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  #1  
Old 03-01-2010, 10:15 AM
cjepson cjepson is offline
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How much to pay teenagers doing yard work?

Stuff like raking, mowing, and snow shoveling. Because I'm in the US, I'm mainly looking for responses from US Dopers, but anyone is welcome to chime in.
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  #2  
Old 03-01-2010, 10:32 AM
MitzeKatze MitzeKatze is offline
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I think it depends a lot on your neighborhood (what's the going rate) and how big your yard/area is.

My boys, when they were younger got paid $15-$30 to mow medium sized yards in the summers when we lived in a fairly affluent area several years ago. Each family negotiated their own rate so some got a better deal than others. For that $ all that was expected was mowing, and that was on a weekly basis. They were paid a little more if they did the edging and cleaning up afterward.

My mother who lives in a less affluent neighborhood pays 3 local teens $10-$20 each to shovel the walkway and driveway of snow (single car driveway, maybe 20 feet of sidewalk) and pays up to $100 (total) every two weeks for the same teens to maintain her very small yard in the spring/summer.

IME most teens' salary requirements are negotiable. Ask them what they want to be paid, then counter with your own offer of what you can afford or what you think is fair, then take it from there.
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  #3  
Old 03-01-2010, 10:41 AM
Crawlspace Crawlspace is offline
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$10/hr seems fair for what's pretty much unskilled labor. A little bit more if they supply the equipment.

Start there and see what their counter offer is.
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Old 03-01-2010, 12:44 PM
Ace309 Ace309 is offline
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Long-term standing deal or ad hoc? Obviously it's worth more to you to arrange with a kid to come mow the lawn once a week while you're at work than to have to arrange it each and every week with a different kid.

But yeah, around here, temp agencies pay $10 for unskilled labor. That said, I'd be tempted to pay based on how long it would take you to do the work, not the kid. Economies of scale, and all, and it prevents monitoring problems.
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  #5  
Old 03-01-2010, 01:38 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Don't do it by the hour. Set the fee for the completed job. It will incentivize the kids to be more productive.
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  #6  
Old 03-01-2010, 01:40 PM
ZipperJJ ZipperJJ is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilbo523 View Post
Don't do it by the hour. Set the fee for the completed job. It will incentivize the kids to be more productive.
Yeah I agree with this. Kids aren't stupid...if they get $10/hour they will stretch the job out as long as they can. If it's particularly hard they could not even finish and still ask to be paid for the hours they DID work.

Figure out how long it would take you to do each task then make the job a flat fee of your time * $10. If they can't get it done as fast as you could have, then sucks to be them. But if they get it done faster than you would have, hey, you didn't have to do it!
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Old 03-01-2010, 01:44 PM
appleciders appleciders is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Wilbo523 View Post
Don't do it by the hour. Set the fee for the completed job. It will incentivize the kids to be more productive.
Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
Yeah I agree with this. Kids aren't stupid...if they get $10/hour they will stretch the job out as long as they can. If it's particularly hard they could not even finish and still ask to be paid for the hours they DID work.

Figure out how long it would take you to do each task then make the job a flat fee of your time * $10. If they can't get it done as fast as you could have, then sucks to be them. But if they get it done faster than you would have, hey, you didn't have to do it!
I do agree with this, but you may be setting yourself up for a really poorly-done job, since the kid gets $20 for mowing the yard, regardless of the time it took. You might need to check the yard and insist that it be done well. YMMV.
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  #8  
Old 03-01-2010, 09:34 PM
handsomeharry handsomeharry is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZipperJJ View Post
Yeah I agree with this. Kids aren't stupid...if they get $10/hour they will stretch the job out as long as they can. If it's particularly hard they could not even finish and still ask to be paid for the hours they DID work.

Figure out how long it would take you to do each task then make the job a flat fee of your time * $10. If they can't get it done as fast as you could have, then sucks to be them. But if they get it done faster than you would have, hey, you didn't have to do it!
I concur.

hh
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  #9  
Old 03-01-2010, 09:49 PM
Perciful Perciful is offline
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I pay the young man 10 dollars to shovels my driveway and so far he has done a great job.I agree that paying after the work is done is best because otherwise they tend to take too long or rush.
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  #10  
Old 03-02-2010, 09:36 AM
BetsQ BetsQ is offline
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*sigh* I love many things about the DC area, but this ain't one of them. I can't imagine paying less than $20 to mow my .2 acre yard. It would probably take 20 minutes. We pay a lawn service run by adults $30/mow.
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  #11  
Old 03-02-2010, 09:56 AM
gravitycrash gravitycrash is offline
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If I can actually find a teenager to do some yard work the going rate is 30.00 to mow the lawn and 20.00 to shovel snow from the driveway and sidewalk.

To be fair, my neighborhood skews to late twenties early thirties couples so most of the kids are younger.
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  #12  
Old 03-02-2010, 12:12 PM
Omar Little Omar Little is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by appleciders View Post
I do agree with this, but you may be setting yourself up for a really poorly-done job, since the kid gets $20 for mowing the yard, regardless of the time it took. You might need to check the yard and insist that it be done well. YMMV.
If the yard isn't mowed to the owner's satisfaction, then the job isn't complete. You don't get paid until it's complete.
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