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View Full Version : Need some help and input on a big bid


JeffNY
07-06-2008, 10:19 PM
Big bid for us anyway.

They want fresh mulch put down, some around the trees will have to be removed because there's about 5" of it, weeds all need to be removed, bushes trimmed, and thats about it.

There's no dirt between the landscape plastic and 2 layers of mulch over it, so the weeds will come out fairly easy.

Keeping in mind, I was told the winning bidder gets 9 other properties as well.

There's 300 shrubs
27 Tree rings (about 4')
approx 8,350sqft of beds

How far off base am I?

Tree rings - 2 yards
beds - 60 yards
trimming - 300 x $5?
Prob figure 6-8 hours of clean up (weeding and picking up trimmings)
@ $35/hr? more? less?

$5500?


From what ive searched, it looks like people charge 15-25 per shrub, but I can't see that, these aren't very big.

If we start bright and early saturday morning, I'm wondering if its even possible to be done by sunset sunday. Running min. of 4 guys. Then the other thing, how the hell am I going to get 62 yards of mulch delivered?? Im going to have to make some calls for that, I was thinking about having 30/30yrds dropped on the west and east lot.

Any input would be great, esp with the shrub trimming price, im still kinda new to that.

3rd pic down, those wild things in the corners, should those be trimmed heavy, get them away from the building?

Here's some pics.

http://jeff98.com/images/CLS/IMG_0772%20(Medium).JPG
http://jeff98.com/images/CLS/IMG_0773%20(Medium).JPG
http://jeff98.com/images/CLS/IMG_0774%20(Medium).JPG
http://jeff98.com/images/CLS/IMG_0775%20(Medium).JPG
http://jeff98.com/images/CLS/IMG_0776%20(Medium).JPG
http://jeff98.com/images/CLS/IMG_0777%20(Medium).JPG
http://jeff98.com/images/CLS/IMG_0778%20(Medium).JPG
http://jeff98.com/images/CLS/thebigone.JPG

CLARK LAWN
07-06-2008, 11:35 PM
at 8350 sqf of beds you will be closer to 80 yards than 60 rent a skid steer to run the mulch around. see if you can get a tractor trailer load delivered. i believe a walking floor is around 80 yards and they can stop unloading and moveto different areas.

White Gardens
07-07-2008, 12:43 AM
Man, I don't know. I try not to do mulch for any less than 100 a yard when it comes to jobs similar to your situation. 80 a yard is a general rule of thumb, but when there is more labor involved, price goes up.

It looks like in some of your pics, that the beds will need to be edged. You also stated that there is fabric. I'm going to venture to say some weeds are going to be rooted in it and you will run the risk of pulling it up. Not to mention trying to not get a bed edger wraped up in it. If I were you, I would use a weed eater, cut it down, spray roundup, mulch, and come back in two weeks to spray again. Much less labor involved.

I would come up with two bids. Add at least 1000 ( I would go 2500) to your lower one. Tell them that it is the lowest, but not the best bid. Your hauling should be around 1000, that's why I think it is low.

Then I would add about 5000 and tell them if you want it done right, go with this bid. That includes a true landscape renovation, with all fabric and mulch removed, and either no fabric, or new put down, preen, prunnings, ect.

Make sure you explain everything in detail for each bid. Many of times people have used me because they think that they are going to save money in the long run when they invest in the larger bid, and get there landscaping back into managable shape.

Don't forget to sell them on future maintenence so they don't incure such a large cost all at once to re-do someone elses' mess.

I would go 45-60 an hour labor for all those shrubs. I looks like one guy could do them in one day with cleanup.

Clark lawn is right, it will be closer to 80 yards, especially if your removing mulch and will have to build up again.

Worst case scenario, they like your style and thinking, and they want to meet in the middle.

Like the sig states........

