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View Full Version : never thought id ask for bid help


HPSInc
05-09-2011, 01:33 AM
i never bid stone work but i have to bid a job tearing down TWO 12 x 8 foot "planter boxes". the old blocks are deteriorated. I have already priced my block materials with crusher stone, and will get new plant prices tomorrow with some soil and mulch. my only question is labor cost. i have to obviously take them down (looks like 2 courses with cap) rip out all the plants,dispose of all materials, and then build new boxes and put in new plants and mulch. the job is close to me, getting materials is also very close, so not much driving involved. I'll have 1 helper. we are both skilled tradesman so i feel we can knock the job out in a reasonable amount of time while still doing an A+ job. but i feel i have been shooting too low on jobs lately and im not doing myself any favors. i need this to be worth my time but dont want to be rediculous either. i'll pay my helper maybe around 15/hr or so. so materials aside what would be a good labor cost total for both. i have yet to crunch the numbers myself but im a bit curious what others would do. here are the two boxes. I have 3 days left to place my bid.

http://img847.imageshack.us/img847/4319/014ek.jpg

http://img840.imageshack.us/img840/5098/007ue.jpg

KINGMADE
05-09-2011, 02:16 AM
15 an hour for a helper? I take it, it is probably a buddy right? Get rid of him. Get a hard worker at 9 an hour and pocket some more money. I have no idea what I would bid, but knowing me, I would be LOW...... and hating myself the entire job.

HPSInc
05-09-2011, 08:31 AM
i like how you think. yes its a buddy. probably paying him too much since i dont think hes ever done anything like this before but he is a skilled guy..sort of jack of all trades, and does have a dump trailer id be using too. i have a dump truck i own that i could use if he didnt work out. i just know he sees dollar signs on a job like this and would want a piece of the action. trust me id love to find a good lower wage worker. just not sure if i can. Also, im afraid to bid it too low and hate myself the entire job as well. thats why i need some opinions. i dont have to be shy here on this job. these people are used to paying top buck for stuff. just dont wanna be outrageous.

CHRIS92789
05-09-2011, 09:29 AM
I dont think you are going to be seeing huge dollar signs on this job... It looks like it might take 3-4 hours of work max, with you and another worker. Calculate the hours that you will be working ( 4 hours) x a base pay like $80.00 = 320.00 - (60.00 for your helper)= 260.00 in your pocket at the end of those 4 hours. That is what i would do. I honestly do think you are paying your helper to much money why not just use your dump truck and hire someone else or just do it yourself.

HPSInc
05-09-2011, 06:59 PM
yikes, id rather stay home than take that job on for 260 bucks. i think your shooting too low.theres $1400 in new block and crusher stone alone for the two new boxes. then figure a few more hundred for plants, soil, and mulch. i will very well be around $1800+in materials. theres no way in hell im ripping those down, digging out those old plants, hauling all that stuff off to the dump, buying the material and digging new bases and building two new stone boxes plus new plants and mulch for a lousy 260 bucks in my pocket. and i think 3-4 hours is way underestimating the time it will take to do both of these correctly. I worked for a large company and i know for a fact they would have 3 guys on that job for days. granted they milk the breaks but still with only 2 guys i dont see a complete tear down and new build in only 3 - 4 hours.

CHRIS92789
05-09-2011, 07:09 PM
There is no way in hell this would take more then a day with 2 skilled workers and the proper material. Maybe the pictures dont do it justice..
Posted via Mobile Device

grassman88
05-09-2011, 07:58 PM
i think i could get that down in 6 hours with a helper (12 man hours) 35 and hour $420-90 for helper(i would only be paying 10 at the most) 330 in your pocket so about $2200 for the whole job

StBalor
05-09-2011, 08:17 PM
Price your materials and then figure out your time. Just remember, if you do not do this type of job everyday it will take you longer then you think.

Make sure you include the time it takes you to pick up material and also go to the dump afterwards.

I think i would shoot for around 8 hours in time.

But let us know how long it took if you do get the job.

VanAllen's Lawn Service
05-09-2011, 08:23 PM
Yeah I would do it but I'm needing the money, but if you have better things to do then just ditch it. I would do it though, just ditch the buddy.

