Estimating Residential.

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Sborgen, Jan 20, 2013.

  1. Sborgen

    Sborgen LawnSite Member
    from Boston
    Posts: 5

    First things first i am 100% "Newbie" i know all you "old heads" that have had too much sun and gas fumes hang out on here, and blast rookies. I just want you to know i'm not here for that crap, respect me, and i'll respect you. I am a firefighter by trade, but need something for my off days. I love the outdoors and machinery so why not the green industry. My goal for my first year is 15 residential in a target suburb connected to Boston. I have done a little market research, and will be sending postcards to homeowners, married couples, people over 55 years old. If i get any calls back i need to estimate the job based on my works worth, and my operating costs keeping the price low enough to get hired. My book says to use this equation: Estimated cost of labor + $25 per hour (books rate not my rate) = Price per week. So $12 per hour plus $20 my rate = $32 a week. This is based off of 10,000 Square feet that will take 1 hour. Does anyone have any other suggestions on how to do this? What about fall cleanups as it is more labor intensive? So far this has been the most intimidating portion of starting this business. Constructive help is encouraged.
     
  2. kandalawncaremgr

    kandalawncaremgr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    May I ask what book are you using?
     
  3. Sborgen

    Sborgen LawnSite Member
    from Boston
    Posts: 5

    Yes Entrepreneur magazine's startup start your own lawn care or landscaping business 3rd edition.
     
  4. KeystoneLawn&Landscaping

    KeystoneLawn&Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 774

    Have a few relatives call in your area for quotes on different services and see where your market is.
     
  5. Sborgen

    Sborgen LawnSite Member
    from Boston
    Posts: 5

    They did mention that in my book, thank you!
     
  6. grandview (2006)

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

    What type of mower you using that you figure 1 hour?
     
  7. Sborgen

    Sborgen LawnSite Member
    from Boston
    Posts: 5

    Well that equation was from my book, and it was using as an example 10,000 square feet which takes that individual 55 minutes to mow. My target neighborhood will all be 4,000 square feet or less using a 36 lesco walk behind.
     
  8. grandview (2006)

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

    So you have this mower now? Or are you looking?If your going to do walk behinds then look for a 48 and keep the 36 for small fenced areas that can only get to.And look for a hydo instead of belt drive,your body will thank you.
     
  9. Sborgen

    Sborgen LawnSite Member
    from Boston
    Posts: 5

    Oh wow thank you for the advice. My inexperienced rationalization was that smaller the better in the Boston areas because yards are so compact. I read that hydros are better, but i didn't know why. I just assumed they were more reliable. Yeah the guy i bought my trailer from says he has a couple 48 scag's for sale. I'll check those out. I really do appreciate it.
     
  10. kandalawncaremgr

    kandalawncaremgr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 223

    Sborgen
    Be wise when you buy your mower. The local lawn mower guy tried selling me a 36 inch wb. I told him the gates in the area were 33 inches wide he pretty much called me a freakin idiot. So I seen another local guy in the area with a brand new wb and I asked him hey why is that thing sitting on the trailer. He said so and so sold it to me. And I said let me guess he recommended a 36 . He said yep and all my accounts have 33 inch gates. So needless so say he was pissed that he spent 3800 for something he can't even use. So just keep that in mind, unless you have money to burn on multiple units.
     

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