PDA

View Full Version : Irrigation Charging?


RwADesigner
10-30-2002, 03:06 AM
Do you guys use the "Charge by head" or "Charge by zone" way of pricing a irrigation system?

Or do you have a completely different approach.

Please share your ideas on this

SprinklerGuy
10-30-2002, 08:20 AM
VERY SIMPLE:


All your costs (valves, timer, heads etc.)

PLUS

all your labor costs for time spent on this job

PLUS

all your "per hour overhead" (you do know your per hour cost of doing business right?)

PLUS

Desired profit

EQUALS THE PRICE OF THE JOB


Sorry, no magic formula, everybody has a different cost for each job, or at least they should. Not all companies cost the same to operate right?

HBFOXJr
10-30-2002, 08:27 AM
I've written a bunch about this. Read my old posts.

Ground Master
10-30-2002, 10:25 AM
ditto sprinkler guy

JimLewis
11-13-2002, 05:47 AM
Ditto what Sprinkler Guy said except I simplify it a little.

I already have in my mind a desired rate for labor - per day. This rate includes overhead and profit. It's $400 per man per day. That's $50 per hour for an 8 hour day.

So today I gave an estimate for a sprinkler system. I guessed at parts (and permits) costing me about $1000 (which is pretty accurate) and I figured we'd need two guys the first day ($800) and my foreman could finish up from there on his own for another 3 days ($400 x 3). Total price for job = $3,000.

I use this price/day/worker thing for all of my estimating. For irrigation, it's a little higher because it's a skill thing and that's the market. But for clean-ups, installations, etc. I charge $350 per man per day. That covers me for 10 hours at $35 per hour IF the day goes that long. And often times it's just 8 or 9 hours.

It makes it a lot easier for estimating. I can look at most jobs and think to myself, "Yah, two guys could get that done in ___ days. So I'll charge ____." As for knowing how many days it will take a guy or a few guys - that's just something that comes from experience. But I am pretty dead on these days.

SprinklerGuy
11-14-2002, 09:55 AM
Well if the truth be told....that is exactly how I do it Jim!

Only I add some markup to the parts just for fun...for example:

Typical 3 zone system one of them being a drip system w/ 100 plants.

Timer 250
PVB 150
2 grass valves 100
1 drip valve 100
1 valve box 25
10 hds per zone/20 total 200
100 drips 100
1 roll tubing 50
400 pvc 100

2 days labor 1200

Total without tax 2275

I get 3 out of 10 bids roughly, which is pretty good and usually it is 1.5 days not 2 by the time we're done. I wish I could do 2 of these per week for 52 weeks per year!

JimLewis
11-14-2002, 11:22 AM
I get 3 out of 10 bids roughly, which is pretty good and usually it is 1.5 days not 2 by the time we're done. I wish I could do 2 of these per week for 52 weeks per year! We get that rate or maybe a little less. There is a LOT of guys around here doing it for hella cheap. I don't understand why because it's super difficult to become an irrigation contractor in this state and there aren't too many of them around. But the ones who are, have perfected the art of turning what should be a 5 zone system into a 2 or 3 zone system (complete with shrubs and lawn all on the same zone, and many other shortcuts) so that they can reduce the price by $1000 or so from what I charge. So customers often choose my competition over me just because of the price.

We even provide a really detailed portfolio explaining why the systems we design are superior to the way most competitors do it - but this rarely seems to influence people. They seem to like the cheaper price.

I have determined that in order to land jobs like you speak of (2 / week all year) I'll have to find some way to lower my prices drastically. And that means cutting corners or becoming REALLY efficient and fast at installing them. I dunno....... But I, too, would love to land a LOT more of these jobs. It gets really annoying when you go give 5 bids and don't land any of them.......

SprinklerGuy
11-14-2002, 01:29 PM
Unfortunately the customer doesn't care about quality or integrity until after the job is over. We find that most systems we DO get to install are referrals from current customers who are happy.

Since we do a lot of service also, we get to see these bad systems all the time after they were installed improperly. You are right, here though it is trees/shrubs on the same drip zone.....15 gallons on each lawn valve piped in 3/4 class pvc...shade and sun on the same zones......hills on the same zone as flat areas...I could go on and on.

I agree that the way to do more systems would either be to bid these jobs apples to apples or get more efficient. Or more volume with less profit per job. I have struggled with this for 10 years and here is my conclusion.

I raise my rates every year in order to make more money doing the same amount of work or less with the same employees year after year. We do get more efficient. We do fewer installs than some companies but our margins have to be higher......

The less work we do the less liability we have and the less headaches. This has allowed me to live in Beautiful Colorado and own a business in Scottsdale. I don't have to hold hands anymore with employees. Every year for the last 3 years I have added a technician and plan to again this spring. Expanding into more service breeds more installs with less headaches, I think.

devildog
12-01-2002, 02:21 PM
You can have a per head price, if you are working a devlopement with alot of identical houses. BUT, I'm not recommending this sort of bidding/estimating. IT TAKES ALOT OF EXPERIENCE WORKING IN IDENTICAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

You did not mention IF YOU ALREADY INTO IRR INSTALLS, GETTING IN, HAVE A PUT TOGETHER CREW ETC, so I'll just throw out some ideas / info

? if not into irr installs, go in slowly, a season or two.
? if not irr certified, do it.
? if not bacflow certified, do it.
? if not into irr serv work, do it.
? if not member trade assoc, do it.

