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  #11  
Old 06-13-2013, 09:56 AM
herler herler is offline
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Posts: 3,383
You might double aerate but if you're using a tow-behind aerator your efforts still lag behind that of a walk-behind aerator and I don't care how many different directions, one time over and you have so many holes, any more and your holes are not evenly spaced out but the walk-behind aerator also digs deeper and has twice the number of tines than that of a tow-behind.

Then again the walk-behind involves more work than sitting on your tush.
Maybe that's because once again, hard work pays.

I stress THAT to the customer.
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  #12  
Old 06-13-2013, 10:43 PM
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magicmike magicmike is offline
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Location: New York
Posts: 260
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyslawncare View Post
You must know your overhead operation cost before any of my numbers can be used. My estimated overhead cost is around $1500 per month, including only fuel, insurance for the trucks, equipment insurance, and office expenses.

My formula is below:

This will not apply to all properties, but it is a good starting point to adjust from.

Bidding Maintenance Jobs:

Lawn maintenance formula = $35 for first 3,000 sq. ft. + $3.50 per additional
1,000 sq. ft.

Mulch formula = sq. ft. times depth in inches (2’’-3’’ is normal), all divided by 324 = cubic yards.

Cubic yards times price for mulch type = mulch installation cost

Pine Bark Mulch - $50 per yard installed
Pine Bark Mini Nuggets - $54 per yard installed
Red Carpet Mulch - $54 per yard installed
Fine Red Oak Mulch - $54 per yard installed
Cypress Mulch - $60 per yard installed

= Mulch installation cost
+ delivery $35-$45 (the customer is charged for delivery if I deliver or not...fuel and truck expense = money....pass it on).
+any additional charges to prepare beds, ie: weed whacking, pulling, spraying, or shrub trimming/brush removal Equals Total Job Cost

Core Aeration formula = $60.00 for the first 5,000 sq. ft. + $8.00 per additional
1,000 sq. ft.
If you bid on aeration jobs, stress to the client that you ‘double core aerate’...you should core aerate in 2 directions, not just one pass. Only core aerate during times of active growth. Quoted is a very important phrase that sets me apart from most contractors. I follow what is recommended by UGA’s Dept. of Ag., while most contractors do not research like I do. "If a lawn looks like it is struggling, most likely core aeration will be the best thing to do to it (unless it is completely infested with weeds, has poor drainage, or is in deep shade)."

Weed Control & Fertilization formula = $35.00 for the first 3,000 sq. ft. +
$3.50 to $4.00 per 1,000 sq. ft.

7 to 9 applications per year is what I sell. (Please have your commercial chemical applicator's license, chemical contractor's license, and insurance before you apply chemicals...you will be breaking the law, maybe applying the wrong substance, and bringing down the average cost of the contractors that follow the laws).
The $4.00 price applies to a property between 3,001 sq. ft. and 10,999 sq. ft.
The $3.75 price applies to a property between 11,000 sq. ft. and 13,999 sq. ft.
The $3.50 price applies to any property larger than 14,000 sq. ft. , up to 30,000 sq. ft.
I can do $3.25 to properties between 30,000 sq. ft. and 42,999 sq. ft.
I can go as low as $3.00 per 1,000 sq. ft. on properties larger than 43,000 sq. ft. (1 acre).

I hope this answers some questions!

If you want to know more about what you do, buy the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Study Manual...If covers just about everything, and its pretty cheap. Its bought through the University of Georgia's Department of Agriculture program.
what are your average plot sizes and how much of it is turf?
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  #13  
Old 06-13-2013, 11:24 PM
Tom-N-Texas Tom-N-Texas is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2004
Location: ft worth texas
Posts: 370
Quote:
Originally Posted by andyslawncare View Post
You must know your overhead operation cost before any of my numbers can be used. My estimated overhead cost is around $1500 per month, including only fuel, insurance for the trucks, equipment insurance, and office expenses.

My formula is below:

This will not apply to all properties, but it is a good starting point to adjust from.

Bidding Maintenance Jobs:

Lawn maintenance formula = $35 for first 3,000 sq. ft. + $3.50 per additional
1,000 sq. ft.

Mulch formula = sq. ft. times depth in inches (2’’-3’’ is normal), all divided by 324 = cubic yards.

Cubic yards times price for mulch type = mulch installation cost

Pine Bark Mulch - $50 per yard installed
Pine Bark Mini Nuggets - $54 per yard installed
Red Carpet Mulch - $54 per yard installed
Fine Red Oak Mulch - $54 per yard installed
Cypress Mulch - $60 per yard installed

= Mulch installation cost
+ delivery $35-$45 (the customer is charged for delivery if I deliver or not...fuel and truck expense = money....pass it on).
+any additional charges to prepare beds, ie: weed whacking, pulling, spraying, or shrub trimming/brush removal Equals Total Job Cost

Core Aeration formula = $60.00 for the first 5,000 sq. ft. + $8.00 per additional
1,000 sq. ft.
If you bid on aeration jobs, stress to the client that you ‘double core aerate’...you should core aerate in 2 directions, not just one pass. Only core aerate during times of active growth. Quoted is a very important phrase that sets me apart from most contractors. I follow what is recommended by UGA’s Dept. of Ag., while most contractors do not research like I do. "If a lawn looks like it is struggling, most likely core aeration will be the best thing to do to it (unless it is completely infested with weeds, has poor drainage, or is in deep shade)."

