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Big Job - Need help estimating

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by childret, May 11, 2006.

  1. childret

    childret LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    I need to estimate how much to charge for commercial property mantience. There are 167 town homes in a small community must be mowed, hedges trimmed, palms trimmed, basically everything done to make it very presentable. All of the grass is flortam. I have to maintain it every week. This will be my first commercial bid and I want to make sure it is accurate. I think that it will take a 4 man crew with 2 mowers about 2 or 3 days to complete. Thats not talking about all of the hedges and other stuff that needs to be trimmed. Could someone please help me out to figure what the estimate should be. This is my first "big" job and I need a little help.
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    List the services that you can define with their frequency (mowing lawn areas once a week, trimming evergreen foundation plants once a year,..). Follow that with a line that says "anything not specifically described in the contract is an extra and will be billed as such".

    You can't overlook how important it is to write a good contract because these are the people who put it under the microscope and try to exploit everything out of you that they can.

    I also think it is unwise to bid such a large job without the business experience that goes with it. Anyone can mow 167 lawns, but not all can write the contract.
  3. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    as always agla is right on
  4. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    dunno but I am currently dealing with a 200-office commercial complex and the biggest pita about it is every single renter wants to tell me what and how they want it all done, gee the weeds over there and oh can you get this, and it never ends, every week everybody wants something like extra pickles and no salt on the fries and could I put a little sugar on top and so on...

    I put a stop to it a week ago by ignoring their little requests because all it did was put me several hundred dollars over budget. Now the president is on my tail because I haven't answered the phone, so I'm having the time of my life. Only thing I know is I'm not doing squat until my budget is straight, after that they have a real simple choice: I can honor their requests at the cost of following my own maintenance plan, meaning the place will look as bad or worse than when I took over... OR, they can stay out of my hair and let me do my thing, and by end of year it should look better than before.

    Some Lco's might be ok with it, but as for me, I am the chef and I am cooking the soup, so keep your hands out of the pot!

    In all of five years, I ain't never had this much of a headache with anything, at least not where I couldn't just walk away.
    It is my first commercial contract, and if things don't improve and this is the way most commercial contracts go, likely my last one.

    Really if I had to sum it all up into few words, I would say this is it: Lowest bidder gets the job.
  5. childret

    childret LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    Thanks for all your responses. I really appreciate it. The thing I really need to know though is if I take this job on, what do you think I should estimate it. Thank you all very much I appreciate it.
  6. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,807

    $543.00 per month???????

  7. joeg2246

    joeg2246 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 169

    I would think you would take what you bill hourly multiply that times 4 men then multiply that by hours in a day you work then multiply that by the number of days you think it will take.

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