So let's talk money...
Folks often ask me to give them a bid or an estimate for a restoration job. That is a reasonable request of course. Unfortunately, my experience is that there is just too much unpredictability, especially in the clearing/cleaning phase, to be as precise as I need to be to produce an accurate estimate. I neither want to feel guilty for charging too much nor frustrated for charging too little. In addition, much of the work we do is ongoing and even for large jobs my customers like spreading the work (and cost) out over a season.
For multi-day one time jobs what I often suggest is that we do one day of work, and if the homeowner is satisfied with what we have done in that amount of time, and is convinced of the value, then we keep going.
I have approximately ten employees with a range of experience - mature experienced lifelong gardeners, master gardeners, students in Midlands Tech horticulture program, and students. Sometimes it is more cost effective for a customer if one or more of these workers to do all or part of a job without me.
Because of an Achilles tendon injury I have not been able to perform my normal on site duties over the last 18 months. So I have taken a more planning/administrative role, as well as overseeing onsite work and running between job sites. Thus I am not charging the normal $50 an hour charge for myself at this time. But, since I have to make a living I have increased the cost per employee-hour to $40.
This figure includes a break of five minutes per hour. If we do not have bathroom access onsite and have to go offsite for that purpose, I consider that work time. If we have to make a run for materials that time is included as well. Most days though we do not leave the property at all.
Homeowners may reduce costs by helping with certain aspects of the job such as moving debris to the street.
I work almost exclusively with Cooper's Nursery for purchasing plants. I do include time picking up and delivering plants from Coopers as work time.