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How to Bid Cemetery mowing

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by bedbug, Oct 23, 2006.

  1. bedbug

    bedbug LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Posts: 37

    In Kansas there are lots of contracts for rural and small town cemeteries.
    How do you bid the contract ? Most contractors do not come back the next year. :confused:
  2. MarcSmith

    MarcSmith LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 7,157

    I have a 400 stone cemetary on campus it burns about 4-6 man hours. I use a 52" scag wildcat to cut and a an echo straight shaft string trimmer.

    I imagien if I had the guys round up a 6" buffer around each stone i could cut the string trim time a bit....

    The string trimming is gonna eat up your time and your string....

    hope this helps

    her is an image of part of it while a building was under contruction.

  3. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 802

    So... do you estimate on a per stone basis, then add for the open areas?
    Seems like it might work for standard issue cemetaries:confused:

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Not trying to be a smart a$$ but-- The time it takes you Xs the rate you charge for time.
    You need to know how long it takes to do. And trimming takes a lot of time!
  5. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    theres a lot of triming turning and its just a pain but you probably already know that
  6. TNT LawnCare Inc.

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

    Most contractors dont come back cause they under bid the property,as others have stated there is alot tof trimming involved with a cemetary.when bidding commercial type property you need to know your rate per man hour .So if you want to charge $50 bucks per man hour and it takes you 4 hours,thats $200 dollars.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Every single time I see a cemetery thread, I can't help but think about a 'per stiff' formula.

    Then it would be simple, give me a headstone count.
    Sick humor aside for a minute, it would serve as a guide of sorts.

    On another note, I am not so sure I'd even want to bid it, nevermind the money (that, too), but just looking at that one picture makes my back ache in response to the mere thought of all the trimming involved.
  8. eaglejrl

    eaglejrl LawnSite Member
    from 75681
    Posts: 63

    Here are a couple of other things to take into consideration.
    In addition to trimming time, you may have to go around and pick up loose flower petals on the ground. Thunderstorms can make a mess out of cemeterys. If the cemetery doesn't have good rules, people just place flowers, markers, and statues in the oddest places.
    Also, most rural cemetery's markers looked like they were placed just randomly here and there. It makes for more mowing time because you can't really develop a pattern to mow it.
  9. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 802

    So... are you supposed to cut it before giving a estimate/bid?:dizzy:
    That would be tough to give out estimates for 5-6 different plots.
    Not everyone here can do a drive thru and come up with a competitive estimate for this niche of lawncare.

    If someone has worked up a time for trimming 50 stones, that would be a start.
    For an estimate you could just get the # of flat stones, mosaleums, standing stones and whoop out a $$$$ figure for the main part of the job. From there, make sure the mower will be able to work efficently in the layout; add on for accessory areas, and work out a plan for clean up etc.
    For the most part, cemetaries follow a similar layout; it would'nt be too far fetched to work out a formula "per stiff"
  10. noseha

    noseha LawnSite Senior Member
    from MI
    Posts: 554

    most of the time I'll figure out the time for mowing and count tombstones add $2-3 per stone. plus clean up time .5 hrs flowers and sticks. can you dump on site if not add .5 hrs. Or just tell them you will mow the first time hr rate and go from there. Did they ask you to mow or posted for a bid? how big?

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