Lawn Care Business Forum Lawn Care Business Book Lawn Care Business Blog Lawn Care Software
Home Forum Contract & Flyer Templates Blog Software Videos Podcast Calculators / Estimators Store Mower Review Design It Yourself Lawn Business School

Go Back   GopherHaul Landscaping & Lawn Care Business Marketing Forum > Lawn Care, Landscaping, and Property Management Forums > Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job
If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.

Bidding on Jobs


Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.
Reply
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
  #1  
Old 03-22-2010, 03:39 PM
Tex0219 Tex0219 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Granbury, TX
Posts: 13
Rep Power: 7
Tex0219 is on a distinguished road
Default Bidding on Jobs

Hey y'all. This leathered old Texan needs help. The hardest thing for me is not actually doing the job, it's estimating and getting the job. Example, my lot is 100X180 or 18,000 sq ft. It has a 2500 sq ft house and a 16" X 63" driveway. I'm assuming that I deduct the house and the drive and then time how long it takes. Then there is the trimming and edging. All in all it takes me about 90 minutes to do with a 21" Toro. I called and got estimates for my property and they range from $40 to $80.

I was not here when they came to give me an estimate, but I'm wondering if they used a survey wheel to measure the property? Or are they so good they can just walk it and tell how long it's going to take them.

I've been asked by one of my clients on aeration, fertilizing, mulching beds, trimming trees, weeding flower beds. I don't want to work for free, but I don't want to over bid, or under bid either. Any suggestions would be greatly appreciated.
Reply With Quote

Stop guess-timating. Learn how to estimate and make money! $$$
Mow Time Estimator Lawn Care Price Estimator Mulch and Topsoil Calculator Snow Plow Estimate Calculator


  #2  
Old 03-22-2010, 05:32 PM
picframer's Avatar
picframer picframer is offline
Andy
 
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Halifax, Nova Scotia
Posts: 2,885
Rep Power: 11
picframer will become famous soon enough
Default

Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
We have Survey wheels that I use for drains, I did use it for lawns when I started and spraying but we do so many I can simply walk the lawn, look for issues and give a quote on the spot, record it in my Blackberry and we almost always get the work.

Top soil, Mulch, sod and Turf dressing I measure and add 15% to materials and send an email from the truck while at the clients site, I always do a follow up email confirming our conversation, that way there are no questions.

My Survey wheel stores data as I go, and gives me a sq ft when I am finished.
__________________
Andy
Halifax, Nova Scotia
Reply With Quote
  #3  
Old 03-22-2010, 05:41 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 38,039
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

First off, have you played with the online calculators yet?

http://www.gopherforum.com/showthrea...3299#post43299

They should be very helpful.

Quote:
I'm wondering if they used a survey wheel to measure the property? Or are they so good they can just walk it and tell how long it's going to take them.
When you are just getting started out, you may want to use a wheel to find the area of the lawn. Yes you want to subtract the house and the driveway to find the sq ft of the lawn.

You can do this with your property first. Find out your sq footage of your lawn. Find out how long it takes to mow it. Keep track how long it takes to trim it and edge it.

Then look at the estimates you got.

Quote:
I called and got estimates for my property and they range from $40 to $80.
If you figure in the middle, say $60 for your lawn. Now you will know how long it takes to mow, trim and edge your lawn. You know the average price is $60 for that lawn. You can then break it down into percentages.

Say it takes 1/2 hr to mow.
15 minutes to trim.
15 min to edge.
_____________
1 hr total

Say your property is 1/4 acre (10890 sq ft). You know you can mow this amount in a half hour. When you go and estimate other properties you can compare their property to yours and you can figure out how much to charge

Here is the equation:

(30mins to cut / 10890 sq ft) = (X / customer property size.)
Plug in customer property size and you get the time.

Say a customer's property after you measure it, you know it is 5000sq ft. You then plug it into your equation.

(30 mins to cut / 10890) = (x / 5000)
The above equation is the same as saying (5000 x (30 / 10890)) = X so it comes out to 13.7 minutes to cut 5,000 sq ft

BINGO!

Then you can do the same thing for edging and trimming.

Figure out how long it takes you to edge all the linear feet of edging on your property and you can figure out on other properties how much to charge for edging.

You can do the same thing for trimming. Figure out the amount of time to trim your property and then use that equation to figure out how much to charge others.

Does this help?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #4  
Old 03-22-2010, 10:18 PM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 213
Rep Power: 7
JP Landscaping is on a distinguished road
Default figure your hourly rate

I think you should figure out your hourly rate and then charge by that.

for example if you come up with $40/hr and it takes you 90 min to do your lawn. then you would charge $60 for your lawn. (for using a 21" mower, $40 per hour is pretty reasonable since your overhead will be very low)

then you can compare other lawns to yours and you will be able to estimate the time it takes to do them. or you can split it into $ per square feet.

