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tips on figuring square footage

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by 2stroke, Feb 22, 2008.

  1. 2stroke

    2stroke LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 261

    say that u have a yard that is different length on all sides? can someone help me with my math skills?
  2. TScapes

    TScapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    The best way is to just section it off. Length x width. So if you can square it off, it makes it easier. Otherwise, a triangle... it's 1/2 base x height. So you measure the base and then measure the height and divide it by 2. There are so many different ways to measure, if 10 people measure a lawn, you will get 10 different sq.ft. But they should always be within a few feet of each other.
  3. gmanlq

    gmanlq LawnSite Member
    Messages: 50

    I go to www.zillow.com for starters. Just plug in the street address, subdivision name etc. and it gives you sq. footage of whole lot. Then I pace it off like you mention. After doing several yards and recording my paces I have a pretty good feel for how long it will take and that helps me figure the price. I also take in account things like obstacles, large hills, and long driveways/sidewalks as these things take more time. Hope this helps.
  4. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,448

    I do pretty small properties... 3k of turf is a lot around here. My stride is two feet. I walk off each section and jot it down, in squares or triangles. Then I take the numbers home, and do an estimate. It actually works pretty well... if I come up with 3.1k, it's 3.1 k plus or minus 100 sq feet. That's close enough for me to figure my material costs and to come up with an estimate.

    Bigger properties are a different story. I don't have any large ones, so... I don't use a measuring wheel.
  5. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 806

    Yep. Charge enough so you make money. You don't need to know the exact square footage. By now, depending on your experience, you should know how long just by looking at the lot.

    If not, a bit more experience will help you.

    Most guys undercharge for residential anyways. Knowing the exact size just makes you less money...

  6. smcunningham

    smcunningham LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 775

    When I calculate for mulching jobs most beds are not square or rectangles so i break everything up into squares and rectangles and figure it that way you can probably do the same for odd dimension yards.
  7. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Yeah, you eventually do have to know by just looking at it, in the end it's not just the best way but the only way.

    To get some practice see if you can look at some lawns and I mean look at them, like friend's houses, and ask them how big is their lot, that will get you started on gaining some idea. You could ask customers, but they might underestimate.

    Watch out for acre+ lots lol
    Some of us do look it up on County Websites, but for myself that's only a heads up I still have to go look at it.
  8. p0wd3rp1l0t

    p0wd3rp1l0t LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    here's what i do if the lot is sometimes difficult or hard to square up....just find the longest distance across one way and then find the longest distance across the other way, but make sure they are perpindicular, like north to south and east to west then just multiply them two lengths together to find MAX sq. footage and that you can base your bid for whatever you need, without losing your tail guessing on sq ft.

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