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Another estimating question

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by wints76, Nov 13, 2009.

  1. wints76

    wints76 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Do people price by the sq ft? Obviously there are many variables that effect a flat price but is this a reasonable way to bid? If so, what are people charging per sq ft?
  2. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    Per square foot of what?

    Laying tile, my old boss would charge between $50 to $150 depending the material and job size.
  3. wints76

    wints76 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Well obviously I am talking lawn care being this is a lawn care site. I will clarify next time.
  4. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    Grass cutting?
    Shrub trimming?
    River Rock?
    New bed installation?

    I figured you were talking about lawn care, but there are many different aspects to lawn care. Different materials and services will cost a different amount per square foot. But you already know that. Square foot can be an effective way of bidding. But it's hard for me to give you a price if I don't know the material or service.
  5. wints76

    wints76 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 14

    Mowing, trimming and blowing. Weekly service
  6. 93Chevy

    93Chevy LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 37,804

    Square footage is relative to time. Obviously, the more area, the longer you have to be there. Say you can do an acre in about in hour. That's not unreasonable, unless you either have a 3 72" ZTR's or 25 plant beds to edge. Either way, around here, you can charge between $60-$100 per acre, given different variables. Say you have 1.2 acres of land with .2 acres unmowable. You charge $75, based on the customer, drive time, ease of service, etc. One acre is 46K something square feet. 75/46k = $.00163/square foot. So, basically 1 cent per square foot.
  7. Big C

    Big C LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,642

    Here's how I do it: $1 per 1000 sqft + $25 (trip charge) + any varibles= price
    So a 45k sqft lawn with a normal amount of trimming/edgeing/blowing would kinda look like this: $45+25=$70

    I use this as a guide but it is subject to a lot of variables as a previous poster stated.
  8. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 652

    I would rather figure my estimated time and be done with it.
  9. lukemelo216

    lukemelo216 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from ...
    Messages: 1,267

    i posted on this subject in another thread too.

    Pricing by the sqft is difficult. You need to actually break things down into different categories: mowing, trimming, edging, and blowing. Each property will be different. Some might have 500 linear feet of trimming some might have 5000.

    The way I would do it is: measure everything turf area, all trimming areas, alld edging, and sidewalk sq feet.

    So lets say you have 5000 sq feet of turf, 300 ft of trimming, 100ft of edging, and 6000sq feet of blowing.

    These numbers are just thrown together: $2.5/k mowing, $.03trimming/edging, .17 blowing.

    That would come out to $12.50 mowing, $12 trimming and edging, and $1blowing That comes out to about 25$ which is right for that size lawn.

    Break that down and its $5 per 1k sq feet. Well what happens when you get into a 44k property at $5 per 1k that comes to $220 which is more than somone will pay for 1 acre.

    So what you need to do is figure it like i said but have price categories similar to what I have for aerating and fert. More sq feet the lower the price goes. I would change it probably about every 5k sqft. or so
  10. Lawn Spa

    Lawn Spa LawnSite Member
    Messages: 126

    Keep records of sizes and then do time studys for each job...after a year or two you'll have your own formula and can come pretty close each time...then as time goes on just adjust the jobs that dont make enough and leave the high profits jobs alone and send those Christmas cards :)

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