Example: if your house is about 15000 square feet of lawn and you are charging $60. then $60/15000 sq ft= $.004
You would charge $.004 per square foot
Reply With Quote
  #5  
Old 03-24-2010, 10:52 AM
Tex0219 Tex0219 is offline
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: Granbury, TX
Posts: 13
Rep Power: 7
Tex0219 is on a distinguished road
Default Bidding

Y'all rock out there. I used the formula below and figured I'm making approx .56 cents a minute and I can mow, blow and trim 160 Sq ft per minute. Is that low? I don't want to be known in the industry as a lowballer.
Reply With Quote
  #6  
Old 03-24-2010, 12:11 PM
JP Landscaping JP Landscaping is offline
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Nebraska
Posts: 213
Rep Power: 7
JP Landscaping is on a distinguished road
Default On track

That turns out to be $33.60 per hour. That seems to be much lower than the average company. the average company is charging about $1 per minute or $60 per hour.

But take into consideration they have bigger more expensive equipment so they have to charge more to cover their costs. your equipment expenses are much lower: a 21'' mower, trimmer, and blower. If you are making the hourly rate you want to work for, then it isn't lowballing Because you charge less per hour but you take longer to mow the lawn so in the end you'll probably be charging close to what the others are charging for the same lawn.

at $0.56 per minute you would be charging $50.40 for a lawn that would take you 90 minutes to mow..like your lawn. $50 is within the $40-$80 range that the other companies quoted you at, so I think you are in the right range.

good luck with your season
Reply With Quote
  #7  
Old 03-24-2010, 07:53 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 38,039
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

Life is one big classroom to learn. Try out the price you feel you can do the job for and as you go, increase your prices. I think you will feel more comfortable increasing your prices as you build up more confidence in the work you are doing.
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #8  
Old 03-28-2010, 01:32 PM
Big Bad Bob
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JP Landscaping View Post
That turns out to be $33.60 per hour. That seems to be much lower than the average company. the average company is charging about $1 per minute or $60 per hour.

But take into consideration they have bigger more expensive equipment so they have to charge more to cover their costs. your equipment expenses are much lower: a 21'' mower, trimmer, and blower. If you are making the hourly rate you want to work for, then it isn't lowballing Because you charge less per hour but you take longer to mow the lawn so in the end you'll probably be charging close to what the others are charging for the same lawn.

at $0.56 per minute you would be charging $50.40 for a lawn that would take you 90 minutes to mow..like your lawn. $50 is within the $40-$80 range that the other companies quoted you at, so I think you are in the right range.

good luck with your season
But does the fact that his 21" push mower is less expensive than, say, a 48" ztr, make up for the lost productivity? He could probably do the whole lawn in less than half the time with that ztr and still charge the same amount. Plus he could do a whole lot more lawns in a day with a ztr. Plus there would be a whole lot less fatigue with the ztr as compared to the 21" push mower.
Reply With Quote
  #9  
Old 03-28-2010, 07:59 PM
Steve's Avatar
Steve Steve is offline
Administrator
 
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 38,039
Rep Power: 10
Steve has disabled reputation
Default

That is a very good point.

The most important thing is to get started. After that, you need to improve your productivity.

We see many members on here who get a ztr or a larger commercial mower and just can't believe they didn't get one sooner because of the boost in productivity.

Have you found that to be the case? How did your different mower purchases effect things?
__________________
- Subscribe to my Lawn Care Marketing Blog Feed and get daily tips sent to you. Free!
Download your Free trial of Gopher Lawn Care Software.
Reply With Quote
  #10  
Old 03-29-2010, 09:48 AM
Big Bad Bob
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve View Post
That is a very good point.

The most important thing is to get started. After that, you need to improve your productivity.

We see many members on here who get a ztr or a larger commercial mower and just can't believe they didn't get one sooner because of the boost in productivity.

Have you found that to be the case? How did your different mower purchases effect things?
We started out with a 46" Husky garden tractor. It served us well the first couple of years. Then we got a Cub Z Force ztr, new, and productivity really rose. Still used the Husky though, in conjunction. Then I bought a couple of used commercial Toro units and have never looked back. Took 8 years though. Still have use for the Z Force as it is lighter and better on hills and in damp conditions. Has almost 800 hours and still going strong. Not to say there haven't been problems. Gaskets in motor, deck has had to be welded and such. Still, all in all a good strong mower.
I'd recommend him looking at a good used ztr or walkbehind with sulky to start with. I wish I had. The first years would have been a lot easier.
Reply With Quote
Reply

