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bobcatexc
01-20-2010, 04:21 PM
What kind of markup are you guys trying to get on jobs that you bid in this slower economy. I know everybody is a little bit different with demographics and overhead. I mainly try to go after small excavating, demo work, drainage projects, driveways, etc and have played the game for years as to how much to mark up certain jobs. I usually will put 10-30% on a job depending on the time of year, schedule how easy or hard the job will be and then also if bidding for a GC keeping in mind that they will throw some on top of your numbers also. I also know that some put way less than 10% and some don't even know about mark up. Just curious what others are doing?

Also someone just posted recently about skidsteer/mini X hourly pricing, which I try to stay away from, but still get those people. I have been trying to just charge a minimum of a half a day or a full 8hr day on those jobs, but how does everyone handle travel/mob time?

curtisfarmer
01-20-2010, 05:50 PM
I'll charge $100-125 per move with a 4 hr minimum. Even though I, like all, shoot for bid jobs, you cannot pass up by the hour work if it exists. I have about a 60-75% recurring client list, so Itry to keep them happy regardless of what they want.

mrsops
01-20-2010, 05:54 PM
I dont charge for the hour over here we have never done that.. Half days or a full 8 hour day. If my operaters get to a job at 8 and finish at 10 or 11 its a half day if he finises at 2 its a full day.

curtisfarmer
01-20-2010, 06:09 PM
On a % markup, I shoot for 20-40% + costs.

AWJ Services
01-20-2010, 06:29 PM
What kind of markup are you guys trying to get on jobs that you bid in this slower economy. I know everybody is a little bit different with demographics and overhead. I mainly try to go after small excavating, demo work, drainage projects, driveways, etc and have played the game for years as to how much to mark up certain jobs. I usually will put 10-30% on a job depending on the time of year, schedule how easy or hard the job will be and then also if bidding for a GC keeping in mind that they will throw some on top of your numbers also. I also know that some put way less than 10% and some don't even know about mark up. Just curious what others are doing?

Also someone just posted recently about skidsteer/mini X hourly pricing, which I try to stay away from, but still get those people. I have been trying to just charge a minimum of a half a day or a full 8hr day on those jobs, but how does everyone handle travel/mob time?

Notr sure what you mean by markup?
Are talking about materials?

curtisfarmer
01-20-2010, 06:31 PM
When I say markup I mean materials + what it would cost hourly + moves & other costs (opportunity costs included).:cry:

Gravel Rat
01-20-2010, 07:12 PM
You have to have a minimum if you have to move the equipment a long ways. If your say down the road you can give the person a deal say the job takes a hour charge for 2 hours.

I think the only way your going to compete is try find out what your competition is charging and stay in the same ball park area. The excavation contractors here are all the same hourly rate because it is the only rate you can make a profit at. Drop any lower your loosing money simple as that.

You get work because people know the good job you do and your work looks good it is a quality job.

AWJ Services
01-20-2010, 07:33 PM
You have to have a minimum if you have to move the equipment a long ways. If your say down the road you can give the person a deal say the job takes a hour charge for 2 hours.

I think the only way your going to compete is try find out what your competition is charging and stay in the same ball park area. The excavation contractors here are all the same hourly rate because it is the only rate you can make a profit at. Drop any lower your loosing money simple as that.

You get work because people know the good job you do and your work looks good it is a quality job.

You cannot do this.
Your operating costs and ther operating costs may be different so you cannot charge the same thing.

Gravel Rat
01-20-2010, 07:43 PM
Operating costs for contractors here is almost equal they are running simillar equipment and working in the same area. It is almost a level playing field when it comes to rates.

Trucking rates for say a tandem axle dump truck is the same accross the board. A 160 size excavator is 140 dollars per hour I think haven't kept up.

Like I said you get jobs around here by your name or the work you do.

You charge too much around here your done pack your bags your company is finished. The word spreads like wild fire and your out of work.

Material costs like sand and gravel every contractor pays the same price the materials like pipe or plastic tanks well that varies. You don't mark up sand or gravel products your done what the gravel pit charges you you charge the customer. You make a little exta off the trucking but charging a customer 5-10% on gravel you just burned your bridge.

Any pipe products or stuff you have to get shipped from out of town you can play a little bit with the prices.

