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okiest8
02-27-2006, 09:58 PM
I am new to the lawn business---what is the best way to estimating a lawn.

LB1234
02-27-2006, 11:34 PM
search and read these posts to find out how

mow2nd
02-27-2006, 11:45 PM
1/4 Acre = $25
1/2 Acre = $30
3/4 Acre = $35
1 Acre = $40

Good Luck!!!!!

cwlawley
02-28-2006, 12:25 AM
1/4 Acre = $25
1/2 Acre = $30
3/4 Acre = $35
1 Acre = $40

Good Luck!!!!!

Who are you and where do you get this information? You need to search through the forums. Learn how to find your overhead and to see what you need to make overall. Then base your estimates on time and size. This could be one thing for you and something completely different for another company.

befnme
02-28-2006, 12:31 AM
Who are you and where do you get this information? You need to search through the forums. Learn how to find your overhead and to see what you need to make overall. Then base your estimates on time and size. This could be one thing for you and something completely different for another company.

^^^^^^thats correct .it depends on the regeion and your expence per property.and also the amount ot hand work on each prop.

B&D Lawn Care
02-28-2006, 02:25 AM
1/4 Acre = $25
1/2 Acre = $30
3/4 Acre = $35
1 Acre = $40



1/4 maybe
1/2 no
3/4 heck no
1 you gotta be kidding me!!!

PMLAWN
02-28-2006, 04:39 AM
I am new to the lawn business---what is the best way to estimating a lawn.

There is a search button at the top of the page. Use that and enter--"costs, overhead, equipment costs, estimating".


Everything that you spend money on to run your business needs to be covered by your business. It can cost up to $25.00 just to put a truck and equipment at the curb, before you even do any labor. Spend a while learning what costs need to be covered and figure out what the amounts will be for you. To that add your labor (pay yourself) and the profit margin you want your company to have.

Mr Budget
02-28-2006, 09:17 AM
1/4 maybe
1/2 no
3/4 heck no
1 you gotta be kidding me!!!


I totally agree

Precision Lawns
02-28-2006, 11:54 AM
We've got 1/5 acre lots that we charge $40 to mow because of the amount of time involved (it's unbelieveable how many obstacles are in some of these people's yards). We've also got 1/2 acre lots for the same price because they're wide open. It's really more about time than lot size - you have to know how long it will take you from the time you drop your gate until you put it back up. Naturally, the bigger lots will take longer, and therefore on average require a higher price than smaller lots, but you can't use lot size as a rule.

daveintoledo
02-28-2006, 12:37 PM
We've got 1/5 acre lots that we charge $40 to mow because of the amount of time involved (it's unbelieveable how many obstacles are in some of these people's yards). We've also got 1/2 acre lots for the same price because they're wide open. It's really more about time than lot size - you have to know how long it will take you from the time you drop your gate until you put it back up. Naturally, the bigger lots will take longer, and therefore on average require a higher price than smaller lots, but you can't use lot size as a rule.


too many variables just to go by lot size..... one tree to trim around or 100 trees, makes a big difference:)

Precision Lawns
02-28-2006, 12:56 PM
too many variables just to go by lot size..... one tree to trim around or 100 trees, makes a big difference:)

Exactly my point :)

daveintoledo
02-28-2006, 12:59 PM
Exactly my point :)

very well thought out post... and informatove....
:)

Randy J
02-28-2006, 02:14 PM
Exactly right PMLawn. It does no good to price according to what someone else does or says, if your costs are higher and you're not making money. I had actually built a spreadsheet where I could input the square feet of the turf, and then a multiplier I would use based on obstacles such as trees, shrubs, curbs, etc. I could also enter the linear feet of trimming and then come up with a total charge for the yard. It was designed to charge more based on how long the yard would take - making sure I meet my minimum charge to cover my costs and markup. It's not hard to build if you have any knowledge of Excel.

rodneyskip
03-04-2006, 09:47 AM
Exactly right PMLawn. It does no good to price according to what someone else does or says, if your costs are higher and you're not making money. I had actually built a spreadsheet where I could input the square feet of the turf, and then a multiplier I would use based on obstacles such as trees, shrubs, curbs, etc. I could also enter the linear feet of trimming and then come up with a total charge for the yard. It was designed to charge more based on how long the yard would take - making sure I meet my minimum charge to cover my costs and markup. It's not hard to build if you have any knowledge of Excel.

