Helping out Your Neighbor’s with Their Trees

climbingmonkey24

Well-Known Member
Location
Ludlow
If you have neighbors who you are real friendly with who ask you to do some minor trimming work do you charge them? Not a climbing job but just something you can do with a pole saw?

I have a neighbor who is real good friends with one of my family members and she asked me to trim her tree to remove some dead wood and lower hanging growth. It’s a super small job, won’t take long and it can be done with a pole saw.

Normally with a regular customer I would likely just charge a minimum fee, but this person is alone by herself, elderly, and I know money is tight for her and she’s a neighbor and good friends with my grandmother so I told her don’t worry about paying me. She insisted so I just said give me what you think is fair.

If it was a bigger job with climbing and stuff I could see charging regular rates or maybe giving them a “break” with a lower price but for small little things like this job, what do you guys think? I’ve done bigger work for neighbor’s before and charged, but this is small.
 

Reach

Well-Known Member
Location
Atglen, PA
We try to help out our neighbors, for sure. We will do work for free, or at greatly reduced prices. The way I see it, is the right thing to do, and it’s a little bit of a payment to the neighbors for them putting up with the noise that we make coming and going all the time.
 

VenasNursery

Well-Known Member
Location
Michigan
We try to help out our neighbors, for sure. We will do work for free, or at greatly reduced prices. The way I see it, is the right thing to do, and it’s a little bit of a payment to the neighbors for them putting up with the noise that we make coming and going all the time.
Can’t count how many times we’ve done a 5 minute trim or less and by the time we leave they have us give a price and hire us on site because of our kindness
Which they are not interested in getting other bids
 

evo

Well-Known Member
Location
My Island, WA
It’s not a keeping tabs sort of thing, but when shit hits the fan you can always call a neighbor to help you out.
I’ve done paid work for the neighbors, and I’ve done free work for the same ones. If it doesn’t cost me $ or a huge amount of time I do it for free.
One of my neighbors tends to pile brush and push it into the vacant lot next door. I just taught them how to stack a pile and I chip it on my way home at the end of the day.
 

colb

Well-Known Member
Location
Florida
I belong to a community where I can possibly get fully engaged with work with people in the community. I generally charge 4/5ths pricing for them. At 4/5ths, I can actually run my business down because that is the part of my margin used for either development or salary. If it's just the one trim, you may be in a great position to do it for reduced cost, or free. If it might happen regularly, then just make a plan based on your values of caring for both others and yourself.
 
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oldoakman

Well-Known Member
Location
Alorgia
The neigh or is elderly and a friend of your grandmother. How would you expect another tradesman to treat your grandmother in a similar situation? Folks of that generation understand work and expect to pay but isn't the good will you foster really worth more in the long run? As others have said, many times it can lead to other paying work.
 

Benjo75

Well-Known Member
Location
Malvern
If I had charged for all the free or cut rate work I've done I could probably retire right now. But it's been for friends or family or elderly neighbors. Some people will deliberately take advantage of you too. It hasn't hurt me yet and I've got quite a few good paying jobs from that work by recommendation. I don't mind if the weather is good and I don't have to have my entire crew.
 

ATH

Well-Known Member
Location
Ohio
We were outside today My neighbor asked how much I would charge to come back a couple branches that are hanging low enough to hit the mail truck when he comes. Mailman said something to her about that...

She hasn't been in the house for a few months because her husband committed suicide earlier this year and they're redoing a lot of the inside. She needs help. I've been looking at a few other branches that need pruned as well. All pole saw work.

I started in on it and the other neighbor came over and helped drag brush.

There will be no charge.... She told both of us she would pick up steaks from a local grocery store. We both told her that is not necessary... But if they show up that sounds pretty good for a couple hours of work!
 
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Tom Dunlap

Here from the beginning
Administrator
some people ‘of a certain age’ have lived a life code of paying their way. No free loading. In their world work is rewarded.

My experience is that these people ‘need’ to pay something so I accommodate that. I ask them to make a small donation to some social service agency. Family shelters, food banks, pet adoption and the like. I do ask them not to donate to churches or political entities. This request Is always acknowledged with a nice smile. Everyone gets to give
 

Burrapeg

Well-Known Member
Location
Puget Sound
. . . some people ‘of a certain age’ have lived a life code of paying their way. No free loading. In their world work is rewarded. My experience is that these people ‘need’ to pay something so I accommodate that. . . .
Over the years I have done small jobs for a number of elderly widows who are invariably on a very limited income and yet always very proud and insistent on paying something. What has worked every time is that these gals are usually good cooks and have a favourite pie or other dessert they do for special occasions. I just tell them that one of their famous rhubard/strawberry pies (or whatever) would be beyond price to me.
 

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