New To Condo Units

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Pristine PM, Jan 24, 2006.

  1. Pristine PM

    Pristine PM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    Hi guys, I searched for Condo units, but didn't find what I was looking for.
    I am curious how long a hundred unit townhouse complex takes your (3 person) crew and what kind of equipment you use.

    We are looking at bidding on a few more and we currently have one, but havn't had a summer on it yet. It is a bunch of units that have about 5 townhomes in them with 3 common areas that are about 50x100. We have to do each of the units yards which are about 15x15 and their fronts are about 5x10. We have to turn about 10 5x10 beds and do a full trim and blow.

    I know it is hard and stupid to ask these questions, as the answers can very so greatly but I would appriciate some insight into these types of units. We are just trying to figure out what equipment we need to get to have all of these done in a decent time every week.

    We are looking into the Wright Standers 36" and using them in as many places as we can to cut down on time over our 21" Toro mowers.

    Thanks for any comments,

  2. lawnboy

    lawnboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 321

    Take it from me, give the condos to the other guys. They are a pain in the butt. To many bosses, no loyalty, and not enought money for the headache. Unless you are desparate for work, your time is better spent in other things.
  3. Pristine PM

    Pristine PM LawnSite Member
    Messages: 208

    we are small and love the security of them as a full year contract. We had some trouble getting into the snow side of things and the condo units gave us the safety. We don't mind the headaches, but any advice on the timing?
  4. jtkplc

    jtkplc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,656

    I just signed a 3 year deal with a condo complex. Yes, there are some picky people, but if your work doesn't give them anything to complain about, and the things they do is just made up so they have something to complain about, condos can be very good money makers. You also have to come across the right one. I was fortunate to have one that hasn't been able to find a good lawn guy, and so now that they've found me, they will pay top dollar to keep me around. Anyways...back to your post...

    The place I cut is 46 units, and I can have the entire place done in 8 hours by myself. I would recommend looking into a 52" Wright Stander if you were looking for a bigger deck size. The 36" Stander sounds like a good option as long as most of the ground is flat.
  5. Wayne's Lawn Service

    Wayne's Lawn Service LawnSite Member
    Messages: 184

    #1 Calculate the total square footage you will be maintaining

    #2 A simple formula for you to use to estimate production time for mowing is ground speed multiplied by cutting width divided by 120. The 120 represents an 80% efficiency factor. The situation you are explaining may be less efficient for mowing. Maybe use something around 60% or divide by 140.

    #3 This will equal your total mowing time. Then take the time for mowing and add 70% of the mowing time for trimming, maybe more but at least 70% based on what you are telling me. Blowing time will be based on curbs and linear feet to blow, patios etc. If the buildings are similar, calculate one building and multiply that by the number of buildings included plus any additional common areas requiring blowing. Then add for picking up paper/trash if required based on location. Take the total time and multiply that by your costs per hour of operation to determine your minimum per service cost. Another factor that must be included is the frequency of the cut. If they want a weekly service through the season, you can give them a better price then a every 10 or 14 day cut.

    Also consider if you are required to bag clippings in certain areas Vs mulch plates. These types of mowing's are generally more difficult to estimate until you are familiar with how and what to look at before bidding. I hope this helps.

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,534

    Not trying to be negative but if you have to ask-- than why ask??

    If you do not know how long a job will take and you are looking at it, How can we?

    We do not see the trimming that is needed. We do not see the terrain. The trees or beds.
    To make a mistake on a small house could cost you $5.00 dollars a week. to make a mistake on a large condo complex could cost hundreds a week.

    It is a bunch of units that have about 5 townhomes
    With so many variables how can anybody answer--including yourself.
    Learn to measure exact-- learn what your costs are. Plug in YOUR numbers and sell at that price.

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