Estimate, please help

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Firefighter1428, Nov 1, 2006.

  1. Firefighter1428

    Firefighter1428 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    I have been doing landscaping and grass cutting for 5 years now and Im having a first. I have been doing residential customers since the start but recently got some phone calls from Comercial properties.

    I recieved a call yesterday from a church looking for an estimate to cut their 6 acer lot. Being that Ive only done residential properties I have no clue on what to his job so go for. Its a farely wide open lot, not alot of trim work but it use be a farm field up until 2 years ago when the church was built so during the main cutting season there will probly be wild field mixed into the grass. Anyone out there know what a good price would be or a way to estimate. Being a church and a new one at that Im not sure of the budhet they have for this service. Im sure Im bidding against a few other companies also but I would like to get this site.

    Any help is appreciated.

    Thanks
     
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Not to get smart, but do you have something to cut this with?
    I'd say at least a 48" Wb but really a Z, to reduce the drag.
    I'm just saying, if it takes you much over an hour / acre, might be ok, but 8 hours is pushing things for one job.
    You still need some kind of way to determine if your mower will take the rough: Maybe see if you can test it in a smaller area.

    I've given a price once to a church...
    I noticed right away they didn't want to spend a lot...
    I do not know if this is the case with all churches, but I suspect there may be some truth to it?

    So for me a price for that size lot would be $200 ($33.33 / acre) / cut.
    But whether I'd get the job is an entirely different story...
    I'd still bid $200 myself, and that's still cheap in my neck of the woods.
     
  3. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Do you have a 60" Z to use on it, Only you can answer this--How long will it take you to do the job, with the right equipment--the z-- as everybody else will have the right equipment.
    If you do not have the right equipment, or do not have an idea how long it takes you to do this work, you may want to pass and learn on smaller lots first. a 20% miss in your estimate could kill your business.
    But with 5 years doing this you should be able to come close. Residential / Commercial has nothing to do with pricing as far as your business is concerned. Only the size of the job. You can go a little less per hour as you cut out all drive time as you will be there for many hours.
     
  4. K&L Landscaping

    K&L Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 657

    Probably $200-$225
     
  5. Firefighter1428

    Firefighter1428 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    Thanks guys, Sorry about the type O's, I was typing fast and didnt proof read. Thanks for answering so quick.

    I have a 48 inch Scagg WB that works great on bigger lots. As I said this land (after walking through it) seems to be pretty smooth and is mostly flat so I dont see it taking more then 2 hours. I have a residenial customer that I do thats just over 3 acers and it takes me 45 minutes to do, but that has alot of triming and tight spots to get ino. So Id have to say it would take me about 2 hours to do the job. I was thinking around 175-200 per cut, but figured someone out here on Lawnsite.com would know better then me.

    I dont have a Zero turn, As I have never needed one do to the yards that I have the 36 inch X and the 48 scagg work fine. This 3 acre yard I have is a friend of mine that I picked up part-time this year just while he's out of town on buisness, Most of my yards are 1 acre or less, so I havent needed anything bigger.

    Thanks for your help
     
  6. 2menandamower

    2menandamower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 247

    I would bid it at 40.00 per acre. 240.00 per cut. Multiply that by how many average cuts you do per year and divide that by 12 and give them a flat per month fee for 12 months. I have found that churches like even amounts that can be budgeted easily and by spreading it out over 12 months it makes it seem like less money to the congregation...
     
  7. 2menandamower

    2menandamower LawnSite Member
    Posts: 247

    I would bid it at 40.00 per acre. 240.00 per cut. Multiply that by how many average cuts you do per year and divide that by 12 and give them a flat per month fee for 12 months. I have found that churches like even amounts that can be budgeted easily and by spreading it out over 12 months it makes it seem like less money to the congregation...
     
  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210


    In the few I dealt with (church/cemetary) its the same ole thing..."I can get it done cheaper." My response was always...okay. I couldn't get in and out of there and break even for what they claim they were paying to have the lawn cut.
     
  9. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Are you saying it takes you 45 minutes to cut 3 acres (including trimming and clearing of clippings from walks/driveway)? That's 15 minutes an acre with a 48" WB?

    I have a SCAG 48" WB that I started off with. I couldn't get the 1acre lots mowed (including house, landscape beds, pool, etc) in less than half an hour let alone everything else.

    Am I missing something here...
     
  10. Firefighter1428

    Firefighter1428 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 34

    This yard is flat, nothing to cut or trim around and its pretty much a straight shot kinda yard so I put it in high gear and off I go. There is one spot about 15Ft by maybe 25Ft that doesnt have much grass growth in it, So its just a tad under 3 acres, it averages 45-50 minutes every cut. When Im done cutting it, it looks better then any other yard I cut, Not bad for going as fast as you can to get it done. (Dont get me wrong, Im not one of those guys. I take alot of pride in my jobs, its just this yard you can do it fast and it looks clean, great lines and just easy to do.)
     

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