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ATC1983

Ambitious gardening project - advice

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Hi all

 

 

Looking for advice - I am in the process of clearing a back garden for a customer, which has involved clearing out around 7 trees, strimming, cutting hedging / ivy back, and finally applying weedkiller and dumping the lot. This has taken a lot longer than I expected, and have (see other thread) had a bit of bother with my saw, which has stopped me finishing off the tree trunks.

 

The customer's garden is very very uneven, with build ups in one bit and declensions in other parts. Now that I've cleared out all the overgrowth, he has asked me if I could try to sort out the rest of the garden. However, I have no experience in levelling a garden and have told him this. He is however willing to pay me still to have a go at it and help me build up experience at this.

 

My idea, ideally, would be to try to level the garden, then put down ar large amount of bark to cover the entire thing. It's further complicated by the fact that the customer shares his house with a disabled friend who is wheel chair bound and needs access to the garden, and, as the garden is already at a height, would need some type of slope built into it to accommodate his movements.

 

Initially I didn't want to even try this, but thinking of it now, I am considering if I could essentially use a large number of stick markers throughout the garden and decide what level to take it to - I think reducing the volume of it would be best.

 

To do this I wouldn't want to charge him a large amount of money - maybe £6.25 an hour I think would be fair owing to my inexperience, plus whatever costs I incur. This would be for a 12 hour day, for as many days as it takes me to complete. The garden is maybe 6.5M width by 5M length.

 

Any ideas on feasibability of this job, or how to approach it?

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In my opinion, 6.5 x 5m isn't a massive area, a couple of days max should see it done (assuming no other complications).

 

That being said, a 12 hour day with a shovel, rake and wheelbarrow is a long old days work! And £6.25 an hour works out at £75 day rate plus expenses, which is ridiculously cheap for the amount of backache.

 

What's the ground like? Lovely soil or rocks and tree roots all over? Good access? Any stuff to take away?

 

Without seeing the job, I'd charge a minimum of £250 a day, get a local lad who wants to work to give you a hand. This sort of job is much easier when it's two of you, as you can get more done in one day than you on your own would in two.

 

Alternatively, get a mini digger as suggested.

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Hi all

 

as the garden is already at a height, would need some type of slope built into it to accommodate his movements.

 

:biggrin:

 

Its not a massive garden and you seem keen to get the experience. If you can't get a mini digger in.Depending on how big the incline over the whole plot you could terrace it i.e make steps maybe a foot or so deep however many you need and have a ramp at some point in it maybe a zig zag, and if the wheelchair user wanted to garden they probably would be able to reach from the wheelchair from the lower level.

The terrace effect would also mean less distance to move soil for you.

Also woodchip on a slope tends to blow or wash downhill.

Just ideas. Hope job goes well. If you are self employed and paying national insurance, tax, insurance etc. At £6.25 you not covering any costs. People turn up at work, use works equipment etc for that. Its not the same as being self employed.

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Pictures would be better :001_smile:, Level out with digger if access ok or by hand. I would of thought bark would be very difficult for a wheelchair user:confused1:. Dig level and deck maybe??. Price wise I would charge at least £20 per hr.

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I agree with jrose that you're way to cheap, probably explains why the customer is so eager to pay you to have a go. Bump your price up, hire a wee digger and anything else you need to ease the back breaking. Hard to say what to do without seeing the job.

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Your price for an hourly wage is way to low. If you were here in the states you would need to get at least $25.00 per hour minimum. You can work harder or smarter. Doing all the work yourself will not earn yourself a living wage and the one commodity you will never recoup is time. Your smart enough to ask questions now be really clever and follow through. Get er done!

easy-lift guy

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See I can't get a digger in - there's no access save by the garage door - a crane would need to be hired to get over. Would bark really be that bad for one in a wheelchair? Is it easier to build up with soil or dig downwards to a set level and would the idea of wood markings work it out?

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Something is mad on this forum. You clearly don't have a clue about gardening and landscaping, yet people are offering you advice. If you said you were going to do tree work then they'd all be saying to get a pro in and that you need to get experience with a firm, and they'd all be slagging you off for offering a crap service and undercutting everyone. I don't mean to be unkind, but you're getting off on completely the wrong foot and you really need someone who knows what they're doing to work alongside you. At the moment I would not want to be one of your customers. Harsh but true.

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Pedro, some folks have to start some where and asking questions and getting answers is part of the learning process. The fact that ATC1983 is willing to ask questions and take a razzing from some members and practical advise from others means he is still willing to listen and hopefully learn in the process.

easy-lift guy

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