How to Price Lawn Care Services [Pricing Chart and Formula]
Setting the right prices for your lawn care services is a must if you want to attract paying customers and profit from every job.
Pricing your services can feel like a puzzle, though—especially when you run a small business that has to balance profitability with competitive pricing.
We’ll break down the costs of the most common lawn care services in the lawn care pricing chart below, and what factors you need to consider before pricing jobs accurately.
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How much to charge for lawn mowing
In the U.S., lawn mowing jobs cost $25–65 per hour, $0.01–0.05 per square foot, or $50–100 per acre on average.
These factors can change your price and influence how much mowing and grass cutting you’ll need to do:
- Size of the yard
- Grass conditions
- Local weather conditions
To finalize your pricing, find out how much competitors in your area are charging. If you’re offering the same services as another lawn care business, try not to charge too much more than 15% above their price. That’s usually the tipping point for potential customers to choose the cheaper option.
You shouldn’t be the cheapest mowing service provider in your area, either. Instead, aim to offer the highest quality of service—especially if you’re trying to get commercial lawn care contracts.
That will set your reputation as a reliable business and help you attract the clients you want, even if your competitors offer lower pricing.
Lawn mowing pricing formula
Use this lawn mowing cost formula to price every lawn care job:
(Labor hours x hourly labor cost) + overhead + equipment + taxes + profit margin
Jump ahead to: Factors affecting your lawn care pricing
How to charge for spring clean-up lawn maintenance
To price a lawn care spring clean-up, create a spring clean-up package for your clients and price each service individually based on their yard’s conditions.
Here are the average prices per job for typical spring lawn care services:
- Lawn aeration: $120–140
- Weed control: $65–150
- Dethatching: $130–215
- Debris removal: $75–150
- Leaf removal: $200–400
- Garden cleanup: $60–150
A comprehensive spring lawn care package that includes all the services above would cost between $650 and $1,205. You may need to charge more if your client didn’t get a fall cleanup and they have lots of lingering fall debris to clean.
How much to charge for lawn aeration
The average cost of lawn aeration service ranges from $120–140 for the median 8,500-square-foot yard, or $0.02–0.10 per square foot.
Some lawn care companies charge different prices per increment. For example, they might charge $0.05 per square foot for the first 2,000 square feet, then drop the price to $0.02 for every additional thousand.
Aeration costs can depend on many factors, including:
- Lawn size
- Grass conditions
- Climate and location
- Aeration type (core vs. liquid aeration)
- The cost of your full lawn maintenance package, if aeration is included
You should charge differently for your aeration service if you’re using core aeration versus liquid aeration. Here are typical costs for different types of aeration and why they vary:
- Core aeration: $7–25 per 1,000 square feet, or $40 to $80 an hour. You can charge less for your service if you own an aerator machine—that can cost $200–300. Or, factor in rental costs of $40–90 a day into your price. These machines have cylindrical prongs that pull pieces of grass, thatch, and soil from the ground.
- Liquid aeration: $4–13 per 1,000 square feet, or $20 to $40 an hour. You can charge less for this service because you’ll only need a bottle of liquid solution to aerate soil, instead of a machine. Liquid soil loosener costs $25–60.
How much to charge for power raking
On average, power raking and lawn dethatching cost $15 per 1,000 square feet, or $215 for one to two hours of dethatching.
To stay profitable, consider charging a flat fee or starting fee for your power raking services (e.g., a minimum of $130 per job), then charging per additional hour or added square footage.
Factor in the cost of a power rake (also known as a dethatcher), which can cost $65–97 per day to rent or $100–300 to purchase. Power rakes remove thatch, dead grass, and debris that build up on your customer’s lawn.
How much to charge for lawn fertilization
The U.S. national average cost for lawn weed control and fertilization is $91. To choose how much you should charge for a fertilizer application, calculate the cost of the lawn fertilizer you’ll use for the job based on the square footage of the lawn.
A typical 40 to 45-pound pack of lawn fertilizer costs $40, which covers around 15,000 square feet of grass. That would put your fertilizer costs at $23 for an average 8,500 square-foot lawn.
