How to charge for a steep roof gutter cleaning.

If you are asked to perform a gutter cleaning on a client’s house, sometimes if the roof isn’t too steep, you can use a leaf blower and simply walk the roof line and blow out the leaves. As the roof gets steeper, it gets more difficult to perform this and you need to work from a ladder, which makes the job more dangerous. In this discussion from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, we hear from one member who was called to bid on gutter cleaning on a steep roof. He tells us how he priced it and how long it took him to perform.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I don’t normally offer gutter cleaning as I hate ladders. With this customer request, I need some input on pricing this.

A client has a home for sale (vacant) and the detached garage gutters are filled with debris/maple helicopter seeds, and the entire length has saplings about 5″ tall growing in it.

The back gutter can be reached from the ground - easy.

The front gutter is a bit over 8′ off the ground, and the drive is level concrete, so my 8″ step ladder will work fine for accessing that part.

Steep roof gutter cleaning.

Steep roof gutter cleaning.

Each gutter is 20′ long for a total of 40′ of gutters completely filled with debris and with the entire top area completely filled with little maple saplings that have sprouted.

I know they aren’t going to want to spend a lot, so I don’t expect this to be a money maker, but priced fairly, it will be a supplement to my regular mowing.

The roof is way steep. I’m not going up there.

I was thinking I’d lay a blue tarp on the ground and just toss the gunk down onto it. I do have a gutter scoop at home that may come in handy.

I was thinking $100-$120 to do the gutter and the driveway.

If it were someone else, I’d bump it up a little, but I quoted him a fair price for hedge trimming last season and he just did it himself instead. This roof isn’t something that the homeowner couldn’t do himself either, so I know if I price it higher, he’ll just do this himself as well.

Ultimately I quoted $125.

The customer wrote back: A bit more than I expected, but I trust you and you’re very reliable. Can you do it ASAP? I’ll send a check via (name of bank) online payment today.

Did it today. Easy, peasy, lemon squeezy.

The job took 1 hour 20 minutes inclusive of taking the string trimmer to all the cracks in the driveway, cleanup, and loading the trailer.

It took me ten minutes less than I anticipated even with doing the extra trimming to tidy it up more.

Every job you do helps more accurately bid future jobs.”

A second lawn care business owner said “I charge a buck a foot for one story, a buck and a half for two. 50 cents a foot added for steeper pitches or clay tiles etc, that you cannot get on the roof.

Some homes only have a 80 feet of gutters….so just as a minimum on mowing, I have a minimum on gutter cleaning…..I don’t take my ladder out for less than $100 bucks on a one story….less than $150 for a two story.

It seems an easy job since one side doesn’t even require a ladder and the other only takes an 8 foot ladder, I’d figure out that price and take 10% off if you have to find a place to dump it, and a 20% discount if they have a place to dump it on their property.

So, for that property I would charge $90 if I had to dump it, $80 if they have an area to dump it on the property.”

A third added “I charge $1.00 per foot for a one story and $2.00 per foot over that, if the roof is less than a 6/12 pitch. Over a 6/12 pitch I add .50 per foot for each. The reason being is on a 6/12 pitch or less, I can get up on the roof and use either a leaf blower or vacuum to get the leaves out making it easier and faster. Steeper roofs require me to work from the ladder and require more time.

I carry a small 24″ level in my tool box and I always have a tape measure. To find the pitch of a roof you come out 12 inches on the level from one end hold the level “level” on the roof and use the tape measure to see how much distance is between the roof and the 12 inch mark. That number gives you the pitch of the roof. If it’s 6 inches between the roof and the level, you have a 6/12 pitch, if its 8, you have an 8/12 pitch and so on.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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