# Price estimating formula

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Keith P, Sep 28, 2004.

1. ### Keith PLawnSite Memberfrom east central ILPosts: 28

I recently found this AWESOME site a few days ago. My formula for a rough bidding price is the total square foot of the property x 2 then divide that number by 1000. Example a 120x70 lot is 8400 sq feet x 2=16800. 16800/2=\$16.80 Let's just say \$17.00. Add a 15% mark up and you get \$20. Depending on the number of trees to work around, amount of trimming etc., I adjust accordingly. I only do residential property now so I don't know if it would apply to a commercial size property.

Do you guys recommend a flat rate ie. up to 9000 sq ft. \$25, 9001-12000 sq ft. \$30.

2. ### chefdrpLawnSite Bronze Memberfrom Bemus Point, N.Y.Posts: 1,384

Thats alot of math. I just glance at the plot and fig 45 Bucs per hr.

3. ### SoupyLawnSite Gold Memberfrom IL. (St Louis Metro)Posts: 3,125

Keith, were at in Illinois? I am in St Clair County and I get \$30-\$35 for that size lawn.

4. ### Keith PLawnSite Memberfrom east central ILPosts: 28

Right now i only have a 21" mower (it's a start). What takes me an hour to do, you guys can get done in less than half the time with the larger decks. Let's say a lawn takes me an hour to complete, including trimming and blowing grass off walkways. Charge 45-50 an hour. If you can gewt it completly finished in 30-45 minutes do you still charge the 45-50 per hour.

5. ### Keith PLawnSite Memberfrom east central ILPosts: 28

I am in Champaign County

6. ### cleancutcclLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Lawrence, KansasPosts: 698

That's too much math, if you do fertilizer you should measure the property anyway, all of my properties i measure at least for future knowledge. Anyway, take the area, say 10000, that would be \$2.00 for every 1000 so 10 x 2, then add your \$20.00 stop fee, so far i've been right on every bid.

7. ### cleancutcclLawnSite Senior Memberfrom Lawrence, KansasPosts: 698

And yes you should use a flat rate, mine is 25.00. Right now I have a 3400 sq.ft lawn that i do full service, a regular weekly mow is at 25.00 for him and he never complains. If your service is great you shouldn't worry much about price.

8. ### SoupyLawnSite Gold Memberfrom IL. (St Louis Metro)Posts: 3,125

I'm not sure I understood the question. The per hour charge is just the price you are thinking about when you bid. You don't actually charge by the hour (at least not with cutting).

I base my prices by the hour for some services. For maintenance (cutting) I know what the lawn goes for by looking at it. All lawns under 10,000 sq ft meets the \$30-\$35 price. Which is the majority of my clients. I think you should be able to make the same amount of money per sq ft. as someone using a bigger deck. You just need to find out what the competition is charging for different size lots. Granted it will take you longer, which will lower your profit per hour, but shouldn't change the fact that the customer should be charge the same price no matter how long it takes.

I'm not saying your prices are not dead on for your area, I was just using my prices for examples. I'm actually on the high side for my area, but I close 75% of bids, which is were I want to be. Most of my calls are from referrals though, and that helps. It's not like I'm giving 10 bids a week.

I kinda went into a rant sorry....

9. ### SoupyLawnSite Gold Memberfrom IL. (St Louis Metro)Posts: 3,125

Keith, I didn't see this when I read your post (must have thought it was a signature).

Sounds like you have the right idea. Just make sure you check your prices like I mention in my last post. I would suggest you add \$5 to your price if you know the customer is looking for someone with a smaller mower. Some people don't like large mowers, so you can make that your niche for now.

10. ### PLM-1LawnSite Bronze Memberfrom Joplin MOPosts: 1,640

I just take my sq ft and multiply my rate (.028) and that is the price.

ex. 16000 x .003 = \$48