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View Full Version : Is this estimate too high?


bzmillerboy
03-25-2009, 01:30 AM
I am just getting into the lawn care business and one of my first jobs I landed (or hope to land) is a huge mulch and spring cleaning at a residence.

I measured all his mulch beds and came out to 9558 square feet (I know it's a triple lot and huge house). At 2" dept I figured about 59 yards - 9 yards for plants and rocks, so 50 yards to lay. He wanted 708 feet re-edged and I needed to cut down all the dead flowers and shrubs.

After sending this to him he came back and felt it was too steep? I'm in KY.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MATERIALS:
Black Dye Mulch ($35.50 per yard, delivery included) 50 yards $1,775.00


TOTAL MATERIALS: $1,775.00

LABOR:
Spring Clean-Up: ($35 per hour) 20 hrs $700.00
Cut dead landscaping and dispose
Pickup and dispose of garbage
Pickup and dispose of debris and tree limbs
Vacuum lawn and dispose of leaves
Clean up and rebuild rock beds
Re-Edge Mulch Beds ($.80 a foot, includes final trimming) 708 feet $566.40
Edging Volume Discount (-$.30 a foot) -$212.40
Lay Mulch ($35 per yard) 50 yards $1,750.00
Lay Mulch Volume Discount (-$5.00 a yard) -$250.00

TOTAL LABOR: $1,854.00

TOTAL ESTIMATE $3,629.00

newtostone
03-25-2009, 01:59 AM
I ran my numbers and your in the middle depending on the job and what other work you do for him/her. Not too bad but I am not sure of your area and labor seems a bit low.

ALLPro Landscaping
03-25-2009, 02:11 AM
No I dont think its too steep, 35 per hour wow ill charge 65 and up per hour, think dollar a min, if you are just starting out and have no over head, ask him what he had in mind for a price, it should be around if not more then what your charging him. then re figure your price and see if you can cut some off, take his numbers and tell him youll get back to him within 24

grasschopperofchicago
03-25-2009, 02:30 AM
actually you might be a bit high, and I will probably get feedback on this howerver...you have a 50 yard mulch job, you are overpaying for it by nearly $10 a yard it appears and then doubling it from there...with your labor...I get mulch for $19@yard...but average is about $21-25 here and then generally doubled...so for me it is $38x your time and yardage, but average is $23x yardage and doubled for labor..you are at $1500 to lay mulch and $1750 to buy it...where average would be $2300 for both....just my thoughts and I don't know what the scenerio is for property...I think you have to figure time on this at this point versus black and white math!

grasschopperofchicago
03-25-2009, 02:33 AM
No I dont think its too steep, 35 per hour wow ill charge 65 and up per hour, think dollar a min, if you are just starting out and have no over head, ask him what he had in mind for a price, it should be around if not more then what your charging him. then re figure your price and see if you can cut some off, take his numbers and tell him youll get back to him within 24

but he is overpaying for the mulch, I and most generally double mulch cost for the purpose of laying it...don't know but if I get it for $23..I charge $50 roughly for mulch and labor, he is overpaying and then passing that on to customer, If I had a 50 yard job at $19 a yard for the mulch I am at $2k or so with the price where he is at $3250...and I have equipment to move it to location..front/back and so forth...

ALLPro Landscaping
03-25-2009, 03:46 AM
Yeh he is over paying for mulch, but, I get mulch at 18 - 25 per yard, but I charge 75 per to install, A normal buisness man takes his cost price, then sells it for list and then adds on what he or she wants to install. If your not making money on the product and the install. I dont know

HOOLIE
03-25-2009, 08:05 AM
I'd see what sort of price I could get for having the mulch blown in. 50 yards is a lot if you're working solo, which I'm assuming since you say you just started. Get a price for that then mark it up a little. Then you just need to take care of the cleanup part of things. Also if you're solo, 50 yards will start to fatigue you, no telling how long it'll actually take you to do.

btammo
03-25-2009, 10:03 AM
you arent high. It is lower than i would bid.

bzmillerboy
03-25-2009, 11:16 AM
Thanks everyone for all your feedback!

Yeh he is over paying for mulch, but, I get mulch at 18 - 25 per yard, but I charge 75 per to install, A normal buisness man takes his cost price, then sells it for list and then adds on what he or she wants to install. If your not making money on the product and the install. I dont know

I'm actually getting the mulch for $28 a yard but charging retail price of $32 plus $3.50 per yard to delivery. I just moved the numbers around for the client so my labor cost didn't look so high.

So it really looks like this per yard:
Mulch: $28
Delivery: $3.50
Labor: $35

Total:$66.50

And for this guy I'm even knocking off $5 a yard because the volume is so high, I'll save a lot of time driving from site to site.


I'd see what sort of price I could get for having the mulch blown in. 50 yards is a lot if you're working solo, which I'm assuming since you say you just started. Get a price for that then mark it up a little. Then you just need to take care of the cleanup part of things. Also if you're solo, 50 yards will start to fatigue you, no telling how long it'll actually take you to do.

Thanks Hoolie, yeah I knew right off the bat this was too big for me to do myself so I have a few buddies lined up to help out at $15 an hour. I'm hoping one man can do 1.5-2 yards an hour.

I my look into getting it blown but the customer wants a really fine high quality dyed mulch and from what I understand they only blow bark mulch?

Mahoney3223
04-06-2009, 01:34 AM
Your paying your buddies $15.00 an hour?? Wow my buddies aren't worth $5.00...hahha

bigslick7878
04-06-2009, 02:17 AM
I dont think you need to go 2 inches deep if there is already existing mulch.

