I’m pretty content with what I do.


#9

There’s nothing wrong with a side job if you’re slow and the money is right. Making it a part of you’re business and advertising it is a different story.


#10

I once took on a paint stripping job because the customer seems to not take no for an answer and she was sweet lady. Well the job I did was horrible and I damaged her bath tub. I’ll never do something like that again. I tried to replace the tub and she refused. I said I’m certainly not charging you for the work. She said yes she’s paying me for my time. I left. She Venmo’d me the money. I’ve washed her house since then so no harm done, but I learned a valuable lesson that day. Stick to what you know unless your working on your own house.


#11

I get where the OP is coming from, Specially if new to the business Winter can be frightening.

The problem with doing things your not geared up for is not having the right tools for the job, Tools that make the job easier… You might need shovels or other things that unforseen… you end up breaking your back and not making as much as you thought you would… When in all reality a lanscaper professional might be able to get the work done in a few hours efficiantly.


#12

If you don’t have any work and you know how to do it professionally I’d do it. Do you want no money or to make money? Answer is easy for me.


#13

If you’re taking out a small tree, most people cut it low and then spend an hour digging the stump out. Instead, trim off the branches and cut the trunk 4 feet above the ground. Use that trunk as a huge lever and it’ll pop right out.

Even for something as obvious as ripping out plants, there are still things you kinda have to know.

Will the recycling center accept stumps that still have a bunch of dirt on them or do you have to clean that all off or find another way to get rid of them?

What about the sprinkler system? Is that going to get ripped up when you start pulling plants out?

Do they have thorns?

I dunno. I’m not saying don’t do it if you need the money, but don’t get cocky.


#14

I normally would agree with most the above, but heck it’s winter. Quote $3800 and take the job. You may want to rent a dump trailer and if you need to dig out bushes and rent a small backhoe at Home Depot. With the right equipment can probably knockout in a couple of days. Take the money. Even if you only net $2k, beats sitting at home and will help your cash flow. Special projects like that is where the money is at in landscaping.


#15

100%.


#16

If you know how to do it right and work is slow, by all means do it. If there’s any question as to ripping trees out of the ground that may be wrapped around utility lines, then skip it.


#17

Take the job if you can get it done right. Your starting out no harm in paying your bills with whatever work you can. But, it’s a slippery slope she may ask you to mow or trim for her later in the season. And you don’t want to get stuck in that line of work. JMO been there done that. I still have a few high end lawns though.


#18

I think I may go ahead and take it. our relationship dynamic is good and I think shell understand its a 1 time thing, not something I normally do. Also is in no rush to do it. can be a decent side job to work on over the next couple weeks on my down days. Thanks for all the responses.

It wont be something I ever offer.

Also my wife is starting a little housekeeping business and I think this could be her 2nd client which shes proud of.

The work doesnt seem to bad. Just basic shrubbery. couple shovels, some garbage bags, a chainsaw and hedge trimmer I SHOULD be alright.


#19

Rent a stump grinder… save you lots of time


#20

I take my chainsaw and section out stumps vertically, and then crackem with sledge, or keep sectioning until gone. A large tiller will take up most shrubs and grass easily and quickly. Lay spaghm moss down after a mild repack of the soil, then lay grass.