PDA

View Full Version : How much labor i should quote for pavers?


allpaving
10-25-2005, 04:58 PM
I am working on getting pavers installation for a customer - I will be installing front entrance with two separate entrance(2 steps) and back patio(40'x40') and edges abound the driveway. I don't have a exact sqft but it will be close to 3000 sqft. patio will have two levels. I will be responsible pavers installation with base of 6"-8". Customer will buy their own pavers and stones(all materials). What should i quote. Thanks.

mrusk
10-25-2005, 06:24 PM
Normal paver rate per a sq. minus 3.25 a sq ft.

Why in the world are the customers buying the materials. Do they really belive that they can get stuff cheaper than you? Wait untill you run outta supplies.

Matt

allpaving
10-25-2005, 06:28 PM
I had told him it will cost around 12.50 per sq ft with material. So, should i quote $9/sq ft rate(27K) for installation.

DVS Hardscaper
10-25-2005, 07:47 PM
Never Ever base a price on unit pricing. A.K.A. "per sq ft".

Ypou'll have to calculate your production hours for each individual task affiliated with the job at hand. Factor in mobilization fees. Factor in drive time, per employee, per hr, per day estimated.

One thing that drives me up the wall is when folks ask "what should I bid", "what should I quote?". Only you know your expenses. Only you know your efficiencies. "Efficiencies" as in how many sf you can install in an hr or in a day. Only you know how many tons of aggregate you can spread, grade, and compact per hr or per day :)

Good luck with the job. And track your efficiencies, so you can use those times for future pricing!

DVS Hardscaper
10-25-2005, 07:49 PM
Never Ever base a price on unit pricing. A.K.A. "per sq ft".

You'll have to calculate your production hours for each individual task affiliated with the job at hand. Factor in mobilization fees. Factor in drive time, per employee, per hr, per day estimated.

One thing that drives me up the wall is when folks ask "what should I bid", "what should I quote?". Only you know your expenses. Only you know your efficiencies. "Efficiencies" as in how many sf you can install in an hr or in a day. Only you know how many tons of aggregate you can spread, grade, and compact per hr or per day :)

Good luck with the job. And track your efficiencies, so you can use those times for future pricing!

cgland
10-25-2005, 11:41 PM
I agree with DVS! (wow!, I never thought i would say that):p You know how much money you need to make to pay your bills, employees...yourself! I will help you though.....Please send me your last 2 years of tax returns, balance sheets, and your checking account info. Then I will look over everything and give you a number based on your financial position and what your market will bear..............I'm sure you got my point by now.

Chris

mbella
10-25-2005, 11:47 PM
I agree with DVS! (wow!, I never thought i would say that):p You know how much money you need to make to pay your bills, employees...yourself! I will help you though.....Please send me your last 2 years of tax returns, balance sheets, and your checking account info. Then I will look over everything and give you a number based on your financial position and what your market will bear..............I'm sure you got my point by now.

Chris

Wow. I didn't know you could read a balance sheet.

cgland
10-25-2005, 11:55 PM
Hey! I saw one on the internet once so back off.

Chris

DVS Hardscaper
10-27-2005, 08:27 PM
I could tell you that we would do the job for $4000.00.

Lets say we're in the same market. Similar overhead.

That number still won't help you.

And that is because we have been doing pavers for quite a while. Which means we have installation systems in place. Each crew member has their own tasks, and they know it like the back of the hands. And after all these years we for the most park have all the necessary tools, machinery, etc.

Your first few jobs you will either loose money, or you may make out like a bandit. Just do the work for a price you are comfortable with, track your time fora ech task. Track the square footage, and after a while you get a better feel for how long to estimate each task for each job as you go along.

Shuter
10-27-2005, 10:51 PM
Never have the customer buy any products.

mbella
10-27-2005, 11:17 PM
Never have the customer buy any products.

With regard to hardscape, why?