If he wants it cheaper dont adjust your price adjust the depth,but make sure he knows that up front.

That said,your price looks fine to me.

No one is going to beat that at the hourly rates you are charging.If he really wants to strong arm you tell him you will go to $3500 but thats it,best you can do.

50 yards would take one person a long time to unload,I dont know if you have seen what a pile of 50 yards looks like but it resembles a small mountain.You will definitely need the friends,and 1.5 yds per hour is doable.

Stillwater
04-06-2009, 03:48 AM
I would have been far higher in price, whats with the volume discount why are you motivated to do that.

ExtExc
04-06-2009, 09:41 PM
the price isnt the problem, the problem is you revealed your hourly rate to your customer.

shovelracer
04-06-2009, 09:57 PM
Agreed price isnt the problem. If the 60 yards are going on landscaped areas than I would most likely be at least double your rate if not more. If we are talking like 15 yards of landscape and 45 yards of open laying than I have ways of getting it quite a bit lower. Still would be higher than your price though. A lot of people can smell out a newbie and will try hard to get them to work for free. The way I see it you are into a week or more work solo. How much would you make mowing for 50 hours or doing something else?

l3en007
04-07-2009, 12:13 AM
I am just getting into the lawn care business and one of my first jobs I landed (or hope to land) is a huge mulch and spring cleaning at a residence.

I measured all his mulch beds and came out to 9558 square feet (I know it's a triple lot and huge house). At 2" dept I figured about 59 yards - 9 yards for plants and rocks, so 50 yards to lay. He wanted 708 feet re-edged and I needed to cut down all the dead flowers and shrubs.

After sending this to him he came back and felt it was too steep? I'm in KY.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

MATERIALS:
Black Dye Mulch ($35.50 per yard, delivery included) 50 yards $1,775.00


TOTAL MATERIALS: $1,775.00

LABOR:
Spring Clean-Up: ($35 per hour) 20 hrs $700.00
Cut dead landscaping and dispose
Pickup and dispose of garbage
Pickup and dispose of debris and tree limbs
Vacuum lawn and dispose of leaves
Clean up and rebuild rock beds
Re-Edge Mulch Beds ($.80 a foot, includes final trimming) 708 feet $566.40
Edging Volume Discount (-$.30 a foot) -$212.40
Lay Mulch ($35 per yard) 50 yards $1,750.00
Lay Mulch Volume Discount (-$5.00 a yard) -$250.00

TOTAL LABOR: $1,854.00

TOTAL ESTIMATE $3,629.00

you break down your numbers too much. youll go crazy trying to do that on every estimate. Your "re-edge mulch beds" is a part of the mulch preperation/spring clean up. I dont think its necessary to price that out. Just up your hourly rate. Remember that hourly rate of $35.00 should be for each man per hour. If you have your buddies helping you on the clean up, your only making 5 bucks an hour! I think you said they were only helping you with the mulch though, so you should be good. I always like to think my price is NEVER "too high", if you make more money then you should on one job, itll make up for that job you might of lost a few bucks.

Big Bad Bob
04-07-2009, 03:10 AM
Yeh he is over paying for mulch, but, I get mulch at 18 - 25 per yard, but I charge 75 per to install, A normal buisness man takes his cost price, then sells it for list and then adds on what he or she wants to install. If your not making money on the product and the install. I dont know


You have to remember that every area is different. Around here you can't get double ground dyed mulch for less than $35.00 per yd. That is just a fact. I could travel out of state and get a better price but not gonna happen.

Brothers_Landscaping
04-08-2009, 02:09 AM
Your paying your buddies $15.00 an hour?? Wow my buddies aren't worth $5.00...hahha

man my friends asked to work for me when i need it, i said sure, how much do you want a hour, they said 10 I said sure, they thought they got a deal, i didn't tell them that i average 30-40 an hour

sunray
04-08-2009, 02:23 AM
Give a job price ,don't break it down and charge what you need with no apologies.
And as far as brow beating this guy about mulch prices ,everybody says they can get it cheaper , but the man gave him a price and probably said take it or leave it!
Just as our prices vary from one guy to the next, what makes you think mulch prices should stay consistent?

wildlandscape
04-12-2009, 03:47 PM
That price seems about right. Next time I would not show the customer all the price break down.

kipper
04-12-2009, 09:44 PM
We just did a 20 yard mulch job that was kind of similiar. We did not have to do any maintenance in the beds just drop a 1.5 inch layer for color. I had the mulch delivered in the driveway on friday afternoon and the homeowner called me and said there was a small mountain of mulch in there driveway and they were "concerned" we could handle all of it in one day. I assured them we will take care of the mountain and they would have their driveway back by saturday afternoon.

I put two guys in the beds with landscape rakes and I used my Kubota BX23 to ferry the mulch to them and they did the spreading. I was lucky that there was access for the BX but when I priced it I accounted for the access.

Here is the breakdown.

Kubota - (I own it but could be rented for 175.00 per day down here)
20 yards of dyed cyprus much delivered - 525.00
2 knuckleheads 4 hours at 15.00 per man hr - 120.00

cost including renting kubota is 820.00

price to customer was 1300.00 (went off of 65.00 per yard to supply and install)

My profit on the job was 655.00 for four hours of work. We pulled up to to the job at 0800 and were done rinsing the dye off of the driveway at 11:57. The homeowner was tickled to have it done and I gave three estimates in the neighborhood that day, one of which has already scheduled for next saturday (only eight yards though)

Oh, I should have metioned I told the knuckeheads if we finsihsed before lunch I would buy, so it was off to Outback !!! I didn't mind though...

Just some food for thought...