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Old 02-16-2007, 12:24 PM
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mdvaden mdvaden is offline
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Small > Who bids by Sq. ft.? / Who bids by eye-balling?

A friend of mine does lawns.

I think that he deals with too small of details when bidding. He's the kind of guy that suggested an extra worker so that I wouldn't wear my $2 tarp out dragging it on the ground while pruning; even though I get 6 weeks per tarp.

At least in pruning, I bid by judging a yard within a 1/2 hr. On installation, I tally all the materials, add a few percent for error, and add my labor + profit margin.

Now, I'm thinking of adding lawns in about 3 years or less, but after we move north again.

When you folks bid small lawns and the shrub bed care - average planting within reason - do you visually "size-up" the yard and guestimate within, say, $10? Like walk through the yard and say "this one's a $150-a-monther"

Or do you measure out the turf, measure out the beds, and go by formulas?

How anal do you get?

Have some measurements helped, but others been a waste of time?
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Old 02-16-2007, 12:42 PM
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martinfan06 martinfan06 is offline
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Eye balling everytime everything,even mulch and plants, count on 1 hand how many times been just a little off,IN 8 YRS. Its the way I was taught so never seen any reason to change,ain't broke dont fix it.
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Old 02-16-2007, 01:51 PM
Az Gardener Az Gardener is offline
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I have posted this so many times I think everyone knows it by now.

Just in case someone has missed it I use a spreadsheet. I divide the property into areas down one side and the months across the top. Then I put in time for each area /task. This way I can include everything and if the bid is too high the client can choose to reduce the service level. On small jobs it would be a waste but most of my jobs are minimum 3 hours per visit.
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:06 PM
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Grits Grits is offline
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Just eyeball it. It isn't hard to judge how long it will take or what all is involved.
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:10 PM
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mdvaden mdvaden is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Az Gardener View Post
I have posted this so many times I think everyone knows it by now.

Just in case someone has missed it I use a spreadsheet. I divide the property into areas down one side and the months across the top. Then I put in time for each area /task. This way I can include everything and if the bid is too high the client can choose to reduce the service level. On small jobs it would be a waste but most of my jobs are minimum 3 hours per visit.
That sounds comparable to how I approach bigger installs - I divide the yard into regions. Hadn't thought about that for bigger yard maintenance.
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Old 02-16-2007, 05:49 PM
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wowmowwow wowmowwow is offline
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ive learned to eyeball it in the DAYLIGHT...lol....anyone, besides me, gave a night estimate and get to the job and find a "wish i would have known this" surprise?
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Old 02-16-2007, 07:35 PM
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Cut n Edge Lawncare Cut n Edge Lawncare is offline
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I

eyeball it and calculate the mulch
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Old 02-16-2007, 07:41 PM
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Wells Wells is offline
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Today small residential jobs are figured visually from years of past experience but when I first started I measured everything and used a formula.
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:03 PM
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mdvaden mdvaden is offline
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This is sounding promising.

Although I don't mow lawns now, I have the advantage of my own lawn, plus 7 years of golf courses as a basis for gauging.
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Old 02-16-2007, 08:49 PM
valawn valawn is offline
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How do any of you think you can grow your business by eyeballing? How can you train people to eyeball? You can't. What you see is not what someone else will see. I have my sales people measure every inch of a property from ln. ft. for edging and trimming to sq. ft. of lawn area for mowing, aeration and seeding and so on. They measure bed areas and count each shrub and tree for mulching, pruning and tree and shrub care programs. This is the only way to give a proper estimate using many sales people.
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