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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.

1.5 Acre Commercial Bid...with a catch


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.
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  #1  
Old 04-26-2012, 01:49 AM
lxarth lxarth is offline
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Default 1.5 Acre Commercial Bid...with a catch

The great news is that business is picking up faster then I can answer the phone! The not so great news is that the customers have properties that are very large.

I have the opportunity to bid on an office building property. All told, the lot is 61,200 sq-ft. So about 1.5 acres. But after looking at an aerial view of it, it seems like it might only be an acre.

The area to be mowed has a watershed culvert/embankment thing running the length of nearly the entire mowable area. If that wasn't there I could simple use the calculators to get an estimate, but this area has me concerned with time.

It will have to be mowed by hand with a push mower, and the slope is too severe for anything else. There are also areas littered with large stones that will require just using the string trimmer. And just trying to navigate a mower around.

I have figured out that the area with grass (and so needs to be mowed) is just shy of 20,000 sq-ft.

And all total, around 15,214 sq-ft to be blown.

And easily 2,036 feet to be trimmed/edged.

There are also a few other small things. Some garden bed areas that would need maintaining as well as a number of small bushes that would require pruning. All told about 1,721 sq-ft of garden/bark area. The customer had mentioned cleaning them up, and maybe even getting new bark in (total of 16 yard at 3 inches deep I'm coming up with).

Mowing: 20,000
Edging: 2,000
Blowing: 15,000

All in told I came up with 3.5 man hours just in mowing and edging. But I know that the culvert will stretch that out way beyond that, I just don't really know how much. I could estimate that the area takes x2 as long to mow? I'm also thinking that the trimming/edging with take 2x as long because a lot of it will be against rocks or on a hill. So then I come up with about 5 hours. But how long does blowing that much ground take? Also, the customer mentioned there is irrigation, but I don't think they use it, as she said that when summer hits, they will put service on hold, which just makes me want to roll my eyes and explain the nightmare of a forest she would have growing.

I have an overhead picture that I tried to highlight the perimeter and the watershed area.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

Photobucket
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File Type: jpg Culvert-1.jpg (34.1 KB, 0 views)

Last edited by lxarth; 04-26-2012 at 01:57 AM. Reason: Updating estimated time, and fixing my spelling :-)
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  #2  
Old 04-26-2012, 09:01 AM
krzys666 krzys666 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxarth View Post
The great news is that business is picking up faster then I can answer the phone! The not so great news is that the customers have properties that are very large.

I have the opportunity to bid on an office building property. All told, the lot is 61,200 sq-ft. So about 1.5 acres. But after looking at an aerial view of it, it seems like it might only be an acre.

The area to be mowed has a watershed culvert/embankment thing running the length of nearly the entire mowable area. If that wasn't there I could simple use the calculators to get an estimate, but this area has me concerned with time.

It will have to be mowed by hand with a push mower, and the slope is too severe for anything else. There are also areas littered with large stones that will require just using the string trimmer. And just trying to navigate a mower around.

I have figured out that the area with grass (and so needs to be mowed) is just shy of 20,000 sq-ft.

And all total, around 15,214 sq-ft to be blown.

And easily 2,036 feet to be trimmed/edged.

There are also a few other small things. Some garden bed areas that would need maintaining as well as a number of small bushes that would require pruning. All told about 1,721 sq-ft of garden/bark area. The customer had mentioned cleaning them up, and maybe even getting new bark in (total of 16 yard at 3 inches deep I'm coming up with).

Mowing: 20,000
Edging: 2,000
Blowing: 15,000

All in told I came up with 3.5 man hours just in mowing and edging. But I know that the culvert will stretch that out way beyond that, I just don't really know how much. I could estimate that the area takes x2 as long to mow? I'm also thinking that the trimming/edging with take 2x as long because a lot of it will be against rocks or on a hill. So then I come up with about 5 hours. But how long does blowing that much ground take? Also, the customer mentioned there is irrigation, but I don't think they use it, as she said that when summer hits, they will put service on hold, which just makes me want to roll my eyes and explain the nightmare of a forest she would have growing.

