Help on a large estimate

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Mowin4Dollas, Apr 24, 2013.

  1. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    I am doing an estimate on a 3.31 acre property. It is beautiful, but needs a little TLC. They wanted an estimate on mowing and mulching. For mowing I am factoring in about 3.25 or so hours on the Z-turn and about 45 minutes weedeating blowing etc. So I am at about 120 for Labor in just the cutting and then I put on a 15 gas charge because it is a little bit farther drive. So I am at 135 dollars a cut for this property. On the mulching I am thinking charging them 50$ a yard spread, plus the cost of any landscape paper.

    So $135 Per Mow and $50 per yard of mulch/spread. What do ya'll think?
     
  2. herler

    herler LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,144

    That's fine but now to find out ...

    1. Your cost on the mulch itself.
    2. How many cubic yards do you need.

    Price on the grass cut should fly.
     
  3. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    I called a supplier in town and I was qouted 18.50 a cubic yard. I figure it will take at least 2 cubic yards.
     
  4. nashlawn01

    nashlawn01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 463

    If it is just brown hardwood mulch cost is $17 yd here so that is ballpark if you have a few yards to install. Dyed mulch is $28 so I'd be $60 yd. Mowing if it takes you 4 hrs for $135 seems low. I would be closer to $200-$220 on mowing.
     
  5. nashlawn01

    nashlawn01 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 463

    Only 2 yards I'd just price it by job not yard. $150-$200
     
  6. Ben Harris

    Ben Harris LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    $30 per labor hour, you will be out of business in no time.

    $200+ if it is taking 4 labor hours, if you ever want to run a real business not a solo operation, you need to up the pricing.

    If your goal is to just make a nice hourly then your fine, if your goal is to eventually operate a full force company you got to charge more.
     
  7. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    Right now it is my first year, I am 17 years old and I do this after school and on the weekends. I simply just can't charge 50 dollars an hour, I wish I could. I get people griping about 30, they don't understand running a business, so I understand and tell them that is not what I take home. I hope to be able to charge 50 to 60 an hour as soon as I am a legit business. I am simply getting my foot in the door, my prices will go up gradually. On the Dyed mulch, I think I'll be able to bargain with them.
     
  8. Ben Harris

    Ben Harris LawnSite Member
    Posts: 52

    At 17 you are not in bad shape then.

    I wouldn't break it down by hourly when you explain mowing times, just tell them I will complete the job to your satisfaction @ 135.00. When you say hourly they compare what they make an hour and can't stand to pay some one that much for "cutting grass". If I told our customers our hourly labor rate, they would probably gripe or fire us.
     
  9. Mowin4Dollas

    Mowin4Dollas LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    Yes sir. Thank you so much for your insight!
     
  10. cdjones

    cdjones LawnSite Member
    Posts: 82

    Definately wouldnt recommend giving away your hourly rate to a customer. They will just bargain shop. Let your work set your pricing whenever possible. keep clean well defined edges around the beds...etc...as far as mowing triming etc...we would be in the $225-250 range. for 2 cubic yards brown dyed installed with bed prep and edging we would be around $275 or so. Everyone is different and has different costs and overhead so you will see alot of answers on here. I would suggest figuring out your costs and go from there.
     

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