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Hayes Outdoor
06-05-2010, 12:52 AM
I just submitted a bid on the installation of 12x24 paver patio. It is contoured on one side to a mulch bed that has a couple of curves and then is round on one end, comes back and ties into deck. Hopefully you get the picture from my description. My price was $2,390 including labor, fill material, rental of plate compactor and finsh grading around patio, because the grade will have to be changed a little because it is on a slope. Price did not include pavers. The customer thought this was too high, what do you guys think. I figured it at 4 days labor with 3 guys. I might be able to get it done in 3 days but I padded it a little just in case something did not go as planned. I would appreciate any info.

zedosix
06-05-2010, 12:58 AM
You are definetely on the right track to going broke!

DVS Hardscaper
06-05-2010, 09:18 AM
If you do not have a tamper - then that tells me you're and your guys are not patio people.

Now we would get that patio done in 3 days, but this is what we do every day. We have no learning curve.

The numbers you shared equates to $600 / day. And you stated it includes fill material. Way too low.

What about the necessary geo-textile fabric? Along with all the other ingredients that comprise an interlocking pavement????



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csl
06-05-2010, 10:01 AM
not to sound like a broken record but you are the reason that the hardscape industry is suffering. people that clearly dont know hardscapes are bidding them at stupid prices and killing the price. i just bid a $11,000 retaining wall yesterday and the homeowner tells me i am inline with several other bidders, but that he got a bid for $6,000 too. just stupid!

CALandscapes
06-05-2010, 03:00 PM
3 guys @ 2 days = $2,200 (incl. payroll liabilities, overhead, etc.) + fill & other materials x 10% profit = a LOT more than you bid :dizzy:

Smitty58
06-05-2010, 03:12 PM
Since you already bid the job, if you get it it will be a learning experience. You won't make any money though, but hey that's one way to learn. I think you are at least $1500 too low, but it's hard to say without knowing more about the job. Things I consider when estimating are ,how much excavation is there, do I have to take the spoils with me, accessibility to the job with equipment and trucks ,just to name a few. Good luck in the future.

Hayes Outdoor
06-05-2010, 07:33 PM
To the guys with constructive criticism I appreciate it, to the guys that are just being dicks, well, there is just no reason to respond to you. I've built several patios, but have only been in business for myself for 2 years, so yeah I am still learning about the bidding process. That's why i'm on here to learn, not get a bunch of smartass comments. By the way I do own a hand tamp, but do not have enough hardscape work to go and buy a $1,000 plate compactor. Makes a lot more sense to rent one from time to time. So how do I bid a job like this, what factors do you look at? The job is 10 minutes from my house, I can buy all of the fill material close by, I will have to wheelbarrow all of the material in,about 25-30'. Aren't I better off to bid it to where I still make money? It may not be a homerun job, but it will be profitable. Anyways any HELPFUL info will be appreciated/

Smitty58
06-05-2010, 07:46 PM
Being close to home helps and being able to buy fill close of course helps. Figure all your material costs, and tool rentals. Then consider how difficult the pattern is, are there a lot of cuts or can you lay it in such a way that you minimize the cuts. You have to use your best guess on how long it will take you and if you will be paying someone else to help you. One thing you might consider is finding someone to excavate for you, I did this on the job I'm doing right now. I don't own a skid steer or excavator either. I found a guy that would dig it and haul the stuff away for basically what I would have spent on rent. After you factor all that stuff in just add what you want to make. I completely understand wanting to bid a little lower to get work especially if you are new to this kind of work. It's dangerous though, say you do it for the price you quoted and they love it. Then they tell some friends and they want the same thing for of course the same price. It is tough to bump the price up then. For what you are describing I would not go any lower than $12 - $13 per sq ft, and thats if it a basic layout. Hope this helps a little.

DVS Hardscaper
06-05-2010, 08:00 PM
I'm not much for sharing basic business information, as yes, the *^#@ in me does believe that some things do go without saying, and if one can't grasp the baiscs on they're own - then they otta not be doin it.

But the nice guy in me is providing some things (in terms of materials) to account for:

kootoomootoo
06-05-2010, 08:01 PM
port a pot?

