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View Full Version : You can talk the talk, but can you walk the walk?


Brianslawn
12-08-2005, 08:22 PM
recently started this lil job. 25 acres of commercial development over the next year to landscape.

Brianslawn
12-08-2005, 08:31 PM
thats our next building down the street to the right. the land up to the horizon is only half of it. much more on other side of hill. they also have 8 existing properties there already. we get mow/maintenance contracts on everything. it was found out that last guy wasnt licensed, refused to get licensed, and then disappeared. i got it at a bit higher price than last guy. they searched state website to see who all in area was actually licensed. my name was at the top of a list of 5 in the county and only one other landscape company on that list offers mowing, too. payup payup payup :waving:

LLandscaping
12-08-2005, 09:25 PM
That is a nice lay out to landscape, will you be doing all of the sod also? How many men do you have that will be working on the job?

impactlandscaping
12-08-2005, 09:39 PM
Brian, did you get the design end of it as well, or are you following a LA's /Designers plans for each area? That will be a nice contract for maintenance, for sure. We are working with a builder here who has started the first phase of a 1200 unit development. We are getting out of the design/install side of the business , and doing a lot more hydroseeding and maint. Looks like a nice property...congratspayup

Brianslawn
12-08-2005, 10:33 PM
half the dirt. excavators got some big boy toys for the large areas, but next to buildings and final grade is me. sod, trees, plants, and mulch is all us, too. city has some stupid rules on plant and tree selection and quantity on commercial, so we got handed a blueprint from some idiot thats never seen the place. so far just the three of us, but are looking for more help till our h2bs arive in spring. might have to hire someone extra the day we lay 60 pallets of bermuda. this one once we get done with dirt and am ready to plant and do sod, mow crew leaders gets his big break and chance to take over as foreman. his cut will be $2k for the 2 weeks. i'll probably be down the street on kubota by then. we're in talks with local designer and nursery owner for some exclusive rights on all his installs and we'll buy exclusively from him. he has a guy now, but guess what, not licensed by the state either. im looking for more people for landscaping either on the crew or as foreman for future jobs. foremen will average $1000+ a week.

lawncare18
12-08-2005, 11:39 PM
Post some more pics of this jobsite and your equipment .. looks like your gona have your hands full

Brianslawn
12-09-2005, 12:06 AM
Post some more pics of this jobsite and your equipment .. looks like your gona have your hands full


'my lil pickup' in picture forum for some. ill get pictures of other trucks and walkers, and kubota this weekend. as you can see we been working till dark or later. we also got quite a few smaller jobs in progress, or scheduled, and one more day of leaf cleanups, too. also just submitted 3 bids for residential, this size. 2 of the 3 people are current customers. the third wants us to do his leaves one time monday, since his lco (the firm of amigo, amigo, and amigo) disappeared a month ago. i need another foreman!

i'll take more pics of this and other large landscape jobs and post here. our specialty is mowing. we got experience in construction, fences, computers, and other areas as well. the summer (and a couple hundred yards a week) is fixing to become our slow season. we built 3 bridges, cut down some trees, dug out creek bed, and some other stuff for a guy in fay last winter. each winter (and year) keeps getting busier. been turning down work or bidding sky high for 2 years now from lack of help. thankfully, noel is sending me 10 h2bs in the spring. i'll give them the big bucks if no one locally wants them. :waving:

bigandy
12-09-2005, 08:38 AM
If you still need a foreman im looking for a good job. Ive been running a small landscape crew for several years and recently got a degree with emphasis in business management from the University of Missouri. It sounds like you need some good help, and I have considered relocating to Arkansas anyway.

Brianslawn
12-09-2005, 05:56 PM
If you still need a foreman im looking for a good job. Ive been running a small landscape crew for several years and recently got a degree with emphasis in business management from the University of Missouri. It sounds like you need some good help, and I have considered relocating to Arkansas anyway.


email me at brianslawn at yahoo dot com :waving:

cleancutccl
12-09-2005, 07:34 PM
Why are required to be licensed from the state in Arkansas? You're not doing fert applications, just landscaping. Do they require a contractor's license or what? Please let me know what kind of licensing they are asking for.

In Kansas the only thing we carry for licensing is fertilizer/pest license. Other than our liability insurance.

allinearth
12-09-2005, 08:15 PM
When doing commercial contracts over 20k in Arkansas you have to contractors license. When selling or installing plant material you have to have landscape contractors or nurseryman's license from the state plant board. We have both but I don't think the last one is enforced. Just a way for the plant board to get money.

o-so-n-so
12-09-2005, 08:39 PM
It looks like some of the builders need to be done before you start. Are you going to work your magic with all the construction going on. Or will you have a starting point and work to the unfinished units.

