View Full Version : Price check please!!!

10-26-2002, 11:04 AM
:) Hello everyone,
Here is the situation. I have been doing some maintenance on irrigation systems at some of or accounts for a couple of years now. You know, valves heads, timers setting, rain sensors,ect. The customer in question is building a new building and would like us to put together a price for an irrigation system. Before you ask, yes this would be our first system install from scratch. I have been doing alot of reading on this subject. I'm now set up with John Deere Landscapes-who has also been alot of help. Also this system will not be going in for about 5 months. Which will give me the winter to take classes and do more reading.
At pesent I have the system design from John Deere. I will be bidding on the following:
11 zones
110 rainbird 5000 rotors -turf
33 popups-mulch beds
875' of 2" mainline
3500' of lateral line
1 esp12Lx 12station rainbird controller
1 rain sensor
3 Quick couplers for water
and miscelleneous fittings and the like

my cost for materials is right at $4500.00
I was going to mark them up by 25%.
Also a figured on 2 guys @ $40 per hour for 80 hrs to install.
My total for the job would be $ 8875

Does this sound low, high, or about right? PLease help me out with this...thanx

10-27-2002, 05:13 PM
still need your input please...

10-27-2002, 05:58 PM
I really don't do commercial so I will pass

10-27-2002, 06:39 PM
Are charging $40.00 per man/hour for 80 manhours or is it something else? Just trying to clarify your hourly rate per man.

10-27-2002, 06:52 PM
yes, its $40.00 per man hour or a total of $3200.00 of labor.

10-27-2002, 08:39 PM
Not knowing anything about the site I would think that I would be between $12000.00 to $14000.00. However site layout could effect the price. Large open areas go faster than scattered areas and so forth.
I think you are low on your price. If you have to rent a trencher, they rent for around $125.00 a day.Probaly will need one at least 2 days. Maybe more if this is your first time using one. Also site and bluprint may not be exacty as what JDL quoted. While it may seem like a good profit to you, you have to be sure to cover all you bases.

10-28-2002, 12:45 PM
I come up with materials and tax at about $4k. I don't mark up materials. I add up, materials, labor, OH, equipment rental, your own eq, subs and then mark up. I also look at profit per hour then rather than margins and/or MU%. Percents are kind of dangerous where $/hr are a real number to be looked at.

Your gonna lose big at this price. You've probably left out some materials like wire, backflow preventer, sleeves for under paving etc.

Your not gonna be there like a residential, in and out. They won't have stuff ready all at once for you. There will be trips to run pipe and wire throught sleeves, install sleeves, meet with the electrician about power for the clock, sloppy soil conditions because of wetness etc. Partial complettion because the site work is not done.

Your estimated hours are way short. Probably a minimum of 55% of what the job will really take. And you and your crew are not skilled at installations so it will be worse.

I don't want to say you are in over your head but you could be. Although you may be able to work you way through technically can you work your way through financially?

The job is work more than your price by a lot. The real rate of return will be no better than the low 30's of dollars per hour and may be much lower than that. By return, I mean that is what you will generate per hour after the cost of materials is deducted.

10-28-2002, 05:32 PM
Thanx for the help. Upon further consideration, I will be coming in at $12025.00 for the job. The sleeving will be done for me by the concrete guys. The RPZ will be already installed with boiler drain and set up for blowing out system by plumber.(at owners cost)
I understand that it will take me much longer than a pro to do this job, i'm ok with that. The money while a factor, is'nt my main motivation here. This job will be a refereal and learner. I'm not intimidated by irrigation. By nature i'm very methodical. By saying that i'm not minimizing the degree of difficulty, just that I think i'm up to the challenge. It also looks like alot of fun.

10-29-2002, 09:19 AM
no offense intended here just constructive criticism...as usual!

Why not learn on a smaller system where you can't get hurt financially? We see commercial system all the time where someone was "having fun" and "learning". It hurts the jobsite, it hurts the industry as a whole and it may end up hurting you. Either financially like the "all knowing" HB Foxx said or maybe even your reputation. I know, I know, it is an existing customer and he will understand if there are some mistakes here and there......NO HE WON'T!....He will be pissed that you acted like you could handle it and he will get angry at you and the poor PR will be bad for your business.

Seriously, put in some smaller systems first.

900 feet of mainline and 110 rotors is nothing to "learn and have fun with". \


10-29-2002, 09:28 AM
Good points Tony.

How about subbing it out and see if you can work on it for the sub. That way you get training, the job gets installed properly, and the customer sees you on the jobsite.

10-29-2002, 02:24 PM
I second the subbing out idea...that's a large install to learn on. I'm sure you could do it, sounds like you've approached this in a thoughtful, well planned way...but subbing this one will give you a chance to learn new stuff, confirm what you already know, and lessen the risk...you could still take an m/u on the job.

10-29-2002, 05:12 PM
I understand your concerns. However, the only company in my area the does irrigation work does bad work. Without trying to sound arrogant, I can do better. I fact i've been repairing some systems that he installed for the past two years. To me this is'nt a large job really. I've already submitted the bid at this point.

10-29-2002, 05:20 PM
Gotta tell ya...I know some of the guys on this board have well founded concerns about education/experience...but...I just love the "go for it" attitude man. Good luck