BEST-OF-HOUZZ-2016

Fall Clean-Up Services

 

By Tony Catanzaro

 

Timely fall leaf clean-up for a professional landscape maintenance firm is a huge undertaking. It consumes a large amount of man power, specialized equipment, and planning to execute the work efficiently. A well equipped modern mid sized dump truck with trailer, mowers, blowers, vacuum truck loader, and other miscellaneous equipment has a whopping approximate cost of one hundred thousand dollars. Many landscape firms need to hire on temporary labor, increase overtime payroll and deal with down time on windy, rainy, and even snowy days. A sixty to sixty five hour work week can become the norm during leaf season after a long hot summer season.

 

All this must be balanced with townships and municipalities all having differing curbside pick up requirements and dates. Additionally with the advent of some municipalities enforcing noise restrictions during certain time periods will further complicate the clean-up process.

 

All this as well as the particular firm’s overhead recovery system with hopefully some profit contribute to the cost of this valuable professional service that most everyone needs. Most companies will service their contract maintenance clients and some may take on some additional clean-up work as well. Make sure you hire a professional, fully insured, and reputable firm that has the capacity to service your size property. Your fall clean up rates should be submitted in writing in estimate or as part of your seasonal contract. A “fly by night” company that may not be properly insured can be a huge liability as they work on your property.

 

The frequency of the clean-ups will vary depending on the contract terms and weather. Regency Landscape (in most cases) will continue weekly service of mowing and clean-up through the end of October and go to a bi-weekly leaf service in November. We often must work well into December chasing the late falling oak and beech leaves.

 

The professional landscape firm will typically charge two different ways for basic fall clean-up services. The most common is the hourly rate charge as we do here at Regency Landscape. The second is the contract “flat rate” price which we offer by request and often with commercial clients.

 

Flat rate has the cost built into a seasonal contract or a firm quote is given. This may or may not include removal, gutter cleaning, etc. depending on the contract terms. Frequency and areas included need to be pre determined as well. The “flat rate” system has to build in the cost of weather and other delays and costs.

 

Hourly is simply based on the amount of labor hours spent at your site per service call. Many firms choose hourly rates because of the varying conditions at the work site. Some examples are wind, wet leaves, neighboring leaves blowing onto the site, frozen leaves, and other weather related delays. Leaf canopy in the trees can differ year to year as well. This also protects the landscape company from having to clean-up extra areas beyond turf and planting beds for a fixed price. Also hourly rate covers such variables as having to tarp leaves long unexpected distances, loading trucks, and trucking time when hauling leaves away.

 

When hauling leaves away to a commercial dump you can expect to have to pay dump fees as well. These fees are typically charged by the cubic yard. Some firms may have a “truck load” price which is fine as long as it is well defined by truck size and capacity.

 

A professional fall leaf clean-up service can save you countless hours of your valuable weekend time this fall. These landscape professionals invest a lot of time, money and resources to provide you with this service. It is a daunting expensive task that these companies undertake each year as they morph from a turf based operation to a leaf removal operation. By reading this I hope you have gained some respect for the task at hand and the people who make it happen as well as understand its pricing structure a little better.

 

Regency Landscape wants to be your lawn maintenance/grounds care service provider! Call for a free evaluation and estimate today!

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Regency Landscape offers high quality residential and commercial grounds maintenance and snow plowing services in the following towns:

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