Estimates

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by cwlawley, Feb 12, 2006.

  1. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 470

    I am pretty good with the majority of my estimates, however sometimes I am, to be perfectly honest, dead wrong. A lot of times due to things that were unexpected.

    My question is: how does everyone handle this? If something comes up unexpected do you change your estimate and charge more, or do you always, not matter what keep your estimate the same?
     
  2. greenscapes inc.

    greenscapes inc. LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Posts: 137

    What kind of estimates are you talking about? If its just per mow then there should'nt be any unexpected things pop up. On installation I usually figure a 20-25% oops factor because you usually always run into some unexpected problem.
     
  3. sikagrass

    sikagrass LawnSite Member
    Posts: 238

    If its something minor I just take it on the chin. Something major remember you gave an estimate not a bid.
     
  4. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 470

    Right, I am not talking about Mowing, just landscaping issues, cleanups - sometimes. I guess that was what I was wondering...if there is a difference in a bid and an estimate?
     
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    If you encounter such unexpected or unseen things that you must do in order to do the job you have estimated..you should always stop and let the customer know what you have encountered and how much more over your estimate it is going to cost and get their approval.
    I always put at the bottom of my estimates the following
    This estimate expires in 30 days from (date)
    This is an estimate only..it may increase due to unforseen situations as the job progresses..if this should be the case I will inform you of any additional
    costs and ask for your approval before continuing the work
     
  6. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,420


    Same here, on most landscape work and hardscape work I always include the oops factor, I usually work out the estimate and then depending on the overall "look" of the job tack on 10 to 15 %.
     
  7. LandscapePro

    LandscapePro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 138

    CW,

    Oh yea.......

    A bid is your "I'll do the job for "X" dollars" and it's a legal term. Run into extra expense and it comes out of YOUR pocket.

    An estimate is just that. "I believe the job will cost ya "X" dollars. It could take a little more or less depending on what I run into."

    If someone starts talking about your estimate in terms of a "bid"....correct them at once.

    I never do "bid" work. It's always an estimate.

    Mike
    La. Landscape Contractor #2576
     
  8. M RASCOE&SONS

    M RASCOE&SONS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,475

    )
    This is an estimate only..it may increase due to unforseen situations as the job progresses..if this should be the case I will inform you of any additional
    costs and ask for your approval before continuing the work[/QUOTE] this is a great way to make sure you dont get burned ,just make sure that they understand this portion of the contract before you get started..weightlifter
     
  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    I most assuredly do make sure my azz is covered.
    sporty
    weightlifter
    :rolleyes:
    clapping
    :rolleyes:
     
  10. MGM69

    MGM69 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 10

    I think you all are splitting hairs over bids and estimates. When my company gives a client an estimate we assured them the work can be completed for this number, we are all supposed to be professionals out here and this is what were paid to do. Please give accurate estimates so we all look like professionals and not like a bunch of amateurs.
     

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