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GreenAcresLC
03-28-2008, 09:27 PM
I have been asked to submit a bid on a small baptist church near my home town. I say near, b/c its about 18 miles away. Here are the figures, and I could use a little help on pricing, I am new. About 26,000 SF (lil over 1/2 acre) open ground, no obstacles, to be mowed weekly. About 120,000 SF (2-3/4 acre) of cemetery, lots of headstones, to be mowed bi-weekly.

From what I'm guessing, about $75 a week should get the open ground, and about $350 every other for the cemetery. I first thought a lot higher, and may have been right, that's why I ask here. I hate to under bid it and screw myself, but hate to over bid and lose out on the $1000 a month all together.

And NO spraying around headstones, must be trimmed. I'm kinda thinking about 2 hours of trimming, so I may add an extra 80-100 on top of the other charges to cover that. Any help is greatly appreciated.

BCNU
03-28-2008, 09:46 PM
I have been asked to submit a bid on a small baptist church near my home town. I say near, b/c its about 18 miles away. Here are the figures, and I could use a little help on pricing, I am new. About 26,000 SF (lil over 1/2 acre) open ground, no obstacles, to be mowed weekly. About 120,000 SF (2-3/4 acre) of cemetery, lots of headstones, to be mowed bi-weekly.

From what I'm guessing, about $75 a week should get the open ground, and about $350 every other for the cemetery. I first thought a lot higher, and may have been right, that's why I ask here. I hate to under bid it and screw myself, but hate to over bid and lose out on the $1000 a month all together.

And NO spraying around headstones, must be trimmed. I'm kinda thinking about 2 hours of trimming, so I may add an extra 80-100 on top of the other charges to cover that. Any help is greatly appreciated.

$75.00 seems a little steep for an 1/2 acre of open ground. The $350. seems good. If you are set on the $75.00 on the open area then you should charge $50.00 for the open area and add the other $25.00 to the cemetary part which then would be $375.00. or better yet just give them your monthy price of $1000.00. Good luck, hope you get the job!!

ALC-GregH
03-28-2008, 09:59 PM
man I don't know about mowing a cemetery, I'd be afraid I'd cut someones fingers off or something. ;)

GreenAcresLC
03-28-2008, 10:06 PM
I needed that laugh GregH! I'd say most of 'em are long gone, most of the stones read in the 1800's to early 1900's. Well, there are actually 2 cemeteries across the road from each other. All the newer ones are separate from the older...Segregation?

M&MLawn
03-28-2008, 10:56 PM
We have 4 cemeteries and this is how we tend to bid them:

$60 per clear acre
$100 per cemetery acre (Headstones and such)

Now since you are only doing the 1/2 acre once a week and the other biweekly it would look more like this for us.

$45 per week for the 1/2 acre (this would depend on trimming and such)
$275 bi weekly for the 2.75 cemetery acres

This would put us at $550 a month for the cemetery section and then $180 a month for the 1/2 acre.

Good luck on the bid.

GreenAcresLC
03-31-2008, 12:49 PM
I've been out of town for the past few days, but thanks for the responses! M&M, that is exactly what I was looking for, I thought my figures were a little too high, but needed that kind of answer to reassure myself.

M&MLawn
03-31-2008, 12:52 PM
Glad to have helped :)

mowing grass 1111
03-31-2008, 01:03 PM
i mow an old cemetery it dates back to the late 1890's its 3.5 acres i charge around $520 per cut. $100 per acre seems low to me

RECESSION PROOF MOWING
04-04-2008, 02:32 AM
I have been asked to submit a bid on a small baptist church near my home town. I say near, b/c its about 18 miles away. Here are the figures, and I could use a little help on pricing, I am new. About 26,000 SF (lil over 1/2 acre) open ground, no obstacles, to be mowed weekly. About 120,000 SF (2-3/4 acre) of cemetery, lots of headstones, to be mowed bi-weekly.

From what I'm guessing, about $75 a week should get the open ground, and about $350 every other for the cemetery. I first thought a lot higher, and may have been right, that's why I ask here. I hate to under bid it and screw myself, but hate to over bid and lose out on the $1000 a month all together.

