Esimating this job?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Courtesy, Feb 20, 2006.

  1. Courtesy

    Courtesy LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 30

    New to figuring out my times and rates. Low-baller for years but didn't realize I was low-balling untill I looked at the actual cost of doing business. Now I want to do it right. Can anyone help figure out a rough est. for these bids.

    Lawn 1:
    800 sqft beds- light weeds, weedstop removal, mulch removal. Replace with new weed stop fabric and new mulch.

    8500 sqft lawn light trees and pool.

    566 linear edging.

    Lawn 2:
    850 sqft beds- light weeds, thinning of ginger, this job is mainly tilling up the soil which is pretty much top soil with no mulch and none to be added.

    3300 sqft lawn two trees

    430 linear ft of edging

    240 linear ft of weedeating

    I use a Scag 36"wb, echo 2600 trimmer and backpack blower. No power tools for tilling or cleaning beds. I'm a one man operation. all will be curb side disposal in trash bags. Any help would be apprecitated. Again I'm trying to gather some respectable profits for myself and need some close starting points. Estimates per sqft and linear foot would be great.
  2. ed2hess

    ed2hess LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,369

    Curious how you know you are a low baller and not a guy with high overhead?
    What would you charge for the two situations you present, then we can help!
  3. Courtesy

    Courtesy LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 30

    Well on lawn 1: I charge 55.00 for the mowing,edging and weedeating. I've only mowed once and it took me 2 hours, but normally it would prob. take me 1hr 30 min to 1hr 45min. And for the flower beds I really have no idea but im thinking around 382.00 labor plus materials? Figuring it will take me 6 hrs, I think>?

    On lawn 2: I charge 30.00 for the mowing,weedeating and edging. This one takes me about 1 hr. to 1hr 15 min. depending on thickness. As for the flower beds I was thinking of charging 255.00, but again I'm not sure , I'm thinking it is going to take me 4 to 5 hrs. again its just tilling and removing weed which are light and trimming back some ginger plant. No Materials involved.

    The reason I say a low baller is because I have no overhead except my truck and equip. No insurance . No employees. Haven't been keeping books very well, due to lack of organization and this being a side business. My typical lawn job I would charge 25.00 to 30.00 sometimes 35.00 but then I would almost feel like I was charging too much. Now after looking at the cost of doing business with everything I'm looking at charging min of 35.00 per lawn. Looking to pay myself $30.00 hr for actual labor on lawns not including repair and upkeep times of equipment. Figuring If I bill about 40.00hr , 10.00 will go toward overhead and taxes. Or am I just DREAMING? That would be , lets say for an 8 hr day 320.00 day - 80.00 to cover expenses and taxes, leaving me 240.00 net? 64,000 year - 16,000 expensed and taxes = net 48,000. Or again am I dreaming. Full Service Maintenace, water gardens, landscape lighting, Odd jobs during off season. Estimating at 40 weeks of service per year.
  4. lowballer17

    lowballer17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    Just cut, edge and trim all for one low price.
  5. Courtesy

    Courtesy LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 30

    That's funny. It's good to know I still have a sense of humor.:laugh: :laugh: But I would like to make payup and be legal since this is my only income and I'm tired of living on 20k a year with a wife and five kids.
  6. cwlawley

    cwlawley LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 470

    $400 for lawn #1, $450 for lawn #2, with a lot of competition, 15% discount.
  7. Courtesy

    Courtesy LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 30

    Is that just labor. And are those prices already showing the 15%dicount. Do you think I'm charging the right amount for just the lawn service?
  8. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    so your saying he shouldnt do any upselling, mulch, hedges, or anything just mow blow and go...... interesting , also interestin in the name you choose, kind of showes where your at....most customers want one stop lawn care, and if you cant provide it, they will find a better company who can...

    dont listen to this, your on the right track figuring your cost of doing businesss, people with the lowballer attitude usually dont make any money and go out of business pretty fast, they are the ones who make the rest of us look bad, the public thinks we are just drunks looking or beer money......

    set yourself apart and keep the prices high... you will do fine..
  9. Luvs2Play

    Luvs2Play LawnSite Member
    Messages: 246

    I am new here, have been in lawncare for 7 years for myself, several years prior to that as a partner. What has caused me to join in on this thread is the ideas of pricing. In my area we have quite a bit of competition, We are undercut quite often by people not carrying insurance or paying taxes. We could make allot more if we didn't have those expenses. I feel that for your own security and safety, I would at least carry a good liability insurance policy. Just my opinion.
  10. lowballer17

    lowballer17 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    My core business: CUT, EDGE, TRIM all for 1 low price
    Sure, people like to eat steak at a good restaurant, just as they dream of driving a Viper. I deal with reality. Quality lawn cuts for the masses. I follow the KISS principle (KEEP IT SIMPLE STUPID)

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