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View Full Version : its limbo time! how low can you go!


Brianslawn
11-26-2005, 08:53 PM
how much for an install (3 commercial buildings) total material is $17,000 -$18,000. 60 pallets of sod to lay, 80 2" cal trees, over 100 various sized plants, and about 15 cu yds of mulch?


the first guy to win the bid, who was fired for operating illegally, bid $20,000.

can any of you guys beat his price or what would you charge?

impactlandscaping
11-26-2005, 10:06 PM
Brian, I don't know about trees down there, but here a 2"-2 1/2" Red Maple would be around 400.00 each, delivered and installed under normal conditions. That price would be subject to site conditions, access, etc.. So off the bat, I'd be 12K over the low bid of 20K just on trees....I'm out..:D

AGLA
11-26-2005, 11:47 PM
It is time to give up doing the limbo and take up pole vaulting. Instead of how low you can go, try a different venue and see how high you can go.

You sound like you are in the business of working extra hard to help someone pay you less. That can become a bad habit.

muddstopper
11-26-2005, 11:59 PM
I usually try to at least double material cost which would put my bid in the $34,000 to $35,000 range. On a job of that size I might knock off some, but certainly not down to $20,000

Brianslawn
11-27-2005, 05:19 AM
I usually try to at least double material cost which would put my bid in the $34,000 to $35,000 range. On a job of that size I might knock off some, but certainly not down to $20,000


thats how i like to do it. and thats what i was wanting to bid. i went with 27 and was still highest bidder. proof once again the market is too over saturated at least around here. to be big in landscaping around here you got to give cheap work at a cheap price and be capable of several large jobs a week. i once bid an even larger job with $45,000 materials for $55k. was still the highest bidder. no money in commercial here.

even retaining walls are going up for as little as $7 a sq foot! :dizzy:

garth1967
11-27-2005, 07:30 AM
It is time to give up doing the limbo and take up pole vaulting. Instead of how low you can go, try a different venue and see how high you can go.

You sound like you are in the business of working extra hard to help someone pay you less. That can become a bad habit.

very good advice well thats the advice i would like

muddstopper
11-27-2005, 09:41 AM
thats how i like to do it. and thats what i was wanting to bid. i went with 27 and was still highest bidder. proof once again the market is too over saturated at least around here. to be big in landscaping around here you got to give cheap work at a cheap price and be capable of several large jobs a week. i once bid an even larger job with $45,000 materials for $55k. was still the highest bidder. no money in commercial here.

even retaining walls are going up for as little as $7 a sq foot! :dizzy:


I do very few landscape installs, but do like to bid on the better paying ones. What I have found with commercial work is that the same profit margin is never there. Sure you can make a big chunck of change in a short time on one large job, but in order to do so you have to cut your profit margin down. I have found that I can do two or three smaller jobs using the same amount of materials and labor as the bigger jobs and make twice the money. Once you have taken on a large project you are commited to that project until finished, this limits your ability to take on the smaller, more profitable jobs.
The State is building a new highway right in front of my house, 228 acres of hydroseeding. I was asked to summit a bid and of course my thoughts where, wow, heres a chance to make really good money and be able to eat lunch everyday for the next couple of years right in my own kitchen. After running around gathering pricing on materials, figureing out fuel and labor cost, wear and tear on equipment, ect, everything you need to figure up a bid, I threw it all in the trash. Why, because I am seeding everyday and chargeing twice what I would have to bid to get the job. Why work just as hard everyday for half the money. Let the lowballers have the big commercial work, they will cut each others throat until they are no longer in business.

Dirty Water
11-27-2005, 05:02 PM
Theres almost no money in large commercial anywhere.

We avoid almost all comercial jobs because you have to work for free, and they take forever to pay.

General Landscaping
11-28-2005, 12:05 AM
Why, because I am seeding everyday and chargeing twice what I would have to bid to get the job. Why work just as hard everyday for half the money.
Sounds like room for expansion.
2 years of work is worth growing payup
The highway work should be a no-brainer for a unsupervised crew.

hosejockey2002
11-28-2005, 12:58 AM
Brian, please don't take this personally, but I see you're from Bentonville, Arkansas, home of Wal-Mart, the biggest lowballers in the world. Looks like it's carried over into landscaping there....