I have an overhead picture that I tried to highlight the perimeter and the watershed area.

Any help would be GREATLY appreciated!

Photobucket

i see 30-40 minutes of mowing.
30-40 minutes of weedwacking. weedwacking around rocks will take longer
the area you need to blow i assume is the parking lot.
one person it should take about 50 minutes to an hour.
make sure you use a backpack blower and not a walk behind blower beacuse of the cars.
these times are for 1 person using 52 hydro mower with stand on atachment, still weedwacker and a redmax 7500 blower
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  #3  
Old 04-26-2012, 11:46 AM
lxarth lxarth is offline
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Quote:
1 person using 52 hydro mower with stand on atachment, still weedwacker and a redmax 7500 blower
The only area that could be mowed with anything of that size would be the small Southern grassy area. Everything else is on a huge slope, and will have to use a small 21-inch mower. There tons of rocks/boulders about the size of shoe scattered around here and there in small patches.

I also don't have a 52 hydro mower, lol. I have the weed-wackers, and use a handheld blower which is fast for my small residential customers, but would buy a backpack blower for this.
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Old 04-26-2012, 11:48 AM
Apex Lawn & Landscape Apex Lawn & Landscape is offline
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Sometimes you come across jobs where you can't put a number on them. I'd offer her to do the work at a very low rate for the first time, so you get an exact idea of what the job will take, and then give her the proposal. Best of luck
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Old 04-26-2012, 12:44 PM
lxarth lxarth is offline
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I had estimated 40 min of blowing (but again I don't have anything this size to compare it to. 50-60 min of trimmer use (normal time x1.5. And around 135 min of mowing normal time x1.5).

So guestimating 235 min. That's not counting the time spray weeds, or put down other chemicals.

But on the high end, probably more like 306 min. And still not counting time to put out chemicals.

Say on average of 180 min a year to fertilize (15 min a month) with a unit cost of about $300 extra per year ($25/mo). Guessing about 45 min to walk around each week with the sprayer and hit weeds (probably costing ~$5/week extra).

So to mow/blow/edge I'm thinking $225-$306. So $1,326/mo. Add in chemicals, apply time, etc. An extra $257/mo.

Add in the maintenance time on several bushes/roses/ground cover. Probably an extra 20 min a week. $85/mo. (just a guess). And add in renewing the bark 1x year, at $75/installed yard (16 yards). That's an average of $100/mo ($1,200/year every time).

So that gets it to +$185/mo.

Depending on what she wants, I'm looking at $1,326/mo. $1,583 with chemicals which I normally would do for ever a basic account. And $1,768 for working in the garden beds.

Or should I low-ball my first cut, to get an idea on time? Just explain like Apex said, that I need to cut it once to get a time-frame down?
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Old 04-26-2012, 09:01 PM
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Quote:
Or should I low-ball my first cut, to get an idea on time? Just explain like Apex said, that I need to cut it once to get a time-frame down?
If you are unsure, do it for free once. Why not! It will be a great learning experience for you. The freebie will create a better bond with you and the customer. On top of all that, you won't be putting in a potentially low bid that you have to deal with over the entire year!

Keep us posted on what you decide to do.
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Old 04-27-2012, 10:48 AM
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While it's not a bad idea to do one-time things just to make a customer happy, I don't think this is one of those times.

I just sent an email requesting that I do a one time visit for $250 to get a good estimate. I also mentioned that I am prepared to give a bid now if she wants.

I would just use the knowledge from this thread to place that bid.

I'll keep people posted on what happens, and want my real completion time was if I get the job.
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Old 04-27-2012, 09:35 PM
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I just sent an email requesting that I do a one time visit for $250 to get a good estimate.
I look forwards to your updates. The thing I wonder about doing it this way is, will they now feel $250 is the mark they will want any future bids to be around?
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