I couldn't handle working around a bunch of contractors trying to work around me.

Looks like a sweeeet contact. Good luck:D :D

Brianslawn
12-09-2005, 10:26 PM
When doing commercial contracts over 20k in Arkansas you have to contractors license. When selling or installing plant material you have to have landscape contractors or nurseryman's license from the state plant board. We have both but I don't think the last one is enforced. Just a way for the plant board to get money.


residential, too, over $20k from what i been told. just to bid on something $20k+ youre supposed to have contractors license in arkansas. the state is starting to get strict on enforcement, too. thats why last guy disappeared, and couple others have been taking the test. everyone claiming to be 100% licensed, etc., better check with state contractors board in your state.

as soon as they are done with an area, we move in. excavators have been working with us on getting dirt where needed and grading large areas. building #3 on this site is just getting started. we will be done landscaping before that building is done. we worked our magic this past summer with our first irregation system... at a large hotel... in a mess of contractors there as well. we were also able to keep up with 100+ weekly mow accounts all at the same time. long hrs we had.

look closely at that building down the street earthworker..... :waving:

Dirty Water
12-10-2005, 02:16 PM
Brian, I hope you didn't limbo to low to get that job. Commercial can kill you.

Are you subbing irrigation out? It should be done before the finish grade and sod.

I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't do sprinklers in a place like that.

I'm envisioning 3" main lines running around and fields of Hunter I-25's.

Pop into the irrigation forum some time.

DynaMow
12-10-2005, 04:57 PM
man do i feel small time now, thanks brian :) . I like it, congrats, i bet you will do a wonderful job, cant wait to see the finish. Hope to get a project like that someday. would be to scared to even bid that at this point in my career. Good luck.

Brianslawn
12-10-2005, 07:00 PM
Brian, I hope you didn't limbo to low to get that job. Commercial can kill you.

Are you subbing irrigation out? It should be done before the finish grade and sod.

I find it hard to believe that they wouldn't do sprinklers in a place like that.

I'm envisioning 3" main lines running around and fields of Hunter I-25's.

Pop into the irrigation forum some time.


i think a couple of existing properties has irrigation. they decided that irrigation was costing too much so they decided not to do it on any of the future properties. they got hose spiggots on the big islands and on buildings for watering the old fassion way.

the bar got lowered a bit, but after materials and labor.... about 10k in pocket for very little onsite work shouldnt hurt my back, too bad. maybe i'll be able to pay off my new lil pick-up truck by the end of winter. payup

thanks guys. i'll keep you updated on this job. and the other big ones when we start them.

South Florida Lawns
12-10-2005, 09:39 PM
Thats defiantly on a larger scale than I'm used too. I can't wait to see how it turns out when finished.

Lawnworks
12-11-2005, 09:45 AM
the bar got lowered a bit, but after materials and labor.... about 10k in pocket for very little onsite work shouldnt hurt my back, too bad. maybe i'll be able to pay off my new lil pick-up truck by the end of winter. payup



10k sounds low for such a large project

Dirty Water
12-11-2005, 12:33 PM
10k sounds low for such a large project

Its Commercial, he's going to cut his own throat.

I've seen it happen many a time in my area with the large developments.

A job like that should net 50k in pocket when your done.

Brianslawn
12-11-2005, 02:36 PM
10k sounds low for such a large project


i know its a bit low. the guy that disappeared was even lower. but, if i can make that on 20 of their jobs each year, plus maint contracts for this company, plus our other mow accts, plus other landscape jobs. once you get in with this construction company good. they quit taking bids and tell you to give them a price and theyll give you a start date. they pay every week like clock work, too. other contractors on site have told me their is not a better company to do work for in the area. i get killer deals on trees from a local nursery.... one that we're currently working out a consolidation deal with and 'assisting ' them on their expanding landscaping.

Lawnworks
12-11-2005, 04:26 PM
I guess it will pay the bills in the winter... that will be really nice in January and February. The beautiful part of having a solid maintenance income is being able to bid projects at what you need to make. But learning experiences are different. The experience is priceless to me.

YardPro
12-11-2005, 05:50 PM
LOW LOW LOW

you should net 5K just off the sod alone...................................

make sure you use big rolls for that much sod...

we get 30 yard rolls, and 3 guys can lay 1000 yards a day easially...

lots of work for low profit is very dangerous.. one small mishap could easially turn the job into a big negative...

large commercial always has low margins.... very dangerous for a small company.


just becuase you are higher than the other guy does not mean a lot... he is no longer there.. he could have figured out that he was about to loose his butt... you may just be loosing less of your butt.....lol

i hope it works out very well for you.. keep everyone posted on how the job goes.