Randy- can you post this as an attachment- I think it would be a lot of help to many folks- especially me!! :)

Randy J
03-04-2006, 10:13 AM
Well, I'd love to - except I'm currently in limbo land and don't have the attachment with me here. It will probably be several weeks before I can get to it again. It's been posted on the forum before, so a search may turn it up. Otherwise, I'll try to get to my home computer in a few weeks and post it then. Sorry.

rodneyskip
03-04-2006, 10:16 AM
Thanks! I will do the search.

Tn Lawn Man
03-04-2006, 10:50 AM
The responses to these type of thread questions always shows how ignorant some people can be.

Okiest8
Let me give you a brief explanation about how to bid.

The most important thing is to know your Market Price.
If a standard 1/4 acre yard in your market is going for $25 then you will not be able to get $40. You can figure your costs and what you want to make all day long. But if you can't get $40 then you cannot get $40.....PERIOD.

AFTER you have calculated market value then you calculate what your costs will be. You add up how much your mower, gas, insurance, labor etc....

Then you add what you wish to PROFIT as a business. And, yes, if you are in business you should be able to make a profit after everything else is taken care of.

Once you have added up all of this then you look at how long it will take to complete the job. Depending upon your equipment, labor etc... a 1/4 could take 10 minutes or 45 minutes. If you can service the yard in the time it will take you for the money you have to make then BINGO you are good to go.

However, if you are coming up too high on your expenditures (labor, gas etc...) then you have to cut costs. This means either buy a mower that goes faster, pay your workers less, finder cheaper gas....whatever.... you get the point.

But, on the other hand, if you equation goes the other way you have found a way to keep your overhead down and your profits up!!!!!


In my area the market price for a standard residential 1/4 acre yard is $30. Now I can use a push mower that will take one man 1 hour to do that. Or, I can use commercial grade mowers and a two man crew can knock it out in about 10 minutes. You do the math on a $10k mower vs a $500 mower and labor running $10 to $15 per hour and see what works best for you.


I hope this helps

Randy J
03-04-2006, 12:36 PM
I'm going to have to disagree with you on this TN Lawn Man. The most important thing is knowing your costs. If the going market rate is $25/hour, and it costs you $30/hour you won't be in business long. As to whether you can get $40/hour on a lawn that normally generates $25 all depends on how good a sales person you are - and how good a job you can do. While you might not get $40, depending on the customer, you might get $30 - if you're worth it. Or you might be able to do it for $20 and get more lawns - if your costs are low enough.

Soupy
03-04-2006, 12:59 PM
The responses to these type of thread questions always shows how ignorant some people can be.

Okiest8
Let me give you a brief explanation about how to bid.

The most important thing is to know your Market Price.
If a standard 1/4 acre yard in your market is going for $25 then you will not be able to get $40. You can figure your costs and what you want to make all day long. But if you can't get $40 then you cannot get $40.....PERIOD.

AFTER you have calculated market value then you calculate what your costs will be. You add up how much your mower, gas, insurance, labor etc....

Then you add what you wish to PROFIT as a business. And, yes, if you are in business you should be able to make a profit after everything else is taken care of.

Once you have added up all of this then you look at how long it will take to complete the job. Depending upon your equipment, labor etc... a 1/4 could take 10 minutes or 45 minutes. If you can service the yard in the time it will take you for the money you have to make then BINGO you are good to go.

However, if you are coming up too high on your expenditures (labor, gas etc...) then you have to cut costs. This means either buy a mower that goes faster, pay your workers less, finder cheaper gas....whatever.... you get the point.

But, on the other hand, if you equation goes the other way you have found a way to keep your overhead down and your profits up!!!!!


In my area the market price for a standard residential 1/4 acre yard is $30. Now I can use a push mower that will take one man 1 hour to do that. Or, I can use commercial grade mowers and a two man crew can knock it out in about 10 minutes. You do the math on a $10k mower vs a $500 mower and labor running $10 to $15 per hour and see what works best for you.


I hope this helps

I agree.. You should know all this before starting the business. Your prices can fluctuate some but you can not just add cost and desired profit to come up with a price. You have to know what your product will sell for then decide if you can compete and make desired profit. This doesn't mean run out and find out what the teenagers and retiree's are charging. Find out what the companies you wish to model are charging.

PMLAWN
03-04-2006, 03:19 PM
I agree.. You should know all this before starting the business. Your prices can fluctuate some but you can not just add cost and desired profit to come up with a price. You have to know what your product will sell for then decide if you can compete and make desired profit. This doesn't mean run out and find out what the teenagers and retiree's are charging. Find out what the companies you wish to model are charging.

