View Full Version : Bidding 106 houses in a neighborhood:

12-01-2009, 02:15 AM
Iam trying to bid on 106 houses next door to each other. I figure that each house will take about 10-15min w/3man crew(average yard around 2,500sft),also shrubs and prunning, any suggestions on what I should bid would be very much appreciated.


12-01-2009, 02:45 AM
You are asking an open ended question. Getting an answer on what you should bid without knowing the other variables is useless. Besides I get more per sqft then you. So my price would be different. You best bet is figure what your bottom line cost is to do the job. Then what you can accept to profit from the job. There is your number!

12-01-2009, 03:07 AM
Price 10 houses at random, average those prices. Multiply by 106 for a grand total.

12-01-2009, 09:36 AM
Bid it like you bid a normal house. I agree with hockeypro, just go look at a few different random ones and average the price then multiply by 106. But I would knock off 10-15% of your regular price since they are all so close like that. If you know how to work efficiently you will make a ton of profit having a huge cluster like that.

Kutz Lawns
12-01-2009, 02:07 PM
$40 per house X 106 = $4240.00

12-01-2009, 02:23 PM
I'm with the other guys.... Figure out what you normally charge, multiply it by 106, and then I would prob consider a good discount since you will have limited travel time expenses involved and you will 106 customers to upsell additional services to. This could be a very good bid to get ahold of. DO NOT SELL YOURSELF SHORT!!!! It should still be all business at the end of the day.

starry night
12-01-2009, 02:27 PM
This won't be helpful except to focus your thinking: Do you really need a 3-man crew on properties of 2500 sq ft? Most everyone, so far, have commented on the mowing but we have no way to comment on "shrub pruning" which you are supposed to include. How many shrubs, what size, what kind?
Best thing on a job of this scope is to narrow it down to average cost of the pruning just the like the other posters said about mowing.

12-01-2009, 05:25 PM
With your numbers...your 3 man crew cuts and trims 1 acre in 3 Hrs and 40 Min..

You must be using a 21" mowers if you can't cut 2500sq/ft in under ten minutes with a 3 man crew...That's god awful slow.

3 guys should seriously be able to cut 2500 sq/ft in 5 min tops....With hydros of course.

Do the shrubs and pruning on scheduled days when your not mowing.

12-02-2009, 12:03 AM
Thanks guys, there is alot of response, and it is greatly appreciated. I do have to use 21'' mowers, cant get anything larger through gates and neighborhood rules wont let me use riders in front. There are about 4-5 shrubs per house to trim.

12-02-2009, 04:22 AM
ouch...have fun with that....to me i wouldnt take the job if i had to use 21" pushers......no profit....I wanna be in and out as fast as possible

12-02-2009, 11:45 AM
Why not get some walkbehinds for the front yards and use the 21" on the back.

Turf Logic
12-02-2009, 12:16 PM
You can't price jobs like this at a flat rate per house, you will never get the job. You need to figure out down to the dime with a plus or minus percentage (for error of calculation) for your cost and then add an acceptable profit margin. Everyone has their own formulas but we look at the following factors:
workmans comp
equipment fuel
weed eater line
mileage to and from the job (account for fuel, wear, and tear on vehicle)
Unless you have non-existant competiton there is no way you will never get 4200 to cut these 106 houses. $35 dollars per man and $45 dollars per mower is about all you can get atleast where I am. Based off of the information you have provided we would be around the 70k mark for a year around full service contract with pre-emergents and fertilization. this would be us making around the 30k dollar mark and thats a 40 percent profit margin and thats about as good as it gets. I'm not saying it can't bring more but more or less you need to figure out cost and put a profit on it. Flat rates go out the window on bigger accounts.

12-02-2009, 01:25 PM
You DO NOT bid these like regular houses or anywhere near $40 each. This is bulk bidding...you know Wal-Mart does it...bulk pricing. You should bid about $15-$18 per house. I had a HOA with 50 homes connected at the garage. It took two of us 6 hours mowing with Zs, an hour to string trim, and an hour to blow off the drives and sidewalks...so it took 7-8 hours. I was paid $900.00 every week we mowed. I had this contract for five years and I made damn good money from it. You might have a bit more or a bit less property to handle, but most developments like this are pretty similar when it comes to the common areas.

As for the shrub trimming...count how many shrubs are at one home (they should all be about the same size and quanity per home - typical HOA developments) and multiple that times the number of homes. Then take that number and multiple it by $3.00-$4.00 per shrub. So, lets say:

6 shrubs per home x 106 homes = 636 total shrubs around the homes x $4.00 = $2544.00. Now take that up to $2600 because their will probably be general island areas throughout the property with a few shrubs.

This would land me the contract in Pennsylvania, my prices would be right on with the going HOA bidding, and I would have a fat bank account from it.

12-02-2009, 01:34 PM
You'll also need to reserve yourself a chunk of each week to get this done,
at 15 minutes a piece that's 4 an hour, being that there's over 100 it will
likely take at least two 12-hour stretches but probably closer to three as
I'm assuming you'll want a lunch break.

Turf Logic
12-02-2009, 02:31 PM
Yardatwork and topsites both have the right idea.

12-03-2009, 04:20 AM
Are you not allowed to use walk behinds at all? It's really gonna suck if you have to use 21" mowers! Your labor cost is going to make you go nuts assuming you win the contract. I do a HOA on a smaller scale and I almost regret bidding it because even though the travel time is non existent, the labor cost just kills. Trimming and edging everything is a nightmare with a 3 man crew. That's why I don't do apartment complexes either....LABOR!
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12-03-2009, 08:49 AM
The price you pay for everything you purchase is based on the seller's cost. The seller determines his price based on what he paid for the item and the profit margin he needs to stay in business.

An LCO is no different to any other business. Asking others to price your work without knowing what your costs are is not a very good idea.

Get some help writing a BUSINESS PLAN. This will help establish the TOTAL COST of operating your business. Now that you know your cost of operation you will be able to price your work.

Remember, "If you can measure it you can manage it."


DT Lawn Care
12-03-2009, 08:00 PM
With your numbers...your 3 man crew cuts and trims 1 acre in 3 Hrs and 40 Min..

You must be using a 21" mowers if you can't cut 2500sq/ft in under ten minutes with a 3 man crew...That's god awful slow.

3 guys should seriously be able to cut 2500 sq/ft in 5 min tops....With hydros of course.

Do the shrubs and pruning on scheduled days when your not mowing.

Right on you guys are sllllloooowwww. My brother and I can mow a 5,000 sq ft house with 2 21"s, trim, edge, and blow. From dropping the gate to putting it up in an average of 10 mins. With 2 guys.

12-03-2009, 10:55 PM
Bidding is fun. I always overprice, only because I don't have the equipment to do the job efficiently as I could. If I won a contract, I'd have to upgrade my equipment and have to make sure it'll off set the cost, or, I'll have to look elsewhere for more bids to make it really worth while.

I operate two 21" push mowers. That was only until this fall. Previously, I only operated one. My brother and I would switch between cutting, and trimming/blowing. It worked well, and brought in $90/hr overall which is fine for me as I'm mostly in it for the exercise. Besides, family's cheap.