Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by gwoods, Jul 20, 2002.

  1. gwoods

    gwoods LawnSite Member
    from Kansas
    Messages: 30

    i have been just looking at the property and giving an est. but i would like a better way i just ordered a measuring wheel i want to start charging by square footage instead of guessing. please give me some feedback. thank you
  2. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,028

    You are probably gonna start making more money now. There are some guys that do the measuring, add a degree of difficulty to the property (number value) and then multiply it out for their rate. It takes some practice but you are on the right track.

    Obviously a 1 acre lot that is flat with no trees will take less time and effort to mow than that 1 acre lot on a wooded riverbank.

    You have to price accordingly and with a little practice you will get there. Good Luck.
  3. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,124

    As an example GWoods, I built a proposal sheet, just like Mow Ed is talking about, in excell that multiplies the square feet by a set price per sf, then by a multiplier of 1.0 - 1.5 depending on obstacles or difficulty. The more difficult the lawn to mow, the higher the multiplier. I also measure off the trimming feet and multiply that by a set price per foot. I can figure out what a one-time mow will be, or put in the number of applications and give a price for the entire season. The sheet also contains calculations for areation, trimming shrubs, etc. I start at $.0020 per sf, and then use the multiplier.
  4. SLS

    SLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Mars
    Messages: 1,540

    Besides all the excellent info given above........

    The measuring wheel is excellent for doing those mulch bed estimates. The measuring wheel (and a mulch cubic foot/thickness chart) has REALLY made quick work out of this task. It is very quick to do the estimate and takes all the 'guesswork' right out of the equation. Accurate figures on time and material=MORE PROFITS! :D

    You did good getting a measuring wheel!
  5. gvandora

    gvandora LawnSite Member
    Messages: 143

    Perhaps you should consider the value of your time in your estimates. Example. If you cut a property at say a half acre that's flat with trimming around the house and say four or five trees it might take you 30 minutes from arrival to departure. Now if you have a house that was the same sizes on a nasty slope with many beds and trees with a small gate it might take you 1 hour from arrival to departure. Also consider travel time if it is excessive between this and your next lawn. When you price out those two lawns you would likely price them differently. Perhaps a man hour rate times the number of man hours to complete the job.
  6. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    For larger lawns (1/2 acre and up) I just pace off the lawn to estimate the area. Takes no longer than a wheel and accurate enough for me. I figure out the area in acres, multiply by a difficulty factor, multiply by $75/acre, and add a dollar amount for travel, depending on location. For small lawns, I just eyeball it and pull a price out of my ___.
  7. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    I just got a measuring wheel, it has been fun to play with just around the house figuring up measurements. Before I just went by what the owner told me he had (not a good way either ;) ) well NOT ANYMORE! I am curious though, how much per foot do you guys think is accurate for trimming???
    I have just been adding certain percentages for fencing like 10% for fence on one side of property, and 5% per additional side (so 25% extra for fencing on all four sides of property). But haven't had to worry about that much yet. I just kinda guestimate the trimming. But now that I have a measure wheel how much per foot is good??
  8. FrankenScagMachines

    FrankenScagMachines LawnSite Platinum Member
    from IN
    Messages: 4,739

    $75/acre! Wow... I'm only getting half, and people seem to think that's high... One of my "fill in" customers has a two acre front area and two acre back area. Said that he used to have a guy do the front two acres for $45 with a 60" ZTR. All flat fairly open low difficulty level. I was thinking about $75 then before I blurted that out I ask what did your last guy charge? So I found out and I said ok $65 he says ok. It's a fill in as needed though, not regular. If he was regular I dont 'think i'd change it though, unless I had a bigger mower.
  9. Darryl G

    Darryl G Inactive
    Messages: 9,500

    BushHogBoy - That $75/ acre would go down for a large lawn because I would use a low difficulty factor if it's easy open mowing. Also, I don't do lawns over 2 acres because my machine is only 48 inch cut. The lawn I quoted yesterday was 1/2 acre, level, average trimming/obstacles and 10 miles from my nearest account. I quoted $58 mow, blow & trim and $48 mow & go. $20 of that is my travel money.
  10. greenman

    greenman LawnSite Addict
    Messages: 1,405

    darryl- $58 to mow/trim/blow 1/2 acre 10 miles away. There's no way I would do that. I guess that just goes to show the different going rates around the country. Down here we get about $70 - $85 for that. I just bid on a property 25050 sq. ft. w/ minimal trimming for $75.
    I always measure the bigger properties with the wheel then multiply the sq.ft. by .0035 for the normal/high bid. The low bid is the sq.ft. x .0025.

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