Estimating

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by parkeeee, Jan 25, 2006.

  1. parkeeee

    parkeeee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    I have been in the lawn care business for 32 years working for a large park system. Plan on starting up a business of my own soon. I have no idea on how to estimate jobs. Only plan on cutting grass, trimming and blowing off walks/driveways at this time. Thanks in advance for any help.
     
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,317

    Call someone to get an estimate on your own lawn. Then let them cut it and see how long it takes. Then based on that you can see how much to charge for similar size yard.
     
  3. McClain

    McClain LawnSite Member
    Posts: 53

    What Is The Deal No One Is Helping By Telling Someone To Get Your Own Yard Mowed.

    The Way I Do It Is If It Is A Easy Job I Charge 0.03 Cents A Sq Yrd
    If You Have 48 Yrds X 48 Yrds =2304 Sq Yrds At 0.03 Cents That Is Right $70 If You Have To Weed Eat Go With 0.04 Cents A Sq Yrd. If Its Alot Of Trash And Weed Control Then Jack It Up.

    This Is In South Dallas Tx And Commercial *not Residential*
     
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    Consider what you want/need to make per hour. If you are using small equipment 21" etc. Probably 30-40$ per man hour will pay the bills. If you are doing bigger properties and purchasing big equipment you can double that. Thats probably the answer you are looking for. You really should figure out your costs and and estimate how long your equipment is going to last what maintenance costs will be etc. Do some math and come up with your own pricing. Your long experience in the industry should give you a leg up on estimating the time needed to complete the tasks. Use the search feature and you will find some more detailed methods of figuring costs. Check "what do you track" and you will find more info than you need if you can stand to read through the whole thing. Just curious, why start your own thing after 32 years?
     
  5. parkeeee

    parkeeee LawnSite Member
    Posts: 227

    I can retire with pension and paid health insurance. Have always loved cutting grass, even like the smell. This will give my wife and I some extra spending money and could even turn into something very big.
     
  6. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    You are luckier than most starting out as you should have some idea how long things take. Figure out what it will cost to do business for an hour. decide what you want to pay yourself. figure what profit margin your business will make . Add this all up and decide how long something will take. Total cost X's hours= price.
     
  7. Wells

    Wells LawnSite Member
    from SLC UT
    Posts: 0

    Simple formula (Sq Ft. times .005 cents)
    Example: 6000 sq ft (x) .005 = $30

    For commercial properties I use .004 cents.
     
  8. Agriscape2006

    Agriscape2006 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 5

    I also use .003 cent per square foot up to 13,000 sqft and then I jump up to .005 but thats only because I dont have the equipment to do larger properties. Just play with those some numbers and call around I know some guys feel prices are some kind of trade secret but see if they will help you out theres plenty of work for everyone.
     
  9. nobagger

    nobagger LawnSite Gold Member
    from Pa
    Posts: 3,065

    Yeah but what an easy way to see what your competition is mowing for.lol
     
  10. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,587

    if you do a search on charging by the sqrft, you will find the general consensous is that its not the profitable way to estimate a lawn...

    figuring your cost vs the profit margin you need, compared to the going rate in your area....

    seeing what the going price is in an area is a great tool for determining cost...prices are different all around the country, and even within a state they are different.....so a formula that works for you,,,, will not work for someone else
    :)
     

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