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Old 05-24-2012, 03:52 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,497 posts, read 45,468,190 times
Reputation: 47448

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We had a huge 3 cu ft load of hardwood mulch delivered in our sideyard. Guy originally set to spread it cancelled at last minute. then a "landscaper" rings the doorbell wanted work to spread the mulch. He has done work for us before but he is mainly in tree removal and seems to ride around looking for trees to cut down.

he had 2 others in the truck and offered to spread mulch for 3 hours for $250. each man would get $28 per hour to spread mulch. I was in shock. Mulch only cost $145 delivered.
Then he said his friends would not do it for anything less and asked me how much I would pay him to do it alone. I was trying to figure it out when he suggested $135 for 3 hours worth of work. I told him why would I be willing to pay him $45 per hour when I wasn't willing to pay $28 per hour and that I could get teenagers in the neighborhood to do it for about $10 per hour. He left.

I have all the tools, simple straightforward work I have done myself for years but because of health issues I can't do it anymore.

Do you ever hire anybody to help with garden work? how much do you pay and where do you get your help?
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Old 05-24-2012, 06:10 PM
 
29,986 posts, read 38,243,497 times
Reputation: 12783
I'm not suprised of the reaction. It is insulting to tell an adult what you can pay a teenager to do the job you are hiring them to do. So, it looks like your bluff was called. What to pay? Do you want it done right or done cheap. It looks like right walk away when insulted.

The OP might try posting on the bulletin board at the local library, grocery store, and garden shop if they will let you. You might also ask your pastor, if you have one, if he knows anyone from your parish in need of some work.
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:09 PM
 
Location: SoCal
5,251 posts, read 9,152,705 times
Reputation: 4199
How much were you going to pay the "original guy" that canceled?
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Old 05-24-2012, 09:10 PM
 
Location: ๏̯͡๏﴿ Gwinnett-That's a Civil Matter-County
2,117 posts, read 5,494,315 times
Reputation: 3518
Fair pay... now to me that's a loaded question but because I love your posts so much- they are so funny and cute, I am going to do my best to give you an answer.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
We had a huge 3 cu ft load of hardwood mulch delivered
+++ I'm guessing you meant 3 cubic yards. 3 cf is like a bag of mulch.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
he is mainly in tree removal and seems to ride around looking for trees to cut down.
+++ Those are generally the guys you want to avoid.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Mulch only cost $145 delivered.
+++ That's would be considered on the expensive side down here in GA but we have a lot of competition in the mulch industry but I'll assume that expenses and cost of living is higher there too.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Then he said his friends would not do it for anything less and asked me how much I would pay him to do it alone. I was trying to figure it out when he suggested $135 for 3 hours worth of work. I told him why would I be willing to pay him $45 per hour when I wasn't willing to pay $28 per hour and that I could get teenagers in the neighborhood to do it for about $10 per hour. He left.
+++ Forget that guy.

Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Do you ever hire anybody to help with garden work? how much do you pay and where do you get your help?
+++ At the moment we pay our landscapers (that I hired for the HOA) $13/hr for general projects. I know that's very low. They're just getting started out and are a little wet behind the ears but they're learning and they try hard. For our handymen who are experienced and skilled but we sometimes call on for menial tasks, we pay them $30/hr

As someone mentioned, you tend to get what you pay for. And mulch may seem like it's hard to screw up but I can tell you for a fact that it IS possible to screw up mulch. For one, they can use too much of it or pile it against the trunks of your trees which can cause problems and two, they can leave a mess of bits and pieces all over the sidewalk and lawn without cleaning it up. So they have to know what they're doing and they have to have the tools to clean up afterwards. Such as a leaf blower. So I would be looking for someone who's experienced at mulching and has the tools to do the job.

HOWEVER...
I wouldn't necessary offer to pay by the hour.
You can pay someone $13/hr who takes twice as long
or you can pay someone $26/hr who does it in half the time.
Either way, it invites the temptation to work very very sloooowwwly.
Instead, I'd offer a flat rate.
Consider your local costs of living and the conditions. A reasonable hourly wage in the heat would be somewhere between 15-20/hr in my area. So if you estimate it will take 3 hours I'd offer them $50-60 (my area). If they do a good job then I'd throw in a little extra. In your area, you might go up a little if cost of living is kinda high or they have to drive a ways to get there.

