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tractrpowr45
04-16-2006, 10:08 PM
I was at a potential clients house the other day giving him an estimate on spreading topsoil when he asked me if I could give him a price on doing a simple 10' x 10' Hollandstone patio. I told him I would write him up an estimate when I got home and mail it to him in a couple days. He then asked me to just give him a rough idea of what it would cost. I told him around $1000.00. He said can't you do any better than that? I said I wasn't sure on exact pricing because I didn't have my paver pricelist with me plus I can't just figure material quantities off the top of my head. When I went home and sat down and actually wrote everything up, I discovered I am going have to price the job at $1100 to $1150 in order to make a profit($600.00 for labor and $500 to $550 for material cost. Is my labor charge overpriced, just right, or should I be charging more? I figure the job will take me 8hrs. Maybe the guy is either a cheapskate or just has no idea how much paver patios cost.
Any help would be appreciated.:)

tylermckee
04-16-2006, 10:16 PM
Guy is probably just trying to lowball you, tell him your price and stand by it. Unless you are really scrounging for work.

Techo-Bloc
04-18-2006, 12:29 AM
10x10 patio???

Holland Stone should cost to a contractor about $1.80-$2.00 a Sqft. So your material cost for block is $200 plus an extra $200 for stone, edging etc. A good labor rate for a typical job would be 2 1/2 times the cost of material. Making a total cost of $1000. Most of the time the profit level on small patios, such as a 10x10, is not worth a contractors time.

-Jason

cedarcroft
04-18-2006, 07:47 AM
your numbers seem right. I have a customer that chisels me on every estimate I give him. I found that If I stick to my guns and complain about feeding my children the way he complains about my "ridiculous" prices, he usually backs off and pays my very fair prices. took me a while to figure out his game, but now I know and I play his game right back and we are all happy.
here is an example:
Norman: WHAT!!! $1500 to spread dirt around, thats ridiculous, no way. I can't pay that you're crazy.
Me: Thats a discount rate because you pay cash. I would normally charge over $2000 for 20 yards of topsoil. I am charging you the bare minimum and my kids still need to eat too!
Norman: Bull$hit, I could get a couple of mexicans to do it for a hundred bucks.
me: no problem, next time I will pick them up for you and they can shovel it by hand instead of using the Bobcat. I am sure they will do a great job. but this is my price and you know Its right.
Norman: Yeah but you're my guy, I want you to do the work.
Me: so stop breaking my balls everytime I hand you a bill.
Norman: you're killing me (as he whips out $1500 cash and pays me)

This is an actual conversation that we had 2 days ago. its paraphrased and edited becasue being from NY there was alot more cursewords involved but that is really how it went down and I got paid what I needed and he got a fair price. he just likes to chisel and break balls. so the moral of the story is to stick to your guns and you should be allright.

PSUturf
04-18-2006, 11:31 PM
We get $19 per square foot for Hollands. That includes excavation, base, pavers, soldier course cuts, joint sand.

sheshovel
04-22-2006, 04:56 PM
Cedarcroft..Isen't it great once you figure out how some of these customers like to bargan?It's great!
It's like NOWAY they are just going to accept any price without a tussle the first time you tell them..it's in their blood I think,to try and make you feel like your overcharging..in many societies if you don't haggle it is concidered an insult.