JeffNY
07-07-2008, 01:04 AM
I wish I could charge $80-100/yrd around here, but if you want the job, I think $60 is about all you can get.
I lifted up some old mulch, its heavy plastic underneath, not that nasty cloth, the entire construction of the place isn't more than 2 years old. He didn't mention edging, but I can add that as an option to the bid, but like ya said, its only going to end up ripping the plastic up.
Can't spray roundup, unless I break the law, which I think is a stupid one anyway, I can spray it all over my yard, but not someone elses, whatever, we have to play by the rules with this one, if we get it, I know one person thats not going to like us.

Im typing the bid up now, should I itemize all the charges, or just list everything im going to do, then the total?

JeffNY
07-07-2008, 01:05 AM
I wish I could charge $80-100/yrd around here, but if you want the job, I think $60 is about all you can get.
I lifted up some old mulch, its heavy plastic underneath, not that nasty cloth, the entire construction of the place isn't more than 2 years old. He didn't mention edging, but I can add that as an option to the bid, but like ya said, its only going to end up ripping the plastic up.
Can't spray roundup, unless I break the law, which I think is a stupid one anyway, I can spray it all over my yard, but not someone elses, whatever, we have to play by the rules with this one, if we get it, I know one person thats not going to like us.

Im typing the bid up now, should I itemize all the charges, or just list everything im going to do, then the total?

oh yeah, bid is due by like 8am tmr.

White Gardens
07-07-2008, 01:59 AM
Itemize, but don't tell them total amounts. Just list the item, and how much it will cost.

dutchman
07-07-2008, 06:38 AM
I think you are a little on the Low side. It depends how much your mulch cost. Around here that $40 a Yard deliverd. Mulch will cost $3200 and trimming is $1500 you allready at $4800.

You better make sure you have your numbers right or you will lose mone on it.

JeffNY
07-07-2008, 08:06 AM
I think you are a little on the Low side. It depends how much your mulch cost. Around here that $40 a Yard deliverd. Mulch will cost $3200 and trimming is $1500 you allready at $4800.

You better make sure you have your numbers right or you will lose mone on it.

$24/yard, but the guy I buy it from only had about 20/yrds on hand at a time, so im going to have to go through his supplier, for hopefully the same price.

JohnnyRoyale
07-07-2008, 08:51 AM
Here we go again...dont take the other 9 properties into consideration at this point. If there are 9 other properties, they would have included it into the bidding now. Future promises mean zero to me. But thats only my opinion after 15 years of hearing them. Price it to make money, do a good job. Source out the mulch manufacturer-avoid the middleman if you can because with this volume they should be willing to entertain you. And don't waste your time trying to figure out how someone could riduclulously have underbid you-as it may happen. Good Luck.

dutchman
07-07-2008, 11:52 AM
Here we go again...dont take the other 9 properties into consideration at this point. If there are 9 other properties, they would have included it into the bidding now. Future promises mean zero to me. But thats only my opinion after 15 years of hearing them. Price it to make money, do a good job. Source out the mulch manufacturer-avoid the middleman if you can because with this volume they should be willing to entertain you. And don't waste your time trying to figure out how someone could riduclulously have underbid you-as it may happen. Good Luck.

I am with you don't listen to maybe future jobs most of the time it doesn't work like that. They say that to get a cheap price from you. And $24 a yard deliverd is very cheap. What kind of mulch is that

JeffNY
07-07-2008, 12:02 PM
$24 a yard if I go pick it up, the guy i get it from claims he gets it for $22/yard + fuel charge, comes out to around $24.
Best stuff we've seen so far too, claims its 100% tree bark, treated with flame ******ant, and anti-fungus stuff, its heavy, damp, and stays dark brown for a long time.

JohnnyRoyale
07-07-2008, 12:13 PM
It was the post above mine with the mulch at $24.00. Find who the manufacturer is and go direct. You'll save 10-15/yd for sure as opposed to buying through a landscape supply yard-trust me.

