Pricing, for the novice

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by earlsherl, Mar 30, 2004.

  1. earlsherl

    earlsherl LawnSite Member
    Messages: 5

    Hey, I just started my own residential lawn service business around the charlotte north carolina area. I have a 48 inch gravely mower and was wondering how to charge my customers for my service. I am not sure about local rates or how they are calculated. I was hoping that anyone could help me with this. I have worked for a lawn care business before but was never savvy to how they charged their customers. Thanks and look forward to any replies.
  2. youngdude

    youngdude LawnSite Member
    Messages: 152

    It all depends on the size of the lawn. For me it wont be anything less than 20. The only way i would go below 20 if the lawn is really really small. Good luck this season!!!
  3. BW4486

    BW4486 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 243

    price it by the hour. hours x cost per man hour. Figure out your cost of doing business and the going rate for Charlotte
  4. jeff_0

    jeff_0 LawnSite Senior Member
    from md
    Messages: 401

    you should average about $45 a hr per person on a job.. minimal charge around $25...
  5. codywyomingus

    codywyomingus LawnSite Member
    Messages: 29

    we charge $70 an hour & that covers all types of work,as well as the overhead! Residential work only.
  6. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    60/hr min if its just me. 100/hr+ if its more than one person working the job
  7. KL Squared

    KL Squared LawnSite Member
    Messages: 113

    We charge $35.00 per man per hour for lawn service only. We have a minimum of $35.00 for residential lawns. Ask around your area and see what others are charging. You can only charge what people are willing to pay. If the standard rate in the area is $30.00 for 8,000 sqaure feet then there is your starting point.
  8. lawn999

    lawn999 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    I have found that pricing ranges anywhere from $30 per hour to $70 depending on what part of the country you are in and competition. If you have insurance and workers comp or a workers comp exemption you can justify a higher rate since the land owner will not have to worry about you hurting someone or you getting hurt on their property.

    I use lawncalc which is a spreadsheet based program that is real easy to use. I bought it at .

  9. ThreeWide

    ThreeWide LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,116

    These are the factors I use in determing mowing pricing. You have to get a pretty solid number on what it costs for all of these based on 1 hour of work:

    Fuel for equipment
    Mower operating cost (no exact science there)
    Operating cost for trimmer/edgers/blowers
    Labor cost (you don't work for free)

    Then you have these factors to build in:

    Travel time to site on average (you should get paid for that too)
    Mileage factor to site on average (37 cents per mile)
    Non-billed labor (end of day maintenance on your equipment)
    Overhead (insurance, cell phone, storage, etc.)

    Once you have all of that, you have a good base number to work from. Chances are, this number would be fairly close to your minimum charge unless you are dealing with VERY small lawn. A 1 hr job is probably no more than 35 minutes of mowing when you consider unloading, edging, blowing, trimming and reloading equipment. You should have a pretty good idea what size square foot lawn you can do unload to reload in 1 hr. Once you know that, you can start estimating your pricing mainly on the size of the lawn and level of difficulty.

    Its never a perfect science, but you will be right more times than you are wrong.
  10. jeff_0

    jeff_0 LawnSite Senior Member
    from md
    Messages: 401

    $70 a man hour for all type of work. Man you most be rich.

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