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How to Price Lawns

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by danslawncare, Oct 28, 2004.

  1. danslawncare

    danslawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    I got a quick question for you guys. Are any of you raising your prices next year due to the gas prices? Also if you don't mind i'm only 18 and need some help on pricing? Any help you could give would be greatly apprechated. Most of my lawns are about 12,000sq.ft suburban houses.

    Also do you have any comments on the John Deere GS30?

    Again, Thank you!
  2. MowforMoney

    MowforMoney LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    Heres something that I do kinda helps me with pricing, Guess could be a little confusing but it could help you. Figure out a standard expense rate for certain sized yards. So for a $25-30 dollar yard maybe you have an expense of 8 dollars, that covers gas for mower truck, oil, spare parts, and hopefully you can save a little bit of that for new mower something you get my point. I think you are solo not for sure tho, but lets say you are, If you do two 30 dollar houses in an hour your making 40-42 dollar profit. So to try to help you price think up of all your expenses I mean be really careful here cause its more then you think. And I like to figure my gas expense at 2 bucks a gallon so I feel safe that way, then you have your oil, regular maintenance on the mower, and just in case somthing breaks, then ya got your trailer, truck, so you get my point. Once ya got your expense figured out then decide on an hourly rate. Then apply that to your houses. If you wanna make 60 dollars an hour after expenses then price appropriately. If you want my numbers you can ask I have no problem with giving it out, I just don't have it all committed to memory I would have to look it up.
  3. BMFD92

    BMFD92 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 694

    if you are looking for new equipment then get commercial grade.
  4. danslawncare

    danslawncare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 103

    Thanks for your help guys! I apprechate every bit of it. I'm still very young in this business.
  5. bushtrimmer

    bushtrimmer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 351

    But, isn't the GS30 the gear driven 36" walkbehind?
    If it is (I didn't go out into the shop or look up on www) it's one of the best cutting wb's out there IMO. Again, IMO, the only good thing JD's done, except bought Dane.
    We don't use ours anymore since all frontline mowers are hydro's but keep it around just in case, it might get used a couple times a year. The only problem I can remember having is if you hit something hard, the blade timing belt may get out of whack and the blades slap each other. Just a matter of loosening the blade and re-adjusting.
  6. DennisF

    DennisF LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 1,381

    If you're mowing 12K SF lawns as a solo you should be able to complete a job of that size in about 30 minutes with a 48 inch or larger mower. I do 12K SF lawns in less than 30 minutes with a 52 inch ZTR. That includes trimming, edging and clean-up.

    You should be able get $25 or more depending on your area, for a lawn of that size. Some people are getting $30+ in some areas of the country.

    Pricing a lawn can be difficult for a new LCO. You have to try to accurately estimate the time it will take to complete the job and base the price on that time estimate. It's very easy to under or over estimate time if you're not familiar with what to look for when you walk the property. How many obstacles to mow/trim around? How much edging is there? Any areas that need to be mowed with a smaller mower? All these will factor into the time estimate.

    I always add a little extra time to an estimate just to be safe. I'd rather lose a job because of pricing too high, than to do a job that I under estimated the time and wind up losing money on the job.
  7. The LawnSmith

    The LawnSmith LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    I'm a newbie at this, (only been in the business part time for a couple years), anyhow, like others have mentioned, I walk the yard and look for things that will slow down the normal mowing process, (trees, gardens, animals, rough terrain), and try to imagine the amount of time that will be spent in the worst case scenario; (90 degree heat, 100 % humidity, zero wind conditions), and price what I feel is acceptable for that scenario. It is easy to bid low to get the job, but do you want to make a commitment that you will regret later? Lawn Maintenance isn't personal.....It is a business. A service that you are providing for whatever motivation you might have, but one that the homeowner will appreciate. If you bid is too high, you will soon learn it, but I think it is better to bid appropriately, than too low. You must have an idea of what is acceptable and what is too low, Stick to it!


    FERT-TEK LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,035

    (Just a rule of thumb) For new accounts until you get good at estimating, do the first mowing free and time yourself while doing it. When you time the job do it start to finish, line trimming blowing off the walks and driveways etc. Then charge one dollar per minute, per man spent doing the job.

    For example two men work on a yard and it takes them 20 minutes from start to finish. Thats $20.00 X 2 men= $ 40.00 per cut. Remember this is just a rule of thumb and may vary depending on your equipment and what part of the country you work in.

    This also gives the customer a chance to see the quality of work you provide. Over time you will be able to eyeball a job and estimate it without cutting it first if you choose. :drinkup: GOOD LUCK! and I hope this helped.

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