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Landscare
11-18-2004, 05:13 PM
I am in Colorado, we are a small commercial only maintenance company. I am curious what people are charging per square foot in Colorado and other areas.

We are at about 15 cents a square foot, that is just to compete with the bigger companies.

Let me know

tiedeman
11-18-2004, 05:42 PM
are you talking about charging lawn and landscaping maintenance by the square foot?

tx_angler
11-18-2004, 06:12 PM
Can't be mowing cause at $.15 per square foot that only comes to $6,534 an acre.

Landscare
11-18-2004, 06:20 PM
I am talking about full maintenance contracts, for instance if there was a property that was 250.000 sq ft of grass we would be charging around $37,000. yet we are still losing bids to bigger companies who are charging much less, I am having a hard time figuring out how they can do it for so cheap.

These prices are for full year contracts, includes everything from mowings to ferts, weed control both rocks and turf, prunings twice per year, and weekly sprinkler checks... there is more...

The only thing it does not include is time and material things like sprinkler repairs etc...

Tru Green Landcare who is one of our biggest competetors is charging 15 cents per square foot.

I think that the market is just more competitive in this area, I dont know thats why I am asking

tiedeman
11-18-2004, 06:27 PM
have you ever thought about breaking down each service first, instead of the by charging everything by square feet, to see where you might be charging too much or too little or just enough

LwnmwrMan22
11-18-2004, 06:33 PM
I am talking about full maintenance contracts, for instance if there was a property that was 250.000 sq ft of grass we would be charging around $37,000. yet we are still losing bids to bigger companies who are charging much less, I am having a hard time figuring out how they can do it for so cheap.

These prices are for full year contracts, includes everything from mowings to ferts, weed control both rocks and turf, prunings twice per year, and weekly sprinkler checks... there is more...

The only thing it does not include is time and material things like sprinkler repairs etc...

Tru Green Landcare who is one of our biggest competetors is charging 15 cents per square foot.

I think that the market is just more competitive in this area, I dont know thats why I am asking

250,000 sq ft of grass would be just over 5.5 acres. Unless you've got ALOT of landscape materials to maintain every year, I don't know of alot of places you're going to get $37,000 / year to maintain 5.5 acres. Now this is in my area of the country, where we don't have sprawling industrial places. 5.5 acres would pretty much be chewed up with the building, parking lot, dock areas, etc.

You've got to have your numbers messed somewhere. It's probably .015 / sq ft.

I mow approx. 90 acres here in MN for a school. At .15 / sqft, that would be $592,110 / year, JUST for the mowing. Now, I get $35,000 for the mowing, and Chemlawn comes in for 1 app of broadleaf / year for the weeds at approx. $4500 / year. That's roughly $40,000 for the year.

Now, if you were doing it at .0015 / sqft, that would be right in line with what is being charged around here for straight mowing.

That's for my by-far cheapest account, sq ft wise.

Normally I'd be up around .015 (+/-) / sq ft for a full service contract, including the plowing, spraying, landscape maintenance, etc.

Landscare
11-18-2004, 06:43 PM
if we did it at .015 then the contract would only be 3,750 for the enitre year!!!!!!

That is definately not right...

I am doing properties that are 4000 sq ft for that much...

I guess it is just a difference in the markets...

For instance we dont charge 37000 for just the mowing it includes everthing from the ferts, weed control, pruning, aerating, leaf removal, pruning, bed care, sprinkler checks etc...

Maybe it is just the cost of living difference between the two states I dont know. Colorado is friken expensive... I know that we are in the ball park of the other companies.

I have tried breaking it down piece by piece and the numbers add up the same if I was to go any lower than where I am at I wouldnt be able to make payroll and other bills...

at .15 per square ft we are making about 2% profit on the contract

tiedeman
11-18-2004, 06:46 PM
if that is the price, then stick with it. If you keep on losing over and over again accounts then I would look at your numbers and the operation of business. But I feel if you get at least 50% of accounts with those numbers, then stick with it

Landscare
11-18-2004, 06:46 PM
We just go off of square ft of grass, so the 250,000 sq ft is all grass, this dosent even include the bed areas, we just include them in with the turf sq footage...

Its confusing I know

Landscare
11-18-2004, 06:48 PM
thanks tide, I appreciate it.. Its just nice to have this arena to see what other people think, sometimes I get trapped in my own little world and its hard to see the outside things

Landscare
11-18-2004, 06:51 PM
Hey what is your average salary you pay your guys in minnesota??? I ask because it might be the difference in prices...

I think that things are just more expensive in Colorado..

I am paying my lowest paid laborer 9.00 per hour, my supervisors salary is 30,000 per year

LwnmwrMan22
11-18-2004, 07:12 PM
I know it's hard to throw out numbers, especially when you can't see the property, or even live within 500 miles of the state.

Anyways, here in MN, this is about how it would break down, in my area, about 30 miles north of St. Paul / Minneapolis.

For 250K sq ft, approx 5.5 acres, if you charged $60 / acre, which should be able to be mowed and trimmed, unless there's alot of trees, or hills, whatever in about 3 hours, with one ZTR, that's 2 acres / hour. That's $350 / mowing for 2-3 hours / work, $100 / hour. Now, say you have a 30 week mowing cycle in CO, so that's $10,000 for the mowing alone.

