formula for Pricing lawns?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by AllAmericanlawn, Jun 15, 2009.

  1. AllAmericanlawn

    AllAmericanlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    I wanted to come up with a formula to price lawns/ adjust pricing on existing lawns. In the past i have basically just pulled a figure out of the air based on size of lawn. I do not want to underbid. Some estimates have worked out well others not so much. Mainly i want to be more consistant on pricing. I have heard of the $1 a minute theory, is that solo or with 2 guys per truck? I know the pricing will be higher in the north. Any input would be helpful.
  2. AllAmericanlawn

    AllAmericanlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    if a 2 acre lawn takes 1 hour for 2 guys to mow trim and blow is that a $60 dollar lawn.
  3. marcuslawnguy

    marcuslawnguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    Ask around to other lco's. When I first started I had one of the well known lco come to my house and give me a estimate lol. If you know your area market value it helps. After that well its up to you knowing your cost and having to make any adjustments. I like the 1 dollar a hour thing but it is not the only way. by the minute can get you in trouble (example 61 inch turf tiger on a quarter acre lot lol lol with no ditch, fence or any extras just a light trimming around the foundation) jobs like this is what I see many around in my area losing their bottoms on because with the minute formula thats about 10-15 dollars. lol. My Scags don't like to wake up from a nap for 15 bucks. I have a minimum no matter what to cover me but this is just my 2 cents. Also make out a list on a piece of paper based off of the most common type of properties that you service. for example around here that property would be a 1/2 acre with edging and foundation trimming. take that easy lawn as your base and think about what you would charge for a fence, ditch, backyard only accessible by pushmower etc.. and you will have a solid plan to follow and make adjustments off of. Once you get good only a glance or knowledge of a neighborhood and you will be able to tell a customer of the phone and usually be within 5 bucks. thats how I do it I know the avearge yards in my area and double cuts, overgrowns etc...get charged extra. Now extra work that is manual labor or tedious that is under a hour or 30minutes is excellent using the buck a minute.
  4. marcuslawnguy

    marcuslawnguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    1 acre is usually 60 so I would say blindly with out knowing nothing about the 2 acre property your talking about 90 and up. depending on your relationship with the customer and the equipment you have. example if your bringing a knife to a gunfight 36 inch mower on a 2 acre lot you shouldn't charge the customer a ridiculous price for your time on site because you brought a knife :laugh: Back to the customer relationship part I deal with 36, 48 and 61 inch mowers, a 61 will destroy a 2 acre job in no time at all and if its a easy job with minimum trimming sometimes I will give them a little bit of a break in price but not much! Before I got my collection of mowers it sucked big time trying to price jobs because sometimes you get a call for a overgrown that will take a 36 a long time to handle. but my turftiger may take me 20-30% longer if its a overgrown but that is because I'm trying to make the lawn look good. So in all equipment you have to do the job, time taken, location of job site and customer relationship has to all be taken into consideration. Just my 2 cents. good luck because if you don't learn it quick well the market will eat you alive.
  5. bohiaa

    bohiaa LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,220


    yes find out what the rate is in your area. for 2 guys and 2 Z's I get 120.00

    1 guy is a dollar a min. 2 is 2.00 a min, and so on, and so on, and so on.

    so you can quicly see that if I send 3 guys to a 2 acer lawn it's still gonna be about the same as if it were 1 guy.
  6. AllAmericanlawn

    AllAmericanlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 275

    I do have $30 min. for those sweet 1/16 acre wide open lawns. The bigger lots 1+ acres are what i am trying to figure out. the 1/4 acre or less lawns are a no brainer. I do have a 60 ztr and yes they will eat up an acre of grass. Thanks for your input.
  7. jnrogers

    jnrogers LawnSite Member
    from East TN
    Messages: 221

    First of all I dont open the gate to the trailer for less than $30. I try to get around $1.00 - $1.10 per 1000 square feet of turf. It also depends on the terrain, how much trim etc. You can get a little more in Knoxville than we can get here in Morristown. I mow a couple of yards in Knoxville and I charge $50 and it takes 2 of us around 20 minutes. One is in the Farragut area and the other is in east Knoxville. I also charge more for dog crap in the yard and junk everywhere if I even take the account at all.
  8. Uranus

    Uranus LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mass
    Messages: 1,624

    Topsites had a good way to price lawns. I think it was $75 per acre. Wait a few minutes he'll be around.
  9. marcuslawnguy

    marcuslawnguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 117

    empty lot shoot for 45-60 a acre depending on the frequency of the cut and the terrain. for example I have a .75 lot no house just a ditch that I maintain once a month and its 100 bucks. but terrain is flat, monthly cut, and a ditch to play with. thank god for spray lol
  10. kaferhaus

    kaferhaus LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,444

    If you can't estimate the time it will take to do most any job within 5 minutes or so you'll have a hard time being successful.

    Always measure time estimates based on the biggest fastest mower(s) that you can get onto the property. If you don't have "big fast mowers" and you're in a competitive market you'd better base your quote as if you did or the guy that does is going to clean your clock on price as he can do the job quicker and move on to the next one.

    I figure my quotes at a higher "rate" than most people because my crews are very efficient (quick) so we can do it not only faster than you can (man hours) but I can make more money while doing it.

    Most guys never study a job to figure the most efficient way to cut it. And if you think there's nothing too it, you'd be wrong. If you can find a way to shave a few minutes off of each job it ends up being one or two more cuts per crew per day.

    Obviously, if you don't have enough accounts to fill your available time then why bother? It gives you more time to go prospecting or spend at home with the family.

Share This Page