$ don't fall into the trap of buying from one vendor (we use 3)
and typically save 12% on what the others are buying
$ we've come to know for every hour spent on design, (within reason) our field effiencies are now at an all time high (per zone)
$ don't let the install crew have the authority change design layout without approval. and then it should be for a labor or material savings. your bid counts on the job costing for the bid.
$ reward the crew lead if he (or she) brings the job in with a 10% saving in materials AND!!! 10% SAVINGS IN LABOR estimates.
$ do make sure the crew goes to the install WITH EVERYTHING and spare materials. mistakes do happen. routinely resupply all consumables

devildog
12-01-2002, 02:37 PM
You can have a per head price, if you are working a devlopement with alot of identical houses. BUT, I'm not recommending this sort of bidding/estimating. IT TAKES ALOT OF EXPERIENCE WORKING IN IDENTICAL CIRCUMSTANCES.

You did not mention IF YOU ALREADY INTO IRR INSTALLS, GETTING IN, HAVE A PUT TOGETHER CREW ETC, so I'll just throw out some ideas / info

? if not into irr installs, go in slowly, a season or two.
? if not irr certified, do it.
? if not bacflow certified, do it.
? if not into irr serv work, do it.
? if not member trade assoc, do it.

$ don't fall into the trap of buying from one vendor (we use 3)
and typically save 12% on what the others are buying
$ we've come to know for every hour spent on design saves hours of install time, (within reason) our field effiencies are now at an all time high (per zone)
$ don't let the install crew have the authority change design layout without approval. and then it should be for a labor or material savings. your bid counts on the job costing for the bid.
$ reward the crew lead if he (or she) brings the job in with a 10% saving in materials AND!!! 10% SAVINGS IN LABOR estimates.
$ do make sure the crew goes to the install WITH EVERYTHING and spare materials. mistakes do happen. routinely resupply all consumables, nothing than a crew swabing the bottom of the glue can and putting in a supply line (CALL BACK!!)
$ set up a cargo tralier to do these installs.
$ study the competition. its amazing what you will see if you look at their actual install procedures / process

Having said all that its all about design experience and installation
effiencies. In closing
+ cost of sales
+ expenses
+ profit (min 15%)
= quoted price

with regards... devildog

DanaMac
12-02-2002, 08:51 AM
I know we've discussed this subject a bunch. But can you START with a base price per zone or head and then add on to it.

Example:

$400 per zone - 6 zone system $2400
$200-$300 for a plumbing tap
$25-$50 each for going under sidewalks
Additional $50-$100 per zone for hard soil conditions
And more items you could factor in

I know a lot of potential clients want a bid right then and there. This would speed up the process.

Don't bash me for asking!!

HBFOXJr
12-02-2002, 09:29 AM
I give bids on site but not from down and dirty rough numbers.

I "unitize" my prices on a spreadsheet, print it and use it as a paper worksheet. A rotary head price also includes the saddle T, swing pipe assy, 35 ft of 1" pipe and 1" fitting (T). Controller price incluse rain switch. Spray head is 15' of 1" pipe. Valve includes, box, water proof wire nuts, T for main and 1- 1" fitting after the valve. Wire and main are priced separately. PVC main in multiples of 20ft and rounded up.

Backflow is by itself as I ususally use a plumber to do the hookup. If I do the hookup a have batch price for a stick of copper plus fittings for a standard esy connect.

On the worksheet I put labor hrs beside each component being installed. For routine installs there are only a few line items, plumber, backflow, controller, main, wire, valves, rotor heads, spray heads, flush and adjust.

One sheet of the spreadsheet has item prices for everything it takes to build a system. The 2nd sheet, cotains the formulas that makes up the displayed unit price. I check supplier prices in the winter and again in August/early September.

I have prices for 12 in sprays and rotors, and shrub rotors or sprays on risers.

rvsuper
12-25-2002, 06:17 PM
Harold,
Post the spreadsheet on here again(sprinklermerge)

Ric
01-13-2003, 10:15 PM
Question on repair pricing???

1. I charge a service call fee. Which includes the first 1/2 hr

2. I charge $ XX.00 per hour, plus parts.

My question is what is a fair % mark up on parts???

Inventory is expensive and you got to make a profit on it. Plus you have to buy parts that you might never use, or keep for a long time before you use them.

williamslawn
01-17-2003, 06:24 AM
I mark all parts up 25%

DanaMac
01-17-2003, 10:44 AM
I tend to go with list price from my United Green Mark price book. A Hunter PGP costs me $8.75. I mark it up to $21.95. That is what they would pay at the local plumbing supply house that carries them. Now if I replace 2 or more heads I will drop the price down to $16-$18 depending on the client. Even lower when doing work for the city. I replaced about 60 crappy Toro rotors on one property with Hunter PGPs.

A Febco 3/4" bonnet costs about $11-$12. But I only mark it up to about $16-$18, which is what they can buy it for retail.

Not each part gets the same percentage mark up. And I don't keep a list of my exact cost on hand. Although I know I should.

Ric
01-18-2003, 04:42 PM
DanaMac

Yes I keystone (double) my supply prices off of wholesale price. I will round to nearness even number to make adding easier. I think this is fair pricing. But was wondering what other do.

Thanks

RwADesigner
01-19-2003, 07:41 AM
What are you guys seeing as an average for your irrigation heads installed/per man hour?

From start to finish

HBFOXJr
01-19-2003, 12:42 PM
Are we talking avg $/hd for a job or how many hds/man hr?????

RwADesigner
01-19-2003, 12:44 PM
yes, sorry.

I meant how many heads can be installed within one man hour on average

HBFOXJr
01-19-2003, 01:09 PM
On pipe already installed? What are we including in the way of tasks to accomplish the head install? I need a few more clues.

RwADesigner
01-19-2003, 01:13 PM
hmmm...lets see

Im talkin about from start of a irrigation job to final completion. What is your average install of head/hr?

Laying pipe, wiring, heads, etc.. the complete deal.

Another words...if you have a 24 head system and it takes you 3/8hr days with one guy to complete the system that would be a 1/man hr install.

sorry for not being very detailed