You and TN are right but the one option that most don't explore is this.
If you can not cover you costs in the market than don't do this business.
You never see that as an option and yet it must be looked at. Many will still move forward even though they see the writing on the wall. There was a signature line a while back that stated--" I would rather do broke sitting in front of my TV than go broke working my butt off.
Something to think about.

Soupy
03-04-2006, 03:41 PM
You and TN are right but the one option that most don't explore is this.
If you can not cover you costs in the market than don't do this business.
You never see that as an option and yet it must be looked at. Many will still move forward even though they see the writing on the wall. There was a signature line a while back that stated--" I would rather do broke sitting in front of my TV than go broke working my butt off.
Something to think about.

Correct and that is exactly why I said you should know your market, expense and profit before opening the doors. You can tell by the many threads popping up that some of these guys have not put any real thought into their new business. I hear them lash back about how we all started but for many of us it was a completely different time when the industry was booming and there was room for error. The industry is completely different now and it's a cut throat business. You better know how the game is played from the get go.

befnme
03-04-2006, 04:42 PM
first things first....
1) you need to know what it costs to crank your truck up..
2) you need to know what it costs to travel to a property..
3) you need to know what it costs to service that prop..
4) then factor in labor ,insurance ,your time , and parts ..

now you know what you have to have just to break even..now you can decide what profit margin you want to make .then test the market to see if your profit margin is to big to make you competitive .if you dont get any jobs because of your high price then you have to drop your profit margin a little to get to the rate of pay that your market will bear .

Tn Lawn Man
03-04-2006, 04:42 PM
I'm going to have to disagree with you on this TN Lawn Man. The most important thing is knowing your costs. If the going market rate is $25/hour, and it costs you $30/hour you won't be in business long. As to whether you can get $40/hour on a lawn that normally generates $25 all depends on how good a sales person you are - and how good a job you can do. While you might not get $40, depending on the customer, you might get $30 - if you're worth it. Or you might be able to do it for $20 and get more lawns - if your costs are low enough.


I hear what you are saying but you have to be careful to not put the cart before the horse. That is why I said Market Value is the most important.

Maybe, I should phrase it this way:

This is the order in which you organize a business.

1. Find the market value.
- for example let's say that market value for a 1/4 acre yard is $30

2. Determine what kind of set up you want to use and the costs associated with each.
- you have a number of options here for example:
a. single owner/worker with a push mower and a weed eater and a blower put in your truck bed.
b. single owner/worker with a 52" Z, commercial weed eater and blower, lettered truck with 16' trailer.
c. owner not working but highering laborers and paying $15 an hour with a landscape truck and all commercial equipment.

3. Determine your other costs: gas, insurance, phone etc....

4. Add these together and see if you can do the yard for $30 or not and find out if you are making a profit or going in the hole.

And if you cannot do it for $30 then you readjust YOUR expenses. Because you cannot readjust the market value.

So, in short you start at market value and work from there. If you start a your expenses and work the other way then you are working backwards.

And, if you take out #1 then you totally lose perspective. And, no amount of salesmanship is going to consistently take a $25 lawn and get $40 for it. If you think otherwise then you are kidding yourself or you are a millionaire who needs to write a book.:)

PMLAWN
03-05-2006, 05:23 AM
And, if you take out #1 then you totally lose perspective. And, no amount of salesmanship is going to consistently take a $25 lawn and get $40 for it. If you think otherwise then you are kidding yourself or you are a millionaire who needs to write a book.:)

There will be a few that will ask to borrow a pen:)

Randy J
03-05-2006, 07:34 AM
...
And, if you take out #1 then you totally lose perspective. And, no amount of salesmanship is going to consistently take a $25 lawn and get $40 for it. If you think otherwise then you are kidding yourself or you are a millionaire who needs to write a book.:)

Ok, I can agree with most of what you're saying. However, I believe there is room in the market value to an extent. For instance, a 5000sf lawn may go for $25, while another 5000sf lawn may go for $40 - even in the same geographic region. The difference being one may be looking for the cheapest price, without an emphasis on quality. While the other may be looking for a "manicured" lawn, the heck with the price. And even on the $25 lawn, a person might be able to influence it with quality to get the price up a little. While I do agree market value is important in that there won't be great fluctuations - for instance a person won't go into an area where lawns are being mowed for $40 and suddenly be able to charge $80, I do think market value can be adjusted (not all the time) to an extent based on quality. I think we do agree that no matter the chargeable amount for the lawn, if your costs exceed that amount you might as well stay home.