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have i been ripped off???

(10 Posts)
maisystar Thu 14-Apr-05 10:53:28

2 gardeners came this morning to do some heavy digging in the garden, basically to prepare an area of about 2 1/2m x 3 1/2m so i can grass seed it. they have done a really good job and levelled it out really well but they can only have been here for 1 3/4 hrs at most(i left the house at 8.30 and came back at 10.15) and have invoiced me £100. is this excessive? they were really nice but it seems expensive to me.


CookieMonster Thu 14-Apr-05 11:23:46

maisystar, just asked my dh about this (he's a self-employed gardener) and he reckons that if they were charging an hourly rate, then almost £25 an hour seems a bit over the top. However, they may have done as my dh does and charge for the job as a whole i.e. x amount no matter how long it took them. Did you get a quote up front?

hub2dee Thu 14-Apr-05 11:28:15

Seems pretty expensive, maisystar, when you look at it as a per man per hour rate (£28.60) if we presume they left just before you arrived....

Having said that, digging can be hard work, especially if they double-dug deep / ammended soil... and repeatedly raking to a fine tilth, removing stones, and then levelling to perfectly flat (if done properly) is worth paying for...

I guess they factored in time taken to get to / from you, and thought £50 each for a morning's work...

The job is done though, and you are ready to seed, so that's got to be worth something in itself !

Please note soil can settle in the rain, perhaps by 1/2 to 1 inch below established grade you are now looking at if you need your lawn perfectly aligned with something else...


roisin Thu 14-Apr-05 11:30:20

How far have they had to come? They may charge, say, £40 per job for travelling time, setting up, etc: i.e. a call-out charge, then labour time on top of that?

roisin Thu 14-Apr-05 11:32:25

Or they may have a minimum fee for a one-off job, on the principle that it's not worth it for them if the job's just an hour or so.

If you didn't get a quote it's very tricky.

maisystar Thu 14-Apr-05 11:33:43

think he is pretty local. the soil is quite claylike so was fairly solid. i am happy with the job, but did think the hourly rate seemed high. i did get a quote for £100, but thought it would take longer so it would be less of an hourly rate iyswim!! should i pay it?

flashingnose Thu 14-Apr-05 11:35:37

If you've had a quote for that amount, I think you have to really - sorry.

Dominoes Thu 14-Apr-05 11:43:46

They quoted £100 before you took them on. They have done the work you requested. Yes you should pay it

hub2dee Thu 14-Apr-05 11:55:37

Doing gardening work (ie. digging / landscaping / constructing rather than hoe / mow / blow) is hard work physically and tends to be expensive for the client.

Garden design / build budgets can quickly mount up to astronomically silly numbers.

I think £100 to get this area sorted ready for seeding is OK. That the guys worked fast, or that the area turned out to be smaller than perhaps what they thought, or that they did it quicker than you anticipated is really neither here nor there, sadly.

From the sounds of it, they turned up on time, they did the job (fast, and hopefully well) and they've finished / tidied and gawn....

I'd certainly suggest you pay them and you get on with planting the seeds to you can benefit from some attractive lawn ! One less thing on your to-do list and it's not even midday !!!

In the future, you could enquire about an hourly rate, and perhaps work like that (you may find things take, ahem, a little longer than you'd have hoped though !)

maisystar Thu 14-Apr-05 12:15:49

cheers me dearsi wasn't saying that i wasn't going to pay, just wanted to check that the 'price was right' iyswim!

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