For around here what the contractors are charging is just enough to make a profit and cover expenses and right now they are not working.

bobcatexc
01-20-2010, 07:44 PM
I agree Curtisfarmer you still have to do hourly if you want the work on some clients, so Mrsops if your guy runs 4hrs and you charge for half a day do you do anything with charging for move in. I'd like to put mobilization cost in my hourly rate but then that drives up my price up compared to others, I just don't like the additional cost you have to tack on.

AWJ I'm talking about marking up materials and everything that cost to complete the job like curtis said.

Gravel Rat
01-20-2010, 08:02 PM
Only mark up materials that a homeowner can't get access too. If its something that you can buy at say homedepot like pipe fittings etc you can't mark that up.

Stuff like septic tanks or water pumps or culvert pipes etc stuff a regular homeowner can't buy easily you can mark that up.

I think it is easier to sneak in extra hourly time say you are hauling material to the site the homeowner doesn't know if you got stuck in traffic or there was a delay at the gravel pit when there wasn't.

For us trucks are paid by the hour not by the load you never make any money by the load.

Any materials you have delivered from out of town the homeowner doesn't know how much the shipping cost tack on a extra 100 bucks.

bobcatexc
01-20-2010, 08:41 PM
You make no sense GR, why can't I mark up the pipe fitting at Home Depot especially if me or an employee drives all the way down to the store in a company vehicle that I have to insure,license, put fuel,tires, wear and tear on truck, now I charge the $4.00 pipe fitting to my account, now my secretary/accounts payable person has to do all the paperwork, plus my lose of production while picking up the pipe fitting I could go on and on about my OVERHEAD COST for having to do business associated with going and picking up my clients(Mrs. Smith) pipe fitting or I could look real professional like you GR and go ask Mrs. Smith if she could go down to Home Depot and pick up a 4" Schedule 35 90 and hopefully she brings back sweeping 90 and not a hard 90. That way she can save on the markup I won't have to charge her! Do the math GR on marking up a pipe fitting Vs lieing and cheating a client by tacking on a extra $70 bucks an hour. Hope that works for you and you don't have to pack your bags and leave town.

Bleed Green
01-20-2010, 10:17 PM
You make no sense GR, why can't I mark up the pipe fitting at Home Depot especially if me or an employee drives all the way down to the store in a company vehicle that I have to insure,license, put fuel,tires, wear and tear on truck, now I charge the $4.00 pipe fitting to my account, now my secretary/accounts payable person has to do all the paperwork, plus my lose of production while picking up the pipe fitting I could go on and on about my OVERHEAD COST for having to do business associated with going and picking up my clients(Mrs. Smith) pipe fitting or I could look real professional like you GR and go ask Mrs. Smith if she could go down to Home Depot and pick up a 4" Schedule 35 90 and hopefully she brings back sweeping 90 and not a hard 90. That way she can save on the markup I won't have to charge her! Do the math GR on marking up a pipe fitting Vs lieing and cheating a client by tacking on a extra $70 bucks an hour. Hope that works for you and you don't have to pack your bags and leave town.

ya I'm with you here. If you are going to have the homeowner go pick the stuff up you are trusting that they know what they are getting and it would prolly be better to just get the stuff yourself because there is a good chance that you will have to go exchange what they got and get the right thing anyway. You will be saving the customer and you money in the long run by getting the stuff yourself, thats my opinion.

Gravel Rat
01-20-2010, 10:35 PM
If your sending the employee out for supplies that is a hour labour charge I don't know what you charge but it could be 45 dollars. I'am saying you can't charge the homeowner 10 dollars for a 2 dollar fitting ie marking up the stores price of the part.

Home owners here check on prices and look at your bills with a fine tooth comb they want a list of the parts you used if they find you are using their money to buy excess parts that goes into your stock then you are going to get called on it. Any houses built here homeowners want how much wood your buying and how much waste there will be.

If you have a large job that the supplies are over a couple thousand dollars you get the homeowners credit card. Too many people out there that are going to stiff you on not paying. If they refuse to put any materials on their credit card walk from the job you know your going to get phucked. Concrete suppliers will not sell a homeowner concrete without a credit card.

Many building contractors now are having the homeowner set up a account with the suppliers. The building contractor buys the material on the homeowners account so the home owner is forced to pay that bill. If the contractor is paying he can be stiffed the 100,000 dollars.

The excavation contractors run into this ALL the time where the job is done then the homeowner refuses to pay. Now you have a gravel pit that wants their 20,000 dollars for the gravel the contractor bought. The contractor can't pay because the homeowner hasn't paid.