And NO spraying around headstones, must be trimmed. I'm kinda thinking about 2 hours of trimming, so I may add an extra 80-100 on top of the other charges to cover that. Any help is greatly appreciated.


As one with extensive church mowing experience, no cemetaries...I know one thing: Church budgets are tight. You're gut instinct to not overbid is correct. I take it that you only get one chance at "nailing it", is that correct? Mowing 1/2 acre open spaces really doesn't take a lot of time or expense. I know we are in business here but overbidding is risky business. You'll get advice from all angles, every opinion having merit. But ask yourself...Do you feel lucky...well, do ya? Talk to church property guys and get a feel for what they can afford. I do that. It works for me. A grand for a small church is pricey, those budgets are hurting right about now. Go to the church and just tell them that you want to work within their budget but need an idea, a ballpark number the members can afford. Figure in gasoline to and from the site, with trailer. That's a good little haul with gas going to $4/gallon this summer. I talk more with church board members about their specific jobs more than any other group connected to a bid, with the possible exception of government contracts. Churches will pay what they can afford. If what they can afford matches what you'll get up out of bed for...you've got a deal.

bobcatmatt
08-09-2008, 07:00 PM
I may have to re-think my bid for next spring with some of these numbers. Right now my 8 acres (according to my mapping software) goes for 54 bucks an acre. I have the bid now but feel like it runs me into the ground for the time it takes. I do get paid monthly for 12 months which makes it nice in the winter. Mowing is from April 15 till Oct. 15.
I do also have to level new graves and seed them as well. I believe i need to up the anty alittle.

RECESSION PROOF MOWING
08-09-2008, 07:19 PM
I may have to re-think my bid for next spring with some of these numbers. Right now my 8 acres (according to my mapping software) goes for 54 bucks an acre. I have the bid now but feel like it runs me into the ground for the time it takes. I do get paid monthly for 12 months which makes it nice in the winter. Mowing is from April 15 till Oct. 15.
I do also have to level new graves and seed them as well. I believe i need to up the anty alittle.


I would. Gas prices have been killing me this summer and dragging a trailer 18 miles there and 18 miles home with a big truck is gonna hurt some. My best advice, especially in these tight times, is to talk openly to the decision-makers at that church. Tell them that you need to know what they can afford, you'll work with them, but you need to make money in this business...not just amass accounts. I'm a big proponent of bidding to secure jobs on the first bid, but even I have come to my senses staring $4/gallon right in the face. My gasoline credit cards are OUTRAGEOUS this year! I bet my gas charges are up 25% strong over last year. Those church folks know that. Don't lose the bid by overcharging...just investigate their budget until that ballpark figure comes naturally. $54/acre my be low...seems like it to me...

txgrassguy
08-09-2008, 08:16 PM
My company has experience mowing cemeteries.
The older the head stones/cemeteries:
1 - the more fragile they are, chippping/scarring/marring becomes a real problem to avoid.

2 - the longer the head stones sit without proper sub grade the more you can either tip them or displace them.

3 - height of all of the various stones. some may be mown over, obviously some must be hand trimmed

4 - actual grave site conditions. I have gotten hung up on raised sites and have sunk a mower on older sites not properly back filled. you have to watch out for this as, take it from me, relatives get up-set real quick if they perceive the slightest "insult" to a family member's site - regardless if you didn't mean too or not.

5 - frequency of additional internments. the more added raise your mowing/trimming times accordingly.

I would approach the board at the church and openly discuss budgets with them.
The way I do this, as I do with all of my maintenance and/or install accounts is simply to ask what their anticipated budget actually is.
I have found that clients become reassured that you are taking their best interests in account and once armed with the budget details can more accurately plan a service strategy.
As a matter of fact I receive more up-sell work this way rather than going through an endless estimate/re-estimate process on the initial sales call. Being up-front about the client's expectations and your fiscal requirements as a contractor goes a long way towards minimizing sticker shock.
The one cemetery my company maintains as an example:
A 1.5 acre complex with continual internments. Cost started out at $125.00/visit.
The cemetery BOD realized they had additional funds, were pleased I was able to work with them on the base mowing rate. Result is now my company does ALL of the routine maintenance from tree/shrub trimming and removal to fence painting and herbicide applications. This has resulted in gross per hour labor rates above $50.00/man hour and a steady supply of additional work.