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View Full Version : Ever do a $900 25' x 3' paver walkway?


Ramairfreak98ss
02-16-2009, 05:34 PM
Local ad i saw has an advertisement from a company claiming they'll come out and do a 25x3' paver walkway for $900 lol. Since we've done ones similar to that size last year, and net at least $2k with only a couple modifications attaching to the driveway or removal of an existing crushed stone walkway as "prep", i cant ever see doing one of these even in the best of scenarios for less than 1k.

Just a pallet of block for something of this size is $350-425. Even if your crew could go in in one single 8hr day, prep, lay and walk away by 5pm

assume $400 for block
$30-50 edging?
$100~ crushed stone/aggregate
$15 spikes or nails for edging
- excavation prep, most times we always have to load and haul offsite big or small
Say 2-3 guys @12hr for 8hr day
$288 roughly for 3 guys, plus taxes
-vehicle/machine wear and tear
-hauling skid of block to site from your supplier


your cost before profit is $853, wtf, for $900? HOW?

zedosix
02-16-2009, 06:54 PM
Easy enough

Cheapest brick is $1.25 or so sq.ft.
No restraint, no nails
No geo-textile
No polymeric sand
All crushed stone with stone dust as screenings. 6" max. excavation
Runner pattern= minimal cutting
Cheap labour $10/hr

Chance of picking up more work while on site = good possibility.

I think its possible but highly unlikely that everyone is going to want or have the setting for a 25'x3' walkway unless all your homes are built the same.

mrusk
02-16-2009, 07:51 PM
Zeo right. I'd alost bet its a stone dust base.

LB1234
02-16-2009, 08:44 PM
hey, I got guys by me quoting between 9-10 per square. The show up to the site, scribble down what they claim they are going to use and state a square foot price. When I get there they wonder why I'm not producing a price immediately. I have to then explain why I don't have a square foot price.

We did a 6x8 paver landing for a deck last summer (somewhere around that size) and if memory serves me correctly it came out to be around 1800 bucks. We only excavated, brought new topsoil in, reset the grade, and seeded.

LOL

Midstate Lawncare
02-16-2009, 08:47 PM
Maybe it is a way to get into new neighborhoods or it is an ad that when you call they say ok, and when they show up they say they just sold out of that stone but we can use this stone for $XXXX. That is rediculous and mrusk is dead on with the prices. And around here the "good" landscaping employees get paid $10.00 per hour.

PlatinumLandCon
02-16-2009, 08:54 PM
I've done something similar, let me try to remember all the details.

First off, it was for a guy about 15 houses down, leaving spoils on-site on a Saturday. It was 40x3.5', L-shape, with 32' being one side and 8' being the other. Approx costs:

Excavation 8"- by hand, myself with my really hard working "foreman", 3 hours x $50/hr= $150
Gravel- 3yd (only bought 2yd, had 1 left over), $60
Geotex- 175sf @ 0.10/sf= $17.50
Sand- 1yd= $40
Pavers- $2/sf x 150sf= $300
Edge- 8 pieces (had 2 left over) = $65
Spikes- 100-120 (no idea actual #)= $60
Polysand- 1 bag= $25
Soil+Sod= $50

TOTAL= 767.50 plus about 4 more hours to install= $50

Charged him $1500 (cash).

Not bad for a Saturday. I was done at 4pm and relaxed with a burger and some TV.

DVS Hardscaper
02-16-2009, 08:54 PM
yeah, but you dont need a full pallet, even after the 10% waste factor. So the left overs get rolled into the next job, those left overs get rolled ino the job after that, and so on.


Also, one example, this past summer and fall Belgard had a surplus of 2 yr old pavers that they sold for around $1/ SF. It's said that in Dec one contractor bought ALL the remaining pallets. When I heard that I instantly thought "not a bad idea, with the bad economy you can really sell a lot of small jobs at that price".


Or could be that the guy is out of his mind and he'll be out of business in no time.

On the other hand, about 4 years ago I attended a VanderKooi seminar, his associate Tony Bass doing the speaking. This is what Mr. Bass said, and it's words I live by: "Never under estimate your competition"




.

