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View Full Version : My first patio proposal . . . please critique


Century Landscape
06-24-2011, 10:53 PM
Hey guys,

I just submitted my first patio proposal to a guy a couple of days ago as part of a much larger project ( new construction ) in a very restricted subdivision. I tried to make all of my proposals very competitive, as I haven't done any work in this subdivision and want to get my foot in the door, and also looking to get some paver installs under my belt. I'm also doing sod installation and all his beds and landscaping.

So anyhow, he said all my estimates looked good, but he thinks he may not do the patio. The reason he gave is that it's he'll probably just get a slab poured because it will be less maintenance - I didn't squawk much about it because most of my profit is in the other jobs anyway.

But, I'd really appreciate it if some of you veterans in the forum could maybe look over the estimate I gave him and see if you think the times estimated for labor and the material estimates seem reasonable, or if maybe I priced it a little high?

Patio area includes a half circle with 11' radius and there's also a walk that adds about another 45 square feet for a total of 235 sq feet. Labor involved would be digging down enough to install 6" limestone aggregate compacted, then 1" concrete sand, and 2 3/8" 4x8 Holland stone from Belgard.

For my labor, I estimated 8 hours with 2 people to grade and prep site with compacting the aggregate, then another 8 hours with 2 people to screed sand and install and compact pavers.

All my materials with aggregate, sand, pavers, restraints totaled 1843.92 and the labor with rental costs figured in totaled 1433.64 for a total of 3277.56.

It seemed pretty fair to me, but this is my first job. Does it sound about right to those with more experience?

I know all pricing is highly dependant on local costs and labor costs, but I'm just trying to get a rough feel here if the price was a factor in possibly losing the job. And does my estimated time to install sound about right?

Thanks all

Century Landscape
06-24-2011, 10:55 PM
And before I get knocked for it, this is a clay subsurface so I planned on using some woven geo tex fabric.

Thanks

castle555
06-25-2011, 02:40 AM
Okay, I'm in California so the market price is different, however, I'd like to point out something for you to think about: Your project has a cost of about $13.95 per sf. and even Concrete, stamped, colored or stained and sealed at about $ 8.00 to $9.00 a sf. here. so you can see why the super was perhaps not interested.
Even salted and banded concrete can be bid for 4.50 or 5.00 a sf these days.

Also I recently bid a small project with Belgard Mega Arbel and came out about 9.50 per sf installed, although you could go about $10.00 to $ 11.00.
I figured 6" excavation, 2" of AB base and 1" =/- sand plus the paver thickness and polysand jointing.
the Geofabric is a must for soil separation from your base and the substrate

Century Landscape
06-25-2011, 07:47 AM
Thanks Castle, I appreciate the input.

I didn't know that stamped concrete was quite that cheap. I'll have to do a little more homework on some of my customer's other options to at least give me a better idea of what their decision making process might be.

Did my time figured sound about right?

zedosix
06-25-2011, 10:08 AM
Okay, I'm in California so the market price is different, however, I'd like to point out something for you to think about: Your project has a cost of about $13.95 per sf. and even Concrete, stamped, colored or stained and sealed at about $ 8.00 to $9.00 a sf. here. so you can see why the super was perhaps not interested.
Even salted and banded concrete can be bid for 4.50 or 5.00 a sf these days.

Also I recently bid a small project with Belgard Mega Arbel and came out about 9.50 per sf installed, although you could go about $10.00 to $ 11.00.
I figured 6" excavation, 2" of AB base and 1" =/- sand plus the paver thickness and polysand jointing.
the Geofabric is a must for soil separation from your base and the substrate

That stone cost us $7sq.ft. you guys must pay only 3 or 4 for you to make money on that at that price!

Crusher Run
06-25-2011, 10:11 AM
Here in northern Vermont, the company I work for charges 19$ sq.ft for stamped concrete and is very busy. Which should be sealed every year, not exposed to chemicals, not to mention the ugly ass control joints. I don't like it.

castle555
06-25-2011, 10:11 AM
Thanks Castle, I appreciate the input.

I didn't know that stamped concrete was quite that cheap. I'll have to do a little more homework on some of my customer's other options to at least give me a better idea of what their decision making process might be.

Did my time figured sound about right?

Your labor time for the tasks seems close enough, but I would give it an extra hour for every 8 estimated to be on the better side of time management.