I often ask myself, would I do it for that price if someone offered me that amount? And if I didn't have anything better to do that day, sure I'd install mulch for $50-60. For $30... I dunno about that.

In the future, you might consider using pinestraw if that's available. Usually they'll come out and spread it for a flat fee per bale and you'd probably find it a lot easier to DIY than shoveling mulch if you decided to do that.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:17 PM
 
Location: Out there somewhere...a traveling man.
40,377 posts, read 49,922,356 times
Reputation: 113568
Around here the average would be $10-15.00 per hour. You could go to Home Depot and pick up 3 immigrants standing on the corner, offer them $100.00 bucks split amongst themselves and if they don't do it to your satisfaction tell them to do it right or you'll call immigration and have them picked up.
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Old 05-24-2012, 11:44 PM
 
4,431 posts, read 5,652,003 times
Reputation: 6527
when i did landscaping i got paid $5 an hour and i thought id moved up in the world.
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Old 05-25-2012, 12:49 AM
 
Location: On the Ohio River in Western, KY
3,388 posts, read 5,893,223 times
Reputation: 3352
I think they were trying to over charge you.

Honestly, around here $10-15/hr is standard, and I know the HS kids can and will do it for more like $8/hr cash, and for the most part they do a good job.

I'm not trying to be a b*tch here, I am serious when I ask this; why can't you do a little bit at a time?

I know you said medical problems, but are they bad enough to prevent you from spreading even small amounts where you want it? I know when I was post op and not allowed to carry more than 5lbs for 3 weeks, I still did gardening, I just did it in tiny chunks. Like a scoopful of this and a bucket of that till it was done.

Again, no snark, I was really curious.
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Old 05-25-2012, 01:12 AM
 
4,431 posts, read 5,652,003 times
Reputation: 6527
one thing you can do is load up a wheel barrow with mulch then slightly tip it so that a little bit of mulch will fall out. simply walk the wheelbarrow along tipped slightly forward shaking it side to side. another thing you can do is simply fill up a trash can with as much mulch as you can handle then carry the mulch over and dump it and repeat. you can also use a tarp. lay the tarp out put a good portion of mulch on it then 1 person stands at the 2 ends. each of you grabs your 2 corners and holds them together. simply pick up your "corner" and walk the mulch over to where you want it and dump it. whatever you decide after you get the mulch there all you need is a rake
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Old 05-25-2012, 06:44 AM
 
Location: southwestern PA
20,419 posts, read 39,104,111 times
Reputation: 39163
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post

I have all the tools, simple straightforward work I have done myself for years but because of health issues I can't do it anymore.
Why not have your kids do the majority of the work?
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Old 05-25-2012, 07:04 AM
 
Location: Land of Free Johnson-Weld-2016
6,473 posts, read 14,343,926 times
Reputation: 6451
Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
We had a huge 3 cu ft load of hardwood mulch delivered in our sideyard. Guy originally set to spread it cancelled at last minute. then a "landscaper" rings the doorbell wanted work to spread the mulch. He has done work for us before but he is mainly in tree removal and seems to ride around looking for trees to cut down.

he had 2 others in the truck and offered to spread mulch for 3 hours for $250. each man would get $28 per hour to spread mulch. I was in shock. Mulch only cost $145 delivered.
Then he said his friends would not do it for anything less and asked me how much I would pay him to do it alone. I was trying to figure it out when he suggested $135 for 3 hours worth of work. I told him why would I be willing to pay him $45 per hour when I wasn't willing to pay $28 per hour and that I could get teenagers in the neighborhood to do it for about $10 per hour. He left.

I have all the tools, simple straightforward work I have done myself for years but because of health issues I can't do it anymore.

Do you ever hire anybody to help with garden work? how much do you pay and where do you get your help?
Yep college kids and I paid $10 per hour. But an adult has a mortgage and maybe a boat payment LOL so they may ask for more. But spreading mulch is only labor, so I'd pay the same.

Professionals ranging from graphic designers to plumbers to engineers make $20, $50, $80 etc per hour. How can someone ask for that much for only spreading mulch. Are you supposed to pay his truck payment?

Honestly, with someone like that driving around the neighborhood...I'd get more security. If he feels entitled to so much per hour, he may be desperate and try to get $$ in other ways.
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