JeffNY
07-07-2008, 12:17 PM
its from another local LCO that I made friends with, said it's his cost. But he also offered to hook me up direct with the company and have it delivered to me, I just have no where to store it, so I go to him. But this one im going to have to have it delivered onsite.
I'll make some calls today, guy seemed happy about the price, he's picking up the signed proposal later.

*crosses fingers*

STRINGALATION
07-07-2008, 01:50 PM
hope this all goes well for you.


according to my math and standard pricing and application

1. i would be putting down 4" of mulch which for me brings the total for this job to 107 yards:confused:
2. $5 per shrub is decent but some of those are big and will require ladders and what not so i think $7 is more appropriate some need trimming and some need prunning.
3. waste removal is going to be extensive and gas is high and dumping fees around here are to for me 112 a load plus gas and labor
4. is that $35 per MAN hour or per hour. big difference
5. i would have been almost triple your bid
6. i am still considered a rookie so take mine for what it is worth

dutchman
07-07-2008, 03:54 PM
I hope he will gets it too.

But I think he is too low and from what I get he doesn't make any money on the mulch I have a feeling he will lose money on that. It better be $35 per man hour.

If he pay $24 per yard for his mulch 80 X $24=1920 + prunning $1500=$3420 his bid is $5500 there $2080 left and if he charge $35 per man hour he has 60 hours to do this job and with 4 people that 15 hours per man.


I hope the don't put all that mulch in one pile.

JeffNY
07-07-2008, 05:21 PM
I bid it at $6500 based on 65 yards. We have cheap labor friends, couple will work for beer and food, the other we'll throw 10 bucks/hr.
My partner talked to his buddy, he has 2 bobcats we can rent for probably 2 30 packs, and we def plan on making 2 piles with the mulch.
Theres no room for anything going wrong though, business opens monday, it HAS to be done by then.

Thanks everyone for the input, I'll keep a good work log and see if we won one, or lost one. Always lessons to be taught.

dutchman
07-07-2008, 05:50 PM
Good luck..............

STRINGALATION
07-08-2008, 01:22 AM
i hope nothing but the best for you and like you said, keep a good log of how long it takes to do this or that and keep a good ledger and bidding will become easier and more importantly, more accurate


hey do the math on the price of bagged mulch with the labor and work placing pallets all over the place may go fastrer than and make less of a mess. and with thae amnount you'll need it will surely bring down the price per i hope

NNJLandman
07-08-2008, 01:41 PM
I think $6500.00 is on the money for around here. I would run a six man crew. You and your partner should be able to handle 2 guys under your span of control easily. You shoulda looked into having the mulch blowed in. A guy I talked to the other day had 100 yds of mulch blowed in about 5 hours. Cost him $34/yd and he didn't lift a finger. You spend a day doing the shrub trimming and prep etc. The next day they blow it in in a few hours. You'd looking at a big profit. Take some pictures let us know how it turns out.

JeffNY
07-08-2008, 01:47 PM
I think $6500.00 is on the money for around here. I would run a six man crew. You and your partner should be able to handle 2 guys under your span of control easily. You shoulda looked into having the mulch blowed in. A guy I talked to the other day had 100 yds of mulch blowed in about 5 hours. Cost him $34/yd and he didn't lift a finger. You spend a day doing the shrub trimming and prep etc. The next day they blow it in in a few hours. You'd looking at a big profit. Take some pictures let us know how it turns out.

Nothings set up yet, still waiting for signed papers. Then im going to start talkin to people, seeing what options are available for mulch, and even having the beds sprayed. No idea what that would even cost.

h400exinfl
07-08-2008, 08:32 PM
Over mulching is bad for plants and trees. 8350 sq ft calls for 52 yds at 2 inches thick. I'd bid at 1 day labor for your crew to trim, weed, edge, whatever and 52 yds at the going rate. IMHO that property won't take 40 yards unless you really pile it on.

barefootlawnsandlandscape
07-09-2008, 05:18 PM
Get the mulch shipped by semi-truck. A semi with walking floor can deliver
85yds of colored and 100yds of natural. The amount you get probably depends on DOT regs in your state. You will pay 40-50% less than at the local supply yard. I believe from the pictures the plants in the corners are crape myrtles. They need to be pruned from the bottom up if that is what they are. Getting them to proper from will cost you more than $5 each. As stated before, do a knock out job, and sell them on a maintenance contract.

