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E.G.G.
07-17-2008, 11:28 AM
I have been searching through the forum looking for a clear and consistent way to calculate estimates but not clear on the norm.
I would like to hear some examples from you fine folks on how you calculate your estimates.
Thanks for any input.

milkie62
07-18-2008, 12:02 AM
I thought I was decent at estimating until this one account.It was only 5 minutes from home and very small.Gated back yard with inground pool.Yard almost seemed to small for my 61" ferris.Well I told her $40/cut.Trimming ended up being a nightmare.Had a dry ditch in front by road.Well anyway I thought I could mow most of the ditch with the push mower.Did not look close enough.Could not get within 5' of ditch because of valleys in yard--very minute but there.Had to weed trim it all.What should have been 25 minute job turned into 70 minute.Told her then would have to get $55 and she said it was to much so I told her to get someone else.

E.G.G.
07-18-2008, 09:43 AM
Opps! Live and learn.

So you get around $1.50 a minute. Is that how you are figuring your estimates?

dura to the max
07-19-2008, 12:19 AM
it all depends on geography. i hear of guys on here making $120/hr w/ them and a helper. $1.50 is pretty good, just figure the time it will take and bid according to time, not size. slopes cost extra, excessive trimming is extra, etc. i like to put at least 50/hr in my pocket but if my market paid more i wouldnt complain. i aint trying to get rich, i just want to enjoy life and provide for a family one day.

bohiaa
07-19-2008, 06:09 PM
I keep my time around 120.00 an hour,

NOW that's considering that there are 2 ZTR's and 2 men working, however If it's anything over 10 to 15 minute drive it's more,

This is just what I keep in mind while bidding, also there is the difficulty level, and weedeating issue...

Hope this helps

dura to the max
07-19-2008, 06:16 PM
^^^^^i wish i could get that here!

punt66
07-19-2008, 06:33 PM
I keep my time around 120.00 an hour,

NOW that's considering that there are 2 ZTR's and 2 men working, however If it's anything over 10 to 15 minute drive it's more,

This is just what I keep in mind while bidding, also there is the difficulty level, and weedeating issue...

Hope this helps


In a previous post i thought you said $145 - $170 hr. What i think is that there are way too many people in here that just pretend. $60 an hour is a good rate to shoot for Solo. Too many dreamers in here.

milkie62
07-20-2008, 04:53 AM
yes I seen his same post.But now his tune changes to $60/hr which is more realistic.I am only a part-timer and I tell customers my rate is $45/hr and really do not get any flack.Most of the time I get it if not a little bit more.Sometimes I overlook something and it may be down to $35/hr.

milkie62
07-20-2008, 05:03 AM
I guess rule of thumb is $60/hr. I have myself and two 16 year olds that work with me --- my son and one of his friends.I pay my son $15/hr and his friend $12/hr.They are dependable and hard working.When they work with me combined I bill them out for $40/hr.Being a part-timer I have a lot of give and take.One poor old woman needed a hilly area weeded off.Only took us 45 minutes to do.Only charged her for the mulch,I knew she did not have much money and no family.Did not have the heart to charge more.Her smile meant more when the job was done.I am sure I will be in her prayers.

wildstarblazer
07-21-2008, 12:08 AM
$15 bucks an hour? I'm gonna come work for you! LOL:cool2:

KrayzKajun
07-21-2008, 12:13 AM
All depends on the type of work. if i am giving an estimate for jus mowing i go for $1 a minute. cleanups usually $70-85hr. it takes time and mistakes

topsites
07-21-2008, 12:20 AM
You might not like what I have to say but it's the truth, and that is there exists no clear-cut one-size fits all way to estimate any job, which that is likely the reason a search came up somewhat fruitless.

Now the guys give you some guidelines on how to approach the correct price so I'll skip that part, but to really nail that price right every time takes something there exists no shortcut for: Experience.

That is, when I give an estimate it is but an educated guess as to what is involved and how long it is going to take, and I base this guess on my memory of jobs that I have done before that were similar in nature, and that is how I nail the price. It becomes obvious in some sort of order that the more work I complete, the more jobs I have in my memory to compare the new work to, so the longer I do it the closer my pricing becomes (or it should lol).

Hence it takes time, some trial and error, but mostly you just have to get out there and do it,
know that even if you make mistakes you still learn from it, and that guys with 5 and 10 and 20 years
in also and still make some mistakes but it gets better in time because the more you do it the better you get,
and that's all there is to it that I know of.

Thanks for listening.

bohiaa
07-21-2008, 12:30 AM
In a previous post i thought you said $145 - $170 hr. What i think is that there are way too many people in here that just pretend. $60 an hour is a good rate to shoot for Solo. Too many dreamers in here.

