Ok Guys, Need Help

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Dogbonz, Jun 21, 2005.

  1. Dogbonz

    Dogbonz LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 389

    Hi all,, I got my first call today for a big lawn,,,,well bigger than all my other lawns,,, the owner says the mowing is about 2.5 acres. it would be hard for me to measure cause of all the driveways, garages barns volleyball courts and crap,, I told her I charge around 70 for 1 acre,, and the trimming well ,, :dizzy: she has what looks to me to be about 1000 ft of string trimming to do.
    I told her that I would probably rent a brush hog to do the trim first as all the fences are 4 ft deep with 4 ft high with weeds. hasn't been trimmed this year. I am thinking that it will take me 2 hrs to run brush hog,, then 2 more hours of line trimming and about 2 hours to mow lawn (48" wb w/ proslide).
    She said she is a pretty good judge of character and thought i looked like a nice guy who wouldn't screw her over,, told me just to go ahead and get it cleaned up mowed and send her a bill and she would pay it. I haven't bid a big job like this and even told her that, also I didn't want to work for free nor give her a heart attack. she said don't worry just get er done,, then she says shes going to brazil for 3 weeks and wants me to mow while shes gone weekly.. and then will want me to continue when she gets back for the rest of the season! :) Soooo what do you guys think??
    2.5 acres ---> $125.00 sound good?
    4 hrs trimming ---> $125.00?
    $250. first go round then $125.00 weekly for mow and keep trim up?
    I keep thinking in my head, (remember I'm a tighta$$ when it comes to money) man that sounds like alot of cash for mowing,, but thats where i need you guys to chime in and tell me if you think I'm too high or are a lowballing piece of crap! :dizzy:
    Ok ,,, let me have it! and thanks in-advance!
     
  2. Lawn Masters

    Lawn Masters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 850

    I think for 2.5 acres, you bid a little low on that.
    My bid would have been around $500 for all of it combined.

    In all, this sounds like a good customer, one that you'll probably have and like for many years to come.
     
  3. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 492

    Bid should be based on the size of the lot, not the area covered by grass. Also, I would not trust what the owner says it is.
     
  4. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,619

    Your prices sound reasonable. Oldsaw-addict (your old at 17 years old?) is way to high and how did you come up with $500?

    I would give her a price up front. Since she is a new customer and is going out of town I would want the 3 weeks pay up front. Something sounds fishy to me. Don't fall for the nice guy stuff. She is working on getting you guard down so you will think you would get paid when she gets back.

    Buy a measuring wheel at Home Depot, Lowes and measure the property.


    I may be all wrong about trusting her but this sounds like a lot of money if she stiffs you when she gets back.
     
  5. Billz

    Billz LawnSite Member
    Posts: 181

    I was approached earlier this year by a woman and asked for a bid on a " Medium sized yard" in her words... When I got there her husband came out and told me it was 1.75 acres, no need for me to measure... I politely told him I enjoyed the exercise and would measure it anyway. It was 4.2 acres by my measurements... When I showed the guy, he acted dumbfounded... Lived there for 30 years and thought it was 1.75 he swore. lol

    buy a wheel.
     
  6. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 963

    Sounds like the standard BS line to me. Be careful, get a signed contract, and make sure she is clear on what is expected. It would stink if you bid low, just to get the account for the year, you do the initial clean up and then she does not want you to continue. Hope it works out for you.
     
  7. Pro-lawns

    Pro-lawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 58

    i would get half Down first
    to get started and then work on the billing Her later
    i was stiffed like that once
    and i lost 500.00 bucks :cry:
     
  8. Davis Lawn Mowing LLC

    Davis Lawn Mowing LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 318

    I sent you a private message response Dogbonz. $70 per acre is good, I knew your area in the burbs was good but dang. My $40 per acre rule is getting squashed this year, $35.00 is all I am being able to muster with all the LCOs flooding my small market. I think I need to move! LOL
     
  9. Dogbonz

    Dogbonz LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 389

    Well I had told her $70 for 1 acre,,and she didn't flinch,,, so I am now thinking that I'll go $70 first acre,,,,$50 next and $20 for the .5 thats $140 for mow & trim,,, I checked on brush hog $35 per day rental,,So I'll charge $40 for that plus 40 per hour for time taken to trim. probably 3 hrs = 160
    $140 first week
    $160 1 time trim = $300 total first time to get yard in shape!
    After I do job I will reevaluate time taken and then readjust mow and trim time to probably around 125 per week. If she is cool with that Ill be happy :p
    But keep the replies coming,, I dig any info i can get
    Peace :cool:
     
  10. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    Yeah you guys gotta be careful, some folk will try to get over on you while you're new. Something sounds fishy to me about the 2.5 acres with the going-to-brazil thing, too. Maybe it's just me, dunno...

    (4th year in business, been ripped off before too)

    Far as the price, it's hard to tell without pics but I price yards per acre at:
    $50-$60 for 1 acre (well depends if is .9 acre or 1.2 acres, hills, trees, etc...)
    $45-$50 for 2 acres... Hmmm, so 125 for 2.5 includes trimming... I mean, 1000ft that's like 1/4 mile (actually, 1/5th)... If you can't 'walk' with the trimmer you don't charge 'by the hour' you charge by the job: Takes me about 20 mins to cut a quarter mile of trim. But, anyway...
    Far as the brush hog stuff, I run one my older Wb's through the woods unless it's actual TREES, those toros cut some stuff you would not believe. Then that cut your cost (no rental) but if your wb is new then no I would not run my own, new wb through no woods.

    i dno, when i started i had a used wb (so i din't have to worry over payments) and I did a *LOT* of work for $15-$25/hour, i dno how new folk come into the biz strutting off $50+/hour, even today in my 4th year my HIGHEST labor rate is $45/hour and that's when I got more work than I can handle.
    I think with a WB (unless you're WAY loaded with work) $30/hour is reasonable in the south, maybe $35-$40 in the north. If you ARE loaded, then add 5/hour...
    dass just me...
     

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