View Full Version : Estimates for lawn care

12-09-2007, 08:02 PM
How do you all come up w/ the estimates for mowing lawns, trimming, edging, leaf blowing/removal etc? Any help anyone can provide is greatly appreciated.

AIM BigWayne3000

12-09-2007, 09:15 PM
I always include trimming, edging, and cleanup (blowing) in my lawn estimate. The best way to estimate is to find out how long it will take you to do a lawn, and have an hourly rate at which you are making a good profit(but don't tell the customer). Read on Lawnsite, and find out what other guys in your area are charging so that you don't end up lowballing. You might even offer to mow for free the first time, just to get a feel for how long it will take you.

Estimating is something that does get easier with time, though. After a few years, it won't be a big deal to you at all.

12-09-2007, 09:15 PM
You look to see what kind of car they drive.

12-09-2007, 09:17 PM
You look to see what kind of car they drive.

Not always. . . It's better not to judge appearances. . . I've worked for some really rich people who had a crummy lawn/were tightwads. I've also worked for middle-income families who were willing to pay whatever amount to make their lawn look good.

12-09-2007, 09:34 PM
I think it was a joke

12-11-2007, 09:59 AM
I didn't see a smiley. . . It's hard to tell with all the sarcasm going around.

12-11-2007, 10:18 AM

I learned a ton right here

12-11-2007, 10:55 AM
How do you all come up w/ the estimates for mowing lawns, trimming, edging, leaf blowing/removal etc? Any help anyone can provide is greatly appreciated.

AIM BigWayne3000

This is the single most difficult Question facing all LCO's.

When starting out, you MUST figure out your Price, That is Not what you charge, But what it cost you to do a job.

If I servcie 8 homes all next door to each other my overhead is smaller that if I have to drive a total of 25 to 30 miles doing the same 8 homes.

If a person who has No Insurance cuts lawns, he can do it cheeper than I can.

There are a ton of verables involved, in determaining how much profett margin there is in any Job.

Sit down with pen and paper figure out how much it would cost you.

then figure up your profet margin and you will Quickly be not only a pro.

But you will have learned how to bid, and have the advantage over most co's in the markett

Good Luck

Team-Green L&L
12-11-2007, 02:56 PM
You drive by the property at 10 mph and take the amount of time it took to get from one end to the other and multiply it by the number of lawns you already mow and there you have it...

No seriously, at first, just figure how much time you think it will take you and how much you want to make an hour for your work. You have no overhead, so there's no need to confuse yourself.

12-13-2007, 10:28 PM
I would look in the local phone book at my competitors, call each, and ask what it would cost to mow a one acre lot. I'd take that average price less five per mow per yard and try to acquire as many new clients (including my competitions clients). I would assume my per acre amount would apply to clients with 3 or more acres and would charge more for half to three-quarter acre residential accts. Example: I charge $45 an acre for home owner association contracts of 3 or more acres. I charge roughly $40.00 to $45.00 to mow a three quarter acre lot in a residential subdivision. Consider your bang for the buck: small residential vs. large yards. Good luck.

12-13-2007, 10:52 PM
Yeah, what I've experienced is that small lawns usually pay better than large properties.

12-13-2007, 11:56 PM
what's missing here and why?

This is a competitive buisness. First, you have to know what the competition is charging, and that becomes your baseline. I started simply by finding out what 3 different outfits were charging in my nieghborhood. I had a baseline. I observed how the lawns and properties they were doing looked. One guy was good.... the other two were doing a lousy job. now that I had a baseline, I bumped my fee up 5 bucks. why?

I won't bid a job unless the customer walks the property with me. Without being aggressively negative, I point out what could and should be done on the property. I'll walk under a Norway maple for instance, and ask (setup question) why nothing is growing under it. After hearing whatever, i take out my knife, dig up a little soil and show the customer the very fine surface roots maples put out. I explain how these trees suck all the nutrients out of the soil, and how they choke everything else off. Then I tell them I could do a shade garden planting... ferns, astilbe, sweet woodruff, whatever. Yes, there are ways to plant under maples, but it is both challenging and rewarding. (I am talking about much more than digging a hole and throwing a fern in here.... there are ways to protect the new plantings from the maple's roots) Such a shade garden requires regular fertilization.... more billing.

I KNOW his landscaper hasn't talked to the customer like this. I offer a free soil test, and explain that he may (or may not be) wasting money on yearly lime applications. I look around at his plantings, pointing out any diseased or badly maintained/poorly pruned shrubs. I'll explain why his hedges have bare spots with no evergreen foliage, and why that happened, and what I do to avoid such problems. By the time I'm done, he knows why I'm a few bucks more expensive. I've also planted the seeds for a new installation.

So, my advice is to know what other outfits are charging, and work your way up, finding opportunties to increase billings through applications, plantings, pruning and whatnot. I also offer a pooper scooper service, only 5 bucks in season. I don't want to mow over the stuff anyway. Takes very little time, maybe 5 minutes.... for 5 bucks, and it keeps my equipment clean.

I like to think of myself as a horticulturist.... that means total property care from trees and shrubs to the dog poop in the lawn! I also advise cutomers on how to minimize damage from dog urine spots in the lawn. When I finally hand the customer my quote, I hope I have made him look at what he wants in a landscaper in a whole new light. If I've done a good sales job, that light shines on my company.

12-14-2007, 12:51 AM
You look to see what kind of car they drive.

Yes it was a joke. :):):):)