How much should I pay this guy for helping me clean out my garage?

This is a stumper for both the Better Half and me, so I thought I’d throw it open.

Item: One garage full of 20 years of junk. About four pickup-loads, I would guess, but the way these things go, I wouldn’t be surprised to have it expand to more than that, once we get going and see what’s actually in there, way in the back, from 1987.

Item: One slightly-disabled male person, middle-aged, who “does this”, meaning uses his pickup to help people clean their garage, and take loads of junk away. However, he doesn’t seem to know what his going rate is. It will not include Macon County landfill fees, as he insists he has a “friend” who “incinerates stuff” on his property out in the boonies.

So, what’s the going rate where you are, per pickup-load? Assuming that he’s going to help carry stuff and actually load it into the truck (I already ascertained that yes, that’s part of the deal, he’s not going to just bring the truck and then stand there with a toothpick in his mouth and wait while a middle-aged housewife wrestles junk into it).

Fifty bucks? Twenty bucks?

Are you tight on cash? If not, I’d lean more towards $50 or higher, depending on how much heavy stuff there is.

It also depends on how long it takes…more than, oh, 4 hours and I’d pay him at least $50.

I’ve never actually paid someone to help move stuff like that, just going on my experience helping friends move and what I was willing to work for.

How far does he have to drive?

Is he serious about the ‘incinerates stuff’ thing? That’s…frightening, and it’s surprising that you’d allow that.

Figure what this thing gets for gas mileage and how far the guy has to drive. I’d say at least $10 per load just for the truck and then however long it takes for him to drive and load/unload X $20 an hour. So if the guy makes 5 trips in four hours that’s $50 for the truck and then another $80. $130 sounds about right.

Is he salvaging stuff for sale? That might be why he doesn’t have a going rate to give you. If he’s going to sell the stuff for scrap, or resale or “antiquing”, then his payment is primarily the stuff itself. He might be a little perplexed at the question of cash payment.

Do you mean $50 per truck load, or $50 for basically the day’s work?

Neither of us has ever hired anybody for this kind of thing before, so we’re total newbies.

I’d say $15/$20 per hour of work.

I’d say $10 per hour, including a few extra hours for the hauling.

But, I guess I’m cheap :slight_smile:

Maybe he doesn’t expect to be paid, in which case slip him a 5 at the end of the day and pat him on the back.

From the National Renovation & Insurance Repair Estimator, 2004 edition (they don’t change a lot from year to year)

Heading: Demolition and Hauling

Dump charge per cubic yard: $45
Dump charge per ton: $84.60
(Subnote: typical metro area landfill fees. Will be up to 60% higher in major metro areas, and 30% to 60% lower in rural areas.)
Debris hauling per pick-up truck load: $22.20

Minimum demolition charge: $186.40

The book applies a 5% geographic modifier to those base prices for Decatur, IL. For a three year old book, I’d add 3% atop the 5%.

I recently paid a guy to come out and do just this. He charged me $100, but that included the fee for the dump and his truck was more like a little gravel hauler than a pickup (so lots bigger).

So basically, I don’t know. :smiley:

The going rate for a handyman to do such work is around $35/hour around here, so it might be a bit cheaper over there in IL, maybe $25-30/hour. Yep, it’s an hourly sort of job, because one never knows what one will find in someone’s garage/basement/attic to haul away, and the handyman has to pay for gas and insurance on the truck and all that other fun stuff.

What **Why-Not ** said. I’d take into account:
[ul]if there is anything possibly worth selling in there
[li]if the guy can assume you will claim back from the pile anything because of its worth. Also, of you’re going to look fondly at any scrapbooks coming out of the pile, he will have to wait that much longer and he might charge for that. [/li] and if the guy with the pickup-truck is actually going to try and sell anything of the good stuff. Maybe he will just cart it off to the nearest landfill and have to pay for dumping it (and will you get a receipt to prove he didn’t just throw it in a brooke somewhere?[/ul]

In Washington DC, we paid a guy $250 to clean out and haul away garbage in our garage, but it was filled with construction debris and we insisted that he use the city landfill (with receipts), we did this because there are disreputable haulers who will simply dump stuff in Rock Creek Park or even city allies in DC. Do you think there is a chance your guy is planning to illegally dump?

It shouldn’t matter if the guy is re-selling the stuff or not. The only concern should be that it gets disposed of legally. Not dumped around the corner.
Here’s why; if the OP really cared about the value of the stuff he’d take the time to sort through it (even as it goes on the truck) and/or it wouldn’t be in the garage to begin with. I get the feeling that it’s all crap and that he just wants it gone.
Even if there was a collection of vintage stamps in the mess, if the OP gives it to the guy to haul away he pays him to haul it. Whatever goes on the truck now belongs to the hauler, for free.
Unless a deal can be worked out for the $300 refrigerator or the $400 antique lion-clawed oak dinning room table. One cannot assume that the value of the stuff getting hauled away will be converted to cash so that the hauler can pay his bills.
If the OP was worried about getting credit for the goods then he could easily have a rummage sale (cash-Profit!) or call the local charity like Purple Heart or the Salvation Army and have them take a look and see what they want (for a tax right-off).

I’m not saying that the stuff has any value for the homeowner (the OP). I’m saying that, perhaps, the guy wants to trade his labor and service for stuff that’s valuable* to him*.

Am I the only one that works on the barter system anymore? If both sides get something they value, it doesn’t matter if what they’re giving has value to the giver or not. Everyone gets what they value in a good barter. In a *great *barter, both sides don’t value what they’re giving, but value what they’re getting. (In this case, possibly, junk to sell and labor, respectively.) If you both walk away feeling like you’ve possibly taken advantage of the other guy, it’s a *perfect *barter.

Or, put more simply, one man’s crap is another man’s treasure.

Me, I wouldn’t care if he sold it for salvage, and I wouldn’t feel, in this case, entitled to any of whatever money he could get for it - I’ve gotten my share of value by getting rid of what is, to me, junk. We do the same thing here in the city, on a smaller scale. Have an old rusted bedframe that’s too trashed for Craig’s List or Freecycle? Put it in the alley and the salvage truck will be by within a couple of hours. Our local one is a couple of guys with this crazy looking truck with a homemade wooden bed. They scour the alleys looking for scrap metal and other stuff to salvage. I don’t have to pay to haul it to the dump, they get whatever they get for rusty bedframes. We all win. My first thought on reading this was that if I had a garage that needed cleaning out, I’d try to get in touch with those guys first, they might see it as Christmas morning and I wouldn’t have to pay them a dime. Maybe this guy’s her local unofficial salvage collector.

But yes, I agree that the homeowner has an ethical responsibility to ensure that the stuff isn’t being illegally dumped.

I think you’re way underestimating the cost of the job. The guy probably has to pay wherever he takes the stuff. If any of it’s “toxic” there’s an extra charge for that. It’s going to cost you at least a couple of hundred dollars.

Pure gut feeling of pricing . . . $40 per truckload. Sounds like dirty work.

Toxic and hazardous open new cans of worms. Is the party removing the stuff aware of the hazard? Have they prepared a proper hazardous waste manifest? Are they a licensed hazardous waste hauler? Are they conveying said waste to a licensed receiving facility?

In the Netherlands, incinerating stuff even on your own property, would be illegal for environmental reasons. We can’t even burn leaves in autumn. I don’t know if that is true in the States, though.