Large townhouse HOA bid... Am I in the ballpark?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by mojob, Oct 14, 2006.

  1. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    Here's what I got: 18 buildings on five acres total (one acre of grass) plus planted areas in front of each bldg, a lot of trees(wall to wall leaves this time of year). Season runs from April to end of Nov. Plenty of hedges and shrubs to trim(twice per season) I start up and inspect irrigation system in spring and blow out in the fall(about 44 zones) Keep weeds under control but they're not real picky. Aerate and fertilize twice a year. Mow and trim once a week. I come up with close to 400 man hours and about $1500 for fuel, fertilizer, and misc.(this doesn't include any spray apps. I don't know what that's going to cost yet). Bottom line: $17,000. I was told by someone once that experts on bidding say to use the 1 cent/sqft/month formula. Which, in this case, works out if you use the total footprint. Your thoughts?
  2. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    400 man hours x 40 per man hour = 18,000.00 And that doesn't include material. I think you are a bit low. I don't bid them often enough to say for sure.
  3. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    I charge $40 / unit / month on average.

    How many units are in each building??

    One more thing.... grass-scapes, 400 hours x $40 / manhour = $16,000.

    IMO, the bid for one acre of actual turf?? You're looking at probably about $4 / 1000 sq ft for apps, 5 times, so that's going to run about $1000 for the year.

    You throw in $2500 for spring / fall cleanup and you're at $3500.

    I have no idea how many mowings you're going to have in No. Colorado, but say 30 times @ $200, again for one acre of actual turf, which I figure high, even if you had to push mow that entire acre.

    Use Snapshot on the planting areas for another $1000 for the year.

    Irrigation service, $2000 for the year.

    You're at $12,500 for the service so far, with (IMO) some pretty generous numbers for 1 acre of actual turf.

    You still have to aerate and factor in the bush trimming.

    Again, I'd say the bid will come in around $12,000-$13,500.
  4. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    Pictures always help

    5 acre property with 1 acre of turf means tons of line trimming and edging. (do you edge in colorado?)

    my fert apps would run me about $1500 I sub that out cost to client $1800

    I would guess that leaf clean up would be about $800 minimum

    Pre and post emergent weed control would be at least $1000

    Hedge trimming only twice annually is gonna be a real bear with tons of debris. I would guess $1500 minimum each time so $3000

    plus I am gonna guess 30 cuts at 3 man hours each with the line trimming and blowing and all. 90x$60 =$5400

    Irrigation maintenance I get $25 per zone per month. I am guessing you meant 44 heads not 44 zones and am gonna guess there are 6 zones. 6 x $25 x 8 months = $1200
    Plus winterizing at $200 for $1400

    don't know about aeration

    that puts me at around $13,500.

    But the correct way to bid in my opinion is work out a cost based rate per hour. Then figure out the total expected hours and multiply by that rate.
    or if you want to get more accurate figure out cost based rate for each type of work and get a rate for mowing, a rate for fert, a rate for hedges, a rate for aeration, a rate for leaves.
    then figure out time for each task then multiply by the associated rate.

    My standard rate is $60 per man hour at 400 hours $24,000.

    But I usually get about $45 for mowing and about $75 for hedges and actually bid accordingly but never break out the prices to task for the client to see.
  5. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    Ooops, I had typed in $45 per man hour and then lowered it to 40 but forgot to lower the end price. Good catch.
  6. Cutter1

    Cutter1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,261

    bid sounds low to me, I take care of five condo communities. I get 17k for a 10 unit place.
  7. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    I've had this account for a full season so far and these are pretty accurate numbers as far as man hours and expenses go. It takes about 5-7 man hours per week during the summer depending on how fancy you get with trimming. And yes, there's a lot of trimming involved(sidewalks and walkways). There's about 44 zones( four controllers/11 zones each). One acre of grass is not much when it's one nice square, but this is divided up into a lot of small areas divided by sidewalks and walkways. I guess what I need to know is if the man hours I'm figuring is about average for this size and type of property. I know it's almost impossible to say without seeing for yourself. I just need to know if I'm way to high/low. Thanks Grass-scapes, Lwnmwrman22, and Precision for your help. Your's and any other posts would be greatly appreciated.
  8. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Are you talking about "these numbers and expenses" are what Precision and I wrote down?? Or are you talking "these numbers and expenses" are what you had mentioned in your first post?

    Is what you're looking for is to know if you're doing this property efficiently??
  9. A and N

    A and N LawnSite Member
    Messages: 17

    Just use the $1 a min. $60 hr. format then add chem. prices. Or just tell them 2000 per month.
  10. mojob

    mojob LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 515

    The numbers and expenses I mentioned in my first post and yes, I guess that's what I'm needing to know (am I doing this property efficiently?)

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