LB1234
02-16-2009, 09:06 PM
If they are the same guys that do this type of work....about 2" of base, and perhaps an inch or so of dust just dump and spread. Make sure to precompact the base so you can walk all over it as you lay the pavers. You only excavate about a half inch outside the border coarse...one inch tops. Why go farther than what the walk needs to be. Why waste time pulling back the bedding...just trowel some concrete right into place. This was done summer of '07. This past summer it was settling all over the place and heaving. There are tripping hazards all over the darn thing. We watched them do this work over a two week timeframe.

LB1234
02-16-2009, 09:13 PM
would help if I attached the pictures for a reference. Sorry:laugh:

LB1234
02-16-2009, 09:18 PM
one more...

bigviclbi
02-16-2009, 09:26 PM
Its pretty hard to do a curved walkway cheap. I can bust out a small patio much cheaper than a long walkway.

PlatinumLandCon
02-16-2009, 09:35 PM
Its pretty hard to do a curved walkway cheap. I can bust out a small patio much cheaper than a long walkway.

Yeah, a full curve starts to waste pavers and take time. My example had less than 30 mins cutting and a 1/2 wheelbarrow load of scrap. Those pics are pretty bad though, at the end of the day gravel is cheap, just dig and add a few more inches.

NNJLandman
02-16-2009, 10:12 PM
Its a great gimick. You hook the customer, as long as you get that call and the chance to sell other work to the customer or explain how its going to cost more because they need this or that. A lot of people will have you do other work while your their etc or neighbors will ask for a card or to look at a project at their place. Its a get your foot in the door advertisment. I know several companies around here unfortunatly that probably could do a paver walkway for that price....cheap pavers, just compact some stone dust, ive seen em do it before. It happens.

amscapes03
02-16-2009, 10:55 PM
There's a company in my area that pulls this crap all the time. What amazes me is that their always busy, their work sucks and within a years time (almost to the day) the junk they've installed (walks, walls,etc) is falling apart. Excavation for their walkways is 4" min., skim 1 to 2 inches of dust and lay a mish-mash of pavers (obvious left overs from past jobs because there usually dumped in a pile, not delivered on a pallet) no edging and sweep either straight sand or stone dust into the joints. Walls are backfilled with dirt and no drainage.

kootoomootoo
02-16-2009, 11:14 PM
25x3' paver walkway for $900 (labor)

Thats $12 sq ft labor only. How do you know without calling them that it includes materials.

Ramairfreak98ss
02-16-2009, 11:51 PM
I've done something similar, let me try to remember all the details.

First off, it was for a guy about 15 houses down, leaving spoils on-site on a Saturday. It was 40x3.5', L-shape, with 32' being one side and 8' being the other. Approx costs:

Excavation 8"- by hand, myself with my really hard working "foreman", 3 hours x $50/hr= $150
Gravel- 3yd (only bought 2yd, had 1 left over), $60
Geotex- 175sf @ 0.10/sf= $17.50
Sand- 1yd= $40
Pavers- $2/sf x 150sf= $300
Edge- 8 pieces (had 2 left over) = $65
Spikes- 100-120 (no idea actual #)= $60
Polysand- 1 bag= $25
Soil+Sod= $50

TOTAL= 767.50 plus about 4 more hours to install= $50

Charged him $1500 (cash).

Not bad for a Saturday. I was done at 4pm and relaxed with a burger and some TV.

you guys dug that in 3 hours? damn! let me elaborate, along most of NJ we are either ALL clay or all sand. If it was sand, heck yeah, we'd dig it out in no time and lay down base... but usually its picking at clay to just excavate enough room to get what we need to in place. Sucks, its the worst part by all means.

Ramairfreak98ss
02-16-2009, 11:56 PM
where are you guys getting pavers in the $1.25 to $2.00 per sq ft range? thats really low... at least for what we buy.

Ive only installed EP a couple years ago and Rinox ever since. I thought both were almost damned on identical in price to each other.

I know on average our standard 6x9 or 6x6s in a skid go for about $400 and thats 120-128sq ft worth. I guess im not large enough to "stock" all styles and colors, so

Someone wants a 50sq ft area? im still buying a whole skid. And if the places would break up a skid for me, i dont want to hand load half a skid and then pay per block pricing, more expensive then.

