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RockSet N' Grade
07-31-2007, 10:09 PM
So, there are rules of thumb on bidding jobs from plans. I am interested in what some of the numbers are: ie, for curb/gutter prep around here it is typically $.80- $1.50 a running foot , concrete tear out of 4" slab for driveways and reprep is from $1.25-$1.75 a square foot n/including dump fees. I am interested in more commercial numbers like footings, typical hole prices, pipe pricing, parking lot grading, sidewalk prep and the like. Any one out there with estimating experience feel like sharing?

RockSet N' Grade
08-02-2007, 10:18 PM
So is it that bidding a job is of no interest? Is it that bid prices are a closely guarded secret? Around here digging footings is going for about 12.50 a foot. A water service install on a new house goes for $750-$1000. Grading a 1/2 acre front/rear yard for "rough-in" for contractors goes for $450 and then when the homeowners come in to finish it, it usually runs $1,000 to grade w/o any top soil.

SiteSolutions
08-03-2007, 01:07 AM
Rough -in, rake, finish grade, sod in front (approx 600 sq yd), seed in back, a half dozen shrubs and a couple scoops of mulch on a "starter home" is going for around $4k in my neck of the woods.

I have a friend who says that he can do better work faster (& therefore make money) by buying a load of good topsoil versus scavenging dirt on site. I plan to try a little experimenting myself to see if I make out better even if i have to spend a couple bucks on the good dirt. Maybe my builder will split the cost with me.

I would say that $450 for rough-in is in the ballpark according to what I have seen.

dozerman21
08-03-2007, 07:40 AM
RSG- I'm not sure about footings, but as far as the grading goes, the prices you gave are pretty close for a custom home. If you're working for a production builder, the price drops significantly. The water install is pretty close too. For some reason, digging seems to pay better (or closer to what it deserves) than grading does. :rolleyes: The same goes for trenching. It's crazy what some guys can get per foot just for installing something simple like a sump line.

AWJ Services
08-03-2007, 08:01 AM
So is it that bidding a job is of no interest?

I am glad you started this post but I do so little new construction that I really have no useful information.
I will ask a couple of builders what they pay and add that information.

RockSet N' Grade
08-03-2007, 10:33 AM
AWJ.....don't cut yourself short. You have alot (we all do) to offer on this one. It is not only new I am interested in, it is remodel, renovation, general costs. I figure if we share, we learn and can benefit from our strong suits as well as weak areas.....Here's another one from me: tear out front yard ( 30x50) and parking strip (50x6) and haul one load of debris to dump. Rough grade so they can hand rake it out for laying sod. No sprinklers in front, no sprinkler install. I figure it will take me a total of 4 hrs. with me and my laborer and 1 hr to dump. Price: $750.00 Also, not responsible for any cracked or broken concrete during process. This is a house built in the 50's and rehabing for a flipper.
Dozerman- give some of it up brutha :) What are some of the numbers you use....... :)

RockSet N' Grade
08-03-2007, 10:37 AM
SiteSolutions: 10 wheeler of screened top soil delievered within 1 hr in this area is $250.....( that's 12 yards). To spread it, it takes about an hour: $80. That is the price if we are already on the job and working there. If a happy homeowner wants just one or two loads delievered and spread, our minimum including transport for tractor/grading is $500 minimum.

RockSet N' Grade
08-03-2007, 10:38 AM
KSSS?, Constructo?

RockSet N' Grade
08-03-2007, 11:11 AM
I started this thread with this thought in mind: empower myself, and empower others...I figured this was a safe area to talk openly about the bottom line, the difference between failure, just making it, and success is not the nuts and bolts of equipment ( which is important, no doubt ) but pricing, bidding, getting the work and growing. If I can't bid properly, I can't grow or be competative no matter what color machine I have........so there you have it, its out in the open, this can go nowhere or somewhere depending on you guys.....

Construct'O
08-03-2007, 11:15 AM
KSSS?, Constructo?

Sorry i'm in a different ball park:dancing:

I do mostly trenching with tiling machine.I get .75 to 1.00 a ft for that and .05 to .10 a ft. for backfilling trench( use the CTL for the backfilling).

Plus make a few cents a ft.on the material plastic drainage tile.That depends on size .I mostly install 4" to 12" size.Lots of 4" for drainage reasons.

I have about 30,000 ft. plus to do here in the next few weeks.Average about 3000 ft. aday when things goes will.Don't hit buried car bodys,brushpiles,or rocks.Doesn't make for a good day:dizzy:

I would say the rough end dirt jobs you quoted was for the norm here.

