How do you charge to cut a lawn?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by NJSalesPro, Mar 16, 2004.

  1. NJSalesPro

    NJSalesPro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Good afternoon - I am coming from a construction industry to the landscaping industry. I have one partner right now and we (I) had a simple question regarding pricing. How does a company charge a customer to cut his lawn, by the hour or by the square footage?

    I'm in North Jersey and am an experienced lawn cutter, so I wouldn't do a sloppy job.

  2. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    In my opinion, every area of the USA has its going rate for certain sized yard. For example in NY, a 10,000 sq. ft. yard may bring $50, in Iowa where I am, they bring $25.

    You have the option of investing $400 in a 21" push mower and taking 40 minutes to do these jobs, or you can invest $8000 in a Z or other commercial grade (get a lot done type mower) and do the yard in 8 minutes.

    It is entirely up to you as to how you do it. The consumer who owns the 10,000 sq. ft. yard knows what the going rate is. It is up to you as to how you do it.

    Thanks, Brad
  3. NJSalesPro

    NJSalesPro LawnSite Member
    Posts: 18

    Thanks but $50 sounds dirt cheap!
  4. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    I was just using $50 as an example - if you can get more than that, I may move out there. LOL :D
  5. walker-talker

    walker-talker LawnSite Platinum Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 4,771

    Figure what you need hourly to operate, pay yourself and make a profit. Estimate how long the job will take and charge accordingly. I know how many sq ft I can mow in an hour. I usually use this method when bidding large properties and then figure trimming, edging and cleanup.
  6. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 505

    How did you charge in the construction industry?
  7. Rook00

    Rook00 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 73

    Take advice, study hard, pray a lot, AND LIVE AND LEARN. Experience is a great teacher.

    You'll learn more when you lose your first $1,000 than when you make your first $1,000.
  8. Flex-Deck

    Flex-Deck LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,846

    What if I decided I need $60 per hr. then pulled into the yard with a 21" push mower. You really think I would land any bids?:confused:

    I still maintain that every area of the USA has a bench mark as to what the consumers are willing to pay for certain size yards. It is up the LCO to purchase the right equipment in order to make a profit at the levels the consumers are willing to pay.

    Thanks, Brad
  9. 3blades

    3blades LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    good luck man getting lawns can be tough depending on other guys in your area doing it plus most customers are out for the absolute cheapest
  10. Lawn277

    Lawn277 LawnSite Member
    from Iowa
    Posts: 74

    I use the $1.00 a minute rule, with a 22.50 minimum charge. Bigger yards are about 45.00 an acre. Unless they are people over 60 yrs, they get a break. Also the side by side yards or 3 or 4 in the same block I will do a litte cheaper, ($20, no drive time) Its about all what the market will stand. Here in Iowa this for mowing, trimming and clean up only. Extras, like sidewalk edging and bagging, bush trimming are all charged separtly. I would guess in your area the prices would probably be double, but here people just arent gonna pay $50 or $60 a week to get there yard mowed.
    Dont goof around with a 21" mower, make the investment and buy a good 36 or 48" walk behind and be done in 15 or 20 minutes for the small ones. It makes your $'s per hour look really well. Ill also bet with your expierence in constuction, your customers will be asking for alot of other nonlawn related services.

    good luck


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