HPSInc
05-09-2011, 09:34 PM
i do not have to take on this job but i do want to. i did some block work for 1 season with a mason at my old company. but i primarily have been landscaping the past 8 years still, i know im plenty capable. it seems the consensus is this isnt a very profitable job. i dont feel 250-350 bucks in my pocket is all that great for this. i have made more doing cleanups and trimming. and thats cake. i dont think there is anyone in my area who would touch this job with a 10 foot pole for a few hundred dollars labor. i know block work here costs the bucks..i dont know if it matters or not but this is for a commerical account and is the entry way to the development. im going to meet up with a mason tomorrow and he is going to give me his opinion. i'll see what he has to say about it and post up.

nepatsfan
05-09-2011, 09:53 PM
i do not have to take on this job but i do want to. i did some block work for 1 season with a mason at my old company. but i primarily have been landscaping the past 8 years still, i know im plenty capable. it seems the consensus is this isnt a very profitable job. i dont feel 250-350 bucks in my pocket is all that great for this. i have made more doing cleanups and trimming. and thats cake. i dont think there is anyone in my area who would touch this job with a 10 foot pole for a few hundred dollars labor. i know block work here costs the bucks..i dont know if it matters or not but this is for a commerical account and is the entry way to the development. im going to meet up with a mason tomorrow and he is going to give me his opinion. i'll see what he has to say about it and post up.

My labor would be considerably higher than what other people mentioned. You would want to install a proper base. Dig out what is there and put in crusher run. Do you have access with a machine? Also have to figure on a bit of topsoil, seed and fert to repair the grass after. I would assume you have to get mulch also. How close is the yard to get the block? Can you get the mulch at the same place/topsoil/shrubs. Travel time will eat up quite a bit of time. What about cleanup? I would assume the guys that are going to do the job in 12 man hours own a mini ex and a skid steer because to do that job properly in that time frame you would need to use both. I would plan for two full days with two guys and hope you get it done sooner. $1440 in labor ($45 per man hour) plus materials 30% mark up. We never can compete on price.....We sell quality and reliability.

HPSInc
05-09-2011, 10:26 PM
nepatsfan, your more in my ballpark of what i was thinking. i was guesstimating 2 days from start to finish with me and 1 guy. this job has to be A++ quality so if i have to spend a little extra time on it im going to. it has to be built to last and will be seen by everyone. i can access both with a bobcat and can bring one if necessary. the block materials are coming from right across the street. i dump the block off free at a dump that takes the stuff about 5 miles away. and the plants, soil, mulch are maybe only 2 miles away. so everything is very close which is nice and convenient. ive built some walls before and spent the day on them after digging the base, making cuts, glueing them, and adding some plants with soil and mulch. i just couldnt fathom knocking these both out start to finish in a half day like others mentioned with just 2 guys.

few more pics to give a better idea

http://img135.imageshack.us/img135/9649/008ev.jpg

http://img715.imageshack.us/img715/7522/005la.jpg

there is a course of blocks under the course you see. so 2 courses + cap to be removed and installed again.
http://img27.imageshack.us/img27/6535/006znp.jpg

SeedExpert
05-11-2011, 11:38 AM
I always add an extra 33% to my orignal time estimates. So if you think it will take 6 hours with both of you working, bump that up to about 8 hours. I do this just in case I run into any hairy situations that end up taking more time than originally estimated. Also, it helps manage the expectations of my clients. I often finish the job within the original estimated time and that just makes me look good. Where if I were to go over the estimated time the client gets frustrated and it makes me look bad. "Under promise and over deliver"... that's my motto.

HPSInc
05-16-2011, 08:50 PM
the meeting got pushed back a week. i have to have the bid in now by this thursday along with some other work i am bidding there. after looking at this again i think i can have the whole thing done in 2 days with me and 1 guy taking our time. my worker has asked for 18/hr. he is killing me. but i dont have to use him on the whole job start to finish. just the dismantle and build part would be good. i will plant it myself. i can find a 10 dollar guy who is clueless or this guy who comes with a dodge diesel and dump trailer who can haul off the waste block as well. even if he makes a couple hundred it wont be anything near what im going to make. my bid will be 1500+ in labor alone. i'll let yas know how it goes.

oh yea, the mason i met up with who was interested in working on this will me told me he needs a GRAND to do them both with me. said 2 to 2.5 days and he was only talking about the wall building. he didnt want to stick around for the planting (not that i need him) just saying..that cuts into my profits just a hair ehhh? suddenly the 18/hr guy wasnt looking so bad. once i get my dump truck on the road i'll be on the hunt for that cheap labor though.

grassman88
05-17-2011, 10:13 AM
after rereading i was way off they dont look as big as they are in the pics sorry about that. i wouldnt pay anyone 18 an hour unless hes been working for me a couple years thats crazy you realy dont need 2 skilled workers for this job get a cheap laborer and have him carrie all the blocks to you for 9-10 and hour so that way your building why hes bringing you blocks, then again your using his truck and trailer so i guess 18 is ok good luck on the bid!

