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Subdivision maintenance

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Turfdoctor1, Mar 8, 2008.

  1. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    I have the opportunity to bid on the complete lawn and landscape maintenance for a subdivsion which is marketed as "maintenance free living" to potential buyers.

    There are currently 31 condo buildings with probably another 50 or so to come as well as a club house (10,000 square feet), and a long entrance area (18,000 square feet) with a couple of large beds. I only do weed control and fertilization, but will be bidding this job with a landscaper to do the mowing and landscape management.

    These condos have only about 2500 square feet of lawn. My minimum for a weed control/fertilization treatment is generally $35, but I obviously cannot bid it at that rate, because then they would be paying ~$1200 per application. But, if I bid it on a total square footage basis (~120,000 square feet) it would only come out to $420, which is only $14 per condo, which has two sides, so about $7 per application per resident. That's sick.

    My buddy is in the same boat with the mowing. Obviously, you have to bid it on the amount of time it takes, percent profit, etc. But, that makes it hard to compete with the big companies. Regardless of time, surely we have to bid this as some kind of minimum per condo unit, or these folks are getting their maintenance for nothing.

    Any advice, especially from the mowing guys?
  2. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    How large is each condo's lot? What type of mowers will be used?
  3. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    i meant to post this in the business management forum. did it get moved?

    i told you, there is about 2500 square feet of grass for each condo, the lot itself has to be less than 1/4 acre, probably ~ 8000 square feet.

    mowers. don't really care. just wondering if you would bid it on a per unit basis or based on the total amount of time, etc.
  4. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    I would bid about how long it will take me to do each lot and the difficulty of it. For example if I were using a 36" wb it would take me twice as long than if I were using a 60" ztr. I would say about $35 per lot for mowing (if using a ztr). So theres the mowing part for you.
  5. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    i appreciate your help brad.

    i don't think i'm getting my point across though. if you would normally charge $35 per lot, you can't charge $35 per lot if you are bidding them all together. If you do, I don't believe there is any way you are going to get the bid.
  6. mowerbrad

    mowerbrad LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,273

    I completely understand what you are saying. So if there are 31 buildings that means there are 31 lots. So since you would want to bid them all together I would price it somewhere around $850, thats about $27.5 per lawn. Does this help a little more?
  7. Dynamic

    Dynamic LawnSite Member
    Posts: 147

    It depends on a couple of different things and yes it does matter what equipment you are using. If this is a contract that will come up every year as most do then bid a bit cheaper then normal ie. $35 --- bid $30 to $32 but if this is a 5 year or lifetime contract then you do need to look at the bigger picture as a whole. So if you would normally do that size of lot for $35 then bid $18 to $24 per cur per lot. My situation is I have got many Hydro contracts that there yards I would normally charge $65 per cut but because its a 5 year contract I bid $50 and got them all. So looking at the bigger picture I make $3400 for 2 days of work(this is gross no expenses). So look at the bigger picture and only you know what you need to make every day to stay in business and make money!
  8. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    Thanks guys. that helps. like i said, i am only bidding the weed/fert part of this, but would like to pass along the help to my friend bidding the rest.

    i guess i just think that logically, it should be bid as one property. so, if it takes one day to do the job, it should be bid based on cost and compensation for one day, regardless of how much you would normally make for a lot that size. I think that is the only way we would get the bid.

    agree or disagree?
  9. Tider6972

    Tider6972 LawnSite Senior Member
    from Alabama
    Posts: 649

    I agree; bid it as one job and make what you need and want to make in profit.
  10. Turfdoctor1

    Turfdoctor1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 705

    any additional help on this topic would be much appreciated. We have our bid complete now, and I am afraid that we are pretty high. I want the spray contract badly, and I know that I am competitive. But the rest of the bid accounts for about 90% of the cost.

    I'm not sure what equipment my friend operates, but he has bid the work to take a full day for a 4 man crew. 32 man hours per mowing at $25 per hour and 32 mowings per year comes to $800 per mowing and $25,600 per year, just for the mowing.

    This seems pretty high. It also seems reasonable, when you look at the numbers that way. It just seems to me like one guy could do that in a day. What do you think?

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