General Contractors & Commercial Installations

How To Read And Understand Your Residential Estimate


To help you in understanding your residential maintenance estimate, please see the helpful tips below.


Set Price Quote (Flat Rate)

For services such as lawn mowing, gutter cleaning, lawn or shrub fertilizing, lawn applications such as fungicides and insecticides, sidewalk edging, dethatching and aeration the price is a set price for that service. That means the price you see is exactly how much we charge each time we preform that service for you. For example, your gutter cleaning price might say $95.

Hourly Work (Time & Materials)

For services such as shrub trimming, leaf clean ups, and weeding we quote an hourly price to do this work. The hourly price is written in above the words “per man hour”, and an estimated number of hours is filled in by the estimator that visited your home to see how much work you have.  The estimated hours are “man hours” not “crew hours”. If the estimator writes an estimate of 4-5 hours, it does not mean that the truck and crew will be at your house for 4-5 hours. What it means is that the estimator thinks 4 men would be there between 1 hour (4men x 1hour=4 man-hours)  and 1.25 hour (4men x 1.25hours=5 man-hours).  An example would be: If you requested shrub trimming, which is $35 per hour, and the estimator wrote between 4-5 hours, your bill should be between $140 and $175 to have your shrubs trimmed.


A question we get asked a lot is why an hourly quote? The reason why is because it’s the best way for you and us. For example, if we quoted your shrub trimming hourly at between $140 and $175, a set price quote would have to be $175 (the higher estimate of the hours). And if the work only took 4 hours, you would have paid too much with a set price quote. A set price estimate is always a “guess” and the estimator will “guess” higher than needed so the contractor doesn’t lose money on the job. This is why hourly work is better and cheaper for the client.

Another thing we like to mention about hourly work is that it is on all the variable type jobs that we do for you, such as shrub trimming and leaf clean ups. These services are variable because the amount of work can change in a matter of weeks. For example, if you asked for a set price to trim your bushes in early June, it would be far less than a set price in late August, because the shrubs have grown for an additional three months. Also for example, if someone cleaned up your leaves the first week in November, there would be far less work than if it was done in the last week of November.

Service Deposit

All work that we do requires a service deposit or “down payment” on the work. For landscaping work like planting a new tree, the deposit is 50%. For maintenance type work, like trimming shrubs or lawn mowing, we write the deposit amount in the box in the lower right corner of the proposal.


For example, if you request  shrub trimming, you would send in your deposit amount with your contract, then we would come out and trim. After we are done trimming, we would send you a bill for the total, minus the deposit amount you have already paid.


For a Lawn Mowing example, you would send in your deposit amount with your contract, and we would start mowing each week. At the end of each month we would send you a bill for the work we did that month. You last bill of the year (usually October) would have the service amount applied to it, usually giving you a $0 balance for the month of October. If your deposit is more than that last month, you can leave it with us for the next spring, or our office sends you a check for any leftover.

YES And NO Columns

Each item on the residential maintenance estimate form has a YES or NO box to the left of it. These boxes are for you to circle YES for the items you would like to have done, and NO for the items you do not want to have done. You do not have to accept every item quoted to you, you can pick and choose which items you would like.

Also, you can always change your mind later and add a service that you originally said NO to, there is no requirement to take any service at any time.

Write In Notes

Near the bottom of the residential maintenance form you can write in any notes you would like regarding any item on the form. For example: “Please don’t mow the dog run area” or anything specific you want to let us know. Of course you can always email us the request or information as well.


Most of our services are billed monthly, which means that we  do the work and then we send you an invoice for the work. Billing is usually sent out on the first of the month, with some exceptions. We ask that you send us a check for payment within 10 days of receiving the bill.

Email Address

Please feel free to write your email address in the box that says EMAIL or anywhere on the form. With your email we can send you your invoice electronically, or send you our newsletter, or just communicate in general, such as sending you a quote or pictures of a problem with your lawn or property.


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Mr. L. Brown
2014-08-02, 15:05
Al & Team,
A big thank you for you diligent work on our property, we are very happy with how our lawn and plants look. All of the residents here … read more
2015-05-28, 10:01
My new landscaping is wonderful, I just love it! Thank you!
Mr. & Mrs. David Kowalski
2015-06-27, 09:54
Hi Al, just wanted to let everyone know how happy we are with Suburban Landscaping and your service. I know my mom just signed up with you as well … read more