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Estimating Ideas..

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by rtmfd88, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. rtmfd88

    rtmfd88 LawnSite Member
    from WY
    Posts: 14

    Hey guys just getting ready to start my 2nd stint in the Lawn Care Biz. In your opinion, what has been your best way to estimate lawn maintenance costs. When I worked with my dad 10+ years ago we used to guesstimate and charge by the size of the yard. I know in many circumstances in this day and age that is not very economical or competitive. Do most of you go by square footage...calculating it with a measuring wheel and that sort of thing?? I know there is some handy software out there these days ie. Acculawn but is it worth it? TIA for all your input!
  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    Still think its experience and a feeling for me.
  3. The Grounds Crew

    The Grounds Crew LawnSite Member
    Posts: 146

    If you want to compete with the top dogs you have to have a system. Guestimating will only get you so far. We measure every lawn for exact specifications. For all our lawn bids we don't even go out to the site we use a measuring software and we are 95% of the time on spot for pricing. Then again obstacles are added in.
  4. dstifel

    dstifel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 920

    I have a pretty good feel for how long it will take me and try to get a dollar a min on sure idk if it's the right way but works for me
  5. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,984

    I measure by the SF. Keeps me from making errors guessing a prop was to big, bidding and not getting the job or to small and under bidding and leaving money on the table.

    Also all neigbors think they should pay the same as the guy next door but you can say exactly how much larger his prop is showing him why he has to pay a little bit more.

    Knowing SF is needed to up sell fert and reseeding.

    Easy to do with a wheel.

    Easy to measure on google earth, and you can get SF from zillow.com. Though both ways have been off from time to time.

    Though it's always better to walk the prop and measure with a wheel. Can't see the extra problems that will eat up time or measure gate opening exactly any other way.
  6. rtmfd88

    rtmfd88 LawnSite Member
    from WY
    Posts: 14

    Thanks for the input guys.
  7. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 7,961

    Also part science. You need to know you have the right EQ to do the job, production rates as well as the value. Yes you can sum that up as experiance but I still go back to production rates.
  8. ptjackson

    ptjackson LawnSite Member
    Posts: 211

  9. tebletlawns

    tebletlawns LawnSite Member
    from KCMO
    Posts: 142

    I didn't think any one knew about Zillow.com. A very secret weapon.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. CLS_Birmingham

    CLS_Birmingham LawnSite Member
    Posts: 128

    How do you go about determining your formulas when estimating based on Sq/ft?? We've been using guestimating over the years and I'm in the process of creating a system based on Sq/ft.

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