What to charge for 180 x 300 lot

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by sancho_man_orlando, Jun 20, 2006.

  1. sancho_man_orlando

    sancho_man_orlando LawnSite Member
    Posts: 216

    I have someone who responded off of my craigslist ad who wants me to come mow their lawn. The ad was in response to a 35 per cut posting for a trim, edge, mow n blow. Turns out the property is 180 x 300 and has a 4500 sq ft house in it. What would be a good price to charge? This is about a 15 mile drive from door to door. I need the money but don't want to make 2.50 an hour for my time.
  2. dcondon

    dcondon LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,246

    well your talking $10.00 bucks in gas to get there and back, not including the mowers,trimmers,blower and edger.I would charge them your $35.00 plus fuel. JMO

    Welcome to lawnsite by the way!!
  3. eruuska

    eruuska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 454

    180 by 300 is 54,000 sf. Minus the house that's about 50k, or roughly 1.15 acre. Even if it's completely wide open, $35 is too little. Even with minimal trimming, I'd charge at least $65, probably more. Don't sell yourself short.
  4. Budget

    Budget LawnSite Senior Member
    from Pa.
    Posts: 368

    Not sure about how much trim work there is but $ 65 - 70 for the job and try to get one more in that area to make it worth while tripp.

    How much do you need to make a hour? That what it comes down to, your operating cost plus what you want to make on top of that. You are not going to get every bid you go on, and don't want to give your services away.
  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,653

    Well, you just said $35 so if I were you, I'd use the link craigslist sent you in email to EDIT that post. Once that problem is taken care of, you'll have the unfortunate task of calling these folks and explaining the ad had a clerical error and that you can't do it for less than $60 at which point they will tell you to forget it, and the problem is fixed.

    Or you can try what dcondon said, charge the cut $35 fee (+ trip fee of $10) because at $45 they're still getting one HECK of a deal. Although a bit borderline, this one stands a far better chance than charging the actual price, you might can try a trip fee of $15 but that's pushing things.

    Either way, your choice.

    p.s.: Now we know why putting a price on the ad is not a good idea.
  6. cessnasovereign

    cessnasovereign LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 292

    What are you driving, a monster truck? You need something with better MPG!

    That trip would cost me about $4.00
  7. Freddy_Kruger

    Freddy_Kruger LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,064

    Whenever I put prices on flyers I always put in protections like "most 2 storey houses" or in case of lawns and spring clean up I had several prices on my flyer but I also had sq ft in there.

    If you said I will do any yard, any farm, or any Ranch for $35 Lol, well at least you got a call. Not even I would do that for $35 bucks and I wouldn't care what my ad said. I have a 13,000 sq ft lot right in the middle of my most popular neihbourhood and yours is 4x that and far away lol. good luck if you do it for $35 or do what topsite said and try to get cash.
  8. boxsky

    boxsky LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    Depending on your equipment itshoukd take no more than 1 hr for everything. I charge 32 for a 7500 sq ft yard and 45 for a 25 sq ft yard minus the houses and the driveway. I charge by time not acreage. Acregae gives me an idea but trim work, obstacles change that. I do a church that is 12.5 acres in 4 1/2 to 5 hrs for 200.00 (minus church, parking lot)
    So look at how much time it will take you. Also never give a price before looking at the property. And your add should say starting at 35.00
  9. eruuska

    eruuska LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 454


    I agree with a lot of what you say, but take issue with your statement about charging by time as opposed to acreage. Let's say you're mowing an acre lot with a 48" WB and it takes 35 minutes. You'd charge the customer for 35 minutes of your time. The same lot next door is done by a guy with a 36" WB and it takes him 55 minutes. Should he charge differently? Now let's suppose that you upgraded to a 60" Z and the lot now takes you 25 minutes. Should you drop your price since you're taking less time? I would say no way.

    The notion of charging for time rather than the service rendered removes any incentive to get better equipment. I mean, why spend lots of cash on a bigger, faster, more expensive machine when it just means you'll have to lower your prices? Doesn't make any sense.

    Right now I've got one client that has 10.5 acres that I mow with my li'l ol' 48" WB. I'm making right about $50-$55 per hour when I do it. I can't wait to pick up a 60" Z and increase my hourly to over $70 or even higher. No way am I going to LOWER my prices when that happens.

    Anyway, bottom line is, they're getting their lawn mowed, doesn't matter how long it takes or what equipment is used, it should still cost roughly the same no matter what. Don't limit yourself to a certain amount per hour. Find ways to become more efficient in order to increase your value.
  10. boxsky

    boxsky LawnSite Member
    Posts: 178

    My statement really didn't come out the way I meant it. By time I mean don't under or over price it. not that over price is bad but it can be if you don't get the job. If it will take you 1hr shoot for a buck a minute.

    Also my thought on time is there is two 1/2 acre lots but with totally different lanscaping, one takes 20 minutes the other 40 minutes. Do you price them the same, I'd say no and don't.

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