PLEASE DO NOT MIS QUOTE ME......

if you notice I informed the poster, that this was for 2 ZTR's and 2 men working.... NOT SOLO.....

and also there is the DIFFICULTLY LEVEL TOO....

now this is NOT for the simply home, cutting with 21" mowers.....

big_belly4ever
07-21-2008, 12:51 AM
i would also go along with topsite and punt 66 advice and pricing. I work solo and live in small town with more small towns 3 to4 miles away. (Being they where started from small mining towns)I compete with others just starting out to big homeowner and commercial crews.when i bid on cemetarys and comerical buildings its ajoke. new guys and some bigs bid lowwer than me some higher for instance most lawn avaerge here $32.00 yard. i bid it for 45.00 abigger guy employs equipment ect 60.00 new up incoming big guy bids it 25.00 AuGGGG. i bid what my experice tells me its woth to me and i do abetter job and never not haave enough work though.

punt66
07-21-2008, 07:06 AM
PLEASE DO NOT MIS QUOTE ME......

if you notice I informed the poster, that this was for 2 ZTR's and 2 men working.... NOT SOLO.....

and also there is the DIFFICULTLY LEVEL TOO....

now this is NOT for the simply home, cutting with 21" mowers.....

First of all whether your solo or have a crew of 3 the price doesnt change for an estimate. So dont confuse him. The goal to shoot for is $60hr. So a 20-30 min job should land between $30-$40. $60 per hpour including travel time is my goal.

As to mis quoting you. I didnt quote you to begin with. I used the word might. And am still sticking to my guns. Dont you remember me saying "im moving to bellville"

I also have a $35 minimum. However when you are first starting keep your minimum lower to get work and build your base and then raise it later on.

milkie62
08-09-2008, 02:42 AM
PLEASE DO NOT MIS QUOTE ME......

if you notice I informed the poster, that this was for 2 ZTR's and 2 men working.... NOT SOLO.....

and also there is the DIFFICULTLY LEVEL TOO....

now this is NOT for the simply home, cutting with 21" mowers.....
_______

In a previous post if you search you did quote somewhere around $175 an hr.You made no mention of 2 people working.
___________

dfklawn
08-12-2008, 12:42 AM
i shoot for $70 an hour is what i need to charge for all eqipment and labor. i never give my customers an hourly charge. its my lil figure in my head.. there are people that are getting $135 an hour in my area...there are so many people and so much work... i bid some high cause we may not really have time to get to it but if they say go ahead,, im there.,.,i see flyers all the time that claim they work for 25 an hour.,,if you break it down, that doesnt pay the equipment..

E.G.G.
08-13-2008, 12:11 PM
Thanks for all the input.

Another question....it is very late into the season so what are some jobs to pick up in the fall and winter months? How do you find these jobs?
The winters around here are not bad and not long. Very little snow if any at all. Average temps are 40 during winter months.

NickWilson
08-13-2008, 03:53 PM
I try to clear $20 an hour. So my rate is around $27.50 an hour per man. Around 45 cents per minute. If you charged the $60 to $120 an hour here you would never get any work.

Gerry Barr
08-13-2008, 03:57 PM
As said in a couple of posts back, trial and error is exactly correct. You will never have it down perfectly but over time with experience you will continue to get better.

One thing about this business that I have really enjoy is the amount of opportunities you will have to do all sorts of work. I came into this business to do lawns, landscaping, sprinklers etc., However I have painted houses, built fences, been hired to use my truck and trailer to move furniture, even got hired to change a fan belt for gal as well as countless other revenue opportunities. With the exposure you will have in the lawn business you will be asked to do just about anything. Of course you need to know what your limitations are. I still do not hit numbers correctly 100% of the time, but I am pro when it comes to knowing which jobs NOT to take and that came with experience.

For me the rate per hour depends on the how much labor is involved, technical ability required, what role my equipment will play and of course time. At my age labor is a big factor as I only have so much diesel left in the tank. I will not work for less then $75.00 and hour, unless I am helping some in need, which I am always grateful full for that opportunity

Bottom line is you can ask, read, guess, but until you have done ALLOT of jobs and lost money on jobs you will need to go through the learning process of doing to gain a better perspective.

von hill
08-13-2008, 10:07 PM
hand down $50 per man hour/ higher depending on the degree of hardship. i agree with bohiaa, don't waste time with people who can'nt afford you remember this , SOME WILL ,SOME WILL NOT, SO WHAT, NEXT

dfklawn
08-14-2008, 11:45 PM
as far as what i do in the winter.,, i added a decorative concrete division last year,..,its good year round if its above 35 degrees,. if the temp is below that, we do the indoor concrete jobs,..,, when we get all those done, i go work at the local tire shop long enough to get tire on all the trucks n trailers cheap