Hayes Outdoor
06-05-2010, 08:02 PM
Now that is helpful, thanks. Okay when you say $12-$13 /sq. ft., does that just include the labor to install the pavers or does this include from start to finish, excluding price of material. Smitty, why do you figure I won't make any money the way I bid it (not mad, just want to understand). If my overhead is minimal, which it is, 1 guys salary, fuel,etc. Thanks

Smitty58
06-05-2010, 08:14 PM
$12 - $13 is for everything. 288 sq ft x $12 = $3456.
Material will run you approx. $1300 ,then if you have to rent equipment add that in. It almost always takes longer than you think it will so you have to add for that ,especially on rentals. An extra day or 2 will kill your bottom line.
So at your price you will make a little (what I should have said) but not much room for error there.

DVS Hardscaper
06-05-2010, 08:39 PM
Hayes - No insurance? Equipment maintenance / repairs / payments, office expenses, telephone?

In your opening post you stated 3 workers.

Now, it's 1 guy? What happened to the other 2? Hope they're ok................




$12 - 13 / SF for 288 SF is very low. If the job is over 2,000 SF, that could be profitable.

There are fixed costs that do not change, whether you're setting 1 paver or 2000 SF.

The less the Square footage, the higher the SF price will *average* out to. the more the square footage, the lower the square foot price will *average* out to.


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PlatinumLandCon
06-05-2010, 10:08 PM
You are killing the construction industry. I can't see you staying in business for 2 years, you must have started with a pile of savings to burn! You sound like the people that drive $hitty trucks, lay hardly any base, butcher cuts, put reg sand instead of polymeric, etc that all adds up to overall junk work and a black eye on the face of the construction industry

DVS Hardscaper
06-05-2010, 11:21 PM
I dunno bout poly sand vs reg sand, Platinum.

Poly sand started becoming popular around 2001.

Pavers have been on the ground since mid-evil times.

We have thousands of square feet of pavers that we installed long before poly sand was ever thought of - all problem free.

As far as trucks go - I had a truck with over 300,000 miles on it. 3 different colors. And I used it for estimating. It did not hinder my sales one bit. I know of MANY company with new, shiney trucks - that do sub-par work. You cant judge a contractor by his truck.



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AzLawnMan
06-05-2010, 11:38 PM
I dunno bout poly sand vs reg sand, Platinum.

Poly sand started becoming popular around 2001.

Pavers have been on the ground since mid-evil times.

We have thousands of square feet of pavers that we installed long before poly sand was ever thought of - all problem free.

As far as trucks go - I had a truck with over 300,000 miles on it. 3 different colors. And I used it for estimating. It did not hinder my sales one bit. I know of MANY company with new, shiney trucks - that do sub-par work. You cant judge a contractor by his truck.



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:drinkup:

My truck, a 2008 Ford f350 was in the shop for a recall one day and I took one of my work trucks to check properties, bid, etc. I pulled up to a high end neighborhood in my 1995 chevy 1/2 ton with no rear window and a spare tire on and outside was parked a brand new Bentley. The guy came out and I introduced myself, I was getting my books and he walked over to help and we actually BS'ed for a few minutes and not once did he say anything about my truck. In an hour I had a signed contract and was on my way. Word of mouth and past jobs get you work, not your truck. Oh and a nice polo shirt didnt hurt either.

Smitty58
06-05-2010, 11:46 PM
Price is going to vary depending on location. In my area $13 for a simple job is normal, in other areas it could be different. I agree the larger the area the smaller the sq ft price will be and vice versa, within reason. That price is a starting price and you have to figure a bunch of other things in to arrive at your bid. I agree to a point that image is important like the condition of your truck, but the customer doesn't care if you have a 10 year old truck or a brand new top of the line truck. They just want the best workmanship for the best price. Don't cut corners on things like depth of base, other things like polymeric sand are debatable.
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csl
06-06-2010, 11:36 AM
i'm assuming you think i am the "dick" but i have been in business much longer than 2 years, and in the past 2 months we have already laid over 8,000 sq feet of pavers. so instead on sitting at your computer and turning red faced because we are mean, try and take this information in and learn from it. your facts dont add up and you cant keep hurting pricing like this. you are leaving out a lot of variables like deliveries, minimum pricing, rental fees and travel time. and if you think you can find a compactor for a grand than show me and i will buy 10. our last diesel plate packer was $5000. anyways, try and take this info in strides and dont call me a dick, i am just trying to help you make money and make sure our market stays afloat.