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DiSantolandscaping
12-13-2011, 09:51 PM
how many people actually take the time to go buy one of them wheel measures and walks around somones yard to figure out either the size or square footage to give estimates? I was thinking of buying one and measuring a few just to get an idea of being able to look at a yard and say ok ill mow it for 45 bucks or whatever it might be.

GMLC
12-13-2011, 10:03 PM
I measure all my lawn estimates with a wheel. I also measure trimming, edging, flower beds etc. etc. I then punch all this info into my estimating software which includes a difficulty level. It keeps all my estimates consistent and accurate and allows me to schedule my work day to the minute. These systems allow me to run a very tight ship and monitor my time and expenses.

DiSantolandscaping
12-13-2011, 10:04 PM
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DiSantolandscaping
12-13-2011, 10:05 PM
I measure all my lawn estimates with a wheel. I also measure trimming, edging, flower beds etc. etc. I then punch all this info into my software estimator which includes a difficulty level. It keeps all my estimates consistent and accurate and allows me to schedule my work day to the minute. These systems allow me to run a very tight ship and monitor my time and expenses.

What software are u using
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GMLC
12-13-2011, 10:12 PM
I created it with microsoft excel and access.

DavidsonLandscaping
12-14-2011, 10:27 PM
i maybe wrong to someone out there, most of the time i just eyeball it. i never go by what the landlord etc says about the size of the lot etc. i figure how long its going to take to arrive, cut and haul (lawns). Mulch, hedges etc i have a flat rate that goes by footage, height, materials and hauling if desired, but of course everyones different. but i always measure for materials, cant have too much and i can get crabby with too little.

cpllawncare
12-14-2011, 11:54 PM
I created it with microsoft excel and access.

Do you know of anyone that has something close?

ralph02813
12-15-2011, 07:44 AM
You can go to your local tax assessors web site and get the exact dimensions of a property, I then pace of gardens that need to be edged, I come pretty close, I use size to figure out the price, but never tell the customer the footage price -wheels run $50 -$150.00 it all depends if you think you need it, and there is room for it.

TripleALandscaping
12-15-2011, 07:47 AM
There are tools out there for larger jobs like pro landscape, but you would be greatly under using the tool for estimating say how much mulch you need and a few shrubs let's say.

I feel there is too much variability in each job to rely on anything but something you have created yourself.

With something home grown and simple as excel you can hit every aspect of your estimate easily once you get some templates setup.

You can estimate based on labor, material costs, total hours worked/man, etc.
Then compare each and and see if you are still bringing home the profit margin you want.

I would suggest using a wheel, every time I have I've been spot on with my estimates and my take home, not so much when eying it up.

Also, if you don't get accurate measurements how do you have any accurate historical data to compare to when estimating your next job?

At the very least id start with getting the wheel and having one note book where I do all estimates from, referencing a predetermined price list.....I.e. $80/yd of mulch delivered and installed which usually takes at absolute most 1 hour, bed edging, weed removal are variable and differ per job. Based off of some concrete price list you have, variable, but accurate measurements should send you down a consistent path with your estimates....after some time you wont need the price list as you'll have these things memorized.

I've been able to do on the spot estimates with just paper and pencil and my wheel based on my price lists and measurements, of course following up with a true estimate for the client.

Good luck.
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clc000
12-15-2011, 10:28 AM
For just mowing, I almost always eyeball it. I can usually tell +/- 5 min how long it will take. The only exception is very large lots (1+ acres). For those I use Google Maps' measuring tool. For hedges I charge by the bush depending on size. Landscape jobs are based on materials plus labor. To me, cleanup jobs (leaves, pine straw, etc.) are the most difficult to estimate, as they can get away from you time-wise pretty easily.

GMLC
12-15-2011, 10:56 AM
Do you know of anyone that has something close?

These are kinda close. You will get the idea. But Excel is the way to go to customize and Access creates the data base to share the info with all other systems.

http://lawnchat.com/?page_id=341

lawnpropm
01-13-2012, 05:22 AM
Try google earth, or goilawn.com. I heard this is what companies like true greens use to give estimates.
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ralph02813
01-13-2012, 09:01 AM
Try google earth, or goilawn.com. I heard this is what companies like true greens use to give estimates.
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You can also use a combination of google earth with your local tax apparisser both fee. you get actual lot size for the tax off and kind of see the vegetation on google.

Lefet
01-13-2012, 10:35 AM
We always measure with a wheel for ferts, never for cutting. I can eyeball a property to determine the value when cutting. I haven't gotten comfortable with those programs that would give you the sq ft for ferting. Maybe I just haven't found the right one.

ralph02813
01-13-2012, 10:48 AM
We always measure with a wheel for ferts, never for cutting. I can eyeball a property to determine the value when cutting. I haven't gotten comfortable with those programs that would give you the sq ft for ferting. Maybe I just haven't found the right one.

I have only used both to give me an idea of what I am getting into before I get there. the tax info, gives you accurate square footage, but then you have to figure out what part is lawn and what is not.

CrownScapes
01-14-2012, 12:31 AM
Mowing, edging,trimming and blowing I eyeball it, you can get good enough at it after a few, just walk the property to see obstacles and such. I will measure beds for mulch or measure corner lots because of edging. Pruning I charge by Bush, the size, hailing etc.

donahue_85
01-14-2012, 01:19 AM
I always just walk any new potential lawns to figure out how much time I'll be spending there. Then, I figure out how much money I want to make per hour. Once you have those things in mind, usually you will be able to give a fair bid. :) Just be careful not to underbid yourself, like don't go to a lawn with 25 bushes that need to be hedged & a bunch of concrete that needs to be edged & bid the job for $80/month. Make SURE you spend the time to do your math & figure out how long you will be there & what exactly you will have to do for whatever dollar amount you want to charge per hour. This is where a lot of guys screw up. ;)

I may suggest to try to do your best to market to commercial properties as much as you can!! :clapping: This is where the $ is. :usflag:

JBNC
01-14-2012, 09:13 AM
I can't speak for trugreen, but I work for a similar company and will say that the sales team goes out and measures every single yard. It's broken down in the sq/ft for the whole yard, front and sides, and back yard on every invoice.

wildstarblazer
01-15-2012, 11:04 AM
Measuring for fertilzing is good so you know how much you need. The problem I have with these softwares and measuring every nook and crany is that just because the software tells me I should be charging $X amount, doesn't mean my customer is going to pay that.

donahue_85
01-16-2012, 09:55 PM
Measuring for fertilzing is good so you know how much you need. The problem I have with these softwares and measuring every nook and crany is that just because the software tells me I should be charging $X amount, doesn't mean my customer is going to pay that.

I agree, that is something that a lot of guys don't see now a days. They seem to think that, hey, this yard is X amount so you need to pay X amount. NO!! It just doesn't work that way dude!!!

Now, you NEED to look to see how much time you will spend there & base it upon that, not how much is there to do!! This is where a LOT of guys screw up & loose business!!!

DON'T DO THAT TO YOURSELF!!!! :nono: :nono: :wall

stickleylawncare
01-18-2012, 09:50 PM
For mowing, we just eyeball it.. its more about the time a yard will take than just a pure sqft measurement. Small yards, or yards with lots of edging, crazy driveways can take longer than big open yards. We do use a little wheel when checking on sod jobs and big mulch beds.