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Bad Residential Estimate !

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AltaLawnCare, Mar 31, 2001.

  1. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    Gave an estimate today. Approx 30MsqFt many obstacles, 2 lines of pine trees, a detached garage, old cars in back yard, a very steep bank, and an outside dog!
    I really need some more work this seaon, so I bid $125.00 per mow.
    This property is 10 miles out of town with no other prospects around it.
    The couple told me I was "way, way" higher than the guy who used to cut it. They didn't want him anymore supposedly because he was unreliable,and tore up stuff. I always
    talk to a customer a while before I quote them to try to feel them out. While we were talking she asked me about being licensed and insured,and what type of mower I used.
    I never could get them to tell me what the other guy charged, but the lady told me he was there anywhere from 2 to 4 hours. I figured it would take me 3 to 4 hours by myself - I would have to use a 21 on the bank, which was beside a major highway!
    Does anyone else think I'm too high on this?
    My other estimates this season seem to be relative to what
    everyone else here is getting.
    Oh yea, the husband said he would buy a goat before he would pay that, and he oughta quit being an electrician and go into lawn care!
    I stayed professional and thanked them, and will send them a follow up thank you letter like I always do.
  2. accuratelawn

    accuratelawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 922

    I think your bid was ok considering all the BS.
    More on.
  3. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

  4. Freetime

    Freetime LawnSite Member
    Posts: 112

    “that, and he oughta quit being an electrician and go into lawn care!”

    Then he should do just that and stop wasting your time and money on a junk car, dog crap-infested weed-lot. Some people are just not worth the breath it takes (or the money for the stamp) to tell them to jump a shallow pond.

    As for price this sounds more than fair give it to him like this= dog crap $100.00 per pile, junk car 75.00 per car, putting up with him = he can’t afford it.

    Do not waste a stamp on this!

    Just the way I see it.
  5. thelawnguy

    thelawnguy LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,412

    Lets look at this lawn- 3/4 acre, two rows of pines (this means no grass due to needles shade etc) cars in the lawn (nobody, I mean nobody trims around cars).

    You dont say how big the bank is-I will assume 15 min with a 21 in trim mower, 1/2 hour with a wide area WB, maybe 15 min load trim, nap? You are there by yourself an hour, give you 1/2 hour drive time to and fro, how much you need to make per hour?

    Maybe you measured wrong? 3/4 acre can be mowed with a push mower 21 inch in an hour and a half, no trimming needed.

    Personally I wouldnt even go look at a job that far out of my way.
    But if you need the work...
  6. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

    I would have bid this at $68 a cut under normal circumstances. Being as you have some objectives to over come I dont think $90-100 a cut is out of line.

    Just as a side note. When you see there is a dog on a leash, the empty line running thru the yard, or the animals house tucked away into a corner - I always ask if the dog will be put away on the day they are scheduled for maintenance??

    If the answer is yes, we discuss the property, if they say no or hem-and-haw about it, then I kindly thank them for their call and offer them a referral to another LCO I feel would better suit their needs. END OF CONVERSATION, no questions asked!

    Good Luck this season!
  7. Albemarle Lawn

    Albemarle Lawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,544

    Anybody that keeps junk cars needs to forget about lawn care.

    The service we provide is not necessarily a luxury, but it is for those whose time is valuable. It sounds like you could not make any money even at $125 considering your drive and time on the job.

    Your total time is probably 2-3 hrs including the trip. So $30/hr minus expenses = about $10/hr for you.

    Remember you have to furnish your own retirement and health insurance. And your business is seasonal. Never forget these things even if you feel sorry for the customer, or some day you will be old and begging for freebies, too.

    Best of Luck!

    Ken in Virginia
  8. sunrise

    sunrise Banned
    Posts: 247

    well if that is too much then he should take a day off from work and mow the dog crap and trim the old car on blocks .
    stick to you guns. if you would get them you would drop them in a month.
    Kirby nice goats
  9. 1MajorTom

    1MajorTom Senior Moderator
    Posts: 6,074

    The problem with these types of potential customers are, Just how often are they actually going to want to get their grass cut?
    Cars parked in the back yard doesn't send a good impression to me.
  10. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 962

    Kirbys lawn - they are nice goats !! One of my many nicknames is "Billy Goat"

    I'm probably too low on the Sq footage, It would take at least a 48" rider 1 hour to mow the main section (lots of turning and lots of obsteckles- there are also 2 driveways. I tryed to subract out all the bushes, trees 2 bay garage, house etc.

    And, I don't think I will waste that stamp - I forgot to mention the lady also complained about the last guy leaving too much clippings on the ground!

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