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Estimating larger residentials

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by cookedonphonics, Aug 11, 2006.

  1. cookedonphonics

    cookedonphonics LawnSite Member
    Posts: 47

    How do you guys estimate larger properties?

    Under an acre I seem to nail it everytime just by eyeing it up. But when I get to the larger ones, even though after walking the entire property, I always try to bid higher than what I think it will take me timewise ( just so I don't screw myself), I STILL keep finding myself yelling, "C'MON!!" at my mower because I feel like I'm not going fast enough when I'm actually on the mower. I've had a few of these lately. I'm starting to cut corners where I normally wouldn't just so I can "catch up" to my own estimate (which I thought was pretty high to begin with). My Z is quick, but when I'm on these larger properties I feel like I'm crawling!!!!!!! It just makes no sense to me.
    Trimming is not really a factor here as I have accounted for that. i learned early on about how much time trimming can eat up. I'm just talking about actual "on the mower" time.

    Is there a formula that seems to work for you guys on bigger lots? I'd rather not have to go back and say, "uh, well...it took me longer than i thought, so it's going to be this much more..." especially when they were already in a slight state of shock from the original estimate....:laugh:

    Also, it should be noted that these jobs were referrals from other clients who really like my work and suggested me to the new customers. I am not lowballing anybody...these customers had always done it themselves prior to me cutting their properties....

    Any ideas would be greatly appreciated.... :)
  2. hmartin

    hmartin LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 590

    get a wheel and measure it.
  3. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    break the prop down into pieces
  4. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,278

    Exactly what I do, in my head "$35 for the side, $65 for the front, and $90 for the back, $190 total"

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