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Figuring price by linear and sq ft

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by lawnmasters05, Apr 15, 2006.

  1. lawnmasters05

    lawnmasters05 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    I have a hedge to bid which is 35 ft in length and 10 ft high (arborvite) and customer would like it down to 5 ft. Most of my competitors here in the NW provide a flat price per job. I have been doing this for a couple years and now want to start measuring everything out and figuring per sq ft of linear ft to arrive at a flat price I am comfortable with offering rather then just winging it and estimating my time out of thin air. My question is does anyone have linear ft $ figures they go by as well as per sq ft for mowing and flowerbed clean-ups. I like to average around $40.00 per labor hour but it is hard to bid $35.00 to $40.00 per labor hour when everyone else is running around giving a flat price per job. I feel by taking the time to measure everything and figure everthing out, I can offer a flat price per job that I feel comfortable with rather then trying to figure out of thin error how many hours a job is going to take me. Any help would be appreciated. Mowing, I figure at $25.00 per 1000 but kind of lost on flowerbeds and hedges.

  2. lawnmasters05

    lawnmasters05 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    What would you charge for a hedge 35 ft in length and 10 ft high to trim sides and bring down to 5 ft?
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Ohhh I dunno, kinda depends what kind of hedge....

    Seriously, look inside the hedge and see how thick the branches are (thicker ones may require a chainsaw), and also how wide it is makes a big impact on amount of resulting debris. I mean, one trailer load might haul it all away but it likely takes 2 loads and that costs way more: 175-200 for a one loader, likely 350-400 for a 2-loader - If I see this correctly, the hedge is likely around 4 feet wide or wider (but no I don't know) so then that's 35 x 5 x 4 = 700 cubic feet of debris which will compact some but my 6x12x2 only holds 144 cubic feet at a time, let's compress and load some more maybe it holds 250 of the original 700 so it may even take 3-4 loads, this is the problem has to be figured out... If it looks like 700 cubic feet and you have somewhere around a 6x12x2 trailer, I'd likely quote 600 on what might be a 3-loader and take my chances, 560 might sound a little friendlier to them but not by much.

    Also, the customer is aware that it is going to look bare, correct? Not trying to get smart man, but some folks don't realize until too late what happens when you trim that far back, all the leaf cover is usually gone and you have bare branches most everywhere - On that note, while you look inside the hedge for the branch thicknesses, check and make sure there exists at least some foliage (leaves that is) below the height you're cutting - Usually it will, but make sure because a plant has to have leaves to survive (ok some don't, but most do).

    Oh, if you can dump the resulting debris someplace in the woods behind their house then that would reduce the cost considerably, probably bring it down in the 300-400 dollar range but it also depends how far it has to be dragged, so to speak (and it may cost as much as before at that point). And it's still a lot of debris, a big pile.

    I could be wrong but at this point I think I know their answer so this may not be the most helpful advice, I do not know.

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