Formula for prices?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by Ericfischer100, Aug 18, 2011.

  1. Ericfischer100

    Ericfischer100 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I am looking for, or want to create, standard mowing prices for my properties.
    Does anyone have a per square ft formula for Lawn Mowing.
    A liner foot for Edging etc.?

    I'm sick of guessing and would like a starting point

    I know there are variables by terrain, location, etc, but some feedback to get me going would be very helpful.

  2. richardcog

    richardcog LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    Base it by the min. what do you want to make per hour. then break it down by min. you will never go wrong that way
  3. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

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  4. vencops

    vencops LawnSite Bronze Member
    from NC
    Messages: 1,537

    My formula wouldn't help you. Yours wouldn't help me.
  5. Ericfischer100

    Ericfischer100 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    How about I rephrase, I'm looking for average times per LF for edging and mowing per SF
  6. Zen Lawn

    Zen Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    I'm trying to figure that out also.

    I bought a good measuring wheel off of Craigslist, and brushed up on my algebra. I can find the square footage of a lot by breaking into squares/rectangles, triangles and circles. I just have to find out now how long it takes me to mow each square footage, edge each linear foot, ect. I've even thought of measuring bark beds and gravel areas to estimate weed control times.

    I'm even starting to measure linear gutter footage, driveway footage- so I can record them on the client profile (just a word doc with the measurements and customer preferences) so I can give quick bids in the future for gutter cleaning and pressure washing services.

    I think I'll have to do it the old fashioned way, and just time myself on mowing the lawns for each size and break it down to square footage afterwards. I don't know how to calculate how many obstacles (tree rings, park benches, irregular shapes, ect) and how they impact mow time. But, like you, am trying to get a very basic, approximate formula for this.

    If anyone has a system they use, I'd definitely be interested in hearing about it also.

    I also wonder if I would need to change the formula as my mowing times increase when I can afford a 36" walk-behind.

    Any input from the posters?

  7. Zen Lawn

    Zen Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    Probably true, Vencops, but I would imagine that I might get an idea or two from you and modify it to fit my specific needs. I'm pretty good about learning from others and making adjustments to that info to fit my needs.
  8. Zen Lawn

    Zen Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 77

    Here is where I'm at right now with mow times. I'm sure I'm still lowballing, but I'm trying to break past that and still be competitive enough that I can get my foot in the door, since I'm brand new to this industry.

    Base: $25 (since that would be my minimum charge to cover loading and unloading my trailer and help compensate for dashboard time and gas expense traveling from one account to another)

    + $0.003/square ft

    I take this base number and it becomes my base "per mow" figure.

    I multiply that times 4 (although there are actually 4.3 weeks average per month, I make it simple for the clients who like to understand the fees).

    This is my monthly charge for weekly accounts. I multiply that times 60% to find my bi-weekly monthly charge (more bagging, taller grass to trim, more developed weed growth to manage, so more than half of the price).

    This is still not extremely accurate- and I don't guess it needs to be precise, but I still have a ton to learn.

    I'm be grateful for input from others as well- even if I have to adjust it to fit my needs.

  9. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

    I cant help you figure you own numbers but i will tell you this.
    you will be better of just figuring it by the 1000 square foot instead of by the square foot.
    the reason for this is it ultimatly will equal the same price and it is easier to figure to the1000 then to try and get all the 6" spaces that equaled 400 sqfoot differance

    we went 1 step further and took out the lawn shape all togather by going Lot size to the1000 sqft.
    it dont matter the turf size simply1 measurment left to right and 1 front to back and we are done with the turf
    the time this saves in the initial measurement will be worth more then the $3.50 differance for trying to be precise.
    we estimate edging per 25 foot

    our fert and chemicals are based off of the lot size per 1000sqftat $5.50 per

    mowing we get $2.50 per k with 52"-60" mowers

    Landscape at 12.50 per 25 sqft.

    it is up to you how much time you want to invest in the numbers .good luck
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  10. XLS

    XLS LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,038

    zen your rate will not have to go up as you go to larger equipment in most cases simply because your equipment fee should have a setrate of return and a $500.00 push will recover in 50 hours at $10.00 per hr you upgrade to a 3500.00 36" walk and your productivity goes up 40% if you change your equipment fee to save 40% over the original then it takes 250 hours to pay it of but you will make alot more money off of youproductivity gains.
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