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GSO LAWNEN4CER
12-22-2012, 12:44 AM
Wanted to get some opnions on how ya'll rate yard sizes. Tryn to put together a pricing guideline.

a 1-8000 sf= small lawn
b 8000-16,000 sf= medium lawn
c 16,000-24,000 sf= large lawn
d 24,000 + xl lawn

Are my numbers close to what you guys would use?

Woody82986
12-22-2012, 12:46 AM
I go by total property size rather than lawn size. Having to deal with odd lawn shapes for measurements is a huge hassle. I start with 6k sq.ft. properties and go up from there. In general, I go up in price each 1k sq.ft. until I hit 12k and then things get wider apart.

Above Par Lawns
12-22-2012, 12:51 AM
Dude my opinion, you're making it a lot harder than it needs to be. Don't try to pre determine your prices. Each yard you should price accordingly. Figure out what your hourly rate needs to be and go from there. From your numbers you're saying a half acre is a "XL" lawn. But where I come from that's not very large. You're just going to get a bunch of random people's opinions when asking that broad of a question.

Above Par Lawns
12-22-2012, 12:53 AM
You can however Google search for the average lot size in your area. That may be a place to start.

GSO LAWNEN4CER
12-22-2012, 12:58 AM
I go by total property size rather than lawn size. Having to deal with odd lawn shapes for measurements is a huge hassle. I start with 6k sq.ft. properties and go up from there. In general, I go up in price each 1k sq.ft. until I hit 12k and then things get wider apart.

Right.Was looking to see if I can come as close to matching sq ft to the time it takes to complete the job.

GSO LAWNEN4CER
12-22-2012, 01:04 AM
Dude my opinion, you're making it a lot harder than it needs to be. Don't try to pre determine your prices. Each yard you should price accordingly. Figure out what your hourly rate needs to be and go from there. From your numbers you're saying a half acre is a "XL" lawn. But where I come from that's not very large. You're just going to get a bunch of random people's opinions when asking that broad of a question.

From what I've noticed in my area most customers would like a ball park figure,on what its gonna run.I understand that in my personal buying as well.
If I go to have my windows tinted.I want a close to or a direct price. I dont want a suprise price after the work is done.

Above Par Lawns
12-22-2012, 01:51 AM
From what I've noticed in my area most customers would like a ball park figure,on what its gonna run.I understand that in my personal buying as well.
If I go to have my windows tinted.I want a close to or a direct price. I dont want a suprise price after the work is done.

I think I was misunderstood. I'm just saying to start keeping track of how long it takes YOU to do certain tasks. How long does it take you to edge 1000sq ft? How long to mow 5000sq ft? How long does it take you to blow off 1000sq ft of sidewalk, etc? I always recommend seeing the property first before giving them a firm price. Figure out how long you'll be there and use your hourly rate to determine the price of the job. You can't just say " if you have X sq ft I'll mow for this." There's other things to factor in if you want your business to stay afloat.

orangemower
12-22-2012, 08:13 AM
Dude my opinion, you're making it a lot harder than it needs to be. Don't try to pre determine your prices. Each yard you should price accordingly. Figure out what your hourly rate needs to be and go from there. From your numbers you're saying a half acre is a "XL" lawn. But where I come from that's not very large. You're just going to get a bunch of random people's opinions when asking that broad of a question.

I think I was misunderstood. I'm just saying to start keeping track of how long it takes YOU to do certain tasks. How long does it take you to edge 1000sq ft? How long to mow 5000sq ft? How long does it take you to blow off 1000sq ft of sidewalk, etc? I always recommend seeing the property first before giving them a firm price. Figure out how long you'll be there and use your hourly rate to determine the price of the job. You can't just say " if you have X sq ft I'll mow for this." There's other things to factor in if you want your business to stay afloat.

Listen to what APL is trying to tell you. No two properties are the same. Even if they have the exact same sqftage, they will be different. So each property is different. Now do as APL said and time yourself to find out how long jobs will take you. Then you can give a price by just looking. No fancy math involved, no measuring wheel at all. As others said, you're making it harder then it needs to be.

herler
12-22-2012, 10:27 AM
They are right, no two properties are the same. It just takes time, you have to get out there and do some so that you learn how long it takes you, then you base future prices off your own experience.

I know it sounds awful hairy and scary but that's how most of us do it, dive in head first, don't be scared, give some estimates and go from there, you will miss some but we all did (and to a point still do), it will be all right.

Good luck

jrs.landscaping
12-22-2012, 03:32 PM
Right.Was looking to see if I can come as close to matching sq ft to the time it takes to complete the job.