HPSInc
05-20-2011, 07:48 AM
So the verdict is in. I bid the labor @ 1500. my total was 3,140 with plants mulch included. the bid against mine was 3480 and did NOT include plants. So the job is mine but they want to hold off until Fall. The plant ripout bid (10 olds arbs ripped out and 9 replaced with boxwoods) my bid 1600, the other companys bid was 2999 with a few more plants. So the board decided since the company bidding against me is the current company taking care of the place and that they have already done replacements there in the past they will go with them, however, they must scale it down and match my bid or else i get it. im kinda puttin the squeeze on em there. And for the mulch job i bid it at 2600, to their 3700. and i got that job and will be starting it next week. their overhead is killer compaired to mine. plus they will have 4 lazy guys milking it and taking breaks all i day and i wont be doing the same. i will knock it out in no time. i'll make an easy 1000 bucks for myself on this mulch job after paying my labor and i got two new guys that will work thier asses off for 9-10 bucks an hour. i i used my spoiled rotten 18/hr guy yesterday. he nearly quit on me and i had to keep his ass in gear, then even after paying him 18/hr plus drive time both ways he texts me after he leaves and tells me he thinks hes getting hosed and he needs more. i call him and he says he needs to start thinking more of what hes worth and that he basically wasnt happy. problem is i was only able to keep him around for 3.5 hrs yesterday (2 of which he actually worked, 30 minutes he jacked off,talked on phone, took a piss etc.. and 1 hour drivetime) and to have him haul some stone i piled up that i was removing from a bed. he had to wheel it to a trailer. i had a nice pile waiting for him he just loaded them and wheeled. but after he was done he didnt want to do anything without being pushed. so i sent him packing after the stone and i stayed on the job myself another 5 hours. i would have kept him there but at that point im getting killed because he has never landscaped in his life and would milk that 18 bucks and hour and pretty much save spiders and worms out of the soil like he was doing after the stone removal had ended. I think he wanted to "hang out" and get another hour or two to make it "worth" his time but didnt actually want to work for it. hell, i told him to keep all the stone and sell it that i took out. its all nice stone. in hopes he wouldnt cry anymore. now he wants in on this mulch job but i think he is getting replaced for the two other guys i just found who both have laid mulch and know how to do it. my 18/guy hasnt. Sorry for the rant!!

colbyjh
06-01-2011, 11:54 AM
So the verdict is in. I bid the labor @ 1500. my total was 3,140 with plants mulch included. the bid against mine was 3480 and did NOT include plants. So the job is mine but they want to hold off until Fall. The plant ripout bid (10 olds arbs ripped out and 9 replaced with boxwoods) my bid 1600, the other companys bid was 2999 with a few more plants. So the board decided since the company bidding against me is the current company taking care of the place and that they have already done replacements there in the past they will go with them, however, they must scale it down and match my bid or else i get it. im kinda puttin the squeeze on em there. And for the mulch job i bid it at 2600, to their 3700. and i got that job and will be starting it next week. their overhead is killer compaired to mine. plus they will have 4 lazy guys milking it and taking breaks all i day and i wont be doing the same. i will knock it out in no time. i'll make an easy 1000 bucks for myself on this mulch job after paying my labor and i got two new guys that will work thier asses off for 9-10 bucks an hour. i i used my spoiled rotten 18/hr guy yesterday. he nearly quit on me and i had to keep his ass in gear, then even after paying him 18/hr plus drive time both ways he texts me after he leaves and tells me he thinks hes getting hosed and he needs more. i call him and he says he needs to start thinking more of what hes worth and that he basically wasnt happy. problem is i was only able to keep him around for 3.5 hrs yesterday (2 of which he actually worked, 30 minutes he jacked off,talked on phone, took a piss etc.. and 1 hour drivetime) and to have him haul some stone i piled up that i was removing from a bed. he had to wheel it to a trailer. i had a nice pile waiting for him he just loaded them and wheeled. but after he was done he didnt want to do anything without being pushed. so i sent him packing after the stone and i stayed on the job myself another 5 hours. i would have kept him there but at that point im getting killed because he has never landscaped in his life and would milk that 18 bucks and hour and pretty much save spiders and worms out of the soil like he was doing after the stone removal had ended. I think he wanted to "hang out" and get another hour or two to make it "worth" his time but didnt actually want to work for it. hell, i told him to keep all the stone and sell it that i took out. its all nice stone. in hopes he wouldnt cry anymore. now he wants in on this mulch job but i think he is getting replaced for the two other guys i just found who both have laid mulch and know how to do it. my 18/guy hasnt. Sorry for the rant!!

I know exactly where your coming from. I've got a friend I've been working with for several years and i also pay him too much. Its hard to work with him sometimes. I don't want to get rid of him, but he works slow and can't seem to get work done without me telling him what needs to be done. I left him at a job site (there were 3 houses we had on one street. I left the jobsite for over an hour (van broke down) when i got it running and got back almost nothing was accomplished. He didn't have any bags so he couldnt cut the grass. He just sat there the whole time.