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Exact formulas for estimates...

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Tim@AcesLCLS, Mar 29, 2007.

  1. Tim@AcesLCLS

    Tim@AcesLCLS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    My partner and I have a problem with estimates it seems like we are having trouble being consistent between us. So we are trying to devise a system to ensure synergy between us. For example on a mow or cleanup we would measure the total size of the lot minus obstacles (house, pool, etc. but we would include trees because houses around here have alot of foliage.) and then multiply time the calculated rate for lawns and for cleanups we would rate the severity of need 1 being all grass and 5 looking like a forest came down on their lawn and calculating based on the size and severity. We would also factor in mileage if the home was out of our area or a really cheap job that was almost out of our range. Does anyone use a system like this or know specifically why it would not work?
  2. Tim@AcesLCLS

    Tim@AcesLCLS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    Does anyone have a formula?
  3. NELawnCare

    NELawnCare LawnSite Member
    Posts: 175

    I have all my service prices (by service and lot size), surcharges (difficult terrain added costs), materials, taxes, discounts, etc entered into QuickBooks. Then, when I build an estimate or invoice, I simply pick the items and it automatically calculates the numbers. It's always consistent.

    I know this probably doesn't help much, but the point I'm trying to make is to use some professional costing software. That way you and your partner can establish your basic services and prices. Then it doesn't matter who generates an invoice or estimate, they will always be consistent.

    Hope this make sense.

    GSPHUNTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    I bid mine, by gross square footage. If the yard has an abundance of obstacles, I'll up charge a little bit. Then I'll also upcharge for bi-weekly cuts. I have all these prices on a chart, so it's easy for me to give prices accurately without just guessing.

    For cleanups, mulch jobs, and bush trimmings, etc..., I just figure an estimate on man hours and charge accordingly.
  5. Herrick

    Herrick LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 506

    I've had to resort to using lawn square footages for estimates. I tried a couple by just looking at them, but I found after checking myself that I was way off. I have a minimum charge up to a certain sq footage, then it goes up from there.
  6. Tim@AcesLCLS

    Tim@AcesLCLS LawnSite Member
    Posts: 31

    What are some examples of what you charge per sq ft for say a lawn, cleanup, fertilizer application, thatching, etc?
  7. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,220

    I have learned a valuable lesson on my last clean up......

    Listen listen listen to the customer.......

    wait untill your absoulate sure there finished talking b4 giving them a bid.

    on my last clean up I quoted them a price of 1700.00 and they jumped at it.

    now mind ya, I made out very well. 3 day job 4 trips to dump. 1 employee and myself..

    BUT after I qouted, the customer told me that he's having hell getting contractors out to the area... he was given the house and it was in bad shape...

    I could have went to 25 and I bet he would have went for it....

    Just wnated to share
  8. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    I'm not even going to get started on this comment, but you should know better than to think like this:nono: :nono: :nono:
  9. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,733

    If you have Excell, simply build one to your liking. I made one up a couple years ago and all that would need to be added to it would be the property severity colum. All you would have to do is fill in the blanks and your estimate would be done.
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Just use this - a^ 3 (+-) b^3 = (a (+-) b)(a^ 2(-+) ab + b ^2) (Sum and Difference of Obstacles) / {x^ 2 + (a+b)x + AB = $pmh (x + a)(x + b)} vs. if ax ^2 + bx + c = 0 then x = ( -b (+-)sqrt(b^ 2 - 4ac) ) / 2a = Total $

    But if that doesn't work, use this Grass Cutting Services method:

    - 1/4 acre lot: $30.00
    - 3/8 acre lot: $35.00
    - 1/2 acre lot: $40.00
    - 5/8 acre lot: $45.00
    - 3/4 acre lot: $50.00
    - 7/8 acre lot: $55.00
    - Full acre: $60
    Minimum $30

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