For large-scale jobs, your fertilizer supply costs might be higher than your labor costs, unlike for your other lawn maintenance services like mowing and grass trimming.
Once you add up your total fertilizer costs and labor costs, add markup to your cost estimate so you can cover your supply expenses and turn a profit on your lawn service job.
Factors affecting your lawn care pricing
1. Cost of labor
You need to price your services differently depending on how long they’ll take to complete and how many workers you’ll need. Start by calculating your cost of labor on a typical mowing, fertilizing, or other specific type of lawn care job.
You can do that by multiplying the total labor hours you’ll need (for each employee on the job) by your hourly labor cost (all those employee’s hourly wages plus labor expenses).
If your team needs a combined 12 labor hours and your hourly labor cost is $25, your cost of labor for the job is $300.
2. Material costs
The cost of new products and materials could drastically change your lawn care service pricing.
Here’s how you can accurately estimate material costs:
- Measure the client’s lawn so you know the exact square footage
- Calculate how much product you’ll need to purchase (e.g., fertilizer, weed killer, mulch, liquid aerator)
- Document your expenses each time you buy new products—this will help you price future jobs faster
Pro Tip: Keep your materials in check and stay organized by using expense tracking software.
3. Overhead and equipment costs
Many lawn care businesses add an additional 15–20% on top of their estimate to account for overhead costs.
You should also budget for equipment and maintenance in your overall lawn service cost estimate. Even after you’ve paid off your lawn mower, for example, it might still need engine repairs, spark plug replacements, or oil changes.
Some lawn care professionals charge two times the hourly rate of labor just to have their equipment on the site.
4. Profit margins
Once you’ve figured out how each lawn care service costs you, you’ll need to factor in your desired lawn care profit margin so you can cover those costs and turn a profit.
For example, if your total costs for a typical lawn aeration job are $140, and you want a profit margin of 20%, you’ll need to charge a $35 markup (25% of your costs) to meet that margin. That will give you a total price of $175 for the job.
When to adjust your lawn care service pricing
Your hourly rate and service rates may change over time, depending on your service area and business needs.
For example, you might need to adjust pricing if:
- You offer packages like mowing, trimming, and watering during the summer months, and bi-weekly snow removal or less intensive lawn services in the winter
- The job is out of your normal scope and requires more work than your initial terms of service stated
- The job site is farther away so your gas mileage is higher than usual
- The cost of labor is less than the supplies for a particular job like fertilization or weed control application
- You want to target specific neighborhoods by offering a group rate
- The job or client has specific needs outside of your usual scope (e.g., the yard is in rough shape or the client needs a job done with short notice)
- You want to offer discounts or special rates for marketing promotions
How to make a lawn care pricing sheet
A lawn care pricing sheet lists the costs of all your services. It helps you keep your pricing consistent across all jobs. When you’re estimating a job, you can look at this sheet and get a base estimate to build on.
Create a price sheet once you know how much you want to charge for each service. This should include your most common services and yard sizes so you have consistent pricing to refer to when making lawn care estimates.
In addition to the lawn care pricing sheet sample at the start of this article, here’s an example of a basic lawn care pricing chart:
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Here’s an example of a basic lawn care package, priced by square footage, that includes mowing, aeration, and fertilization:
A lawn care pricing chart can also help you respond to clients looking for discounts or negotiated rates. You’ll be able to see how much wiggle room you have, if any, before changing your rates too drastically.
Pro Tip: Keeping a digital version of your pricing sheet will speed up quoting and invoicing. When you use Jobber as your lawn care business software, you can add a products and services list and quickly add them as line items on your quotes.
Keep improving your lawn care pricing and grow your business
Your lawn care business will make more money if you estimate your costs accurately, stay on top of lawn care pricing trends, and keep a pricing chart so you can quote jobs consistently.
Choosing the best lawn care service prices is an ongoing process—so be prepared to learn through trial and error.
Originally published in April 2021. Last updated on April 7th, 2022.