What's the best way to measure lawns?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by jjvvdd, Feb 23, 2005.

  1. jjvvdd

    jjvvdd LawnSite Member
    from kansas
    Messages: 26

    I want to include exact measures in my estimates and was wondering what is the best way to do this?
    Sounds pretty basic, but I'm just starting out and never measured before, I just mowed 15 yards a day as a mowdog. It was those 4 summers that has driven me to try my own business.

    Thanks :waving:
    JD in KC
  2. WhohasHelios?

    WhohasHelios? LawnSite Member
    Messages: 233

    I might be alone on this but I dont think its really necessary to show the exact measures on an estimate..You may care about this, however the client does not..

    That being said, if you still would like to and are on a tight budget and solo more often than not, a measuring tape of 30 yards or more only runs $20.00 or so..Better yet a measuring wheel for a few bucks more. Go around the perimeter and calculate the area.

    I would suggest finding a decent flat rate that allows you to cover your expenses (you have to know all of them however) and make a decent dollar at the end of the day and go with that for small lawns and then up from there depending on how long they will take you.

    Good luck with the new biz! :)
  3. marko

    marko LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 963

    I would not waste time measuring if you are just mowing. If you are applying fert. (pesticides if your licensed), spreading grass seed or aerating etc. I would get a measuring wheel and depending on your lot layouts measure frontage along sidewalk and depth down driveway. If you must measure on the grass, make sure you get one with a large diameter wheel (easier to roll on the grass). Costs $50 - $150.
  4. DLS1

    DLS1 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,619

    Get a measuring wheel at Home Depot,etc.

    You need to know how long it takes you ti mow with your equipment per 1,000 sq. ft. or however you want to break it down. You need to find out how long it takes you to trim per 100 ft. or however many feet you want to break it down. You need to know how long it takes you to unload your equipment,etc.

    The more you can break down by time each task you do then the better you can estimate how much time it will take to do a yard for future jobs and then multiply that time by how much you want to make per hour. Don't forget to include overhead in your estimate( lawn mower gas, insurance, upkeep of equipment,etc.).
  5. jjvvdd

    jjvvdd LawnSite Member
    from kansas
    Messages: 26

    :) Good information here. I really appreciate it!!!
  6. Green-Pro

    Green-Pro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,420

    Good advice to a point, even if all you are doing at this time is mowing I believe it is an excellent habit to get into. If down the road you want to offer more services such as fert/pest, aeration, overseed, etc. then you will hold the advantage over competitors by being able to reference the property and give an estimate in quick fashion. Also don't know about where you are but here if we are checked by the IDALS (Iowa Department of Agriculture and Land Stewardship), they regulate fert/pest, fairly detailed measurements are required, I can't say how much of a stickler for this they are but why chance it.
    When I go to give an estimate I always measure (some homeowners seem to get off knowing how much of a lot they really have, go figure) I also carry a small three ring binder of graph paper and although I'm no artist, I sketch out a rough footprint of the house, property and any obstacles. Yes I realize it is anal but I can't help it, feel like the more data/info I have on a property the better I'm able to provide answers should any other questions/services arise.

    Just my .02


    oh yeah I use a landscape measuring wheel, large wheel, telescopic handle, paid about $60 for it at local farm store. :waving:

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