lawn estimate situation

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by snowmizer, Jan 1, 2004.

  1. snowmizer

    snowmizer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    allright so i get a call from a customer for lawn service and the area is approx. 80x320. my dilemma is he wants a price locked in for 2004 but there is an area in the back yard of approx. 50x 100 that is very wet and does not want it cut when area is wet. So how should i bid this? I have know way of telling how many times i will actually mow entire yard and he wants to contract and pay for year up front (very unusual) anyways I'm afraid to overbid but i do not want to short myself.hes asking also for edging (260ft),hedge trimming,fall cleanup,the whole nine yards plus he is within 10 min of me so i would like to get the job just not to sure how to bid on mowing.Any suggestions? thanks...:waving:
  2. ksland

    ksland LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 927

    Raises flags with me. Seems strange. Make sure you cover yourself on all aspects. Make sure obstacles don't just suddenly appear when its time to mow each week by the dozens. What do you mean by the back is wet? You mean it never dries?
  3. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,384

    Hi. I am kinda in your neck of the woods. Just for the mowing i would prob charge around 900 bucks.You will have a spring cleanup. $35hr min. fall cleanup. same.How many trees do you have there? You will have to tell us more. How long and high are the hedges?Can you post a pic of the place?
  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    You charge him as if you were going to cut the back every week. You explain to him that the extra time and mess that area is going to be when you ARE finally able to get to it, will probably be more money than if you cut it on a normal routine. Just because you cannot cut it every week, doesn't mean it's not growing. I personally would pass on a property like this. It's gonna be a mess every time you finally are able to get equipment on it. The yard is either going to look like crap because that area hasn't been cut, or the mess it will make trying to cut 2 or 3 weeks worth of wet, soppy growth. Find other work or charge accordingly. Certainly do not charge less because you won't do it every week, because when you are able to cut the foot tall grass, you're going to wish you never took the job.
  5. workaholic

    workaholic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 260

    First never be afraid to overbid bid it as you see it. If it were me i would pass on it because the lawn has drainage problems or there is a natural spring and most likley will never dry out if you do bid it and get it make sure you BID AS IF YOU WERE CUTTING THE WHOLE LAWN EVERY TIME 50 BY 100 ISNT THAT BIG.
  6. Pecker

    Pecker LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,454

    Good advice so far. I'd bid as if you were going to mow that part every week and apply it toward bush-hog rental. The reason: by the time it dries out enough to get a mower to roll through it, it'll probably require a bush-hog. If you have a BillyGoat Outback or a Bush-hog, it shouldn't be a problem. Otherwise you are probably going to eat that part if you don't take it into consideration now. I lost a good (at one time) account due to a low spot about the size you describe that held lots of water (was a nice lot but it belonged to a flooring company that landed a big job that required lots of sawing with one of those concrete saws that uses water, and the runoff ended up creating a swamp out of the grass, making it possible to mow).
  7. snowmizer

    snowmizer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    just going by what customer says. by the sounds of it stays pretty wet,poor drainage. It was really wet today when i went to estimate it.
  8. snowmizer

    snowmizer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 149

    as far as trees there 3 mature maples in back yard (away from the marsh!) 1- maple and one elder tree in front both about 30- 35 ft tall. I will try to get a picture of yard. thanks for the advice i will bid as if i am mowing every week and after reading some post i will probably go high on it. could be a nightmare in the making...thanks again!!!!!
  9. JVS

    JVS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 132

    Give them hourly locked in rates- with a minium and maxium hours for instance 4 men 445 per hour 4 man hour minimum and 24 man hour max. so your covered
  10. Premo Services

    Premo Services LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,516

    I agree bid as if you were cutting all areas every week. Add in a little extra because of the wet areas being a PITA. Not worth it if you bid low and have a section of foot tall weeds to deal with.
    My concern would be if the customer actually thinks that you will only charge to cut the wet area when you can cut it, and charge less for cutting when it is too wet.Keep in mind when you skip an area because it is wet, it will take longer for it to dry out because of all the high grass helping to keep it wet. Then factor in when it is hot as he!! out and the swamp area has made a lot of hungry mosquitos that you will have to deal with also. If the customer thinks the price is too much, then let him get someone else.

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