How to bid a 3/4 acre residential lawn mowing job.

What do you do when you are used to bidding on and mowing lawns no larger than 2,000 sq ft and a potential customer calls to ask you to bid on their 3/4 acre property? How much is the job worth? Should you take it on if you don’t have anything other equipment than a push mower? Should you buy larger mowing equipment for the job? That is what one entrepreneur found himself asking on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum. He got a bunch of responses to consider that might help you when you come upon bidding larger properties as well.

One lawn care business owner asked “So I just took a look at a new potential customer’s lawn. It is way larger than anything I am used to mowing.

My normal jobs are just your average residential lawn around 2,000 sq-ft. With my largest around 8,000. So all I use is just push mowers. To get this job, I would have to go buy a riding mower, or a larger walk behind.

I’m not opposed to getting a larger mower, as long as I can use it at other jobs. So I guess I have a few problems. If I get a larger mower, what size should I get? And then…what should I bid this job. It’s not a field mowing job, it’s a residence, so I has to look nice.

Also, I would have to bag, or otherwise remove the clippings. And this first job will be rough going. It’s been a few weeks, so the grass is thick and tall, and the weeds are long too.

The unfortunate part is that they don’t want to use chemicals, so all those weeds are just gonna stay. But either way…what should I do?

I was thinking even if I scaled my mower up and got a 48″ mowing deck, I would still need to spend an estimated 100 minutes on the job. So I guess my bare minimum should be $100 a cut. But even at the price, there is just no way. More realistically, with a 32″, It’s going to be more like 2.5 hours.

I’m not new to the landscaping business but I live in the city, so my lawns are all 2,000 sq-ft. With some, those in the older parts, a little larger. I don’t have the equipment to handle a lawn of this size and I am not sure if it is worth scaling up.

Maybe I would need to hire someone to help me with this job, and then what? I might not make any money!”

A second lawn care business owner wrote “there is no simple answer to the question of mowing equipment. Buy what you can afford. Buy what you think you can use on other jobs.
Your quote needs to be in the acceptable market range or you won’t get the job.

My guess would be $35.00 to start, if it were an open field and you had a large mower. If the customer is going to want a better cut, it will add to the quote. I don’t know of a good method to predict what your time should be on this job with what you are working with. What ever quote you give them, stick with it, you can always increase it next year.”

A third shared “I would charge $60-80 for this maybe more depending on overgrowth.

You will need to get a bigger lawn mower. If you don’t you’ll run into this problems again. Every piece of landscaping equipment is an investment. You never know when your going to need it or how often but when you do, it’s there.

Maybe find a cheap 48″-52″ walk behind. It shouldn’t be hard to find one for under a $1000. You might even find a homeowner ZTR for that price.”

A fourth added “a lot of what you bid on the job is determined by your local market. In my area, a .75 acre is a small lawn here (with a starter home priced at about $1 million).

It should not take any longer than 40 minutes, 2 people. mowing, trimming, edging, blowing everything with a 48 belt driven no sulky. With the sulky and a 48 hydro, your time would be about 5-10 minutes less.

I recommend that you try to get this customer, and customers like this one. We aim for the largest houses around here that are 3+ acres. There is little competition for the large houses as you need larger, better, and more equipment.

Consider this, if it takes 2 60″ ztr’s to mow a house that is on 4 acres, what would your competition be? Around here it is almost no one because equipment is expensive, $5k for a good used ztr, while a used push mower can be bought for $50.”

One last landscaper responded “if it is .75 acres and it hasn’t been mowed for weeks and needs to be bagged, I don’t see it being worth mowing for less than $150. It could easily be more, depending on how tall it is. Also, they let it get in that shape so I wouldn’t even consider buying a mower to do it unless I had a signed contract for the rest of the season.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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Lawn Care Business Books And Software.
How To Get Lawn Care Customers Vol. 2
The landscaping and lawn care business plan startup guide
A rebellious teenagers guide to starting a landscaping & lawn care business
The GopherHaul Lawn Care Business Show Episode Guide.
Stop Lowballing! A Lawn Care Business Owner\'s Guide To Success