So what the excavation contractors are doing is making the homeowner to leave their credit card number with the gravel supplier. Once the credit card is maxed out no more sales to the homeowner.

Around here contractors have been stiffed 100,000 or more dollars from a homeowner that has gone bankrupt or refuses to pay or takes over 6 months to pay.

AWJ Services
01-21-2010, 12:11 AM
It really depends on your costs. Each company has different purchasing power. Your 30% markup may result in a lower cost to the customer than your competitors 20% markup.
I never really concern myself with markup just profit. You can raise your labor, lower your material cost juggle your numbers however it suits you but I always stay away from quoting materials seperatly. I just feel that normally the materials are such a small part of our jobs that 10% will not make or break the job.

ioilyouin
01-21-2010, 12:25 AM
Home owners here check on prices and look at your bills with a fine tooth comb they want a list of the parts you used if they find you are using their money to buy excess parts that goes into your stock then you are going to get called on it. Any houses built here homeowners want how much wood your buying and how much waste there will be.

SO everyone in Canadia is as anal as you? Not a place I'd want to live.

Gravel Rat
01-21-2010, 12:52 AM
Some homeowners count the nails the carpenters use to make sure they are not stealing any. Homeowners have hide in the bushes with binoculars keeping a eye on the progress of the house. Some time the length of the coffee breaks and lunch breaks and question the contractor why they are taking a 40 min lunch break.

When it comes to money and people spending it they watch every penny they spend. If the homeowner see's something they don't like they question it and you better have a answer.

Some want exact blow by blow estimates I don't give any of those.

There are homeowners that the building contractors wanted to kill after the job was done because the homeowner was nothing but pure h*ll through out the project.

The worst part is when it comes to paying and they say oops we have gone bankrupt. Or the battle of getting paid starts and your harrassing the homeowner for a pay check.

Lots of fun most excavation contractors are bald as a billiard because of the stress of dealing with not getting paid. As I said before some of these home owners have the never ever plan.

Take the homeowner to court it could be 2-3 months before you even get a court date. Then you have to get the homeowner to show up for the court day.

For most jobs it has to be C.O.D or a weekly payment etc.

meets1
01-21-2010, 02:54 AM
Not in the gravel biz but I am at min. 25% mark up
Posted via Mobile Device

bobcatexc
01-21-2010, 06:30 AM
If a homeowner comes to me wanting my service, I take care of everything, I don't tell them how much of something I'm using, just a fix price with a description of how It will be done when I leave and sometimes what type of products I will be using but never quantity. All my labor,equipment, material are all fixed cost then I will mark it up depending on how easy or complex the job will, if I feel the customer will be pain or not, how much scheduling or phone calls I will have to make and how much profit I feel is reasonable on a particular type of job.

AWJ Services
01-21-2010, 11:28 AM
If a homeowner comes to me wanting my service, I take care of everything, I don't tell them how much of something I'm using, just a fix price with a description of how It will be done when I leave and sometimes what type of products I will be using but never quantity. All my labor,equipment, material are all fixed cost then I will mark it up depending on how easy or complex the job will, if I feel the customer will be pain or not, how much scheduling or phone calls I will have to make and how much profit I feel is reasonable on a particular type of job.

I understand what you are asking know.
I have never really approached it that why and it makes sense what you are doing. Well what I mean is I do approach it that way except for attaching a percentage markup.
It is often been told to me that a good business should net a min of 30-35% profit.
That means if you do 100k you should net 30-35 k dollars.
I base my rates off of a running trial and error system that allows me to be competitive and profitable. The first time you do a particular job it will be the least profitable( due to lack of experience) and as this job becomes redundant your profit margin will go up as you adjust your costs from the experience you now have on the job and the efficiency you gain as well.
Some jobs also require more knowledge and supervision. I will send my crew out to prep a lawn by there selves but if we are installing a drain system where there are underground Utilities I feel that I need to be there during the job. It would be hard for me to apply a blanket markup due to the diverse nature of my work and that also applies to materials. Maybe I am over complicating this and if there is a better way I would sure love to learn about.

bobcatexc
01-21-2010, 11:59 AM
Your excally right AWJ, I've always been told you should shoot for 20-40%, but my question is when bidding jobs, do you always have a set percentage, or do you adjust for time of year, type of work, if its something easy that you know any JoeBlow will bid dirtcheap, if it's a GC how much cause you know they'll turn around and put 20-40% on it.

ksss
01-21-2010, 02:28 PM
It really depends on your costs. Each company has different purchasing power. Your 30% markup may result in a lower cost to the customer than your competitors 20% markup.
I never really concern myself with markup just profit. You can raise your labor, lower your material cost juggle your numbers however it suits you but I always stay away from quoting materials seperatly. I just feel that normally the materials are such a small part of our jobs that 10% will not make or break the job.


