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Looking for advise on pricing

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jc1, Mar 4, 2002.

  1. jc1

    jc1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,617

    I have been asked to give a price to cut a trim around a church and cemetary. Pricing the open area is the easy part, but in the cemetary most of the stones are very close and there are not very many areas that We will even be able to get a 21 inch mower in. What is the best way for me to determine a fair price, figuring that most of the time we will have to use trimmers. I believe there to be about 300 head stones that we will have to trim around. Most of the jobs we currently do require very little trimming and I am a little lost on how to figure this time wise. Thanks for any help that is offered.
  2. Southern Lawns

    Southern Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 259

    That is soooo hard to answer..........hence no replies yet.
    The best way I have found to come to a hard bid is to re visit the area and really give it some thought as to how you will service this prop. Double checking what you saw on your initial visit. You must have a number in mind that you need to make per hour, dry run a service visit to this prop in your head (while you are there) and give it the best "guess" you can. It helps me to go back and re look a prop BEFORE I submit the bid, a year is a long time to be working for too little money. Make your decision and throw it up and see if it sticks. move on to the next one. Good luck!

    I've heard people say. "Don't waste all that time on that bid, you probably won't get it anyway". Spend the extra time on a thinker bid and you will come out Ok in the long run.

    After re reading your post I thought of this.
    IF they are all approx. the same. You could trim up say 5 and see how long it takes. Then times it by 60. That might get you close to a time you are looking for.
  3. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Posts: 278

    I would probably estimate this based on the area of square footage around the headstones, you probably have 4.5 sq ft of area to be trimmed around each headstone. If you have approx 300 headstones...... 300X 4.5 sqft= 1350 sqft of area to be trimmed. Depending on how fast you are, lets say that you can trim each sqft at 6 seconds per sq foot, 1350X .06= about 81 minutes to do the job. Ok, lets round up to 90 minutes. what can you get for 90 minutes worth of work? $45.00 maybee or if you feel a little guilty, $37.50 It's hard to judge with churches, they alot of the time expect to get a deal ( maybee this is why I avoid them) I personally would bid this at at least $60.00, Trimming is hard on the hands and arms and if you can't make money at it then it's not worth it. I do a LOT of trimming work, and I try to average about $53.00 per hour if a fair amount of trimming is involved.
  4. 1grnlwn

    1grnlwn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,261

    I quoted a cemetary last year. I decided to bite the bullet . I went with my equipment and picked a 100 x 100 ft area that represented an average density of stones. Started with large 60" and cut all i could cut and recorded time. Moved to 42" and did the same. Followed with trim and blow. Now I had real estimates for 100 sqft. Multiplied by number of 100 ft squares added any special areas and boom a price emerges. I must have did a good job because I didn't get it. Just a small bit of advise I found it easier to trim down one side of a row of stones and come back on the other side. You could get real dizzy going around in circles.

  5. Guestimate the etra time neede and times it by your hourly rate.

    Other than that your on your own.

    I don't cut dead people.
  6. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    Tough one to answer. A little advice from a guy who has a cemetary in his back yard- I know the guy that does the work in the cemetary and it isn't an easy job. The old section has above ground stones. No big mowers there. The new section has both above and flush mounts. The problem is that you are working for EVERY family of the dead people. The complain if the lawn isn't cut just to their specs, if there are weeds, if the trimming is too aggressive. It would be like mowing for 800 of the worst customers you ever ran across.
    Just my experience. Good Luck.
  7. proline32

    proline32 LawnSite Senior Member
    from 98383
    Posts: 278

    Hey, I feel for on that one 1grnlwn..... You go out and try to give a good accurate bid and you wind up not getting the job. Happens to many times, I used to go do a lot of bids down in the south part of my county and never get a call, well I started calling these people back to find out why I didn't get the bid and I was told "I was to high". The reality was that I wasn't to high but that there were a lot of under the table guys working that end of the county and those folk down there were cheap anyway. So I stopped going that way, I can't compete with a guy who isn't paying taxes. The worse part is that I let these people know that I am licensed business and that it is not a good Idea to hire under the table but all they see is who will do it the cheapest.

    I used to also mow acreage, and I would try to get 60.00 per acre just for mowing alone, But it has gotten so that I feel that it's not worth it anymore to do acreage, I can go do small yards, and make $30.00 for 1/2 hours worth of work. I just won't bother doing a job if I can't make some good coin on it, and as I had stated in a previous post, I generally avoid churches.......
    and I especially avoid apartment complexes, I let the Big lawn services have those.

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