Cost of digging a trench?

I dug a trench for a customer yesterday, approx 40 metres long, 18"
deep, and a spades width.
This bloke is loaded, but tight with it, so I'd like a rough idea of the
usual cost for such a trench being dug - it had to be done by hand, as
there is no access for digging machinery.
I was going to charge my usual rate of £15/hour, so around £60 - 75 -
does that seem too cheap? I think it is too cheap, as I could hardly
stand after moving so much soil!
Reply to
Double it. I think that would be quite reasonable.
It's a bit surprising that the customer didn't agree a job price or hourly rate before starting, however.
Reply to
Andy Hall
He is a 'sort-of' friend, except when it comes to paying up, when suddenly everything is too expensive. The trench is for an electric cable to his garden summer house - I think the electricians bill will be rather more than £100, and take a lot less than the 4 hours I took, so £75 is quite justifiable. If he quibbles, then I think he'll have to get someone else to do the back-filling, he hasnt asked me to do that yet, but I expect to get the call when he realises the hole will need filling. The bloke is a pretty succesful business owner, but he has no common sense or practical ability at all. A previous job I did was put down 8'x6' of slabs for a greenhouse. I then got a call a few weeks later saying i had done the slabs too small! The dipshit had only gone and bought a 9'x7' greenhouse, and hadnt even realised it wouldnt fit until a bloke was there erecting it for him.He rang me at 2pm, asking me to go round now and lay some more slabs that afternoon, as the greenhouse man couldnt do any more until the slabs were put down. Like I can go and get slabs and lay then in less than 2 hours! I gave him the price of another line of slabs (£15), then he asked if I can get some 2nd hand slabs, to save a bit of money. He is well known for not spending money. Alan.
Reply to
=BF=BD60 - 75 -
Good. I'm always puzzled by the common expectation that anyone with money must fritter it away like an idiot.
Reply to
Correct answer: "Sure, I can track some down for you. It shouldn't take me more than a couple of hours (at £15 per hour) - or you could do it..."
I think this guy may understand the value of his money, and not of other people's time.
Reply to
Andy Champ
£15 per hour is ridiculous. You can't run a business on that hourly rate. No way.
Look at it this way. Assuming you could book 40 hours paid work per week you would net £600 a week.
But you can't book 40 hours paid a week. You have to travel, get materials, do estimates, so to book 40 hours you have to work 60.
Assuming you could book those 40 paid hours, out of that £600 you have fuel, insurance x 2, vehicle lease or depreciation, advertising, accountants fees, stationery, cost of replacing tools, consumables etc, etc.
My lowest rate for a complete day pre booked is £20 per hour & I'm thinking of putting that up. Have a look at my rates on
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5 hours I would charge £130. I don't have a problem getting that.
You are falling into the biggest trap for self employed people - not charging enough. Put your prices up or you will go broke.
Reply to
The Medway Handyman
You missed out his medical expenses. I am in awe of the amount of=20 digging he completed in five hours. He should also consider that he=20 would be unable to do that amount of hard physical labour for forty=20 hours each week. If there is ever another war I want to be in the same=20 prisoner-of-war camp with him. ;-)
Reply to
=BF=BD60 - 75 -
hat hourly rate.
absolutly agree with you,when we started we were shy about costings and almost too late realised we were supposed to be running a buisness not a charity,now we never undervalue our work,we have realised how wealthy people stay wealthy,by looking for donkeys,since we got wise we have expanded the buisness and now use machinery for digging and charge accordingly,sod em',you sweat,they pay!
Reply to
In article , A.Lee scribeth thus
Do think about your poor old back and how much you'd be laid up and money you'd lose if that were bu**ered for any length of time;!...
Reply to
tony sayer
In article , A.Lee scribeth thus
Thats why he's got so much!...
If your that short of mates though and they treat you like that then summats wrong somewhere..
I've suddenly forgotten how to mend cars, TV's electrics, computers over the years..).
Weeds 'em out;!.....
Reply to
tony sayer
He's right you know!
What you charge also affects the perceived value.
I do live sound PA hire/operation as a bit of a hobby. I occasionally get asked to do work for charity gigs. I no longer do charity for free - it is hard work - carrying all the gear in, setting it up, then operating it then putting it in the can and taking it all away. There is also the loading & unloading of the van before & after.
If I do a charity gig for free, that is what people see the value of the work as, and they get upset the next time they book me and I quote normal price, after all I did it for petrol money last time...
I charge full rate. I may then decide to donate some or all my fee back to the charity, but perceived value is maintained.
Reply to
Paul Matthews

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