Question on commercial pricing?

unique lawns

LawnSite Member
I'm 27 years old and owner of UNIQUE LAWNS of South Florida.
I have been serving residential properties for the last 5 years and I worked in US Lawns for 3 years as the tree crew leader,so I know the industry quite well, I decided to go commercial last year after I got my arborist certification, but my only problem is not knowing how to bid on commercial properties.I provide all the services that are needed in the landscape. I was told that by the square foot is the best way to do it. If so do you guys have an idea of what the square foot goes for in the South Fl. region? I would really appreciate your help. thanks,Oscar M.


LawnSite Gold Member
I would base my bid on hours, not sq. ft. If you feel good about your residential bids then take a larger commercial area and break it down into smaller plots, figure the amount of time for each section and add them up. Chances are you will start out overbidding everybody then you'll see the light and adjust accordingly or stick to residential. Dollar for dollar I still feel residential is more profitable than commercial. I hope this helps, experience is the best teacher though.


LawnSite Bronze Member
This will sound really stupid but what I do is ask them if I can cut it one time and then bid based on the time it took me. This has worked for me so far. Yes that does not mean they will accept your bid but at least there wll be less guess work involved. I'll bet you guys are all LOL.


LawnSite Fanatic
Flint, Michigan
The only thing is, is that if you go by amount per hour, or "$1 per minute", does this mean that when you graduate from say, a 48 Walk behind, to a Lazer, that you should make less? Figure a square fotage and trim formula, and you can NEVER go wrong.

unique lawns

LawnSite Member
Thanks guys for your help. I recently bid on a homeowners association like you said based on man hours and equipment need, after finding out the price from the previous lawn co. I was $55.00 a year higher than them with fertilization included was $2253.00 per cut, 30 cuts a year. They liked my bid and I'm waiting for the contract to end so I can start. But in other occasions property managers have asked for specific measurement of the property and pricing by the square foot. Taht is why I wanted to get an idea of what it runs for. But like you guys said, by man hours is the best way to estimate.


LawnSite Silver Member
try calculating mowing using these figures:
- use 44,000 as an acre
- multiply your square footage by your pricing structutre
ie. 3.50/m sf
- multiply this number by a degree of difficulty
from 1.5(easy) to 3(difficult)

NOTE:We will be using $35 acre for wide open mowing and $65 acre for extensive planter beds, obstacles, and steep slopes when calulating this years bids.

try calculating edging using these figures:
gas or stick edgers
- multiply (x) 50 cents per 100 linear feet(lf)
line trimmers (turf-curb areas etc.)
- multiply (x) 75 cents per 100-l.f.
line trimmers (along chain link fencing)
- multiply (x) $1 per 100-l.f.)

Good Luck!!

[Edited by kutnkru on 01-11-2001 at 09:41 PM]


LawnSite Silver Member
A difficulty factor of 1.5 would be bid per acre at .80 per 1000 sq.ft. of turf
(ie. like a football field)
- 44/m sf (x) .80/m = $35.00acre

A difficulty factor of 3 would be bid per acre at $1.48 per 1000 sq.ft. of turf
(ie. like a park - lots of tree rings, benches, people)
- 44/m sf (x) 1.48/m = $65.00 acre

Hope this is clearer.