How to Price Residentials

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by God'sGreenGrass, Aug 1, 2019.

  1. God'sGreenGrass

    God'sGreenGrass LawnSite Member
    from TEXAS
    Messages: 78

    Hey guys!

    I'm wanting to raise prices of customers in my neighborhood. Here's my example yard (Peek in the back yard):!1sjp987pSCIGUBE1eeH_zThg!2e0!7i16384!8i8192

    I charge $30 for this yard, it takes about an hour by myself using a 21" mower. I'm getting a 30" mower next years. My equipment expenses (not including labor, tax, etc.) comes out to a dollar. This includes gas, oil, string. I'm thinking $35? I'll be mowing faster next year with a bigger mower. A commercial guy in the neighborhood says a Mexican charges more!:laugh:? This price doesn't include extra jobs in it. Just started trying to go legal and cover my expenses. I prefer paying my self by the job instead of the hour, because it encourage faster working. I put in 20% ($6) and pay myself $24. So what do y'all think. I read some people charge .80 cents a foot for edging? Any other threads to read? What method of charging do y'all use?
  2. Cjames808

    Cjames808 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 273

    You’ll see $30-60 for standard “ “ lawns.

    Bigger mowers will help when you get there.
  3. OP

    God'sGreenGrass LawnSite Member
    from TEXAS
    Messages: 78

    Ok, this is what I have so far:
    Time times $30 a man hour plus $5 expenses an hour times 20% profit plus taxes.
    Time($30 an hour net+$5 an hour expenses)20% profit+txaes
  4. RigglePLC

    RigglePLC LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 16,213

    I suggest begin with $25 "stop charge" to travel to the job and cover your fixed overhead costs (like taxes, shop rent, truck payment and insurance). Then charge 50 cents per minute to make the payments on your equipment, (mower, trimmer, trailer, blower, gas oil and repairs). Then pay yourself 50 cents per minute. Increase this, if you have to sweat or consider yourself skilled labor.
    Do not try to compete with others on the basis of low price. Compete by doing a better job. Anyone can match your price--no one can match your quality.
    An hourly charge is good, but you have no profit until your overhead costs are also paid.
    Probably it is best to charge a stop fee plus --like 7 dollars per 1000 sqft, because then you will have an incentive to work fast. Maybe add 7 dollars per hundred linear feet for string trimming.
    Price too low--and when your mower dies--you will not be able to buy a new one. Charge for the mower time so that you mower is paid off in about a year.
    Dainius, kemco and hort101 like this.
  5. OP

    God'sGreenGrass LawnSite Member
    from TEXAS
    Messages: 78

    How do I find linear feet for a property? How do I include trees, gardnes, etc? I also pay everything in cash, I don't want to have debt. So do you recommend a dollar then?
  6. farmmower

    farmmower LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    I've got 2700 feet of weed eating to bid out near kansas city. It is mostly fescue and gets mowed on both sides so relatively straight forward. It is under a horizontal vinyl fence, lower bar at least 12" off ground. As a home owner what should I look for as to fair bids?
  7. MattCurbAppeal

    MattCurbAppeal LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I I think you are overcomplicating this. Go by the size of the yard and the length of the grass. If you like, you can charge a first time fee for clean up, but for residential yards you should have a pretty set price (I do 35 for regular lots and 40 for corner lots). For now, list your business as a self proprietorship and skip all the salary stuff until you're making enough money to pay yourself a full time CEO salary. Save all receipts for gas and parts. Repeat, save all receipts for gas and parts. You're going to need them for your deductions at the end of the year. It sounds like you are just starting up, keep it simple for now and build up some dedicated customers. You're in Texas, people love them a good old boy who speaks plainly. Just tell them you're raising prices by 5 bucks on every yard to pay for new equipment, but they are definitely going to see the difference $5 makes once you get that new equipment on their yard. Play it up for them, like this stuff is going to give you more time to focus on the smaller details of their yards. I have rarely ever had anyone turn me down raising their price. Just don't do it often and push your luck.
    americanlawn likes this.
  8. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,689

    If you want to be super accurate buy a roll measuring wheel. Get the sq ft of turf. Measure out the linear feet of edging, do the same with trimming. Come up with a formula for how much u need to charge per linear foot for each and for sq ft of turf mowed. How? 1st set a stop charge just like Riggle suggested. That's your beginning point. Use your own lawn or a few customers lawns and take averages of how long it takes you to edge/trim each linear foot when maintained and when o wr grown. Keep those numbers. Back into your desired profit margin. I have always wanted to do this it's not that I'm lazy I'm too busy. But maybe one day.
  9. JustTheTipsLawnCare

    JustTheTipsLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    If you want to find a property size (sq. ft., lf. etc.) you can use google earth,, or what I use is yardbook. yardbook will allow you to track all of your client's measure properties track equipment use, and more. Yardbook will also let you clock-in and out of a job; giving you an accurate way to track how long you spend on site.

    To help you price lawns, add up all of your expenses for a month (insurance, fuel, maintenance, paying yourself/employees, etc.) and figure out how many hours per month you work. Divide these two numbers and that is how much per hour you need to charge at a minimum. Then figure per minute charge, once you determine how long your spending to complete a job you will know what you need to charge or you will need to find a way to be more productive.

    Just like RigglePLC said "Do not try to compete with others on the basis of low price. Compete by doing a better job" this is how you will get and keep customers.
    God'sGreenGrass and Dainius like this.

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