As a lawn care professional, you already understand how aeration can benefit a lawn by increasing the activity of beneficial microorganisms, oxygenating grass roots and more. When combined with fertilization and overseeding, aeration helps grass roots grow deeper, strengthens lawns and can help repair damage done by pests, pets and disease.
But, while many homeowners who hire a lawn care service are interested in adding on aeration and overseeding, you might be less sure about what to charge. That’s especially true if you’ve never offered aeration and overseeding services before.
Seasoned lawn care professionals recommend setting your prices based on what will make the service profitable for your business, even if that’s a little higher than your area’s going rate. But what is your area’s going rate for lawn aeration and overseeding? That depends on where you live, your local climate and the size of typical lawns in your area, among other factors.
How to calculate aeration fees
Most landscaping professionals around the country calculate fees for lawn aeration services 1,000 square feet at a time. Depending on where you live and the size of average lawns in your area, you might charge anywhere from $6 to $17 per 1,000 square feet of lawn for aeration services alone. That’s a big discrepancy! So, how do you decide where on the spectrum to set your rate?
Well, as with most pricing for mowing, leaf removal or other lawn services, you might consider pricing for aeration based on lawn size — a smaller lawn will obviously take much less time, and be cheaper for the homeowner, than a large lawn. You might consider charging a flat rate for lawns up to 5,000 square feet, another flat rate for lawns 5,000 to 10,000 square feet and so on.
Consider how much it will cost you to offer lawn aeration services. Do you own an aerator or will you need to rent one? Are you able to perform multiple aerations in one day on a tight route, or will it take time and fuel for you to travel between jobs? How much do fertilizer and seed cost in your area? Think about what you need to do and charge to make lawn aeration profitable before you add it to your services.
You should also think about the demand for aeration in your area — do you live in a wealthy area? Are there lots of homeowners looking to keep large, sprawling lawns looking nice? Do you live in a mountainous region where most lawns have a grade? Is a particular lawn’s soil hard-packed, sandy or full of clay? These are all factors that should cause you to consider charging more for aeration services.
Are tiny, postage-stamp lawns more typical of your community? Do you live in a coastal or plains region where most lawns are nice and flat? You may want to think about charging less. Do you live in the Southwest or another desert area? Many homeowners might not even have grass, and demand for lawn aeration services might be low. Adjust your prices accordingly, but don’t sell yourself short.
On average, landscapers are charging about $124 for lawn aeration nationally, with prices ranging from about $40 on the low end to as high as $350 on the high end. These prices may reflect the size of the lawns involved and the local demand for lawn aeration services. For example, landscape professionals charge about $40 for aeration in Colorado but about $75 in North Carolina.
Adding in overseeding and fertilization
Aerating a lawn helps it absorb fertilizer and water more readily and can help new grass seed germinate and take hold better, so it makes sense to aerate, fertilize and overseed at the same time. But if you’re going to bundle lawn aeration services with overseeding and fertilizing, offer homeowners a discount. It should cost more to have aeration, overseeding and fertilizing done at separate times than to have them all done at once.
Just as with aeration alone, you can adjust your rates based on lawn size and grade, local economic factors and regional demand for turf grass care. A good rule of thumb is to charge for aeration, overseeding and fertilization about twice what you’d charge for aeration alone, so, if you charge $75 to aerate a lawn smaller than 5,000 square feet, you’ll charge $150 to aerate, overseed and fertilize that same lawn. It will probably take you about the same amount of time, but you’ll make significantly more profit.
Bundling aeration, overseeding and fertilization into a single service can help keep costs down for homeowners while optimizing the health of your customers’ lawns. But you need to price your services right if you want to make a profit. Consider all the factors at play in your local market, and set a price that lets you grow your business as healthy and strong as you grow your customers’ grass.
EDITOR’S NOTE: This article was written by Jackie Carrillo. Carrillo is a content coordinator and contributor that creates quality articles for topics like technology, home life, business management, gardening and landscaping and education. She studied business management and is continually building positive relationships with other publishers and the internet community.