Too many variables as stated above. Lawn A is 7 acres and takes 3 of us 2.5hours to mow and trim. Lawn B is 7.25 acres and takes 3 of us 4.5 - 5.5hours to mow and trim. 1/4 of an acre more but there is a lot more trimming and we have to A)bag B)use smaller mowers because of the the obstacles.

Stillwater
12-23-2012, 12:05 PM
Price by SF. That's scary, ill have none of that please.....
Posted via Mobile Device

guitarman2420
12-24-2012, 05:00 PM
The only thing I price by sq ft (actually cubic foot) is mulch. I only do that for large jobs (> 10 yards). Otherwise, after a while you can just look at an area and guess how much mulch it will take and how long it will take you (hilly vs. flat). Yards are pretty easy, like people have said. The only people I see that price by sq ft are the big boys (Large scale operators) that want to extract as much from the client as they can.

Duekster
12-24-2012, 05:14 PM
Smaller lots you can price based on total square foot. Most houses in an area will have a drive, fenced back yard and so forth. People might ask for a discount for having a pool or big bed but do not do it. If anything charge more because of the extra trimming and keeping the grass out of the pool.

That is the same logic for corner lots, there are more walks to edge and blow so they are more.

Having said that, that typically ends some where around the 10K to 12K size.

CLS_Birmingham
12-27-2012, 12:30 AM
With everything said, then how do you setup a system for your sales people to know how to price a lawn?? I currently price yards the same way as everyone here, by viewing the property and basing it on how long it will take to do. This of course has taken alot of time to get it right. But I want to get a system in place so when I have sales people they can look at a property and know how to bid it the way I want it. So how does everyone with sales people do this??

guitarman2420
12-27-2012, 10:57 AM
I guess it depends how big you are (revenue size). I don't trust the sales work to anyone but myself; but I understand if you grow to be a large company you would have to delegate the sales process.

You might develop a "tiered" system. I don't care how large my company is, I would not allow anyone other than myself to give final approval to a sales offer that would be more than say, 5% of my annual revenue. In other words I would have control of any offering that could severely effect my bottom line. But you could allow your sales people to price the typical yard, commercial account. My guess to do that is that you would have to have a person that had been with you long enough to trust or someone that you recruited whom you personally knew. I would give them small accounts to price and then go in behind them and see if they are on the mark with the pricing. "Delegate" but then check behind them. Even if you develop a plan with pricing per sq ft, you have to check behind them because there is some talent associated with pricing that way too. Are they lazy? Do they understand the computations? Do they have enough common sense to know they have to subtract the size of the house & flower beds from the sq ft of the lawn. I know this sounds basic, but a typical sales person does not necessarily have common sense, especially if they are commission driven (larger sq ft + more $).

BeachysLawn
12-27-2012, 12:00 PM
I disagree. Pricing by the lot size up to 20 -25K sq ft is the best way to do it. How far off can you really be? Just have specific addons for obvious time consumers like corner lots, fences, pools, etc.

Above 25K I would want to look at the lawn before I give a price but even then you need to have a system in place to price it. How long does it take to trim around a tree? How many trees? Price per foot for blade edging? Price per foot for trimming along fences? One side or both sides? What size mower can be used? Etc, etc.

Eyeballing can work if you never plan to get out of a very hands on role in your company. But put together a detailed pricing system and then it doesn't matter who goes to do the pricing, you'll come up with the same price either way.

Duekster
12-27-2012, 01:12 PM
I agree, I would set a price for your typical lot where you plan on marketing the most. Bid anything not in that market area or you are not completely familiar.

Any thing close to 1/2 AC or more should be a custom bid.

guitarman2420
12-27-2012, 01:20 PM
What do you disagree with? I agree sq ft is a good way to bid. You just have to make sure you deduct for beds, etc. Where I live it is heavily wooded and fescue has a problem in the shade. As a result some yards that are 1/2 acre have only 100 sq ft of grass; just a strip in front of the house, the rest of the area are flower beds, etc. I can't charge them the same price as the client that has a 1/2 acre grass lot. That's all I'm saying.

Duekster
12-27-2012, 01:40 PM
What do you disagree with? I agree sq ft is a good way to bid. You just have to make sure you deduct for beds, etc. Where I live it is heavily wooded and fescue has a problem in the shade. As a result some yards that are 1/2 acre have only 100 sq ft of grass; just a strip in front of the house, the rest of the area are flower beds, etc. I can't charge them the same price as the client that has a 1/2 acre grass lot. That's all I'm saying.

Absolutely, I would charge a lot more to clean beds :laugh:
Just maybe do it less often.

BeachysLawn
12-28-2012, 10:58 AM
What do you disagree with? I agree sq ft is a good way to bid. You just have to make sure you deduct for beds, etc. Where I live it is heavily wooded and fescue has a problem in the shade. As a result some yards that are 1/2 acre have only 100 sq ft of grass; just a strip in front of the house, the rest of the area are flower beds, etc. I can't charge them the same price as the client that has a 1/2 acre grass lot. That's all I'm saying.