Now spraying & fertlizing, .004 / sq ft / chemical, so that would be $1,000 / app / chemical, ie weed / feed would be $2000, for each app.

Say you do 6 apps, 1 of Pre-M, 2 of Broadleaf herbicide, 4 fertilizings, and one winterizer. That's $8,000 for the chemicals and apps.

Aerating - 4x's the amount for mowing, so $1500.

Now you're sitting at just under $20K so far.

The other stuff is too hard to judge without seeing, especially the pruning part.

But I do see that you've got about $15-17K to "play" with.

Even at these numbers I've been told in the past that I'm too cheap, and that I need to raise my prices.

It comes down to, if you can't make any money on the deal, you probably can't make any money on the deal.

Landscare
11-18-2004, 07:15 PM
Amen to that

Thanks man its just nice to be able to see what others are doing in other parts

Good luck!!!!

YardPro
11-18-2004, 08:27 PM
250,000 sq ft of grass would be just over 5.5 acres. Unless you've got ALOT of landscape materials to maintain every year, I don't know of alot of places you're going to get $37,000 / year to maintain 5.5 acres. Now this is in my area of the country, where we don't have sprawling industrial places. 5.5 acres would pretty much be chewed up with the building, parking lot, dock areas, etc.

You've got to have your numbers messed somewhere. It's probably .015 / sq ft.

I mow approx. 90 acres here in MN for a school. At .15 / sqft, that would be $592,110 / year, JUST for the mowing. Now, I get $35,000 for the mowing, and Chemlawn comes in for 1 app of broadleaf / year for the weeds at approx. $4500 / year. That's roughly $40,000 for the year.

Now, if you were doing it at .0015 / sqft, that would be right in line with what is being charged around here for straight mowing.

That's for my by-far cheapest account, sq ft wise.

Normally I'd be up around .015 (+/-) / sq ft for a full service contract, including the plowing, spraying, landscape maintenance, etc.


we have several 2 acer properties we get $36,000.00/year + any repairs

tru green is a big time low baller.

the way these companies do it is by not performing all the services.
they look at the bid sheet and by lowering the frequencies of a few things, they cheat the bid.

happens all the time. we quit bidding landscape installs a while back becuase of this. bids would spec A grade 5 gallon, etc, and the bid winner would end up putting in b grade 3 gallon.

sell your quality not your price.
we have some key accounts we have had for 25 years. they will not even talk with other landscapers. we are fair to them and they are to us. We do a very good gob, and are paid accordingly.
we have guys all the time trying to low ball us there, but the association is proud ot thier grounds, are happy with thier service/cost ratio, and are unwilling to consider someone else.

YardPro
11-18-2004, 08:30 PM
250,000 sq ft of grass would be just over 5.5 acres. Unless you've got ALOT of landscape materials to maintain every year, I don't know of alot of places you're going to get $37,000 / year to maintain 5.5 acres. Now this is in my area of the country, where we don't have sprawling industrial places. 5.5 acres would pretty much be chewed up with the building, parking lot, dock areas, etc.

You've got to have your numbers messed somewhere. It's probably .015 / sq ft.

I mow approx. 90 acres here in MN for a school. At .15 / sqft, that would be $592,110 / year, JUST for the mowing. Now, I get $35,000 for the mowing, and Chemlawn comes in for 1 app of broadleaf / year for the weeds at approx. $4500 / year. That's roughly $40,000 for the year.

Now, if you were doing it at .0015 / sqft, that would be right in line with what is being charged around here for straight mowing.

That's for my by-far cheapest account, sq ft wise.

Normally I'd be up around .015 (+/-) / sq ft for a full service contract, including the plowing, spraying, landscape maintenance, etc.


school contracts are totally different than full service contracts.

we spend about 1500 hrs a year at a 2 acre property

LwnmwrMan22
11-18-2004, 09:03 PM
school contracts are totally different than full service contracts.

we spend about 1500 hrs a year at a 2 acre property

A "2" acre property?? 1500 hours?? That's 30 hours a week for a 52 week mowing schedule?? Are you sure that isn't a typo or something??

I realize that some properties are like that, but man, I couldn't handle an account like that. I'd go nuts.

You'd almost have to replant each blade of grass and reinstall each piece of mulch each week to spend that much time at one account.

LwnmwrMan22
11-18-2004, 09:05 PM
Hey what is your average salary you pay your guys in minnesota??? I ask because it might be the difference in prices...

I think that things are just more expensive in Colorado..

I am paying my lowest paid laborer 9.00 per hour, my supervisors salary is 30,000 per year


Actually, you're going to have to start someone around $10, or $9 in your case, but they're not going to be any good for that rate.

Last year I got rid of my last employee. I was paying him $16.43 / hour, and he'd still show up late.

alpine692003
11-18-2004, 09:33 PM
I'm beginning to learn how these big companies charge prices that we can't compete with.. They intend to grab these commercial accounts by VOLUME, voLUME, VOLUME!

The more volume, the more chances they will make $$$ ..