My first commercial lawn care bid pricing.

Taking on a larger commercial lawn care customer can be a daunting task when you aren’t used to estimating such properties. Here is an example, from the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, of what one entrepreneur priced a commercial lawn care bid. Hopefully it will give you some insight as to how others break down such jobs and figure out the pricing for each specific service.

One lawn care business owner wrote “this is my first commercial lawn care contract and I am having trouble bidding. I am trying to figure out what would be a good price to bid this job. I am thinking about charging $45.00 per hour. In the past, I was always able to eyeball jobs and I never charged by the hour before. But this job is a little too large to simply eye-ball. Here is what I am working with.

  • 43,284 sqft of grass = 1.5 hours to mow.
  • 1,780 ft of trimming = 30 minutes.
  • 697 ft of edging = 15 minutes.
  • 26 knee high boxwoods to trim = 30 minutes.
  • 4 crape mytles = 3 hours.
  • 28,955 sqft of parking lot 15 to blow off.
  • 423 sqft flower bed area to maintain

I measured it myself. I never serviced a property this large. I am hoping to make it a yearly mowing contract. I may be off on the time due to I never using a 36in ztr before and that is what I recently bought to do jobs this size. Previously I have always push mowed my properties.

Commercial lawn care bid example.

Commercial lawn care bid example.

Based on feedback from the customer, I will most likely be cutting it biweekly and the parking lot will just have to be blown off. I don’t know if I should charge separately for the grass or combine grass and shrub care as a package deal? I know I will shape shrubs once month and Crape myrtles once a year.

I submitted my bid today. The company wanted a weekly and biweekly price on mowing, trimming, and blowing only. Here it goes:

1 acre of mowing, 178 ft of trimming, and 28,955 sqft blowing debris off parking area.

  • COST $150.00 weekly / annually $4,500 (30 weeks)
  • COST $ 250.00 biweekly / annually $4,125 (15 weeks)

additional services:

  • 26 knee high boxwoods @ $5.00 each = $130.00
  • 4 large Crape Myrtles @ $30.00 each = $120.00
  • Dump fee $50.00
  • Edging 697ft @ $180
  • Spraying @ $38.00 per 1000 ft (anything under $40.00 flat rate)

I hope they accept the proposal and definitly select the weekly service. I think $250 biweekly for mowing that area is good. Considering, I know how bad the grass was cared for on that property before they bought it. Then I also have to deal with the eighteen wheelers backing up on the grass and leaving deep tire impresions that I can’t ride over.”

Commercial lawn care bid example.

Commercial lawn care bid example.

A second lawn care business owner said “I usually charge anywhere between $100 to $130 and acre. You are gonna be mowing just under an acre.

1 acre = 43,560 sqft. so say that’s $120 with the edging. I would add the trimming and crape myrtles together for $260. Flower beds for a one time charge if they have weeds. That’s a hard one to estimate. Once you have them free of weeds I would use weed and grass eliminator, 5.5 oz per 3 gallons will last almost 2 months. It’s around $15 for a 64oz and is really good stuff. The parking lot. Does it have a lot of trash and what not? That’s gonna be your most time consuming part. Is it in a high traffic area? If it is, you can bet there will be a lot of trash. I guess I would charge about $325 to $375 per visit if it was bi-weekly and $275 to $325 for a weekly mowing service and offer the weed control as a free option since the weed killer will go a long way.

I use a 50″ zero turn mower and it cuts an acre in about 30 to 45 minutes. Your 36″ shouldn’t take more than 60 min to 80 min once your familiar with the territory. You would only trim the trees and bushes once monthly so your time would only be longer once a month. Unless they want it trimmed constantly but the bushes would eventually burn from that.

I would say no less than $350 a visit. Good luck!! Let me know how it works out and hope my advice helps!”

A third added “you should not need to do shrubs every visit. You should bill that separate as you do it, give them a price for that separate from the normal maintenance stuff that you will do every week. Edging is usually a one time thing also, then it’s nothing to maintain it for the season. So edging and shrub trimming, give them a separate price for that. My guess is that they will not go with you at almost $300 a week, but you don’t know unless you try.”

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