Not much help Sorrrrrrr !!!!!!!!!

I do get $80 an hr for the CTL and $85 for the mini 4 ton size,use it for tile repair work, works out well for that.As you can see i'm more in my our world on here;)

Just bid high when you have more then you can do and make the big bucks:drinkup: Good Luck and have a great day:usflag:

Construct'O
08-03-2007, 11:22 AM
KSSS?, Constructo?

Also have dozers,moooooo cows,farm equipment,but thats a whole different world also:laugh:

Hourly works works better for me,to many varables when working for farmers.Home owners is a little better.I said little now:dancing:

Got to run!!!!!!! I'm late ,I'm late for work.The one good thing about being self emplyeed,especially when the help is late.:cool2:

RockSet N' Grade
08-03-2007, 11:45 AM
Constructo.........that is great information. For those of you who don't know pricing, your homework is to ask 3 contractors this next week on what they charge for concrete tear out per sq. ft., what they charge for footings per ft, what they charge for grading per sq. ft, and one question of your own choosing. Imagine if 20 folks reported back? That is a whole lot of information that is valuable.
Scag48.......what computor programs are out there that generate bid info?

SiteSolutions
08-03-2007, 02:04 PM
SiteSolutions: 10 wheeler of screened top soil delievered within 1 hr in this area is $250.....( that's 12 yards). To spread it, it takes about an hour: $80. That is the price if we are already on the job and working there. If a happy homeowner wants just one or two loads delievered and spread, our minimum including transport for tractor/grading is $500 minimum.

I can get top quality top soil for about $225 for a tri-axle (14 wheels, ~15+ yds?) I have to call the guy in advance to make sure I can get it when I want it. I typically don't add on any margin to materials that someone else delivers. Sometimes I throw an extra $50 or so if I am making all the phone calls to set it up and tell the truck driver where to put it and when to come back, but reselling materials isn't my business. (If I'm doing the hauling, I definitely charge for that!)

A few months ago I spread a bunch of crushed limestone for a hardscaper @ $100 / tandem load (10 wheel truck); My thinking has been around $100 per tandem load to spread gravel, dirt or whatever. $125 per tri-axle load. If the opportunity came up, I would probably try $75 per load to spread a single axle load.

I've charged as little as $50 to haul off trash / spoils but recently charged $65 / hr for trucking. With my older truck, it has been useless to try to make money on hauling. I've just used the truck to try to get more loader work. The truck should be out of the shop in the next few days and hopefully will get better mileage and so be less of a waste of time to operate.

I also switched to a new minimum pricing scheme when I went full time. First I sat down to figure out what sort of money I need to make monthly to pay for everything, and then converted that to weekly and daily averages. I now charge $400 to show up, and that buys up to one half day (maybe 5 hrs max). After that, it is a $700 whole day minimum. I don't always get that but it is at least something to keep in my head so I don't get talked down too bad.

Right now I am doing per job work for a builder instead of per-day or per-load work. I like it a lot better. I can take a break and see my family or work late or whatever it takes, as long as the work gets done. Less hassle, more freedom, one of the big reasons people go into work for themselves in the first place.

This is a good thread idea. We're all so spread out on this site, it's not too dangerous to talk pricing in a general way. That said, I have a guy that lives 5-10 miles away who has 4 skid steers and he has not been shy at all about helping me figure out pricing and how to get work. He figures if he helps me, I won't low ball or get talked down, which is better for us all. There's plenty of work for everybody, at least around here.

Scag48
08-03-2007, 02:22 PM
Scag48.......what computor programs are out there that generate bid info?

Trakware provides a program called EarthWorks that looks pretty good. It seems like it's suited more for cut and fill jobs, which is probably much more software than a landscaper would need. Bid2Win is probably tme most popular bidding software I've seen and it sounds like it can handle alot.

ksss
08-03-2007, 09:14 PM
Concrete prep is $1.10 to $1.50 includes 3-4 inches of 3/4 roadbase compacted to grade. The concrete removal is .50 to 1.50 on top of that depending on the site conditions and amount.

Foundations: $1.25 per square foot dig and backfill, basement floor not included nor any concrete prep, walk outs additional.

water $500.00 min. $8.00 a foot plus materials
Sewer $500.00 min. $12.00 a foot plus materials
power/phone/cable $4.00 a foot $300 min.