Shuter
10-28-2005, 08:09 AM
One reason is there should be a mark up on the materials. Is your time worth money?? Do you get samples and do estimates for free?? We all do, but the price for the couple of hours it may take to get a job, is built back in the final price. My mark up has a lot to do with the time needed to get the job. This is one way to make money. If you are not marking up the products you are losing out. Do you think an electrican or plumber are turning the products over to their customers for their costs. When I buy products I will pay a wholesale or commercial price. When billing or estimating the customer is a least charged the regular rate.

Another reason is I buy the products I need. You can give a list to the customer and he/she will almost always come back with something different that what they were told to get. They either change the minds when buying the products or will sometimes buy something cheaper.

mbella
10-28-2005, 08:41 AM
I'll start by saying that I have never done a job where the homeowner bought the hardscape materials. I just don't happen to deal with people that would want to. However, I don't see anything wrong with it.

I sell time, not pavers. If you are marking up pavers or block like you would green goods, I'd venture to say you're not competetive. Let's face it, homeowners can buy these materials for about the same price we can.

I just looked at a my vendor's price sheet. For one of the most commonly used pavers, my price is 11 cents per square foot lower than Joe homeowner's price. Let's say you're doing a 1000 square foot patio. That's a whopping $110.00. Now, how much are you marking up the pavers?

I'll say it again, I sell time. I sell all of the hours I estimate will be associated with completing a given hardscape project and that's it.

Green goods, of course, are a different story.

neversatisfiedj
10-28-2005, 08:56 AM
I am on a fence now. They wanted to buy the aterials and pay me to pick the up. I have no problem with it. I never mark y materials up, thats part of my sales pitch. I make my money off the installation.

mbella
10-28-2005, 09:17 AM
What's the problem? Charge them to pick up the materials.

sheshovel
10-30-2005, 06:29 PM
Mbella,Why would "green good"s be any different than hardscape materials when it comes to mark-up?It is common practice in the industry here to mark up ALL materials hardscape,softscape whatever.If you do not mark them up at least a little bit you are screwing yourself.
Like I say it is expected by the customer and a normal way of doing business,
throughout All construction industries not just here but everywhere across the board.

DVS Hardscaper
10-30-2005, 07:54 PM
We have done jobs where clients have bought the materials. And will do so again if need be.

Folks, I can not say enough: "We are in the business of selling LABOR, as in *PRODUCTION HOURS*. We are NOT retailers. Most companies that operate off of annual operating budgets, have budgets that are derived from ESTIMATED ANNUAL PRODUCTION HOURS. And production hrs is what it all boils down to.

One job we did where the client supplied materials was for a guy that owns a huge highway construction company and asphalt plant. Rumor has it that he personally is worth $14 million. We did 3,200 SF of pavers around a new swimming pool at his weekend home in southern MD. He gave me a deposit before we started and he paid on the spot the balance due when we finished. Who in the right mind would turn down somthing like this???

Green goods? No problem. You supply decent quality materials that coincide with our quality principles and we'll install them. There wont be a warranty.

As long as we are turning production hrs - I'm happy.

mbella
10-30-2005, 08:25 PM
Mbella,Why would "green good"s be any different than hardscape materials when it comes to mark-up?It is common practice in the industry here to mark up ALL materials hardscape,softscape whatever.If you do not mark them up at least a little bit you are screwing yourself.
Like I say it is expected by the customer and a normal way of doing business,
throughout All construction industries not just here but everywhere across the board.

Sheshovel, pavers don't die. My mark-up on green goods helps cover the warranty. Also, I buy green goods from a wholesaler at 20% off wholesale because of volume. Homeowners, as well as many landscapers in my area can't even come close to the price we pay. It'd be silly not to mark up the plant material.

However, as I stated, homeowners can buy the hardscape products for almost the same price I pay. My competitors, they can buy the hardscape products for exactly the same price as me. This is whether they do one patio a year or 100. It's sad, but true.

I don't know about the west coast, but here where I am, if you mark up hardscape products, you will NOT be competitive and you're only fooling yourself.

mbella
10-30-2005, 08:28 PM
We have done jobs where clients have bought the materials. And will do so again if need be.

