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Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation
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HOw do you price out your lawns?


Lawn Maintenance / Lawn Renovation

A great way to talk about all things lawn care related. Grass, turf, shrubs, trees, aeration, fertilization, reseeding, hydro-seeding, mowing, grub control, chemicals and pesticides. Ask questions, give answers. Grow!
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  #1  
Old 05-19-2006, 09:05 AM
MJK MJK is offline
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I don't know if i should go but cost per foot, or by how long it will take to cut it? I live in Michigan so i don't know if that matters. Also if you go by the foot, how much to charge per foot? like 2-5 cents? Thanks for the help.
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  #2  
Old 05-19-2006, 01:37 PM
tiedeman
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If you are talking about lawn mowing, I personally would not recommend pricing by square footage. I tried a square footage concept about 3 years, and it failed. I then talked with other contractors about what their opinion on the matter was, and they too agreed that there were just too many factors to consider when pricing out a lawn by the square footage. Such as:
1. Whether there are hills or slopes
2. THe amount of trimming to do
3. How thick the grass is
4. How often they want it cut
5. Whether they fertilize and have an irrigation system
6. Whether any part of the lawn is fenced in, and in wich a smaller mower might have to be used
7. Where they are located from the shop
8. Where they are located at from other customers
9. How easily or hard it is to access the property and unload/load equipment
10. When the customer would like the lawn to be mowed

I could go on and on with the amount of factors. The best way to figure out how much to charge is to try to figure out your expenses, overhead, etc. Figure out how much money you need to make to break even, and also how much extra to make a profit.

I would suggest to break your cost down into hourly. For example, your cost to run the business would be $12.00 per hour. Then you know you at least have to make $12 an hour. Add a profit $25 an hour that you want to make (for example) and you should be making around $37 an hour. Now figure that into your mowing. When you bid out a lawn figure out how long you think that lawn should take you to cut. Using your profit and cost per hour should help you in determining how much to charge a customer
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Old 05-20-2006, 08:08 AM
kc2006 kc2006 is offline
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Troy, I have questions.

Talking with guys around here, they all say your lucky if you get $35 pmh mowing. Now I've been averaging 50-60 pmh solo, and I know that decreases when you have a crew. But the company I worked for also was averaging 40-50 pmh. I have figured my CPH (cost per hour) and it works out to 12.43 an hour (with gas at 2.89) I didn't go into great detail so it could be 25 cents give or take.

So, these guys are saying your only going to make 35 pmh, that would mean I'd have to get basicly 1 residential account and a 1/4 or less of another done in an hour. I don't understand where these guys get these figures, unless they're charging $15 for these smaller accounts and 35 for a one hour account? Which they're not.

Sorry to ramble but I had been thinking about this, it just makes no sense.
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Old 05-20-2006, 10:16 AM
tiedeman
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When I had a 2 man crew we were making around $600 in a 8 hour day (gross) just mowing (which is the smallest profit of all my services). After you took away the cost per hour, approx $26.00 in an 8 hour day ($208), I was still making around $49 an hour. However, yes I can see a company only making $20 to $30 an hour. Now what they might be figuring in as well is the owners pay, which is understandable. If that happens, then I can see them only making like a 10% profit.
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Old 05-20-2006, 11:40 PM
kc2006 kc2006 is offline
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I still just don't get how they figure out their numbers. I doubt most of the smaller companies I talk to even know their hourly costs, so I know it's not net and they're not mentioning it.

Next time I see one of my friends that has a business I'm going to ask him about that, because he made the comment to me to take a commercial account that would of been priced at 35 an hour for 3 hours. I wanted the account because it's easy and gets cut no matter what every week, so I priced it at that, and it only takes an hour and a half to do so it worked out anyway in the end.
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Old 05-22-2006, 05:18 PM
tiedeman
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So how much are you doing the account for?
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Old 05-22-2006, 09:51 PM
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I just checked and I bid it at 115 a cut. So with drive time it's still grossing roughly 62.85 an hour. My cost of business is 12.45 lets say, so the company is still netting 50.40 an hour before taxes from it.
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Old 05-23-2006, 01:21 PM
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Which in my opinion is good.
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