Brianslawn
11-28-2005, 03:03 AM
Brian, please don't take this personally, but I see you're from Bentonville, Arkansas, home of Wal-Mart, the biggest lowballers in the world. Looks like it's carried over into landscaping there....


actually im from iowa. i live in the low ball capital of the world. and yes, youre right. most commercial work is walmart vendors. thry have to sell cheap, so they want their stuff cheap. every company that sells something through wally has an office here in town.

arkansas sucks... go hawks!

allinearth
11-28-2005, 10:32 PM
I assumed that with the amount of work going on in that area, prices would be up. larger Commercial is difficult for me to get. Why would I want to do more work, have more money tied up, more troubles, for less profit? Stupid thing is, I still bid commercials often.

Brianslawn
11-29-2005, 12:51 AM
I assumed that with the amount of work going on in that area, prices would be up. larger Commercial is difficult for me to get. Why would I want to do more work, have more money tied up, more troubles, for less profit? Stupid thing is, I still bid commercials often.

areas too oversaturated with desperate mow joes. they cant hold a real job so they get in their beater dodge and become a lawnboy! they bid work for $12/hr thinking theyre making a killing. $12/hr with NO taxes paid that is.

YardPro
12-06-2005, 08:46 AM
i also agree on staying away from large commercial jobs... not enough profit..

we make the mont profit on the smallest jobs..

for example....

$75.00 service call may take us 30 min to fix a problem....
that's $150.00 per hour
large commercial jobs we are doing good to get $35.00 per hour.

don't be lured by large numbers...i have and got burned...
I once did a $120K job.. but in the end i found that is actually cost me $125K to complete the job.........NOT GOOD.

stevelsc1
12-08-2005, 09:28 AM
Doing things cheaply becomes expensive!

Are the low ballers insured etc.

UP here in the Northeast I go by the rule of our lawyer friends,price thing in thirds.

Cost of product 1/3,cost of doing business with labor 1/3 and profit 1/3.

It sounds like your killing yourself to make a very small profit, why not specialize in something that the other low ballers do not perform do to lack of skill and knowledge.

Good luck and have a good new year:cool2:

dKoester
01-10-2006, 09:28 PM
80 trees, it takes 1/2 yard to mulch one tree properly. you will be short.

dKoester
01-10-2006, 09:37 PM
The price on materials is way to low. We get our plants wholesale and these figures are just just just wrong.

LandscapePro
01-12-2006, 09:05 AM
Brian,

I've got to agree with dKoester the numbers don't jibe.

How about giving us a breakdown on what's involved.

Mike
La. Landscape Contractor #2576

TheKingNJ
01-15-2006, 01:37 AM
how much for an install (3 commercial buildings) total material is $17,000 -$18,000. 60 pallets of sod to lay, 80 2" cal trees, over 100 various sized plants, and about 15 cu yds of mulch?


the first guy to win the bid, who was fired for operating illegally, bid $20,000.

can any of you guys beat his price or what would you charge?


2 Grand profit is retarted for that job. I would expect to make 2 grand on a 5 thousand$ job.

rscritch
01-15-2006, 01:58 AM
we do some limited commercial work i turn down most of it now a days, basicly the only time we will do it is when the low ball bid winner backs out and the contractor is looking in a hurry and knows we will do what we say even though were not the low ball, as for hydro-seeding work, i wont touch it with a ten foot pole for large projects, too many companys think its better to have their machine running 40+ hours a week verses 10-12 hours a week to make the same amount of profit, ill save the hours on my machine and when it wears out my machine will have made 4 times the amount as theirs will, some people just dont make since when it comes to business. i wish you the best of luck on your job, i remember how excited i use to get over large commercial jobs, and after being laughed out of the room when i give my bid ill just stick with the resedental, or local commercial projects when i know the estimators and they know me. good luck

sheshovel
01-15-2006, 02:00 AM
$54000.00 is what i come up with

Brianslawn
01-15-2006, 02:20 AM
hey! i remember this thread! we bid somewhat cheaply on that and didnt get it. i told myself those people can go phuck off. the #s i gave were estimates off the top of my head that night, but yes, should be in 40-50k range at least. if it was res. then sheshovel is pretty accurate. we picked up a couple more profittable accounts right after that, so we been busy. we added another couple companies to the consolidated effort and each been concentrating on our specific speciality on these larger jobs.

as the lil police man would say.... toodles! :waving: