First commercial job

Shepherd Twin

LawnSite Member
I'm new to landscaping this year and I'm been continually reevaluating my estimating process, which I believe is low.

To start, I take all materials x 3 and use this as my check.

I than estimate hours to pickup materials, 1 hour per day to mobilize unless farther away, time to remove weeds, spread mulch (1 hour per yard), etc... This number is used to determine labor costs (2 employees including me and 1 FTE x $20 per hour) AND used to determine equipment costs.

Equipment is all expenses like insurance, office supplies, truck payment, shovels, etc.. broken down to determine hourly cost.

Lastly, I add together the following:
- Total Materials Costs
- Total Labor Cost
- Total Equipment Costs
- 15% to 20% Profit Margin

Typically this is in-line with materials times 3. If lots of extra work, super steep slope, farther drive, etc... than may be higher or may be lower if I really needed some work...

From reading this post, I think I may be making 2 mistakes:
1. I should take Materials times 3 plus everything else
2. I should increase hourly rate. I thought I was getting extra money from somewhere but as I type this out I'm realizing there is not extra money

2 questions:
1. Who uses a "simple" estimate vs a detailed estimate?
2. Anyone using an app to estimate?


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