Stamped, and sealed concrete was around 12.00 to 14.00 a sf back before the economy dumped.
Another base formula I've used is to take the material cost (this is for hard labor and masonry work, i.e. pavers, stone, etc.), and multiply the material cost by 105% to cover labor expense.
It can come out pretty colse if you workers are skilled... So many variables, though.
Let me know how it turns out

castle555
06-25-2011, 11:04 AM
That stone cost us $7sq.ft. you guys must pay only 3 or 4 for you to make money on that at that price!
Wow, the prices do vary a lot by region. And yes the Belgard Mega Arbel runs about $4.65 retail cost here. I believe the associated rising fuel and shipping costs for heavy items, is what's driving that price difference.

castle555
06-25-2011, 11:13 AM
Here in northern Vermont, the company I work for charges 19$ sq.ft for stamped concrete and is very busy. Which should be sealed every year, not exposed to chemicals, not to mention the ugly ass control joints. I don't like it.

No, I don't like the poor sealer performance and associated high maintenance costs either.
The other thing that is driving down concrete price per sq ft, and everybody deals with this in their own area, but especially here in our wreckage of a state of 'California' is the 'low-ballers' that are catering to the consumers appetite for 'cheapest'. You get what you pay for and I have heard of some bids as low as 3.50 to 4.00 a sf, where that guy is literally 'buying the job'.
And it is also the unlicensed,illegal work and some of the unlicensed immigrants bidding on jobs that is creating havoc for decent contractors. However, I do blame the 'pay the lowest price customer', who probably also complains about all the illegals crossing the border. You can't blame them for seeking a better life here.
Things are not going well.

CALandscapes
06-25-2011, 09:52 PM
Century,

Here's a few things I noticed:

1. Are you making a percentage off of your materials? Hopefully so...
2. Are you sure you need to use 6" of base? Here in the greater New Orleans area we generally use 4" for walks and patios.
3. Your labor/ rental cost seems to be low. Not sure what your rental fees are and your overhead is, but we're generally at $800 per day for a two man crew.

If it helps at all, we'd be at around $16+/- per sq. ft. for a job that size.

Best of luck!

-Chase

Century Landscape
06-26-2011, 12:20 AM
Thanks for all the replies

CALandscapes, nice to hear from someone in LA at least.

I did include markup on all my materials. Rental fees weren't too bad, but for the most part, I am fairly sure I went on the low side for my labor. I was really trying to get a good proposal together for this customer since I want to get the whole job. That's part of the reason I was a little worried about the price, since I thought I bid it pretty reasonably.

Thanks all, any other posts are great.

DVS Hardscaper
06-26-2011, 12:27 AM
we do not mark up hardscape material. Money is made off of our labor, as that's what we sell.



,

CALandscapes
06-26-2011, 10:51 PM
We sell labor and material (pavers, stone, plants, aggregate, soil, etc.), as our estimating model is based off of profit coming by means of both. I'd imagine that we probably aim to turn a somewhat similar profit margin as you do, DVS (as well as many other contractors).... Six of one, half dozen of the other...........

FLCthes4:11-12
06-27-2011, 07:06 PM
you asked for a critique. To me it sounded like it was your first. Prices I thought were fine. I also find that when we do package work sod, irrigation, plants that the pavers are the first thing to go just how it is in my neck of the woods. Next proposal try wording different and I wouldn't break down labor and materials or how many people on the job.

DVS Hardscaper
06-27-2011, 08:37 PM
I too, was confused.

I think the TC is more trying to see if the price is reasonable, then having his/her proposal critiqued. Because if we were critiquing his/her proposal, we'd be reviewing the job description, terms and conditions, etc.

Century Landscape
06-28-2011, 12:04 AM
Maybe it was a mistake to break down materials and labor. I guess my thinking was that the labor wasn't a bad price and I didn't want him to think that the materials were cheap and I was charging out the a!@ to install the pavers.

I didn't break down any of the information for the customer as far as how much time it would take me on the job or how many people would be working on it - I wouldn't ever do that, it's just asking for trouble on so many levels from customers trying to nickel and dime.


Pretty much all I broke down for him was the specs on all materials I was using so he could see I was doing the job right, the type of pattern I was installing the pavers in, and then a total on the labor to install. Don't most of you give a listing on what type of materials you are installing and the quantity? I basically just totaled all the important information and broke it down as material total and labor total. I can see where that would be a difference of opinion as to whether or not I should break it down like that.

Do any of you total material and labor separately? Or does everyone just give a total price installed materials and labor?