I try to get $500 min. on grading yards some times it don't work that way.

When hourly

440 $65.00 an hour
465 $70.00 an hour
TB153 $80.00
9020B $150.00
Vibramax roller $75.00
tandem truck $65.00

concrete hammer $150.00 an hour
Preparator- skid steer rate plus $250 a day
pickup broom same as preparator
hoe pac excavator rate plus $250 a day

Construct'O
08-03-2007, 11:59 PM
One way to found info is start going to public lettings for your type work get a set of plans even if you don't bid .Set in on the bid letting and they will give the prices for each step of the project.Dirtwork,clearing,tube,install.

They will be by the yard,sq.ft.,lump sump and so fore.You don't have to bid to attend.They will have a list of all the bidders.They usual will tell the prices of the complete project and take the low bid and read all the info on the low bidders sheet.

Always nice just to be a few hundred,not thousanddollars!!!! under the next bidder and get the job.That way you go home with a smile on your face instead of saying o"what if !!!!! I should have,could have,but didn't.

Better to get your ducks in a row first before you go to bid.Spend some time gather your info.Talk to your venders for material prices,and subs if your the prime bidder.

Don't hurry , and wait to the last mintue to figure your bids( make sure you do the addition correctly,if wrong they can or will throw it out).Be prepared when you go to bid.Just like school, do your home work.

The more you go to lettings the more you will learn from the other guy doing you type work.

Just remember theirs always someone looking to buy a job,just make sure if you bid to be able to make money,for you,don't worry about if the other guys is going to make it ,unless your plan on subing work from him.

More info out there you just need to search it out.Good Luck.

RockSet N' Grade
08-04-2007, 12:12 AM
Constructo: One of the guys who I have buddied up with used to be head estimator for the largest asphalt company here in Utah. I am spending time with him......he is computorized, gets plans over the net and is very savvy. He just went to work for one of the largest demo contractors in the southwest here and started a dirt division for this guy.......I've played this game alot of different ways from real estate development ( commercial and industrial) to running a framing company, flippers, bank REO's, and now this little adventure in dirt.........I just have a passion for equipment, always have......Just thought this would be a great thread for all of us to learn and grow from........I see hard times coming here in our little economy, and a sharp pencil will be the difference between work and no work......

RockSet N' Grade
08-04-2007, 12:23 AM
Hey Constructo talked with a buddy of mine today in Elko, Nevada. He ranches. His son-in-law is now a goat man. Bought 5,000 goats and BLM pays him $20,000 a month to manage their land. He has brought in some Basque sheep herders from Spain to manage the herds. If you have dairy cows, my hat is off to you.......one of the hardest non-stop jobs on the face of the planet.....

Construct'O
08-04-2007, 12:30 AM
I have used my computer to search for job letting info by doing a search under state of choice,bid lettings.Will show up projects to be let, already bid on projects and so on.

I'm sure you could get needed info from doing these type search for your local towns,countys,state,etc.

Just so you know i also do silt fence installs with my ctl and silt fence plow.At 200 ft. a minute to install at $1.25 a ft. adds up pretty good.Installing the stakes what takes the timebut the price jumps per ft. also.

Some jobs can be huges, others little, for footage.

When i do waterways they aren't always staked .Depends on the county i work in.It's late. Check out the silt fence gig!!!!!!!

AWJ Services
08-04-2007, 01:03 AM
Foundations: $1.25 per square foot dig and backfill,

Is that for the house footprint sq/ft?

I try too get 65.00 hr for my TL140 which is usually around 500 too 600 a day.

For contractors I sub myself and machine for 450 a day.

Sod generally goes for 100 pallet(500 sq/ft) labor for Harley rake and lay.
Grading is extra.This price usually is based on at least 12 pallets.
It goes up below that.

Septic installation starts at 2300 dollars for a 1000 gallon tank and 150 ft of line.That is a new installation price.

Silt fence here is a buck a foot.

Concrete work goes for about a 100 dollars a yard labor too prep,form,pour and finish.
There are finishing crews that will do large jobs that are ready too pour for 35 a yard.

Pavers go for as little as 8 bucks a foot turn key.

Guys are doing wall blocks for as little as 18 dollars a foot.

These prices are below what I charge but it is my competition.

Stone veneer flat work pays around 10 a sq/ft labor.

