How much do you charge for a gate?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jake78, Dec 5, 2013.

  1. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,377

    Unless you don't raise it.

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  2. 35DollarLawns

    35DollarLawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    A gate don't cause ME to raise my price The gate causes me to work long in turn costing them more for the service

    What I mean is if the rate is the rate than the size of the job only affects the time, the time effects the Cost due to the Rate.
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  3. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    You seem to be missing the point (which is TIME) and failed to quote the relevant portion of my post (where I explained to you what charging MORE actually is) because it doesn't support your incorrect claim that we charge MORE for a property that has an existing small gates. In case you missed it, here it is again:

    It all boils down to the TIME I spend doing the job…more TIME more money, less TIME less money.

    If the client has a 30" gate the fastest I can possibly service that property is X hours. The base price for that property is X times my hourly rate. If the client does something IN THE FUTURE that will save me Y hours the price for that property would then become (X - Y) x hourly rate = price. Notice the little minus symbol in that equation which indicates that a value is now being SUBTRACTED from the original equation resulting in a LOWER price for that job.

    There is no way I'm going to waste my time calculating a price based on using my 60" ZTR when I can only use my 21" push mower. The time it takes to use 60" ZTR on that property isn't even a factor in this equation because I can't use it on this property. The only thing that matters is how long will it take me with that 21" mower…

    (X hours using the ZTR x hourly rate) + up charge for gate + up charge for 21" mower = price is an overly complex way to calculate the price for that property when you can simply use the equation X hours using the 21" mower x hourly rate = price

    There is no need to complicate things by doing a 3 step calculation when a 1 step calculation is all that is needed.

    Keep it simple…

    Your hourly rate multiplied by the estimated number of hours it will take to service that property using only the equipment that is currently possible to use equals price.

    $60 x 1 hour with a 21" mower = $60 (this is the only equation that matters)

    $60 x .5 hours with a 60" mower = $30 (this equation doesn't need to be done because you CAN'T use a 60" mower)

    Would you price planting 4 dozen tulip bulbs based on digging holes with a backhoe or would you price the job based on using a bulb planter?
  4. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,377

    What he said
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  5. dnc19694339

    dnc19694339 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    talk about over complicating things!!! We are all agreeing that you have to charge more when they have a gate as opposed to no gate. That is what the OP is asking. The question is how much more??

    He is looking for a set amount he can use for his estimating system. There must be an average amount that your quote goes up when you see a gate? Give him a number.
  6. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,377

    , there mustn't be a set amount because for this to be the case- that would imply that all backyards are the same size. I have some fenced yards that I would use my 36 even If there was a fence.

    I have a 36" hydro so the time cut is not that drastic as to someone running a 21" push.

    I do have a scenario for you though I have a neighborhood where I service 7 lawns on the street. 5 have no gates. 2 do. I charge them all $40. Maybe the ones with the gate take an extra few minutes... But the employees aren't done blowing anyway so it doesn't make up much time.

    Have the appropriate tool for the job,
    Tack on a few buck to make up for it.

    Typically the gated portion is the back, let's say the back is also usually where a majority of the lawn is. Let's say 70% for an examples purpose.

    If the lawn with no gate would be $40,
    but the gate around 70% causes you to slow down- charge a little more. $45

    X (with gate becomes) Y

    35 - 40
    40 - 45
    45- 53
    50 - 57
    50 - 60

    The problem with this ^^^ is that the gated portion may be 70%, 20% or 90%. May have some slope or pitch, may have obstacles or odd shapes.

    Hell I don't know man. This is probably something you'll have to figure up on a per lawn basis. I don't think there is a per lawn rule for gates. Just use your best judgment. If it a $40 sized lawn but you expect it to take as long as your $55 lawn in a similar neighborhood- then charge $55.

    Having said that my pricing is a tad all over. I make out ok on most, and excellent on some.

    Good luck to you
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    Last edited: Dec 6, 2013
  7. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,285

    The estimating system is:

    hourly rate times estimated man hours to complete job = price

    It is no more complicated than that.

    Know your hourly rate
    Estimate man hours accurately
    Multiple the two numbers and you have the price for that unique job.
  8. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    A $60 lawn is a $60 lawn.

    If most people do that lawn with a 48" you can not charge more because it took you longer because you only have a 20".

    Well you can ask for $120 but the customer will hire the guy with the 48" for $60.

    Also the guy with the 60" is a fool to charge $30 because he can do the lawn in half the time.

    A fool and a poor businessman because he is leaving $30 of profit on the table. Also running the local market pricing by low balling.
  9. 32vld

    32vld LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,983

    There is no set amount to use. There are 30" gates to 5' gates.

    It is a judgment call. I had one small gate where I could only use my 20" push. It was a postage stamp sized back yard. So I did not charge extra.

    Also when you have a full schedule you can be selective and you can charge a small gate premium. Say $5 or $10 depending on lot sized and tell the customer if they put in a larger gate they would save the small gate charge.

    When one is starving one can ignore the extra time it takes because of a small gate because they need the business. Another judgment call.
  10. easy-lift guy

    easy-lift guy LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,372

    I believe you are correct. I have actually had several customers asking me to charge less once I converted from my Honda Tractor to my Woods ZTR.
    These customers were on One street and were disappointed that I was not willing to lower my price since I just invested $$$$ for the sake of completing their properties faster and in turn I could take on more accounts to earn more based on my ROI after expenses. Never did cotton to low balling prices and ruining local market pricing.
    easy-lift guy

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