# Estimating by the square foot

#### eagle lawn services

##### LawnSite Member
I have come up with a little formula that seems to work for me in estimating basic lawn maintenance work by the square foot. I want to know if anyone else uses a similar method and what it might be.<br> I start by measuring the lot with a wheel then I subtract the square footage of the house and other areas that are not to be maintained, this gives me my grass area. I then multiply that by .oo2. That number is the price for one cut. I then multiply that # by the average number of times per year that I visit. Lastly I divide it all out by 12 months to give me my average monthly price to bill the client, ie. \$120 per month. <br> The formula looks like this:<br>(sq. ft. X .002) = price per cut<p>(price per cut X avg # of visits per year) divided by 12 months = average monthly price<p>I am usually making between 35 and 40 dollars per man hour with this.<br>Chris H.

#### cjcland

##### LawnSite Senior Member
why do you take out the area of the house and driveway, you have to weedeat and edge around the house and blow the driveway, i do it by 1000 square feet (1.00 per 1000) and a 20 dollar base price(service charge)any way that works is a good way.<p>----------<br>CJC Landscape Management<br>Winter Haven, Florida

#### tom

##### LawnSite Member
Eagle Lawn, I use about the same formula as you have come up with. You are cutting for \$2.00 per 1000 square feet. I measure all of my properties to determine pricing unless it is a small residential for which I have a min. charge. It suprises me that some people do not know the size of some jobs. Our market is toooooo competitive to shoot from the hip with a price. A person can loose time and money on a missed priced job. I ran across a situation the other day in which a homeowner was looking for a new cutter, The guys that had been doing it were not in business any more, I wonder why?

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#### eagle lawn services

##### LawnSite Member
CJC,<br>I take out the house because you can have a 6000 square foot property with a 5000 square foot home on it or a 6000 square foot property with a 500 square foot house. Obviously a big difference in the amount of grass to cut. I do not take out the driveway, sidewalk, flowerbeds, etc.<br>Chris H.

#### cjcland

##### LawnSite Senior Member
eagle,<br> i can see your point in that i guess i would do that too if the house took up a major amount of space.<p>----------<br>CJC Landscape Management<br>Winter Haven, Florida

#### PLS

##### LawnSite Member
We are a total managment Co. All the mechanical stuff, (mowing, trimming, blowing etc.) fertiliztion, pruning, chemical applications, irrigation settings. Instead of measuring the lot and subtracting the house, we measure the turf to start with, we need this information for our pesticide applications anyway. If your keeping track of all your time (mowing time), you can use this to know how many minutes per/M it is taking to mow an particular yard and use this in your bidding process. Depending on how cut up the yard is and which mower you will need. It may take 2 minutes per/M or it may take 5 if its cut up and your using a 21&quot;. Pretty soon you can compare a yard your bidding on to a simular one you have records for and you know it will take 3 minutes per/M and it is 6000 sq.ft. So you know that 18 minutes from the time you start the mower till you turn it off. We also measure all of the ornamenatal bed for pre emergent applications. Our mowing prices are on somewhat of a curve the smaller it is the more it costs per sq. ft.. <p>Every thing we do is totaled up for the year (on fescue turf this includes aeration and reseeding and on warm season turfs it includes aeration)and devided by 12.<p>My question to you is, why not measure the turf to get a more accurate measurement. This would give you more percise times and more percise bidding to know for sure where your making money and where your not.<p>Just a curious thought?<br>

#### Getmow

##### LawnSite Senior Member
Eagle,<br>What is your stop fee. At \$2.00/1000ft you would be broke in a month. I agree with PLS, measure your beds,turf and add the linier feet of edging. After putting a watch to a few properties you can know EXACTLY what it will cost you to do a job.

#### Lazer

##### LawnSite Bronze Member
You need to have a minumum fee. I don't think you can do a 4,000 sq. ft. lawn for \$8.00.<p>And you won't get many big jobs.<p>A good pricing structure might be:<br>\$20.00 stop fee + \$1-1.75/M depending on obsticles.