I agree amd I also somewhat agree with GR. I do have jobs that require a lot of material but here is the issue we can run into. You will never be able to add 40% to the top of material costs and get a job. Never happen (speaking of this area of course). I am refering to gravel products primarily. As far as plumbing parts for septics. Thats bid into the price so no opportunity there. Concrete products such as manholes, french drain cones and the like. I can make some money on that, not 40%. When I need to run for parts on a T&M job I show receipts for the cost of the material. Thats what I bill. I charge a labor rate to get them and install them. Works great, no bitching, no hidding what you paid verse what you billed for it. You make a friend by passing on to the customer the reduced cost benefit of being a prefered customer at your supply houses, and cover the parts running time and installation if its appropriate.


I can sometimes make a 40% markeup on some types of retaining block, but even now not sure I would try that currently.

Like AWJ said you can dress it up however you want. I believe in my above system, but everyone does things differently for different reasons.

curtisfarmer
01-21-2010, 02:39 PM
I 2nd that motion on no 2 little materials markup. Everyone and their mother know how much topsoil costs and see every add in every paper quoting the commoditized price of $18 yard. Stiff a client on something small and lose their next call....why bother. I live in a town where we have 2 of the largest bedrock excavations around and the largest regional sand pit feeding the Boton market. All 3 are huge, and the price is right cause they are in our back yard. Buy a triaxel and the costs come out to 1/2 of what you pay a landscape supply yard for small amounts. Sometimes...depending on customer....I will charge full rate of the supply yard and sometimes I'll charge just trucking since I know my customers know I amtrying to provide THE best value for them. And they trust me. Trust is worth way more than any markup on materials.

Gravel Rat
01-21-2010, 02:56 PM
Another thing you have to tell the homeowner right from the start the job may cost more than what is estimated.

Maybe you guys have pretty similar conditions in your area but for us around here you start digging and it turns into oh s***. You have something turn up that you didn't plan for like now you need couple thousand dollars worth of blasting. Happens quite abit one lot in the same area could have been easy digging lots of material the next couple building lots over nope its solid B.C.

You never know and if you add the cost of blasting to the estimate on the premise you may encounter rock it scares the homeowner and you may loose the job. They hire another contractor that doesn't add the cost of possible blasting gets the job.

So telling the homeowner that the job may be cost plus is the first thing you tell them. Expect the cost to increase maybe a grand to 20 grand. The blasting contractor comes out looks at the job and you have a meeting with the homeowner and the blaster to give the homeowner a idea on the extra costs.

You never tell the homeowner thou what the blasted rock sells for that is bonus money for the contractor. If it comes up as nice size chunks your looking at 350 dollars a load all for the contractors pockets. Homeowner doesn't need to know that. You may end up using that for landscaping on their job thou.

AWJ Services
01-21-2010, 06:10 PM
Your excally right AWJ, I've always been told you should shoot for 20-40%, but my question is when bidding jobs, do you always have a set percentage, or do you adjust for time of year, type of work, if its something easy that you know any JoeBlow will bid dirtcheap, if it's a GC how much cause you know they'll turn around and put 20-40% on it.

What you will find is that most of us run our buisnesses the same , but different.:)

I do vary my price accordingly to what I feel the customer will pay. GC's I hate working for. I rarely will give them a discount because they usually will always require added attentrtion because they are clueless on what most jobs take.
I have some experienced landscape contractors that I sub for and they do recieve a discount because they actually know what they are doing.
One thing I also do is price jobs in relation to rental fees. I also vary my costs in regard to the punishment my equipment will take during the job. My excavator is much cheaper to operate than the skid so if a guy needs 30 minutes of work and logistically it fits I will do it super cheap. With the skid I try to adhere to a min due to the higher maint costs But I have done quite a few jobs for 100 bucks with it for a few minutes work. I am what you would call an Oppurtunist. I will shy away from working by the hour if the pay is not appropriate because I feel that commiting to the job may keep me from more profitable work. I rarely take a job just to break even or pay the bills. I would much rather wave a mobilization fee and make bank for a small job then work 10 hours for a marginal rate.

