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  #1  
Old 03-24-2013, 12:20 PM
Paul's Green Thumb Paul's Green Thumb is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2013
Location: Ill Annoy
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First estimate today- help me not screw it up!

Well I'm excited; today will be my first estimate visit. Guy wants Spring cleanup work and weekly lawn service.

I have an idea of how to price the lawn itself (I have basically set a minimum in my mind, less than that and the trailer door doesn't drop).

But how do I treat the cleanup estimate? My thoughts are just talk to the guy, find out what he wants (take notes & pictures), and generate numbers that make me feel good about the ROI.

Any advice from y'all would be greatly appreciated, tho.
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Old 03-25-2013, 07:31 AM
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SchannaultROLC SchannaultROLC is offline
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For clean-ups, weeding, etc., I go by my hourly rate. So, say your rate is $60/hour, and you think it will take 3 hours to complete by yourself, then you would bid that job at $180.00. Now, this is just an example. For lawn cutting, most go by the "dollar a minute" or $60.00 an hour, however that may not be the going rate for your market.

So, say your time is worth $60/hour, any other person working with you would be worth the same. Because this would cover their hourly rate, workman's comp, etc., and leave room for profit. The reason you do this is because of pricing. If you look at the above example, if it takes you 3 Hours at $60/hour by yourself, that is $180. If it takes you 1.5 hours with two people, that is 1.5 hours per person at $60.00 an hour, that would be $90.00 per person, or $180.00 all together. So, you price it out the right way first to save you from making mistakes for when you have multiple employees in the future.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:21 PM
Paul's Green Thumb Paul's Green Thumb is offline
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Thanks, Cody. I ended up marking up the mulch 20%, and adding my best guess for labor to the total. It ended up being a little under $400 to install 4 yards, and a little over $500 for 6 yards. The little voice is telling me I came out high.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:32 PM
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SchannaultROLC SchannaultROLC is offline
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No problem. I guess it depends on what you pay for mulch. At my $30.00 a yard, it'd be $180.00 materials, so I'd bid it around $400 to $450 for that job if it was ONLY mulching. Now if it included weeding and bed redefining, you may be more towards the $550-600 range. More for weed carpet, etc. I'd say you're probably in the right range.
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Old 03-25-2013, 02:54 PM
Paul's Green Thumb Paul's Green Thumb is offline
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Well that makes me feel a lot better, as this was for $36/yd mulch. Sounds like it was a good estimate after all

Thanks again for the input, man.
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  #6  
Old 03-25-2013, 03:03 PM
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SchannaultROLC SchannaultROLC is offline
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Oh yeah you did fine! I'm new to the business myself with my own company only being started last year, however I've learned everything I know from my dad who's been in the business since the early 90's. A general rule of thumb to go by is take your cost of materials, multiply by 2, sometimes 2.5, or even sometimes 3 (however with today's economy you will find you are way over market rate at 3), and that's usually where you need to be to cover your expenses (labor, fuel, comp, etc.). Then you can mark up materials and such accordingly to how they factor into the job. This works well to set your guidelines with installs.

Not a problem, I'm no expert but any way I can help I like to.
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  #7  
Old 03-25-2013, 09:59 PM
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Element Property Mgmt Element Property Mgmt is offline
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obviously anyone can run their business how they want to but 20% markup on mulch seems crazy to me unless you are getting a 20% discount on mulch through your supplier, what if the customer has already been shopping around for mulch and knows what it costs? i think i would feel like a dick playing middle man on that.
what i would do is charge market rate for mulch, charge for delivery and then hourly on top of that.
once its delivered its just you and hand tools for 4-6 yards cover that in your hourly rate, or even better charge them a flat rate for the whole job and add a few hours in just to be safe.
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:21 PM
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cpllawncare cpllawncare is offline
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We charge 65/yd installed no bed prep it's up to us to get the mulch as cheap as possible mulch prices are all over the place this year just depends what side of town your on
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Old 03-26-2013, 03:32 PM
Darryl G Darryl G is offline
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I mark all materials up a minimum of 15 to 20% over my cost. Some I mark up as much as 100%. You should never feel guilty about marking up materials...there are costs associated with establishing and maintaining supplier relationships that need to be recovered. In addition, when I provide the materials they get purchased when I need them, delivered where I want them and I will stand behind the quality of them. I will no longer take jobs where the customer provides the materials.
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  #10  
Old 03-26-2013, 03:44 PM
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SchannaultROLC SchannaultROLC is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Darryl G View Post
I mark all materials up a minimum of 15 to 20% over my cost. Some I mark up as much as 100%. You should never feel guilty about marking up materials...there are costs associated with establishing and maintaining supplier relationships that need to be recovered. In addition, when I provide the materials they get purchased when I need them, delivered where I want them and I will stand behind the quality of them. I will no longer take jobs where the customer provides the materials.
Amen to that. The installer always has a connection to better, PROFESSIONAL grade materials. Customers need to understand that if you want a professional job you need a quality product, and not from Home Depot
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