Bookmarks

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump

Similar Threads
Thread Thread Starter Forum Replies Last Post
Bidding Jobs cutritelawncareinc Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job 3 08-11-2008 07:02 PM
Bidding a new job tomcat172002 Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job 5 07-26-2008 04:20 PM
need help with bidding jobs! weekendmowing Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job 3 03-02-2008 03:07 PM
Bidding on government jobs? Steve Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation 1 01-08-2007 06:21 PM
Jobs being created aren't as good as the jobs lost Steve General Business Discussions 0 05-19-2006 03:08 PM

» Recent Threads
  RatingTitle, Username, & Date Last Post Replies Views
My Invention
biglee
01-11-2015 06:51 PM
Today 11:36 AM
by joshp
17 2,823
fert/lawn programs
joshp
Today 10:43 AM
Today 10:43 AM
by joshp
0 28
Landscaper taking on odd...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
08-07-2016 06:57 PM
Today 10:31 AM
by joshp
7 647
fliers
joshp
08-19-2016 03:23 PM
Today 10:20 AM
by joshp
7 437
Review of our lawn care...
Lawnline
07-12-2016 06:40 PM
Yesterday 10:51 AM
by Steve
7 1,820
Start My Own Business?
mowandblow1980
01-12-2016 07:43 PM
08-25-2016 12:55 PM
by Steve
19 2,153
Looking for new host
Just for Cuts
11-26-2015 06:58 AM
08-24-2016 09:05 PM
by Stephen Alberts
10 1,914
Facebook advertising
Just for Cuts
12-13-2015 07:49 AM
08-24-2016 08:59 PM
by Stephen Alberts
14 13,099
Breaking into commercial...
SGL1
08-19-2016 07:02 AM
08-24-2016 10:12 AM
by mowandblow1980
7 446
Snow Plow
acrajchel
08-17-2016 10:21 AM
08-22-2016 11:21 AM
by Steve
5 423
Quarter Acre Woodland...
ew411
08-16-2016 06:50 AM
08-18-2016 12:25 PM
by Steve
4 409
Bidding Bushhogging
acrajchel
08-15-2016 11:52 AM
08-17-2016 05:32 PM
by acrajchel
4 401
Hello From the Florida...
KevinShuman
08-15-2016 08:57 PM
08-16-2016 01:52 PM
by SC93
2 400
I'm making stupid money...
WarriorLandscapingCAN
08-07-2016 07:07 PM
08-16-2016 12:42 AM
by SC93
5 695
A quick Intro
BLE
08-14-2016 05:17 PM
08-15-2016 10:54 AM
by acrajchel
2 395
New Customer - Gettting...
acrajchel
08-05-2016 05:00 PM
08-15-2016 10:52 AM
by acrajchel
4 665
helping out a friend set...
Doug D
08-13-2016 11:33 AM
08-15-2016 09:45 AM
by Steve
1 408
Small bed job
Bradcook21
08-09-2016 09:52 PM
08-10-2016 03:51 PM
by Steve
1 526
Hello from NoVa
jtwlawn
08-03-2016 11:20 AM
08-09-2016 10:45 AM
by jtwlawn
4 662
How much to charge for...
jymie
03-31-2013 05:59 PM
08-08-2016 04:33 PM
by Steve
27 6,652
Needing a website built
burtle
06-17-2015 09:02 AM
08-07-2016 10:21 AM
by Just for Cuts
18 19,818
New Site Hows it look
Infinitelawn
03-16-2015 10:32 AM
08-07-2016 08:37 AM
by Lawnline
8 11,288
Hey guys! Greetings from...
thegardener
08-05-2016 05:45 AM
08-05-2016 03:26 PM
by Steve
1 571
First Time Bidding-Need...
capitallawncrew
08-01-2016 08:30 AM
08-03-2016 09:52 AM
by Steve
3 689
Show us your stripes
Just for Cuts
05-21-2015 03:07 PM
08-01-2016 08:28 PM
by ExclusiveLawns
7 3,794
String trim BEFORE mow...
Mr. Mow
04-12-2015 08:13 AM
07-31-2016 10:36 AM
by joshp
13 5,941
» Popular Tags
apartment become an entrepreneur best mower be your own boss bidding break business business education business help business management complex contractor hacks contracts deck lift dethatcher edging entrepreneur entrepreneur education estimate estimates fuel problems fuel pump half moon blade intro introduction jjandm lawncare l.t.rich landscape landscape design landscaping landscaping design company landscaping richmond va landscping lawn lawncare lawnservice lowering grade marketing mulch planting raising grade residential lawn care richmond va richmond virginia lawn care safety scag snowblower snow plowing snow shovel sprayer start a business start a lawn care business start business start up toro timecutter townhome tree tree service video web design websites what to charge work from home z-max z-spray
Powered by vBadvanced CMPS v3.1.0

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:42 PM.


(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 04:42 PM.

(C) 2011 Riggs Publications - Terms of use & Privacy Policy