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Old 12-05-2012, 08:20 PM
Duekster Duekster is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2007
Location: DFW, TX
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Originally Posted by CLS_Birmingham View Post
How do you go about determining your formulas when estimating based on Sq/ft?? We've been using guestimating over the years and I'm in the process of creating a system based on Sq/ft.

You have to have a floor to cover dropping the gate at each client.

I work off hourly cost with a minimum cost for showing up. On large properties I go on a straight hourly cost.

I break down cost by overhead - shop, advertisement, administration

I then look at labor cost including burden by the hour.

I then look at equipment cost by the hour over the expected life, include fuel, maintenance, insurance and such.

Consider utilization to I know I can work 9 months but have to cover 12 months of expenses.

Consider finance cost, inflation and capitalization on your investments.

I then add profit.

Then consider the market. Do not be afraid to be a little more expensive than what you think the market will bear cause you can not compete with low ballers.
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Old 12-05-2012, 08:48 PM
andyslawncare andyslawncare is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Palmetto, GA
Posts: 812
I created a bidding program on my ti-83 graphing calculator. Input a few simple things, along with sq. footage and press enter until it displays the program type the customer wants, IE frequency and if weed control is included. There are about 8 different read outs that it gives me. ITs all based on sq. footage formula. I then guestimate the time required for the year and compare the numbers vs. my labor rate. Whole process takes about 5 minutes with goilawn. I still view the property and don't rely solely on goilawn. It can't tell you what type of shrubbery and things like that.

I made my formula by calculating mowing times on several known properties, walking speed while bed edging and concrete edging, etc.
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Horticulturalist with Specialization in Landscape Management

25 years old 7 years in business ownership
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Old 02-16-2013, 02:29 AM
walnutgcllc walnutgcllc is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Posts: 2
My way of estimating

I have actually been a little anal in my estimating. I measure the property completely. What I mean is I measure all the turf and determine what mower will be used because the rate is different in labor and equipment cost. I also measure the beds to determine how much pre-emergent to use and I also know the productivity rate to maintain those beds. I count shrubbery and determine their sizes because the productivity rate to prune different size shrubs are different. I measure the distance that would be walked to edge and string trim, sq ft of side walk to be blown. I may be going overboard but I can get pretty accurate on actual time it will take to maintain a property. I also know what my overhead will be on a property and profit that should be made. If there is a better quicker way to do please let me know.
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Old 02-16-2013, 11:01 AM
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spazfam spazfam is offline
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Location: Milwaukee, WI
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We have been developing a spreadsheet for the last 10 years that basically inputs our overhead cost, production rates of equipment, labor, fuel burn and drive time into a certain figure then input square footage and the sheet calculates the approximate cost and price for that property. We then fine tune it for difficulty to come up with the final price. It is still work in progress but way more reliable today than when we started.
2007 Chevy 2500HD
Toro Zmaster 60"
Hustler Trimstar 54"
Hustler Trimstar 48"
2-Honda 21"
Toro 22"
Stihl Equipment
Echo Equipment
16' Open Trailer
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Old 02-22-2013, 09:28 PM
green jeans 509 green jeans 509 is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: wa state
Posts: 31
Bid tip/help

I use sqft on sometimes when trees cover the property its time to bust out the wheel. One of the things I dont know is how to adjust the pricing for trees, islands, walkways etc..., on one yard thats 5k sqft it takes me 14 min at full speed to trim, mow and blow, another one thats 3400 sqft takes 28 mins full speed to do it all. The faster one is a wide open square, the one that takes longer is 2 front peices and a back peice. How do you adjust that into your bid?
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Old 02-22-2013, 11:00 PM
dnc19694339 dnc19694339 is offline
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Posts: 208
Ive been trying to implement the measuring system also. Seems like the only way to be accurate is to go out and look in person. Too many factors can go in to slowing you down.
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