Fill dirt is 100 a tandem load and top soil is 300 a tandem.

ksss
08-04-2007, 02:25 AM
It is for the footprint of the house and does not include the necessary overdig. It is low I know. However that is what it brings. Some are charging more but throwing in the basement prep and garage floor prep and all the sidewalk and they get about .30 more a square foot. I have got a clientel that only builds the 2500 square foot and up houses. I can make decent money on those. The 2K and under it is hard to make any real money on.

grassmanvt
08-04-2007, 11:45 AM
Ok, how about harley raking, seeding, hay mulching, hydroseeding? As for my input well, I don't do any hydroseeding but the only guy in town that does it is generally 10-12cents a square foot. I usually do any prep work hourly, skidsteer 60 an hour(a few steady jobs though at 65 an hour), tractor w/york rake 50-60 an hour, just got the harley rake so not sure on what I will charge on that yet so I would like to see some numbers on that. Also, skid steer rate was with just a bucket, any attachment runs extra. Trucking w/one ton, 50 an hour but do have some steady winter work at 65 an hour, topsoil, well, I try to get 25 a yard from the general puplic or if you are a contractor or customer of mine, 20 a yard, plus deliverey or I will loadyour rig for that price. That is pretty decent stuff, not perfect but better than alot of the junk that gets sold around here. Also, I just bought a hay chopper, that I probably will run p/sq foot w/ a minimum. Haven't come up with a min. yet but 4-5 cents p/sq/ft seems to be in the ballpark for that. I am hoping for just quick mulch and run jobs for other contractors with that since not many have bale choppers around here. Thats my input as minimal as it is.

dozerman21
08-04-2007, 11:20 PM
AWJ.....don't cut yourself short. You have alot (we all do) to offer on this one. It is not only new I am interested in, it is remodel, renovation, general costs. I figure if we share, we learn and can benefit from our strong suits as well as weak areas.....Here's another one from me: tear out front yard ( 30x50) and parking strip (50x6) and haul one load of debris to dump. Rough grade so they can hand rake it out for laying sod. No sprinklers in front, no sprinkler install. I figure it will take me a total of 4 hrs. with me and my laborer and 1 hr to dump. Price: $750.00 Also, not responsible for any cracked or broken concrete during process. This is a house built in the 50's and rehabing for a flipper.
Dozerman- give some of it up brutha :) What are some of the numbers you use....... :)

My numbers are pretty similar to others. I very rarely charge by the hour, unless there are too many variables to give an accurate bid for the job.

When I do charge by the hour:

CTL: $75/hour
Dozer: $75-$125/hour, depending on the job
Tandem dump: $65/hour
Backhoe: $75/hour
Hi-lift: $75/hour
Skid Steer: $60/hour
Attachments: $25/hour on top of machine rate

The best price I've found for a tri-axle of quality top soil is $265. Average is $300.

Silt fence install here is going for $1.00/ft. installed. This line of work has really taken off with the whole Clean Water Act that everyone is dealing with. Many guys are low balling to get their foot in the door.

We have a lot of building going on here (although it's slower than usual), but the knucklehead lowballers in all phases of dirt work are making the rates harder to get, hence bidding by the job. Like RSG said, sometimes we all have to sharpen the old No. 2 to stay busy.

AWJ Services
08-04-2007, 11:29 PM
Like RSG said, sometimes we all have to sharpen the old No. 2 to stay busy.

You and the others here have way more experience than I do .
I am often concerned about being busy and broke.
That fine line scares me.:)

dozerman21
08-04-2007, 11:51 PM
You and the others here have way more experience than I do .
I am often concerned about being busy and broke.
That fine line scares me.:)

You're exactly right. It's a very fine line that all of us self-employed walk. The older guys that are more established with less payments going out every month can be more picky with jobs, and charge more. If they don't get it, no big deal. For those of us who will be working for 15-20+ more years, we try to find the best paying jobs, but at the end of the day still have to pay the bills. Like they say though, if you're going to go broke, go broke well rested!:)

RockSet N' Grade
08-05-2007, 12:10 AM
AWJ....that is a good point "being busy and broke". It is what I do not want to be and a concern I have had and still do have since the market is tightening. It is a significant factor prompting me to start this little thread. I am being undercut here, alot more "shopping" going on, canceling of signed contracts and the like....As for me, I have been living very frugal these last years and doubling up on my equipment payments, trying to reduce overhead. The bulk of my "stuff" will be paid off at the end of 7 more months or less and my hope is that will relieve some of the pressure of working 6 days a week as many hours as daylight and my body can stand. Since I have been losing quite a bit of work lately to lowballers, this also prompted me to start this discussion. There are alot of newbie's around here right now with brand new equipment, brand new trucks, brand new trailers...........brand new everything and they seem to be driving the rates down just to stay "busy". I can be "busy" at home here and it is alot less expensive to sit than pay to do a job....I am meeting this next week with my estimator buddy and will report back with his "feel" and numbers.