I don't have a lot of woods in my area and most lots are fairly similar which is where we differ. Years ago, I actually lived over in Cumberland and so I know Midlothian fairly well and you do have a different set of circumstances than I do.

But (for my somewhat treeless suburbian area) I find it more simple to base my pricing off lot size (including beds & house) and then add on for extras.

Darryl G
12-28-2012, 12:44 PM
For those of us in more rural areas all of those would be small lawns.

wz2p7j
12-29-2012, 11:14 PM
For us a small lawn is about 10 acres and a large lawn is about 70-125 acres, but it's kinda what we specialize in.

Chris

guitarman2420
12-30-2012, 09:31 AM
Goodness, a small yard = 10 acres? So how do you make a living a that? Large crew, or self op? It seems you would have to charge a huge amount for that. In my case, I'm like the taxi driver, the $ are in "moving and scooting". Having several yards in close proximity and trying to do 2-3 yards an hour.

Duekster
12-31-2012, 02:20 AM
For us a small lawn is about 10 acres and a large lawn is about 70-125 acres, but it's kinda what we specialize in.

Chris

I believe that defies the definition of "lawn"

GSO LAWNEN4CER
01-01-2013, 01:42 AM
The only thing I price by sq ft (actually cubic foot) is mulch. I only do that for large jobs (> 10 yards). Otherwise, after a while you can just look at an area and guess how much mulch it will take and how long it will take you (hilly vs. flat). Yards are pretty easy, like people have said. The only people I see that price by sq ft are the big boys (Large scale operators) that want to extract as much from the client as they can.

Its that the whole reason for starting a business?

GSO LAWNEN4CER
01-01-2013, 01:46 AM
Price by SF. That's scary, ill have none of that please.....
Posted via Mobile Device

I kno right! You can eyeball some stuff,but if your not pricing by the sq/ft then your leaving money on the table.If you know what your mower can do in productivity.Your losing money if not pricing by the sq/ft.

jrs.landscaping
01-01-2013, 08:52 AM
I kno right! You can eyeball some stuff,but if your not pricing by the sq/ft then your leaving money on the table.If you know what your mower can do in productivity.Your losing money if not pricing by the sq/ft.

So you would go around with a magic wheel and measure 17 acres to get the exact Sq. footage? 1/2 acre or less this might work, anything larger than that and you're wasting time getting exact dimensions IMHO.

Duekster
01-01-2013, 11:20 AM
So you would go around with a magic wheel and measure 17 acres to get the exact Sq. footage? 1/2 acre or less this might work, anything larger than that and you're wasting time getting exact dimensions IMHO.

Still better be within 10% or else your cost could kill you or your bids will be so far off the mark you never get the work.

jrs.landscaping
01-01-2013, 11:47 AM
Still better be within 10% or else your cost could kill you or your bids will be so far off the mark you never get the work.

We are usually on par with other companies bidding properties. I have seen guys with a wheel marking off parking lots for plowing. I understand they are trying to dial in on the size of the property but how much time is spent trying to get exact measurements? Before I send in a survey crew to measure properties I'll take my chances with the systems we have in place.

Duekster
01-01-2013, 11:57 AM
We are usually on par with other companies bidding properties. I have seen guys with a wheel marking off parking lots for plowing. I understand they are trying to dial in on the size of the property but how much time is spent trying to get exact measurements? Before I send in a survey crew to measure properties I'll take my chances with the systems we have in place.

You made it sound like you pulled numbers out of your hat. Now you have a system. Frankly, I do not own wheel either...

jrs.landscaping
01-01-2013, 12:01 PM
You made it sound like you pulled numbers out of your hat. Now you have a system. Frankly, I do not own wheel either...

I own a wheel, we used it for marking athletic fields, now it takes up space in the garage.

GSO LAWNEN4CER
01-01-2013, 11:30 PM
So you would go around with a magic wheel and measure 17 acres to get the exact Sq. footage? 1/2 acre or less this might work, anything larger than that and you're wasting time getting exact dimensions IMHO.

You have no arguement,17 acres is not a lawn,its a field. And step up to the new school.Google earth pro can measure Africa down to the ft!

GSO LAWNEN4CER
01-01-2013, 11:37 PM
So you would go around with a magic wheel and measure 17 acres to get the exact Sq. footage? 1/2 acre or less this might work, anything larger than that and you're wasting time getting exact dimensions IMHO.

And to further my point I can measure 17 acres in about 25 sec's and four clicks of a mouse.

Duekster
01-02-2013, 12:10 AM
And to further my point I can measure 17 acres in about 25 sec's and four clicks of a mouse.