If the landscape is only 2 years old it hasn't been touched. I would make sure that the management company is in good financial shape before signing a contract though! A neglected commercial property is sometimes signs of financial problems.

Let us know how it goes.

JeffNY
07-11-2008, 08:50 AM
Update:

Guy said he was hoping it was going to be around $5500, now he's thinking about just pruning everything, paying me at an hourly rate, then seeing how much is left in the budget for mulch.
(I feel he's hustling me)
Here's the downside, im new, we need work. I told him i'd call him back today to see where we can try to cut corners, maybe not trimming ALL the shrubs, maybe I can call and get a price on a chem app for killing the weeds, maybe I can tell him to GFY then have no money, im just not really sure.
He mentions theres several other properties to move onto after this, he's mentioning plowing, think maybe I should see if he'll give me some kind of written agreement for another job if I take this one low?
Trying to see what I can do to get this job. thats all.

OH, and money, thats not an issue whatsoever with these people. Thats why I feel im being hustled.

Thanks.

White Gardens
07-11-2008, 10:28 AM
What is the place that you are trying to bid. I couldn't tell if it's an apartment complex or what. If that's the case then not too many tenants live there so, so not much cash flow.

Sounds like your doing the right thing. I know you need the work to start out with, but make sure you don't label yourself a low-baller. Once you start doing cheap work then everyone else wants you to do cheap work.

Trimming the shrubs shouldn't be too bad. A good pair of extended reach hedge clippers would go a long way. Once that's done, check the budget and you might be able to spruce up the entrances with mulch and do the rest later.

Always remember, just because someone looks like they have money doesn't mean that they aren't financed out the wazoo. I've seen people with more than a million dollars of equity in their properties who are hundreds of thousands in debt.

JeffNY
07-11-2008, 10:44 AM
They're offices, doctors, investors, accountants. I think the place would look stupid half mulched, I'll just have to go talk to em.

NNJLandman
07-11-2008, 03:27 PM
Listen don't drop your prices because I was in your spot when I started out. You want the account and will stop at just about nothing to get it. Well trust me it hurts when your profit is next to nothing. Don't cut corners, sell your bid. Tell him why your the best, why your work will stand out. Don't bash the guy, but just tell him whats up. For all your know you may be the only one who bidded the job and hes just trying to haggle.

I had a guy call me for an estimate. Met with him, hes trying to sell the house wants ideas on what to do with the landscape so he can give prospective buyers insight into what they can do with the property and also wanted an estimate for lawn service.(I shoulda charged him for the estimate) Anyway, hes hagglin you can do better, comon you want me to bring my own crew of guys in here and do it etc. I said you can do that but it won't look as nice if we did it. I'm standing buy my price, I explained my bus. expenses to him, my eye for detail, my other satisfied customers. So i left....two days later okay Jeff go ahead with the lawn maint. He sold the house and left me a 5 minute message about how happy he was with my services, everything was done so professional and looked so sharp, the buyer said the clean cut lawn and edges made them notice the place, he will definently use me again should he need me and he looks forward to having me do more work for him and will recommend me to the buyer. SOOO Hook em like a fish.

White Gardens
07-11-2008, 05:17 PM
They're offices, doctors, investors, accountants. I think the place would look stupid half mulched, I'll just have to go talk to em.


If that's the case it sounds like the owner is a cheap-skate. Give him a true price on what needs to be done. In the end if he says no, then tell him to find someone else to do it cheaper, and when they screw it up, tell him to call you to do it right.

I wouldn't think that Drs. and Lawyers would want their place of business to look that crappy. If this guy is letting the landscaping go that bad, then I'm sure the occupants will follow.