It would take 4 6"6" blocks to make a sq ft....... so i have 512 6x6s on a pallet? at about 5.3lbs per block, it comes out to a little over 3300lbs worth per skid of block, thats what they spec out. Maybe Jersey is high or just my couple local suppliers, but no matter if its techobloc, rinox, ep henry, imperial, even the imperial stuff isnt more than 15% less than its ep counterpart. If i could get these skids for 200 not 400+ id be jumping on these deals

Ramairfreak98ss
02-16-2009, 11:59 PM
25x3' paver walkway for $900 (labor)

Thats $12 sq ft labor only. How do you know without calling them that it includes materials.

Yeah could be kootoo.... guess you never know. Maybe when people ask about paver types, they "sell" them the pavers and supplies too :(

Whats so bad about stone dust? Im thinking of using it sometimes this coming year. I see a lot of companies now using 3/4 crush for base and stone dust on top and pavers on top of that. I know it doesnt screed as well, most times as sand but from using it once before on a walkway, it sure sets up stable faster, wheras the sand has more tolerance for compaction and things dont look as straight or even immediately after its all laid down.

Ive seen cheapos using it as well as some much bigger landscapers, whats the deal?

Bru75
02-17-2009, 12:27 AM
Stone dust doesn't drain well, freezing is a bigger problem. It also will not rise into the joints during compaction.

PlatinumLandCon
02-17-2009, 01:08 AM
where are you guys getting pavers in the $1.25 to $2.00 per sq ft range? thats really low... at least for what we buy.



We're not saying thats what we buy, its the cheap crap thats available. Std 4x8's in colour are about 1.60/sf here, plain grey is about 1.35-1.45.

Lite4
02-17-2009, 01:39 AM
cheap materials + He and the dog roll up in the beater pickup to do the job themselves + no liability insurance carried + no contact phone number left with owner when completed = a $900 walkway

tthomass
02-18-2009, 12:18 AM
I didn't read but a couple replies.........similar things have happened here for a while BUT there is a catch.

My sister got a similar postcard in the mail for a patio and it was a cheap price......not a total lowball price, but a cheap one. The deal was (when read carefully) it was for a square one, no border etc and if you wanted a border, steps, elevation change, retention or anything else......well thats where they made their money.

NNJLandman
02-19-2009, 12:17 AM
I didn't read but a couple replies.........similar things have happened here for a while BUT there is a catch.

My sister got a similar postcard in the mail for a patio and it was a cheap price......not a total lowball price, but a cheap one. The deal was (when read carefully) it was for a square one, no border etc and if you wanted a border, steps, elevation change, retention or anything else......well thats where they made their money.

Thats the point I was trying to make, I totally agree with you thomass, I call them get your foot in the door cards. You get the call, go out on the estimate and the majority of people you will be able to sell on the rest of the stuff or the customer will have em do other stuff while they are there with a machine or crew of guys or the neighbor sees them and says hey can you do this. Its in some aspects a good idea, but you need to be able to have the talk when it comes sales time.

Dreams To Designs
02-19-2009, 10:38 AM
RAF, sound like you are buying from the wrong guys. There are much better deals on product in your area.

This scenario is possible , but it won't create much, if any profit, but it will create the opportunity to get into a neighborhood, entice some homeowners and possibly lead to additional, more profitable work. I worked with an installer recently, in your area, on a similar project , that yielded additional, more profitable work. Sounds more like the gap between driveways at townhome developments. Anything 3' wide is not a walkway, that is a path. Walkways, especially if to a front door, needs to be wide enough for two adults to walk side by side, typically 5' or more.

Kirk

DVS Hardscaper
02-19-2009, 11:59 AM
"Presentation", "walk the walk", "talk the talk", thats neither here nor there.

As consumers - it's up to us to do research and know what we're buying. Every single one of us is a consumer. And every single one of us at some point have bought something without researching the product, the vendor, or the system.

Same goes for hardscape consumers. They really need to ask questions. They need to do research.

