Lawn program estimate

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by ron mexico75, Mar 28, 2012.

  1. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,984

    So I have wondering if maybe I shouldn't do this or does it not really matter. When I give an estimate for a season long program, I list what I will be doing for each step and then list the price for each step. At the bottom I total up when the entire program will be.

    Is it better to just list times of the month when you will be there and what you are doing without price. Like; March: crabgrass and broadleaf weed pre-emergent and list the total for the year at the bottom.

    I ask because I was thinking that what if someone was testing the waters as far as starting their own business and you've just given them prices to charge for something. Or, if the competition set up this estimate to see what you were charging for each step specifically?

    I guess the question is; do you itemize or just give a total?
  2. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,984

    sorry, I meant to say I HAVE been wondering. Also meant to type; At the bottom I total up WHAT the entire program will be (cost)
  3. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Breaking your program down into single prices like this is Not Recommended.

    You should list the services you will perform for the client on the contract. For instance tell them what you will do (cut,trim,blow) How many fertilizer treatments, how often you will prune plants and weed etc. along with the duration of the contract and list what services are contingent (storm damage clean-up, removing large trees, insect control?, watering the lawns and gardens...) or else the client may insist that you perform these services for free. Leave nothing implied, write it all down on the contract.

    If you have to put a lien on the property or go to court for some reason, you must have a written contract to present.

    Just give your clients a Total Package Price for services.

    They don't need to know how long you figure it will take to do a task, or how much a bag of fertilizer costs. If you were to take less time to do a particular task that you listed, they might time you and demand money back.

    On the other hand, I can guarantee that you wouldn't get another cent out of them if the task took longer than you estimated.

    Also, you need to mark up your prices, and recover an ROI-return on investment so you can replace equipment and you should also be adding a percentage of the total so you make a profit.

    Alot of us don't plow snow, and we need to live off of what we make and save during the growing season.
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2012
  4. ron mexico75

    ron mexico75 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,984

    Yeah I understand what you're saying. I had a large landscape renovation last fall and didn't break down plany by plant and all that.

    This was a recent estimate where the guy wanted a price for weekly cutting and then a price for taking care of the lawn with fert, pre/post emerge, aearte seed etc.

    I gave a weekly price to cut and then a program broken down to when I would come, what I was putting down and how much the visit would be. What I was putting down wasn't detailed as to the amount or the NPK ratio or what pre/post emerge chemical it was. I just said; March: apply pre-emergent with fert $0.00 amount. May: spot spray weeds $0.00 amount etc.
  5. Lawn132012

    Lawn132012 LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 175

    Funny you brought this up as we talked about this ALL last winter (if you want to call it a winter) but we are NOW calling it our Healthy Lawn program. We charge by the season. We are mainly a summer resort area so the people who own the properties need well maintained between Memorial day and basically though early October. We are now giving a FLAT rate for all lawn care needs.
    I mean if they just want it cut- Flat rate for season and we can get away with every 8 - 10 days to cut. Then we have a lawn treatment program again FLAT rate and this included whatever the lawn needs to stay weed free and green. Then our last program is the combination of lawn treatments and cutting. The can pay in installments once a month (1st of the month) or get a 10% discount by paying all up front.

    The reason behind this is the Sumagreen product we tested on turf. We have noticed that there is less need for herbicides, fungicides, and pesticides. So instead of going to the client and saying we do not need to use any fungicides on their lawn we just go spray on the SumaGreen Turf as that is our program for Healthy lawn treatments. The best part is we can actually charge a little more for NOT using fertilizers at the rate we were. Right now we are going to use the 1/8 pound of fertilizer per thousand sq/ft to bang out the quick green up. but then no more ferts after the first treatment.
    I will keep everyone posted on progress as a friend of mine used Holganix which did seem to work well but is WAY to expensive plus he needed a special spraying tip and had to keep refrigerated until used. The SG Turf is about 30 cents an application and no special anything. Like I said so far everything looks great in my tests with it.

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