Brianslawn
12-11-2005, 06:13 PM
i pay out a percentage to the workers for the labor. no hourly on landscaping. the last guy wasnt licensed, and didnt want to be so he got the boot. most of the landscapers around here would do stuff this size for $1k profitt. im also going to use this for more advertising on the large residential installs. just using the commercial jobs for some extra pocket change. :D

scaglawnsnj
12-11-2005, 06:56 PM
hello brian,
Nice job land, so whats the sqr. ft. of that site. Looks damn big to me.
I'll congrade you again. but your only getting 10k for that. It does'nt sound right. For that back breaking job plus employee costs . How will you eat from that, ow ch. I'm not criticizing you though. but you should get at least
15k labor plus 19k profit. thats just bare bone rate, some will say more. the contractor could have stewed up a quote from the other guy, just to get your price way down. they do that ****. then buy their wife the 06 vet she wanted

scaglawnsnj
12-11-2005, 06:57 PM
its a crewel word

allinearth
12-11-2005, 07:11 PM
How can you guys price the job when you don't even know specifics or what the job entails? How many of you have actually estimated and bid larger projects? I say no guts no glory. Hopefully Brian knows his costs and bid accordingly.Also it is winter, I bid projects a little lower this time of year to keep the crew busy. They gotta eat too!

Brianslawn
12-11-2005, 08:19 PM
How can you guys price the job when you don't even know specifics or what the job entails? How many of you have actually estimated and bid larger projects? I say no guts no glory. Hopefully Brian knows his costs and bid accordingly.Also it is winter, I bid projects a little lower this time of year to keep the crew busy. They gotta eat too!


exactly. thats another reason we stay busy year round. we can pick and choose what work we want. i do know the costs on this. materials is 50% labor and profitt is 50%. when you do one of these every 2 weeks, plus all the other small jobs, it probably adds up to more than most of you dream of. i will admitt the bid was 5k less than if this were private residential, and knew id hear about it... but like my neighbor said, the crews got to eat, too!


50/50 is what i shoot for on most landscape jobs. thats how a great local landscaper taught me. he did landscaping here for almost 30 years. now hes retired, and i got a killer deal on his tractor.

Brianslawn
12-11-2005, 08:28 PM
be not greedy... for the meek shall inherit the earth. :confused:

YardPro
12-12-2005, 07:22 PM
How can you guys price the job when you don't even know specifics or what the job entails? How many of you have actually estimated and bid larger projects? I say no guts no glory. Hopefully Brian knows his costs and bid accordingly.Also it is winter, I bid projects a little lower this time of year to keep the crew busy. They gotta eat too!


here's how...
cost of 60 pallets bermuda sod $4500.00
if laying in squares labor costs to lay the sod. at least $2k
this is without any prep work...............
that's $6500
then the foreman's cut of $2k
this is before any plants.. mulch anything.

he should be making almost $5k off the sod alone
also he is talking about 25 acres to do in the next two years...
so this job will not have this sive project every two weeks...
and next if this work was being done all the time as claimed then why was it made such a big deal of in the title?????

again i hope it works out for u.. but remember a lot of contractors go broke jumping into large jobs like this.....

allinearth
12-12-2005, 09:43 PM
uhhh, cost of 3k yards bermuda in squares around $2800. In big rolls $2500.Those prices are delivered. I wouldn't say he left a lot of room for error but he could still pull it off if things are done efficiently.

scaglawnsnj
12-12-2005, 10:48 PM
exactly. thats another reason we stay busy year round. we can pick and choose what work we want. i do know the costs on this. materials is 50% labor and profit is 50%. when you do one of these every 2 weeks, plus all the other small jobs, it probably adds up to more than most of you dream of. i will admit the bid was 5k less than if this were private residential, and knew id hear about it... but like my neighbor said, the crews got to eat, too!


50/50 is what i shoot for on most landscape jobs. thats how a great local landscaper taught me. he did landscaping here for almost 30 years. now hes retired, and i got a killer deal on his tractor.


I DON'T HATE, I CONGRATULATE. NICE WORK. I WOULD HAVE A HARD TIME WITH SUCH A JOB. BECAUSE ITS TOO BIG, TIME CONSUMING. LESS PROFITABLE THEN I WOULD HOPE TO GET. ACTUALLY THIS THREAD INSPIRED ME TO PURSUE MY CAREER IN LANDSCAPE DESIGN, I ENROLLED TODAY. WISH ME LUCK IT WILL TAKE A YEAR TO GET MY DEGREE

Lawnworks
12-13-2005, 12:22 AM
Where at? A landscape architecture degree takes 5-7 years. Too much school for me!!