Hey...as long as a contractor does exactly what they say they will do - then I have no issues. It's when they don't do what they say that I do have issues with them.

DUSTYCEDAR
02-19-2009, 12:06 PM
it looks good for a year then goes south seen lots of this happen
walls tipping over walks looking like the snake river and such.
what fun

Hardscaping
02-22-2009, 01:30 AM
it would cost me $650 to do that walkway of 25 ft by 3 ft and take 6 hours to complete.

I would not do a border for that price, i would include edging though. and it would have to be a straight walkway no turns or curves.

If i had two or three crews of two people, with at least one guy on each team that knows what they are doing i would have no problem with charging $900 to $1000 plus tax mans cut, for each one if, i could get two a day.

Even if i had 5 a week i would do it at that price. Me and one other worker no crews at all.

But my usual charge is at least 2 to 2.5 times the cost of the job to me. so my regular price on this would be $1300 to $1625 that is with basic of basic pavers. and using poly joint sand

Stoeberl_landscaping
02-22-2009, 05:16 PM
where i get my pavers i pay $1.50/sf for color and $1.20/sf for sand. all you got to do is shop for the best price.

Ramairfreak98ss
02-22-2009, 05:33 PM
where i get my pavers i pay $1.50/sf for color and $1.20/sf for sand. all you got to do is shop for the best price.

This is what we primarily use, non tumbled Rinox brand stuff..

http://www.rinoxpavers.com/Level_3_Template.asp?ID=30

I pay an easy $400+ tax per cub, 120sq, their Cerato II are 6x9s, similar price, same weight and same price per sq ft if you do it that way, at $428 per cube with 7% tax its still at minimum $3.57 per sq ft just for the pavers...

I have price lists from several vendors, EP henry, Techobloc, Rinox are all similar in those pricing.

Id love to find any pavers under $200 a cube.

zedosix
02-22-2009, 05:35 PM
where i get my pavers i pay $1.50/sf for color and $1.20/sf for sand. all you got to do is shop for the best price.

I always shop for the best quality, not price. A buck and a half for pavers, you may as well lay patio stones.

Stoeberl_landscaping
02-22-2009, 05:59 PM
iam sorry 6x9 i pay 2.11/sf for a for a pallet of 360 there is 113/sf per pallet i pay $237.60 with tax

Chilehead
02-22-2009, 06:17 PM
In the southern metro Atlanta counties, most everyone I know charges $10.00--$12.00 a square foot installed for concrete pavers. In the northern metro Atlanta counties, it's $11.00-$13.00. I suppose they would charge more if doing an elaborate inlay of some kind.

vtscaper
02-22-2009, 10:22 PM
I feel sorry for you guys. I just couldn't imagine running a hardscape co. laying pre cast material with small profit margins against an infinite number of competitors doing similar work for even less profit.

B & B Yardscape
02-25-2009, 06:39 PM
$960 to install a straight 25' x 3' walkway with 4"x8" pavers, 6" 22A base, 1" sand, plastic edging, 12" nails, and sand brushed in. And a 1 year labor warranty.

$460 of that is profit in my pocket and it would take me a day to do.

Send them my way.

Ramairfreak98ss
02-25-2009, 07:05 PM
$960 to install a straight 25' x 3' walkway with 4"x8" pavers, 6" 22A base, 1" sand, plastic edging, 12" nails, and sand brushed in. And a 1 year labor warranty.

$460 of that is profit in my pocket and it would take me a day to do.

Send them my way.

Yeah because you probably pay 1/3 of what we pay in insurances in MI compared to NJ. Sure if i was in the dead of Texas, $400 per day is awesome.

You'd be happy with jobs that take all day to profit $460 after just supplies?

Around here, at least for any companies bigger than tiny, if were not walking away with $500 for smaller jobs taking a day or 1k for a couple more guys on site for a day after supplies, its too low. Course i wont always get 1k, but $460 common. Unless you do that 6 days a week, have one truck and trailer and one employee, then yeah thats great.

B & B Yardscape
02-25-2009, 07:20 PM
I have other crews doing other work on the same day as this takes place making me money. If one crew can make me $460 profit a day, Yea, I'm happy. That is around $50/hour profit for me.