Measuring a yard

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Dingo, Feb 15, 2000.

  1. Runner

    Runner LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,497

    Hey Ground Effects, Are you in Michigan?
  2. Island Lawn

    Island Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 632

    I got my measuring wheel Friday!
    (Meterman Series 60 from Gemplers. 19" diameter.)
  3. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578


    sorry i don't quite understand... if my crew screw off for extra 15 minutes it is affecting me the same as it would you matter how we estimate...they are burning you whatever way you look at it.
  4. shorelinelawn

    shorelinelawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    I agree with all about wheel, I'll have to run over to Home
    Depot and get 1 !!!
    I've only been doing this for 4 seasons ( I worked with buddy for a couple of summers b-4 I got smart enough to go it on my own ) .
    I concentrate on 2 subdivisions ( about 800 homes ) so most of the lots are pretty close in size. I always upcharge for a fenced yard ( more work- line trimming, gate restrictions etc. ) those cul-de-sac lots require a close look too !!
    There is BIG competition in my area, so while I try to price based on a 35.00$ per hour rate, you have to be competitive with your compettition too !! Or else it's somebody else's job- not yours !!
    Living in the area I work in is a bonus too ( less travel time ) The competition drops off flyers pre-estimating what MY lawn would be cut for, and I can use that to my advantage too !!. I 've also been known to have the competition estimate my friends lawn, just so I can get a feel for pricing. Kinda sneaky & underhanded , yes, but when you're just starting out, you do what ya gotta do !!
    I'm a one man show- no crews to worry about, so some of the
    problems you other guys have , I don't have to worry about.

    As far as mower size, the old saying " size doesn't matter " is BS !! I realize there are substantial costs involved
    between a 21" mower, and a 48" mower. But IF you have the lawns you can put a 48" mower onto , why aren't you ????
    Time is money, and if I can cut down on how much time I spend on a lawn, I WILL make more money !! I run a 32" Bobcat, and a 48" Lesco. Burried in my garage is a 22" Craftsman, that comes out ONLY in a dire emergency. I've used it twice in 4 years. I really love it when I bid a job my 48 " fits thru the gate !!!!
    Enough for now, time for maintenance !!
  5. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,087

    Three pages on how to measure a yard!!


    And of course the only inteligent post in this thread on estimating yards using your measuring wheel and equipment cost figures (all broken down for your convenience)!
    Is on page 2 somewhere in the middle by this sharp young guy named Guido or something like that.

    Those Eye-Talians (as Homer would say) are really something ain't they!!

  6. Lawn-Scapes

    Lawn-Scapes LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,810

    Bringing this up again...

    I've read through this entire post and... There doesn't appear to be a real definitive answer to this topic...

    Everyones hourly rate varies and what XYZ Lawn Care can do in an hour ABC Lawn Service may not be able to. It depends on the equipment used.

    Using a wheel, eyeballing it, cutting it for free, etc...

    You're not going to charge the little ol' lady with 1 acre of grass who is just getting by on social security the same price as the the wealthy executive with 1 acre of grass. Probably not......

    It all comes down to what you and the customer feel is a fair price... Right?
  7. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    Sorry, to all of you that use a measuring wheel to figure out what to charge. If someone came to my house to give me a mowing estimate and they brought out the old measuring wheel, they would not get the job even if they were $15.00 cheaper than anyone. I use a measuring wheel for installs only. If I seen someone measuring for mowing, I would laugh and think "this guy is supposed to do this for a living and mows what? 10 to 20 lawns a day and he can not even look at mine and give me an estimate. What a joke.".
  8. wojo23323

    wojo23323 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 608

    What is the formula to figure out the sq. ft. of a yard when all 4 sides are different lengths. the measurements are: front 40', right side 200', back length 250' and left side 130'. Any help would be appreciated.
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    Wojo - Interesting old thread. To answer you question, you're not going to find a formula to calculate an irregular area like this. A couple of options come to mind. You can go the town or county tax assessors office and look at the "field card" or tax map. The field card will definitely have the acerage or square footage on it, the map may or may not. You can try calling the tax assessor and see if they'll tell you the acerage if it's not convenient to go there.

    Or, you could sketch the property out to scale on some graph paper. I use engineering pads with 1 inch squares and some finer divisions. Make one inch equal to 20 feet or so. Then break the lawn up into squares, rectangles and triangles on the paper and calculate the area of each and add them up. Or, you can draw it and then count the squares inside the area. You have to estimate because some will be partial squares. I count those over 1/2 and don't count those under 1/2. Do it a few times and take the average. Or if you have a really accurate scale, you can cut out a 1 inch square, weigh it, then cut out the lawn from the paper and weigh that. Divide the two and multiply by how many square feet the square represents to get the answer. Or, if you have autocad or another CAD program, draw it to scale and it will calculate it for you. Or use a planimeter.

    Hope this helps and your head isn't spinning.

  10. GraZHopA

    GraZHopA LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 253

    WoJo. The answer to you question is 17,907.5 square feet or 0.41 acres. This was obtain by acad. However, if you do not have the cad program you can get close by using the averages. In this particular case: (40+250) /2 + (200+130) /2 = ~23,925 square feet. I hope this helps.

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