Estimating Techniques

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Mr. C, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. Mr. C

    Mr. C LawnSite Member
    from Miami
    Posts: 69

    Does anyone have any estimating formats, formulas or spreadsheets that they use. Today a custmer asked me to trim a 100 ft hedge down by 3 ft and in by 4ft. I usually don't estimate these type of job very well. I estimate the time it would take me to do the work by myself to get the amount of man hrs needed. The problem is when I send a crew to do the work it is not completed in the amount of hrs I projected. I could use some advice.
     
  2. ince8728

    ince8728 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 249

    is it possible for you to charge by the hr. Example- say you pay your crew $15 each/ hr and you have 3 guys, $45 an hr. So tell your customer it's $35 per man hr and thats 105/hr grose -45 and your buisness gets 60/hr then extra for disposal. Just a thought.


    - Matt
     
  3. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Maybe you need to crack that whip a little. Does your crew leader have any incentive to get the jobs done in a timely manner?
     
  4. Mr. C

    Mr. C LawnSite Member
    from Miami
    Posts: 69

    I do crack the whip at times but I think I need to do a better job of estimating as well. The crew leaders don't have a lot of incentive to get jobs done in a timely manner especialy jobs like this one. I'm still trying to develope an incentive system.
     
  5. Sir Mow-A-Lot

    Sir Mow-A-Lot LawnSite Member
    Posts: 38

    Estimate how long you think it will take. And then double it. If you get the job great. If not its a sh*tty pruning job anyway. Also, i don't think customers trust hourly rate jobs.
     
  6. Smithers

    Smithers LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,265

    hey tom, how are you doing? haven't seen you in a really long time. where have you been?

    Mr. C, how long have you been in business? how have you been doing it until now? i'd guess you have to do a few. some you will be over, some you will be under, hard to tell how you really estimate. there is no magic formula to it.
     
  7. ince8728

    ince8728 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 249

    if the crew leader doesn't get the work done on time fire him or dock his pay.
     
  8. out4now

    out4now LawnSite Bronze Member
    from AZ
    Posts: 1,796

    The arborist I worked for at one time charged anywhere from 1-2 dollars a linear foot depending on how crazy the people wanted to get with it and if he wanted the job or not.
     
  9. Mr. C

    Mr. C LawnSite Member
    from Miami
    Posts: 69

    I've been in business 8 yrs. I in pricing the job i'm trying to stay competitive and not lose my shirt doing it. I have done a couple of jobs similar to this one but it seems like I'm over estimating the ability of my crews on jobs like this. I usually estimate how many hrs it would take to do the job if i were doing it alone. I take that and X's that by an hourly rate and that would give the price of the job not including removal but I always seem to go over my estimated man hrs for jobs like this. So I thought maybe someone has a better method.
     
  10. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,810

    Why are you over estimating your crew's abilities? It sounds as though they may be under-achieving?

    How many hours did you estimate & how lmany man hours did it actually take?

    Maybe you can figure the difference between estimated hours and actual hours of the last few jobs and add that percentage to your next estimate.
     

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