Folks, I can not say enough: "We are in the business of selling LABOR, as in *PRODUCTION HOURS*. We are NOT retailers. Most companies that operate off of annual operating budgets, have budgets that are derived from ESTIMATED ANNUAL PRODUCTION HOURS. And production hrs is what it all boils down to.

One job we did where the client supplied materials was for a guy that owns a huge highway construction company and asphalt plant. Rumor has it that he personally is worth $14 million. We did 3,200 SF of pavers around a new swimming pool at his weekend home in southern MD. He gave me a deposit before we started and he paid on the spot the balance due when we finished. Who in the right mind would turn down somthing like this???



Green goods? No problem. You supply decent quality materials that coincide with our quality principles and we'll install them. There wont be a warranty.

As long as we are turning production hrs - I'm happy.

Exxxxxxxactly..............

UNISCAPER
10-30-2005, 08:30 PM
We don't mark up any goods simple because when you buy at X, then sell at Y, you most likely paid taxes based off X, unless you use a rresale number. So, if you sell at Y, the state requires you to collect and redistribute the additional tax for the higher price the goods were sold at back to them. It's bad enough the federal government makes employers responsible to collect, and redistribute someone elses (employees) tax obligation, and by marking up materials, it's just one more PIA thing required we do. So, we recover all associated costs, profit and so fourth in our hourly labor rate and since it is labor, it is untaxable in or by our state....

On very rare occasions, we have worked for people who bought their own materials. People in the contracting business would be on a small list we would accept a job for, simply because they would be most likely to understand how much we would need, and if they shorted the load, the cost associated with stopping production.

Other than a very select few, we won't make it a practice to install customer bought materials for very obvious reasons. We are in the business of making and turning over jobs for profit. The last thing we need is to get into a pissing match with someone who either bought the wrong materials, or did not get enough of them.

mrusk
10-30-2005, 10:09 PM
When i do a estimate i do not even think about marking up the materials. I figure out my cost for material on the job. Then i add in my operating expenses. They i add in what i would like for profit. I guess it all works out the same then.
I guess we all try to figure out what the most amount of money is that we can get for our work and still be busy, we just have different ways of justifying how we got to that number.

Matt

allaccesslandscaping
10-31-2005, 03:21 AM
even @ 12.50 thats cheap. I charged 18-20 a ft customer buy pavers only. I provide the base rock ,sand and excavation..... Were loacted in the bay area.....Paver company's out here charge anywere from 22 a sq ft and up

UNISCAPER
10-31-2005, 09:39 AM
Ah, but that is up in the bay. Your cost of living is well beyond stoopid, because ours down here is past ignorant. When the average dump 1000 sf bay area house is selling for 1.5mm, your wages have to be well up past the roof to get anyone worth a crap to work for you.
I have a buddy in Fremont and he charges around $20-22 an sf on average as well.

Hey do they make you do all that environmental compliance crap as they do here? Some genious decided not to run rain water through a treatment plant and it goes to the ocean, so, if you dump a load of dirt on a street, it will cost you $10K. Thus, why we have roll off trucks. We can self contain our dirt/materials.

sheshovel
10-31-2005, 10:28 AM
I also buy my plant's at 20% off.
If you buy at 11 cents less than retail
and sell back at retail then you are marking up your materials.
If you are buying your hardscape materials at almost what your customer can buy them at..you need to have a talk with your supplier.

mbella
10-31-2005, 11:45 AM
I also buy my plant's at 20% off.
If you buy at 11 cents less than retail
and sell back at retail then you are marking up your materials.
If you are buying your hardscape materials at almost what your customer can buy them at..you need to have a talk with your supplier.


Been there and done that. We deal almost exclusively with one brand of paver. I'll guarantee you we get as good a price as ANYBODY when buying less than 5000 sq.ft. of that manufacturer's pavers. Guess what? We are still only buying them for 11 cents less than homeowners.

Regardless, you're selling time not pavers. If you want to sell pavers, become a distributor.

DVS Hardscaper
10-31-2005, 07:54 PM
"If you are buying your hardscape materials at almost what your customer can buy them at..you need to have a talk with your supplier."


