View Full Version : Mowing Square foot or per hour

Shamar Lawn and Garden
09-17-2007, 03:03 PM
Hey guys, I work for a small landscaping company in the Kansas City area. We are looking to start some commercial mowing for 56 units. These are duplexes. We already have the maintenance contract but they want us to mow and a fertilizer program. I am trying to get some ideas of how to price for mowing and fertilizing because right now we don't do any turf. Thanks a lot and any feedback is welcome!

09-17-2007, 03:34 PM
I would do per hour. You need to figure out about how long its going to take you, what it takes to JUST cover cost, like insurance, gas, wear and tear on equip, paying employees etc. And then go from there. Sorry this is all i can tell you : /

dave lincoln
09-17-2007, 04:28 PM
.4 wide open areas .5 small and bigger mowers and .6 x sq ft for all small mowing. hourly is between 30-45$ per man hr i am in boston.

09-17-2007, 05:41 PM
Dave Lincoln can you explain what those numbers mean>?

Is that .4 / 1000 sq. ft. .5 and .6?????

09-17-2007, 06:17 PM
Hey, I would charge by the job, not by the hour. What I mean is don't give them an hourly rate. Give them a flat rate for each cut. For instance, if you want to charge them 65/hr for mowing, and it takes you 2 hrs max, charge them around $130 per cut. You will make more money this way, but won't lose out on as much when it gets really long. Because yes, it will take more time when it is longer, but you can make up that time whenever it is more of a normal height, like when it gets a little dried out in the summer. About the fertilizing, find out what other companies would charge for their square footage, then see how much you can get materials for and how much you'll need to charge to make a profit. But by seeing what other companies charge, you can have a guidline as to if you are low or high. For instance, if a company will charge $30 per application on a 5,000 sq. ft. lawn, and you need to charge $15 to make a profit, you could raise your prices a little, say $25 and you'd still make a profit and you'd seal the deal by being a little cheaper. Good luck and let me know what you end up doing.

09-17-2007, 09:34 PM
Just because another company will charge $30 doesnt mean you will make money on the application.

Just find out your materials cost, mark it up for a little profit and overages, then add a service fee for the property, if you think it will take you 30 minutes to apply then charge accordingly.

09-18-2007, 12:24 AM
Not many people who maintain lawns charge by the hour, and with so many out there, deviating from the norm can turn off a potential commercial customer

09-18-2007, 10:35 AM
Dave Lincoln can you explain what those numbers mean>?

Is that .4 / 1000 sq. ft. .5 and .6?????

.004 (.005, .006) x your Sq Footage (200x50=10,000 sq ft , 10,000 x .004 = $40

Should add $ for WW , trees , fences , Hills, etc

09-18-2007, 11:59 AM
.004 (.005, .006) x your Sq Footage (200x50=10,000 sq ft , 10,000 x .004 = $40

Should add $ for WW , trees , fences , Hills, etc

If you use this per foot method, is your price per month for a yearly contract the same? I assume it is, but have always wondered how people can let a customer go without being financially in a hole.

dave lincoln
09-18-2007, 12:58 PM
yes take into consideration trees beds and fences it usually 1$ per obstical and .25 per lineal feet per fence

Pro-Turf, LLC
09-18-2007, 06:06 PM
wow you guys have some weird A$$ ways of figuring your pricing and sounds like it would take way too much time too

dave lincoln
09-19-2007, 12:12 PM
this is kind of different ,but if you ever run into a situation, this is a proven formula, and usually comes out the right way.

10-11-2007, 09:12 AM
dave lincoln, i'm trying to get some help with a bid, so far not much luck. i saw the formula you have for estimating. i'm bidding on a ditch that is about 2500 ft and anywhere from 3-6 ft. wide. its mostly this brush some small trees 3-4" in diameter. i know its hard to say without seeing it. but any info will help. that formula goes right along with the other 2 bids i have on the sam site.

10-11-2007, 09:53 AM
Those kind of methods are good if you don't know your cost, but for an established company it should be easy to figure your cost, then give the customer a range price estimate and go from there. You can probably even take the first few on a blind bid (no estimate, just quote after it is done), either way it shouldn't take long to get the hang of it.

To answer the question I charge both by area and by the time it takes, of course it doesn't always work out but here's what I get as a guide:

- 1/4 acre lot: Min. $30.00
- 3/8 acre lot: Min. $35.00
- 1/2 acre lot: Min. $40.00
- 5/8 acre lot: Min. $45.00
- 3/4 acre lot: Min. $50.00
- 7/8 acre lot: Min. $55.00
- Full acre lot:Min. $60.00

And this is adjustable, I have an acre I do for 50 and another .9 acre I get 60 for, don't ask but between all of that it is a start?

Good luck

10-11-2007, 02:19 PM
figure out how long it will take, then bump it up a bit and charge by the job. some days, it may take longer to do.

10-11-2007, 03:18 PM
i got a client who call me for an estimate he got a 100'x540' lot plus a ditch which is not part of the lot dimmensions that is about 120'x10',lot is totally lost weed about 2 feet high in some parts,lots of trees to go around,tree trunks laying around that will need to be removed, not much trimming or edging I told him $120 for whole thing first cut,$100 biweekly deal afterward ,whe said he'll talk to her wife and call me back,did I bid too high? it will take me a good 2 1/2 hr on my ztr and including that ditch that half of it will have to be taking care with a 21" pushmower because of the incline degree in it.