Help from the pros.

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Lite4, Oct 14, 2008.

  1. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,141

    Hi guys. I have been in the commercial landscape construction side of business for about 15 years now and have not gotten into the maintenance side, but I am moving that way though rapidly due to the economy. Here is my question (and hopefully someone will help me). One of the subdivisions I designed and built about 4 years ago has asked me to submit a bid for maintenance on the property. There is about 7 acres of common area grass that needs to be mowed every week plus all of the edging, trimming, etc.. Do you guys bid by the estimated hours it will take you to mow these types of properties or by the square foot? What is the going rate per square? I understand this is a public forum and pricing is usually not discussed openly, so if any of you guys could even PM me some info, I would greatly appreciate it.
    Thanks guys,
     
  2. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    Is it an HOA. with lots of townhomes or single homes. How much Line trimming and edging of sidewalks and curbs. Is anything fenced in. Also are there any hills ,a possible Gated pool with grass areas. Need a little more Info.
     
  3. FromtheGroundUp

    FromtheGroundUp LawnSite Member
    Posts: 51

    give youself $50 an hour for mow time and $35 for trimming/blowing.
     
  4. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,141

    Trimming, yes, tons of it. There are probably at least a mile of sidewalk through the grass common areas and there are planting beds that back against all of the fencelines. It is for an HOA, single family dwellings. There is a pool area with a minimal amount by the pool. The fences are all along the property lines but are completely open for larger mowers.
     
  5. old oak lawn

    old oak lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 710

    I don't know if this helps but when i bid i will walk the property [all of it] and try to figure out how long it will take us to do it,start to finish. when i have a time i can add what it will cost ME to do it. drive time/employee labor/gas/. [i count insurance daily so i don't add it in] then when i know what it will cost me to do this i will add in what i need to make for profit. i have a $ # i want to make in a day to grow this business. with a HOA i would be looking for a year round contract. sounds like a lot of work, make sure you bid to make $. only you will know what to charge.
     
  6. Turf Dawg

    Turf Dawg LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,719

    On commercial I charge 60bucks per man hour. Remember to know everything they want included {beds cleaned, hedges trimmed x's per year , blowing leaves out of beds before mowing, ect...} I take the est. time x's number of cuttings / 12. Be sure not to sell yourself short, because as you have probably figured out, the profit margin on the maintenance is alot less than the installs and design. Do not forget that when the grass slows down the leaves will fall adding a couple more cuts.
     
  7. old oak lawn

    old oak lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 710

    Remember to know everything they want included.- Very good. when we have bid we were given a spec. sheet with everything listed of what was required. you need it in writing and have it in the contract. when we got the job we walked the prop. with the HOA manager to make sure everything was understood before contract was signed.
     
  8. fool32696

    fool32696 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 992

    Glad to see you're not giving up and leaving the industry.
     
  9. Lite4

    Lite4 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,141

    Thanks for the help guys. I have a brief punchlist of activities they want me to bid on. I figuire I will bid it a bit higher than I think it will take just to cover myself, I have been down that road before. I am amazed how cutthroat the maintenance industry has become around here in my area, guys have cut their prices down to nothing just to stay working. A lot of the problem for us is illegal mexicans running shoestring and pickup companies without insurance underbidding everyone. I am sure you all have to deal with that regardless of where you are in our great country anymore.
     
  10. TNT LawnCare Inc.

    TNT LawnCare Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,157

    Tim how many single family homes and what is the average lot size. Also dont forget as stated they will probably want the whole package, Mulch,hedge trimming,tree pruning,flowers in Certain beds. If they want fert you may have to sub this out if your not Licensed.

    Good luck !
     

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