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MY Formulas for bidding maintenace work...

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by andyslawncare, Nov 18, 2010.

  1. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    You must know your overhead operation cost before any of my numbers can be used. My estimated overhead cost is around $1500 per month, including only fuel, insurance for the trucks, equipment insurance, and office expenses.

    My formula is below:

    This will not apply to all properties, but it is a good starting point to adjust from.

    Bidding Maintenance Jobs:

    Lawn maintenance formula = $35 for first 3,000 sq. ft. + $3.50 per additional
    1,000 sq. ft.

    Mulch formula = sq. ft. times depth in inches (2’’-3’’ is normal), all divided by 324 = cubic yards.

    Cubic yards times price for mulch type = mulch installation cost

    Pine Bark Mulch - $50 per yard installed
    Pine Bark Mini Nuggets - $54 per yard installed
    Red Carpet Mulch - $54 per yard installed
    Fine Red Oak Mulch - $54 per yard installed
    Cypress Mulch - $60 per yard installed

    = Mulch installation cost
    + delivery $35-$45 (the customer is charged for delivery if I deliver or not...fuel and truck expense = money....pass it on).
    +any additional charges to prepare beds, ie: weed whacking, pulling, spraying, or shrub trimming/brush removal Equals Total Job Cost

    Core Aeration formula = $60.00 for the first 5,000 sq. ft. + $8.00 per additional
    1,000 sq. ft.
    If you bid on aeration jobs, stress to the client that you ‘double core aerate’...you should core aerate in 2 directions, not just one pass. Only core aerate during times of active growth. Quoted is a very important phrase that sets me apart from most contractors. I follow what is recommended by UGA’s Dept. of Ag., while most contractors do not research like I do. "If a lawn looks like it is struggling, most likely core aeration will be the best thing to do to it (unless it is completely infested with weeds, has poor drainage, or is in deep shade)."

    Weed Control & Fertilization formula = $35.00 for the first 3,000 sq. ft. +
    $3.50 to $4.00 per 1,000 sq. ft.

    7 to 9 applications per year is what I sell. (Please have your commercial chemical applicator's license, chemical contractor's license, and insurance before you apply chemicals...you will be breaking the law, maybe applying the wrong substance, and bringing down the average cost of the contractors that follow the laws).
    The $4.00 price applies to a property between 3,001 sq. ft. and 10,999 sq. ft.
    The $3.75 price applies to a property between 11,000 sq. ft. and 13,999 sq. ft.
    The $3.50 price applies to any property larger than 14,000 sq. ft. , up to 30,000 sq. ft.
    I can do $3.25 to properties between 30,000 sq. ft. and 42,999 sq. ft.
    I can go as low as $3.00 per 1,000 sq. ft. on properties larger than 43,000 sq. ft. (1 acre).

    I hope this answers some questions!

    If you want to know more about what you do, buy the Georgia Certified Landscape Professional Study Manual...If covers just about everything, and its pretty cheap. Its bought through the University of Georgia's Department of Agriculture program.
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2010
  2. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    so your charging about $86 for a 1 time application on a 15k lawn? Do you do fert contracts? Or do you bill after each application?
  3. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    I contract all of my work, which doesn't mean that it recurring; contract is for protection. I bill each application, and several clients are signed up for a continued service.

    Is there a question about my charge here? I am open to discussion for how others price applications and everything else listed.

    The whole point of this thread is to help out our industry standard pricing.
  4. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    No question, just making sure i understand your formula. I like it. I am getting into the fert business next season and looking for a pricing structure. I realize our areas will be different but i like your formula. I just have to figure out if your numbers will work here.
  5. punt66

    punt66 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 8,536

    Scotts, for example, will sell for the season and want you to pay up front. If your billing per application what does your contract state? Is it just allowing you to apply and telling client they must cancel in writting and lays out pricing?
  6. RodneyK

    RodneyK LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 784

    Thanks for taking the time to post this info!
  7. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    I would try to stay away from billing the year upfront for at least your first year of applications. You should build up your business so that people can trust that you will follow through; also, your approach may change through out the year as you learn more.

    A contract needs a date, signatures, fees, dates of service, what you will be doing each time, and any other items that you want to protect yourself from...Ie: lawn will not be 100% weed free, animals and people need to abide by the signs, and we won't be liable for 'sickness' due to ignorance to the postings. Things like this will help you start our contract.

    For a one time service, I usually try to put all of this in an email, and tell the client to respond that they agree....usually will be enough proof if you end up in court.
  8. Torchwood

    Torchwood LawnSite Member
    Messages: 22

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  9. SlaytonFarms

    SlaytonFarms LawnSite Member
    Messages: 13

    Best post I have seen so far regarding billing concepts. Thank you for sharing.
  10. C&C Landscaping

    C&C Landscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 96

    So for a 13,000 sq ft mow trim and blow would be 70.00 - is this right?

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