Weed Control & Fertilization formula = $35.00 for the first 3,000 sq. ft. +
$3.50 to $4.00 per 1,000 sq. ft.

7 to 9 applications per year is what I sell. (Please have your commercial chemical applicator's license, chemical contractor's license, and insurance before you apply chemicals...you will be breaking the law, maybe applying the wrong substance, and bringing down the average cost of the contractors that follow the laws).
The $4.00 price applies to a property between 3,001 sq. ft. and 10,999 sq. ft.
The $3.75 price applies to a property between 11,000 sq. ft. and 13,999 sq. ft.
The $3.50 price applies to any property larger than 14,000 sq. ft. , up to 30,000 sq. ft.
I can do $3.25 to properties between 30,000 sq. ft. and 42,999 sq. ft.
I can go as low as $3.00 per 1,000 sq. ft. on properties larger than 43,000 sq. ft. (1 acre).

I hope this answers some questions!

If you want to know more about what you do, buy the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Study Manual...If covers just about everything, and its pretty cheap. Its bought through the University of Georgia's Department of Agriculture program.


Interesting numbers. I'm afraid they'd be a bit high for my area. My problem is that I'm always a bit gun shy when it comes to pricing mulch jobs because I'm afraid of ticking off my customers. Consequently I often sell myself short on these jobs and chalk it up to customer service. This is really dumb, I fully admit but I don't know quite how to turn the ship around. The problem is that mulch is expensive to buy, expensive for the labor to put Down and time consuming to go get. But I doubt my customers know just how expensive it is....then if you add a hefty profit to the mix the quote would often sound outrageous, at least to me it would if I was a paying-customer. I wonder if anyone else has this dilemma.
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  #14  
Old 06-15-2013, 10:56 PM
Judo Judo is offline
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I'm just starting out in the landscaping business. What a wealth of information this forum is in general! Thanks for taking the time to post this information.
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  #15  
Old 06-15-2013, 11:56 PM
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JaysLawnServices JaysLawnServices is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2013
Location: Gansevoort, NY
Posts: 87
If I was charging that much for weekly lawn cut, trim, blow, I'd be making double plus some of what I am now. The competition out here is so big though, there's easily 7 lawn care guys in the neighborhood I work and live in, in any give day. We've all diluted each other at this point.
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  #16  
Old 06-16-2013, 07:13 AM
Judo Judo is offline
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JaysLawnServices View Post
If I was charging that much for weekly lawn cut, trim, blow, I'd be making double plus some of what I am now. The competition out here is so big though, there's easily 7 lawn care guys in the neighborhood I work and live in, in any give day. We've all diluted each other at this point.
Then what's the point of being in business if you can't turn a profit?
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  #17  
Old 06-16-2013, 09:48 AM
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JaysLawnServices JaysLawnServices is offline
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Location: Gansevoort, NY
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Judo View Post
Then what's the point of being in business if you can't turn a profit?
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Because I am turning a profit, and at this point in my life it's the best thing I could be doing really, other than starting a social network that later brings me 1.1bn (Karp...). I'm making 4 times as much as my friends PLUS I get to work outside, and frankly I like my job. Will I be doing lawn maintenance after college? Hell no. If I do anything in this type of business it will be hardscaping and then construction. But I doubt I'll go that route.
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2013 Toyota Highlander

A mower
Another mower
A trimmer
A blower
A trailer

17 years old
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  #18  
Old 06-16-2013, 10:54 AM
Judo Judo is offline
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Location: Pittsburgh, PA
Posts: 45
Do you turn a profit before or after you pay your taxes and insurance? By the way, the average unemployment rate for recent college graduates is around 25%. It's tough out there. Good luck.
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  #19  
Old 06-16-2013, 12:21 PM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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Location: St. Joseph, MI
Posts: 1,212
Very good of you to post this, Andy. Wish I had seen it a couple of years ago. Looks as if you have been inactive here for several months, unfortunately.

For what it's worth: it does not look to me like these are mowing prices.

I have written three long posts on pricing. Links to them can be found within this thread if anyone is interested. I believe it is impossible for any of us to be over educated on what our costs, needs, and production capabilities are. What a competitor charges is interesting and useful but has little to do with what any of our costs or charges are.

Thanks again, Andy.
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Last edited by foreplease; 06-16-2013 at 12:25 PM. Reason: Correction
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  #20  
Old 06-16-2013, 12:26 PM
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foreplease foreplease is offline
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Location: St. Joseph, MI
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I don't know how I missed that the first part of his post was for lawn maintenance. My mistake.
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