AWJ Services
08-05-2007, 10:21 AM
I am more familiar with the Landscaping end.
Take for example Site Solutions example of prepping the new yard and finish the landscaping.

It goes for about the same here as well.
I would have around 1500 dollars in materials plus fuel.
It will take around 30 man hours for labor and around a day of machine time.
Here we have too do the cleanup as well.
If the rough grade is off much you don not have enough time or extra money too fix it.

1500 dollars in materials
400 to 500 in labor
500 dollars machine time

2500 dollars.

Then some one has too stay back and hand water and roll the yard.
Then you have too wait too get paid from the builder and warrant the yard for a year.

All for 1500 dollars or less.
Take the example and add the 2 loads of top soil too make it go faster.
A good crew can do 1 a day.
But what do you do with the 4 or 5 employees when the builder has no work for you?
Quality of work will be lowered as well too make money.
My question is do I really want my company associated with this type of work?
Plus now that you are doing tract homes for this builder for next too nothing you end up turning down lucrative homeowner jobs because the builder is on a schedule.

Thats my idea of busy and broke.

Here a builder wanted 10k sq/ft Bermuda sod,4 too 5 zones irrigation,about 700 too 1000 dollar wholesale price plant package,100 bales straw and seed and straw back yard.
7000 dollars.Plus these houses are 3 side brick so you have too clean the mess up as well.

As I have mentioned before in my previous business I learned a lesson about competitive pricing the hard way.
That is "only too compete with your competition, not everyone out there".

There is always somone who will be cheaper.

John K
03-14-2009, 11:40 PM
How have the prices changed since this thread started?

RockSet N' Grade
03-15-2009, 12:48 PM
JohnK........my prices are the same BUT the biggest difference is how I am presenting/packaging and selling it. I am focusing on being confident in my presentation, emphasizing quality and service and trying to diminish the talking point of price. The season is just opening up here and it is still too early to say for sure.......but for me already it is looking better than last year. I just got an offer yesterday to be the prime job supervisor for all phases of a 1,500 home subdivision which will break ground in 60 days. I am slated to be interviewed by the board of this company within the next two weeks and have the owner's 100% backing for the job. Now for that, down to the fine print.......My excavation work is doing well with 4-5 booked jobs ready to go when the weather breaks into spring.....all residential and not commercial.

AWJ Services
03-15-2009, 01:35 PM
New construction bellyflopped, everyone went bankrupt and I got completely out of Landscaping.LOL
The price structure here is better.

ksss
03-15-2009, 02:03 PM
Prices are in free fall here. Basement excavation is now around 1.05 per square foot. It was tight at 1.25 to make any money. Guys are doing whatever they can to keep iron moving even if they are losing money doing it.

AWJ Services
03-15-2009, 02:14 PM
Prices are in free fall here. Basement excavation is now around 1.05 per square foot. It was tight at 1.25 to make any money. Guys are doing whatever they can to keep iron moving even if they are losing money doing it.

What new construction here is the same.

Canon Landscaping
03-15-2009, 02:37 PM
I bought 2 GTCO digitizers 36x48 for 100 bucks off craigslist bidding from plans is so easy with one and your quantities are very accurate. If you are doing takeoffs with a ruler that little margin of error might cost you the bid in this bid climate.

If you have a good general price structure where you know you won't lose money I would bid everything I could get my hands on. Just make sure your quantities are accurate I would recommend using a digitizer or software.

MJM316
03-15-2009, 04:23 PM
What is a digitizer:confused:

ksss
03-15-2009, 06:51 PM
I bought 2 GTCO digitizers 36x48 for 100 bucks off craigslist bidding from plans is so easy with one and your quantities are very accurate. If you are doing takeoffs with a ruler that little margin of error might cost you the bid in this bid climate.

If you have a good general price structure where you know you won't lose money I would bid everything I could get my hands on. Just make sure your quantities are accurate I would recommend using a digitizer or software.

There is no doubt that is the way to go. I went a training while at Conexpo that taught how to do that. Very impressive.