I use tax records and google earth often. I tried that I go lawn thing but did not like it. My computer was dying and GE Pro would not run well. I am going to give it another spin once I am done setting up the new PC

jrs.landscaping
01-02-2013, 08:02 AM
You have no arguement,17 acres is not a lawn,its a field. And step up to the new school.Google earth pro can measure Africa down to the ft!

So what's your price to mow 2 acres since that is the average "lawn" size in my area? Google Earth is a great tool that I use as well, but it never compensates for tree canopies over lawns, obsticles, terrain type, ground type, areas which may hold water.... all of these things can't be done by a computer. So going back, no two sets of properties will be the same based on these factors. As I stated earlier maybe on cookie cutter lots or subdivisions you could use sq ft as a price guide. You stick to your methods and I'll use mine, they've worked this long.....

Duekster
01-02-2013, 10:16 AM
So what's your price to mow 2 acres since that is the average "lawn" size in my area? Google Earth is a great tool that I use as well, but it never compensates for tree canopies over lawns, obsticles, terrain type, ground type, areas which may hold water.... all of these things can't be done by a computer. So going back, no two sets of properties will be the same based on these factors. As I stated earlier maybe on cookie cutter lots or subdivisions you could use sq ft as a price guide. You stick to your methods and I'll use mine, they've worked this long.....

Unless it is a track site in an area you know well then site visits are a must. However, commerical sites and estate lawns can be deceptive in size and I like to measure them with google or have some sort of tax info on the site before I visit it.

GSO LAWNEN4CER
01-03-2013, 03:41 AM
So what's your price to mow 2 acres since that is the average "lawn" size in my area? Google Earth is a great tool that I use as well, but it never compensates for tree canopies over lawns, obsticles, terrain type, ground type, areas which may hold water.... all of these things can't be done by a computer. So going back, no two sets of properties will be the same based on these factors. As I stated earlier maybe on cookie cutter lots or subdivisions you could use sq ft as a price guide. You stick to your methods and I'll use mine, they've worked this long.....

Here's how it works! You get a call from a lead, soon to be customer. You get the basics of what they want, and what day is good to come by.They give your the Address. Using the Address, you go to Google earth and measure the property.This gives you a good idea of a ballpark price.Going by my price guide. You show up to customers home,look over the property and give a final price.

Darryl G
01-03-2013, 09:59 AM
Here's how it works! You get a call from a lead, soon to be customer. You get the basics of what they want, and what day is good to come by.They give your the Address. Using the Address, you go to Google earth and measure the property.This gives you a good idea of a ballpark price.Going by my price guide. You show up to customers home,look over the property and give a final price.

Exactly what I do. I also use online tax records and search the small claims site before even showing up on the property. If they have a bunch of claims against them it's a good indication that they don't pay their bills.

lawn_jockey
01-05-2013, 01:55 AM
I get the property measurement from tax records and give them a price within 2 minutes. Quick call back or sometimes we can do it on the fly during the phone call.
They aprove the price, give me credit card, I tell them the mowing day they will be on and take their gate code if applicable.
They sign a policies and procedures letter but no contract at all.
I have a new customer within 3-5 minutes. Never met them or went out to the property.

Has worked great since 2005.

Most LCO's in my neck of the woods use this method.

Narisbola Landscaping
02-09-2013, 03:46 PM
So what's your price to mow 2 acres since that is the average "lawn" size in my area? Google Earth is a great tool that I use as well, but it never compensates for tree canopies over lawns, obsticles, terrain type, ground type, areas which may hold water.... all of these things can't be done by a computer. So going back, no two sets of properties will be the same based on these factors. As I stated earlier maybe on cookie cutter lots or subdivisions you could use sq ft as a price guide. You stick to your methods and I'll use mine, they've worked this long.....

So Jrs landscaping, why don't you sure your pricing method for a 2 acre property of your area. Say its pretty flat terrain, 1 or 2 small landscape beds in back yard, very few trees, and pretty open.

What is your method and give us a price$?

jrs.landscaping
02-10-2013, 10:54 AM
So Jrs landscaping, why don't you sure your pricing method for a 2 acre property of your area. Say its pretty flat terrain, 1 or 2 small landscape beds in back yard, very few trees, and pretty open.

What is your method and give us a price$?

$65 Thumbs Up

Cedar Lawn Care
02-16-2013, 12:44 AM
Like it has been said by quite a few people, I think you need to decide on your hourly rate you want per man and do figures from there. Each lawn is so different. A lawn with a swing set, a dozen trees, a trampoline, etc has to be charged differently than an equal sized lawn with nothing in the way. Things have to be done individually. It might be a bit more of a pain up front to measure and check things out, but in the long run you're probably doing yourself a favor doing some extra calculations.