Enough rambling but yes my mark up does vary due to the things you mentioned.
I however have learned to draw the line so to speak and sit at home rather than work just to say I am working.

curtisfarmer
01-21-2010, 06:18 PM
AWJ, very accurate post...I feel the same. It kills me when you try to do small opportunistic jobs as you have mentioned for relatively short money. I did a couple this week and I am thinking....for the $150 I jus charged you, I just saved your ass with whatever machine I brought over. Then it kills me when a plumber comes over with a bag of wrenches and it costs more for him in 5 minutes worth of work. 2 Make a long story short, I would rather stay home if the job just doesn't pay.

People think you can "just come over with your miniX" like it was nothing.

bobcatexc
01-21-2010, 06:44 PM
People think you can "just come over with your miniX" like it was nothing.
Today 06:10 PM


That's my favorite and one guy wanted to gripe about having a 4 hour minimum but people have no idea how much you have tied up in truck/trailer,skid/attachments, cost to run both of them down the road. I nicely told one that they could go rent one and see how well they could grade it out plus the cost to get it there. I'm like you guys anymore I just sum sit at home if its not worth it, I feel I might be high sometimes, but I believe in the phrase "you get what you pay for"

AWJ Services
01-21-2010, 06:46 PM
In my previous life I was an Auto Tech and owned my own shop. I spent 100's of thousands of dollars to stay current with todays technology and a Guy with a Bobcat could make more in an hour than I could?

stuvecorp
01-21-2010, 07:01 PM
Then it kills me when a plumber comes over with a bag of wrenches and it costs more for him in 5 minutes worth of work. 2 Make a long story short, I would rather stay home if the job just doesn't pay.

People think you can "just come over with your miniX" like it was nothing.

It drives me nuts as well. I get it a lot on small retaining wall projects...

AWJ Services
01-21-2010, 07:14 PM
It drives me nuts as well. I get it a lot on small retaining wall projects...

I really pursued the SRW walls and pavers hard but here pavers where going for 8 a sq/ft installed. WTF?
Walls where worse.

curtisfarmer
01-21-2010, 07:23 PM
I HATE walls and pavers....too highly saturated....no $. More money in the prep. Anyone can lay pavers/ walls in a "perfect" enviorment...but all the work is making it "perfect".

stuvecorp
01-21-2010, 07:51 PM
I HATE walls and pavers....too highly saturated....no $. More money in the prep. Anyone can lay pavers/ walls in a "perfect" enviorment...but all the work is making it "perfect".

I really enjoy doing walls but can pass on pavers. Honestly there isn't money in anything right now...

Gravel Rat
01-21-2010, 08:38 PM
The alan block or concrete block walls have never been that popular out there but a natural stone walls is more desireable. You need to be a good mason thou to build them. You don't find any fly by night guys doing the stone walls either dry stacked or mortor.

curtisfarmer
01-21-2010, 08:49 PM
Actually, I specialize in "large" stone (size) walls as an alternative to modular walls. Where I live I can get most stones on peoples lots and build thier walls at a competitive rate...with a much better product. I always dig up old 1940+s cement blocks...and they are always crumbling....cement/concrete has a shelf life, and what hapens 50 years from now when these walls fail? I guess kinda like PT timber walls, supposed to last 40 years, rotting in 15.

stuvecorp
01-22-2010, 12:27 AM
I personally like Versa-Lok because they are solid and would rather build walls with them most times. Some properties it is better to go with boulders as it fits the look. I would really like a rotating grapple on the mini to do boulderscaping.

AWJ Services
01-22-2010, 09:19 AM
What do ya'll pay for your boulders for your walls per ton?

curtisfarmer
01-22-2010, 10:12 AM
This is the Granite State....they are evrywhere. I'll usually scavange them up in the neighborhood I am working....every homowner usually says..."please take them" in an area I am working in. I have never had to pay. It is all in the machine time to pick them and transport. Of course they do sell them at supply yards, I think around $150 a 1.5T pallet. I only use large rocks with flats and smaller ones for the caps.

I liked the rotating grapple, but I need down force most of the time and the 1 looked at didn't look like it would hold up to repeated smashing. Got to have forks to handle bick rocks.

Gravel Rat
01-22-2010, 09:48 PM
Rock wall boulders around here is 350 dollars for a load that would be a tandem axle dump truck load.

The only problem with stone walls they really are not engineered but if they are done right the engineers will pass them.

Lanscape suppliers do carry other kinds of stone.