Brianslawn
12-13-2005, 02:16 AM
uhhh, cost of 3k yards bermuda in squares around $2800. In big rolls $2500.Those prices are delivered. I wouldn't say he left a lot of room for error but he could still pull it off if things are done efficiently.



plus there isnt as much sod as what some might think. all but the three big islands in the back are mulched islands. behind back lot is rock (which is seperate). just behind 2 side buildings, and in front of center building itll take 2 days to do sod, 2 days on planting, 1 day on mulch. we are fast and efficient on all our services. we all have construction, engineering, and mechanical backgrounds. work efficiently and bid competively. before the bid was submitted we discused what we needed or wanted to make off this and agreed on a price. so far materials cost is coming in under estimated by quite a bit. all plants and trees are purchased, and i know what sod and mulch costs. we all may be splitting a bonus. i hope others will take (smart) chances and strive to bettering themselves and there businesses.

plus how many of you can say youre heading up jobs like this on a regular bases... at 27 or younger? :drinkup:

Cigarcop
12-13-2005, 08:26 AM
"about 10k in pocket for very little onsite work shouldnt hurt my back, too bad. "


I don't do any work on that scale, but I can do three smaller jobs and make that on "in & out" type jobs.

Hope it all works out for you in the end.

Lawnworks
12-13-2005, 08:30 AM
plus how many of you can say youre heading up jobs like this on a regular bases... at 27 or younger? :drinkup:

I am proud of you young man!:dizzy:

lawncare18
12-13-2005, 09:27 PM
still wating on your pics.... cant wate

mcwlandscaping
12-14-2005, 03:38 PM
still wating on your pics.... cant wate
Me neither, congrats for gettin the job!!! PICS PLZ!!!

YardPro
12-14-2005, 06:19 PM
uhhh, cost of 3k yards bermuda in squares around $2800. In big rolls $2500.Those prices are delivered. I wouldn't say he left a lot of room for error but he could still pull it off if things are done efficiently.

that's a lot cheaper than we pay here....$150.00 per yard plus $150.00 delivery......

and i agree that it can be done.
i just get nervous on large projects with that small of a "fudge factor"... if something goes wrong ( and on large jobs you run into unexpected problems)...

i am not trying to be negative, i know it sounds like i am, but i really am not.. just saying that he should try and leave more fat in the bid..

allinearth
12-14-2005, 06:34 PM
Maybe he should have bid higher but what I am saying is people shouldn't come on here n price jobs when they don't know specifics. Commercial work has low margins here. I bid several large projects each year with what I consider low prices and keep getting under bid. :mad: Oh well, life goes on.

YardPro
12-15-2005, 06:09 AM
that's why i don't like to commercial bid work

Mower63
12-15-2005, 10:16 PM
Average net profit for large commercial construction for subs should be in the 8-12% range not including any change orders (which is where you make the money). Anyone in construction knows these numbers and understanding the terms of the contract are critical because you can get into hot water fast if something goes wrong.

So congrats on getting the work it seems you are building a good reputation for yourself.

Please post pics when you finish the work.

Brianslawn
01-15-2006, 04:02 AM
the builder decided to add a lil bit to this job which bout doubled the size of it. been busy with this and a few smaller jobs, when weather permitts. got this and added work past half done, now. i'll get some progress pics up when crew gets it cleaned up a bit.


cant wait for the new hospital bid.... $500,000!!! payup payup payup

drsogr
01-15-2006, 08:53 AM
Congradulations on the big bid. I hope that when I am 6 years in the business I can work on some larger projects like this. Let me ask you, do you actively seach out these projects, or do they find you? And if they do ask you to bid on them, how do they find you? Phonebook, word of mouth, mail or call?

I hope you come out with a good profit and plenty of great pictures. A job like that every once in a while can help boost the confidence, and can really help with selling other jobs.

Brianslawn
01-15-2006, 01:51 PM
Congradulations on the big bid. I hope that when I am 6 years in the business I can work on some larger projects like this. Let me ask you, do you actively seach out these projects, or do they find you? And if they do ask you to bid on them, how do they find you? Phonebook, word of mouth, mail or call?

I hope you come out with a good profit and plenty of great pictures. A job like that every once in a while can help boost the confidence, and can really help with selling other jobs.


a lot of them contact me. they check with the state licensing board to see who the big timers are in the area. there have been a few that i hear about coming up through my friends and then go inquire about bidding.

drsogr
01-15-2006, 03:10 PM
Well I won't ever get business that way! In kansas you don't have to be licensed to be a landscaper.

mdvaden
01-15-2006, 04:24 PM
Cool buiding.

Looks like Disneyland

:)