In our area, most suppliers do sell pavers to contractors cheaper than they would to homeowners.

HOWEVER - in the construction world, usually the price is the same for homeowners as it is for contractors.

A few months ago we built a pergola with round columns. The owner knew exactly the columns he wanted, so he tracked down a supplier. The supplier gave him a price. The owner had me call the supplier to see if we could get it cheaper being a contractor. And the price was the same, which I knew before I called that it would be.

With the exception of Lowes or Home Depot, most TRUE construction related
materials are sold to contractors. Its us contractors that makes those supplier's businesses thrive. So usually the price is as low as they can go right off the bat.

Landscape guys have this macho mentality that they are big powerful contractors!!

I dont care what a client can buy the materials for. Again, all I care about is that we turn billable production hrs. Heck, I'd be happy if I didnt have any vendors to pay at all! Thats less checks for me to sign and less checks for me to reconcile!

UNISCAPER
10-31-2005, 09:46 PM
What usually hapens with HD is they buy for about the same numbers we do, then toss pavers out there as a loss leader, selling for less than they paid, which causes reason for explaining. One more reason why I don't do HD.

mbella
10-31-2005, 10:12 PM
I'm not sure about where you guys are, but here, I think Home Depot only sells light application materials like garden wall stone. It seems like they market the hardscape goods toward the homeowners. I really don't think they sell anything we use. I've never purchased any hardscape materials there, only passed through, so I could be wrong.

mbella
10-31-2005, 10:13 PM
DVS, just curious, what do you pay for EP Henry OTC? What would a homeowner pay for the same at the same vendor?

UNISCAPER
10-31-2005, 11:42 PM
Mike:

Same deal here. They sell Keystone Legacy wall, a lipped product, and do not carrry any tumbled pavers, or any pavers over 6cm in thickness. The problem comes however in the litterature they produce. They claim you camn install a 3' wall with no grid, and don't list any applications such as next to a driveway or on a 2-1 slope. they speak noting of surcharges, and alike. So, the avergae person drives behind Home Depot and sees the 30' wall we just built, then goes to the store and thinks Legacy is the same as Standard or Compac units. So, after a rain we get this panic call, some genous took legacy, designed for 3' under ideal conditions and made themselves a 15' tall wall in the center of a decending toe slope with only one embedment course. They brought in free fill they saw advertised, and it got wet, developed plasticity, then the wall sheered off.

They start arguing as to why you should be able to use their wall to rebuilt their mess....

And the list goes on and on. SRW's should not be sold to homeonwers or non qualified persons. Period.

mbella
11-01-2005, 12:25 AM
Mike:

Same deal here. They sell Keystone Legacy wall, a lipped product, and do not carrry any tumbled pavers, or any pavers over 6cm in thickness. The problem comes however in the litterature they produce. They claim you camn install a 3' wall with no grid, and don't list any applications such as next to a driveway or on a 2-1 slope. they speak noting of surcharges, and alike. So, the avergae person drives behind Home Depot and sees the 30' wall we just built, then goes to the store and thinks Legacy is the same as Standard or Compac units. So, after a rain we get this panic call, some genous took legacy, designed for 3' under ideal conditions and made themselves a 15' tall wall in the center of a decending toe slope with only one embedment course. They brought in free fill they saw advertised, and it got wet, developed plasticity, then the wall sheered off.

They start arguing as to why you should be able to use their wall to rebuilt their mess....

And the list goes on and on. SRW's should not be sold to homeonwers or non qualified persons. Period.

Amen Bill.

sheshovel
11-01-2005, 04:42 PM
{Quote}DVS Hardscaper.."Landscape guys have this macho mentality that they are big powerful contractors!!"
Where you get that idea I do not know,but no need to be like that about it.
Well it is not that way here contractors mark up their materials,Housing contractors,electrical contractors,cement contractors,plumbing contractors,roofing contractors,landscape contractors,and most hardscape contractors
ALL mark-up materials used on the job.Uniscaper does it ..he just does it in a round about way is all,but he still does it.