10 acres HOW MUCH?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by wrm, Sep 21, 2007.

  1. wrm

    wrm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    I just got turned down on a job estimate. Lady calls me on a Friday wanting her 10 acres cut that night or next morning, she"s got a open house that saturday at 2. I went out there that Friday to look at it, basically just cutting, very little trimming, 2 very large squares for the most part. Small areas were hilly but not to bad. I gave a quote of 720, and we would of cut it the next morning after she called She said we were 2 to 3 times higher than other estimates.Was 72 per acre way off? plus cutting it less than 24 hours after she called, and it was way out in the country, about 45 minute drive, the house was for sell for 850, 000, she had some money, not that matters.
    Thanks, CLEAN CUT LAWNCARE
    ps WE ARE A 2 MAN OPERATION - ME AND MY EQUAL PARTNER, Nobody else
     
  2. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    i would have been down around 600
     
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Oh no that's way high, the first acre is $60 but with all lawns the bigger it gets the cheaper the price per sq.ft., by the time we get to two acres we're at 50-55 an acre, three is like 140 uhh so 45-50 an acre, and it keeps getting cheaper.

    For 10 acres 250-300, thou at some point no matter how large, $25 / acre is the least, 30-35 maybe for 10, ok maybe 300-350.
    You gotta have the machine for it thou, a 60" Z starts to drag around 6-8 acres (meaning it loses money)...

    Here's my prices, they're on special but it's not a big discount (let me just say nobody called for it all year):
    One acre: $55 (12/100 cents / sq.foot)
    1.25 acres = $65
    1.5 acres = $75 (11/100 cents / sq.foot)
    2 acres = $90 ($45.00 / acre)
    2.5 acres = $110
    3 acres = $130 ($43.33 / acre)
    4 acres = $150 ($37.50 / acre)
    5 acres = $170 ($34.00 / acre)
    6 acres = $190 ($31.66 / acre)
    7 acres = $210 ($30.00 / acre)
    8 acres = $225 ($28.12 / acre)
    9 acres = $240 ($26.66 / acre)
    10 acres = $255 ($25.50 / acre)

    Now that's in virginia, I reckon you might get a little more for it up north, but certainly even 400 would be high anywhere, me thinks.
    I would've done it for 300, maybe, but I didn't see it, can't say for sure but probably.

    Because you gotta look at it this way, how much money can you earn working ALL day right now?
    200-250-300 right?
    That's pretty good money for a day this time of year in my book, you might earn 400 you might not, even if you do 10 lawns.
    So, why not earn it all in 1 spot, it's like one stop shopping.
    It does work out, you won't use nearly the fuel in the truck, only thing that gets megahours is the mower and you.
    So long the grass isn't super tall or any other weird stuff.
     
  4. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    Awesome advice Topsites. I was just thinking about that the other day (for the future). First thing that jumped to my head was $60/acre but what you've said makes a lot of sense and is probably why he got turned down on the estimate.

    I'll definately use this method when I get bigger jobs in the future.
     
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    I did want to add, you might not be as wrong as you think.
    You really did the right thing by not letting the bling bling blind you, then again you might've got a little too excited, money in my face still does it to me all the time.

    Because how do you know it was 10 acres?
    Did you measure it out or look it up online?
    Because I could not tell you by looking at it, large lots, once we get much past one acre they fool me.

    You need some kind of a way to measure or find out lot size, much past an acre eyeballing just isn't accurate, maybe it was 12 acres or 14... I wouldn't be taking the customer's word for it, nothing personal because it protects both you and the customer, what if it was only 8 acres (it could be), the point I'm making is you have to know.

    But there's no telling, either way better too high than too low.
    You could call her back and tell her you made a mistake, 250-300 ...
    But what kind of a machine have you got, you really almost need a 72" deck.
    A 48" Wb about take 12 hours minimum, not sure on a Z but I wouldn't want to spend two days there, then it gets nasty.

    Oh yeah, nothing would please me more than a few super large lots on my schedule, do 5 acres in the am, break for lunch and fuel up the z, come back and knock out the last 5, blam, 250-300...
    Do that 5-6 days a week what have you got?
    Same as right now, almost for sure.

    You have to know the books, but that to me is dang good money for a day of grass cutting, might get a bit tedious but whatever.

    But you also need some kind of a way to at least somewhat corroborate or double check that size.
    Doesn't have to be perfect but close would be nice.
    You might try www.zillow.com that gives you the lot's total square footage.

    Now if zillow says 10 or 11 acres ok, but if it says 14-16 ...
    It's still not for sure, parts of the lot could be in the woods, but as a heads up.
     
  6. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,674

    This is why you bid on time not the property size. $720!!! That is outragous. It's one location which means no drive time to different sites. We're all in this to make money but don't burn your customers just because they live in a high dollar home.
     
  7. MowHouston

    MowHouston LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,012

    That Zillow site. Does that give you the actual full lot size or is that the square footage of the home at the address?
     
  8. wrm

    wrm LawnSite Member
    Posts: 35

    your right I shouldn't trust the customer, she said it was 10 acres, but I felt I wasn't punishing her because of her money. But for the fact she needed it cut that morning - no notice, yet we were going to do it. But I obviously screwed up the estimate. But was thinking 6 or 7 hours for 2 people, total of 12 man hours = 60 per hour plus it being an emergency call.
    we have a 48 wb and 36wb
    thanks for all the help
     
  9. All_Toro_4ME

    All_Toro_4ME LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,578

    Well I guess I'll be the odd one out here, but honestly wrm I think you were probably in a good range. I've seen some charge a certain fee for the first acre, and then thereafter its a discount. Then others I've seen a flat rate regardless of the number of acres. I don't think it matters all that much around here. Other LCO's and even myself charge between 60-90 an acre, depending on the slopes and trimming. Hasnt ever been a problem to get those prices. Could be area of the country, I have no idea. I personally dont think you were too high, but it seems many others here that are from the east coast think you were.
     
  10. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    Topsites -- Very good information, thank you !! By the way, on the Zillow site it doesn't look the properties in my county have the lot size ... I guess they don't provide that info. ??
     

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