Figuring out man hours can be confusing.

Figuring out what to charge on a lawn care or landscaping project based on man hour totals can be tricky, especially for the newer business owner. It is one of those many things that can trip you up if you are not paying attention to it. A member of the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum wrote “I have a job that takes roughly 3.5 hours to do as I estimated. However this is based on one person. If I have two people out there I can do the job in half the time. This is because I have two people working on two mowers. But the thing is, I get confused on how to charge when I have two or more employees working at the same time. Do I bid the job based on my hourly rate for 3.5 hours or for half the time. When I bid a job do I base it on how long it will take 1 person to do it and bill it using my hourly rate of $50.00 or in this case do I base it on two people at the same hourly rate $50.00. Depending on how I calculate it, the total will either be $175.00 or $87.50 for the job. That makes a big difference!”

One lawn care business owner responded “No matter how many people you have doing the job, you need to estimate the job based on the total man hours to do the job. Then multiply that by the rate you charge. I think most lawn care business owners try to charge between $50-$60/ a man hour.

So whether a job takes 6 hours with 1 man, or it takes 3 hours with 2 guys, or takes 2 hours with 3 guys, it doesn’t matter. It is still 6 man hours in total.”

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