Would you help with ESTIMATING TIME COSTING DATA you may have amassed over time???

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by tejas241, Sep 12, 2005.

  1. tejas241

    tejas241 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    Would any of you help with TIME COSTING DATA you may have amassed over time???

    I am new (first full season) and really need some help estimating. In the past I typically have looked at a property and "thrown" a number at it... but back then my old rider was paid for, and my lawn money was extra money. Now I have got to make money, and have underbid some stuff, and have others where i am not even sure whether I an making money or not.

    In my past life I was an estimator for an offshore construction company and I always used time data compiled by myself and others over years. Do any of you have time data you use when estimating??? And would you share it??? Please!

    Or even explain how you would price two sample properties:

    A) Average sized ranch on 1 acre with say three beds. Two 20' beds (one on each side of porch) and one 30' circular in the yard. Beyond that, average weedeating.

    B) Average 6 acre yard with a little weedeating.
  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    No magic formula, you just gotta go out there and do it.

    Far as data used, I always remember how long it takes after I underestimated a few jobs it comes to me real quick, watch:

    1 acre: 55-60
    6 acres: 200-220
  3. tejas241

    tejas241 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    Pardon my ignorance but is that what you would charge or how many minutes you believe it would take???
  4. Team Gopher

    Team Gopher LawnSite Platinum Member
    from -
    Messages: 4,040

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    Hi tejas241,

    Do you have an idea of what the going hourly rate is for service in your area? That could help you out a lot. Also, knowing your hourly expenses is a big plus too.

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  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    That is how much I would charge, it is based mostly on going rate, that's how much MOST Lco's are going to charge in my area, give or take a few dollars depending on whether it's .9 acres or 1.2 acres, someone wants to do it for less than 50 then they can have at it and someone wants to charge more than 60 and that's a bit steep BUT everyone has their own service(s) and perhaps the guy charging 70 also includes some extras I do not know, but still a basic grass-cut + weed-eat and make it look nice, 1 acre goes for 50-60 dollars whether it takes 10 minutes with a 120-inch reelmower or 4 hours with a 21" pushmower...
    Then as the area gets bigger, the price / acre goes down, I believe once you get around 15 acres the price is at the lowest rate of $25/acre which for 15 acres is 375 dollars but I wouldn't know for sure, one acre is the largest lot I take on because beyond that my 4-foot mower loses ground.

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