figuring odd shape properties

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Envy Lawn Service, Jan 21, 2003.

  1. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 11,062

    I have a few upcoming bids that I have give the once over look. Some of them have terribly irregular shaped turf areas spread out around parking lots, islands ect.

    I want to have really accurate data for all my bids and accounts this year. But I can't figure out a way to get anywhere near accurate square footage figures at these odd places.

    Is there a simple answer I'm missing or something I forgot from math class? :blush:
  2. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,662

  3. Phishook

    Phishook LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,143

    Guess. Then if you are too low, just raise your price. If you went too high, extra profit.

  4. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,360

    I measure off many weird shape lawns every year. I square off everything I can. Even if I sometimes need to break it down into several small pieces. You should be able to get within a few sf each time. Don't worry about being 100% accurate.
  5. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I like hoss's idea...square then off. Then approximate and add in the remainder.

    Jobs with odd and irregular-shaped areas I always add an additional 15-20% to the bid. These kinds of jobs just seem to take longer (probably because you have to make more turns or can't mow as fast) than ones that are square or rectangular.
  6. The below works for odd shaped areas. Also use geometric formulas for circles, triangles, etc. Let me know if you need those.

    measure 3.jpg
  7. freepoint15

    freepoint15 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    Dont make it so complicated.I can appreciate you wanting to bid as accurately as possible,but as you gain experience-you should be able to walk a property and bid it without measuring.I bid all my jobs by eyeballing it.If you have a doubt on a bid - just bid it a little high-this method works great for me-I rarely under bid a joband rarely lose a job due to over bidding.I try to keep it as simple as possible.
  8. Nebraska

    Nebraska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 525

    We measure everything. I do not agree with eyeballing it. Eyeballing it is going to loose you money.
  9. coonman

    coonman LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 682

    Nebraska, please explain how walking a lawn loses you money. We can walk the lawn and estimate within 3 or 4 minutes of what it will take to be completed. We know what we want to make for that amount of time. Has worked fine for us. Also if you have several houses on the same street with very similar lawns, you should know almost exactly how long you will be there. I am not talking about huge commercial properties, just residentials and small commercial.
  10. Acorn

    Acorn LawnSite Member
    Posts: 110

    Bob, If I had a shape like that I would give it a 125' x 50'. rounding up to make sure. I wouldn't spend the extra time to save the customer a couple of bucks when they may try to nickel and dime you anyway. my 0.02

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