Mowing Square foot or per hour

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Shamar Lawn and Garden, Sep 17, 2007.

  1. Shamar Lawn and Garden

    Shamar Lawn and Garden LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hey guys, I work for a small landscaping company in the Kansas City area. We are looking to start some commercial mowing for 56 units. These are duplexes. We already have the maintenance contract but they want us to mow and a fertilizer program. I am trying to get some ideas of how to price for mowing and fertilizing because right now we don't do any turf. Thanks a lot and any feedback is welcome!
  2. jbannick18

    jbannick18 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 490

    I would do per hour. You need to figure out about how long its going to take you, what it takes to JUST cover cost, like insurance, gas, wear and tear on equip, paying employees etc. And then go from there. Sorry this is all i can tell you : /
  3. dave lincoln

    dave lincoln LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    .4 wide open areas .5 small and bigger mowers and .6 x sq ft for all small mowing. hourly is between 30-45$ per man hr i am in boston.
  4. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Dave Lincoln can you explain what those numbers mean>?

    Is that .4 / 1000 sq. ft. .5 and .6?????
  5. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    Hey, I would charge by the job, not by the hour. What I mean is don't give them an hourly rate. Give them a flat rate for each cut. For instance, if you want to charge them 65/hr for mowing, and it takes you 2 hrs max, charge them around $130 per cut. You will make more money this way, but won't lose out on as much when it gets really long. Because yes, it will take more time when it is longer, but you can make up that time whenever it is more of a normal height, like when it gets a little dried out in the summer. About the fertilizing, find out what other companies would charge for their square footage, then see how much you can get materials for and how much you'll need to charge to make a profit. But by seeing what other companies charge, you can have a guidline as to if you are low or high. For instance, if a company will charge $30 per application on a 5,000 sq. ft. lawn, and you need to charge $15 to make a profit, you could raise your prices a little, say $25 and you'd still make a profit and you'd seal the deal by being a little cheaper. Good luck and let me know what you end up doing.
  6. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 613

    Just because another company will charge $30 doesnt mean you will make money on the application.

    Just find out your materials cost, mark it up for a little profit and overages, then add a service fee for the property, if you think it will take you 30 minutes to apply then charge accordingly.
  7. pj550v12

    pj550v12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 302

    Not many people who maintain lawns charge by the hour, and with so many out there, deviating from the norm can turn off a potential commercial customer
  8. Pflat1

    Pflat1 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 66

    .004 (.005, .006) x your Sq Footage (200x50=10,000 sq ft , 10,000 x .004 = $40

    Should add $ for WW , trees , fences , Hills, etc
  9. cgaengineer

    cgaengineer LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,778

    If you use this per foot method, is your price per month for a yearly contract the same? I assume it is, but have always wondered how people can let a customer go without being financially in a hole.
  10. dave lincoln

    dave lincoln LawnSite Member
    Messages: 8

    yes take into consideration trees beds and fences it usually 1$ per obstical and .25 per lineal feet per fence

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