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View Full Version : Hydroseeding new water line install


P. Baxter
12-15-2002, 09:36 PM
I am meeting with an excavator on monday to review a bid for hydroseeding approx 9 1/2 miles of new waterline install. Including field and lawn repair. They will do the rough grading while we will be harly raking, rock hounding and seeding all disturbed areas.
We will be removing our spoil from the raking. they will be installing topsoil if required, removing extra spoil from excavation operation and trucking away.
This is a rate job which we have not been involved with before and information on pricing would be of great help. Thanks!

The Good Earth
12-16-2002, 10:20 AM
I did one of these jobs last year and darn near lost my shirt. If you choose to do this job get some stuff lined up before you even step foot on the job.

First thing you need to do is get real familiar with your lien laws. Know them backwards and forwards or have an advisor that can point you in the right direction. File Notice to Owners, Intents to Lien, everything.

Next thing is equipment rental. If you are going to need to rent equipment on the job be sure to inform your rental company of the job you are doing and have them file lien paperwork to cover themselves, which in turn covers you.

Have a rock solid contract that the General Contractor cannot wiggle out of. These guys are slick. They will find a hole if your contract has any and will exploit you. Don't leave yourself open to anything. Include in the contract every little detail you can possibly think of. You have to remeber that the contractor is probably buddy buddy with the government agency that is contracting the job. Be sure that you don't get "good ole boyed".

Any conversation that you have with the contractor has a witness. If the job superintendent wants to come down and speak with you about the job be sure that you have somebody there that can witness the conversation. Create a journal outlining all conversations, change orders, everything. If it is possible to get somebody from the government agency contracting the work to witness the conversation, all the better.

Remeber on these jobs that the low bid will get the job. The contractor isn't going to to do you any favors. If you loose money on the job the contractor doesn't care. He still makes money on you. The saying in my neck of the woods is this: I've never met a General Contractor that didn't try to put the screws to the Landscaper.

If you think you can make some good coin on the job go ahead and do it. I'm not trying to scare you away, but just be aware. Be prepared to go 90 to 120 days without seeing a check, then expect a partial one at best. I've figured out that I can sit and home and watch Springer and Oprah and go broke, why in the world would I go bust my hump for some idiot contractor. Man, I sound really jaded!!! :D

Give us some numbers to work with and I'm sure we can come up with a competitive price. Throw some specs for the job on the table and let's see what we can do.

P. Baxter
12-16-2002, 10:33 AM
690,000 square feet turf restoration non residential, no final grading just seeding. Mix of Bluegrass, ryegrass, timothy, orchard grass, trefoil, and clover seeded to manufactures recs.

150,000 square feet residential, final grading, topsoil installed when required, supplied by contractor. Bluegrass, Fescue, rye, and colonial bent grass.

Mulch type what is regularly used for type of seeding.
Fert 5-10-5

I do not need to rent equipment for this job. I may upgrad hydroseeder befor the job taks place but i am not sure yet.
I will buy all material in bulk as i was planning on it for the comming year anyways.

devildog
12-16-2002, 04:04 PM
Originally posted by The Good Earth
I did one of these jobs last year and darn near lost my shirt. If you choose to do this job get some stuff lined up before you even step foot on the job.

First thing you need to do is get real familiar with your lien laws. Know them backwards and forwards or have an advisor that can point you in the right direction. File Notice to Owners, Intents to Lien, everything.

Next thing is equipment rental. If you are going to need to rent equipment on the job be sure to inform your rental company of the job you are doing and have them file lien paperwork to cover themselves, which in turn covers you.

Have a rock solid contract that the General Contractor cannot wiggle out of. These guys are slick. They will find a hole if your contract has any and will exploit you. Don't leave yourself open to anything. Include in the contract every little detail you can possibly think of. You have to remeber that the contractor is probably buddy buddy with the government agency that is contracting the job. Be sure that you don't get "good ole boyed".

Any conversation that you have with the contractor has a witness. If the job superintendent wants to come down and speak with you about the job be sure that you have somebody there that can witness the conversation. Create a journal outlining all conversations, change orders, everything. If it is possible to get somebody from the government agency contracting the work to witness the conversation, all the better.

Remeber on these jobs that the low bid will get the job. The contractor isn't going to to do you any favors. If you loose money on the job the contractor doesn't care. He still makes money on you. The saying in my neck of the woods is this: I've never met a General Contractor that didn't try to put the screws to the Landscaper.

If you think you can make some good coin on the job go ahead and do it. I'm not trying to scare you away, but just be aware. Be prepared to go 90 to 120 days without seeing a check, then expect a partial one at best. I've figured out that I can sit and home and watch Springer and Oprah and go broke, why in the world would I go bust my hump for some idiot contractor. Man, I sound really jaded!!! :D

Give us some numbers to work with and I'm sure we can come up with a competitive price. Throw some specs for the job on the table and let's see what we can do.


One of best posts read to date, print it an put a copy in the project folder, read it every time you open the folder.

Re: the numbers, verify your numbers against a current copy of RSMeans Site Work Cost Data. You can bet he uses it. Don't go a penny below, a good Super/GC can smell a sucker a mile away, just like a shark. 9 of 10 can't be trusted with a wet match in a hurricane. With Regards... devildog

The Good Earth
12-16-2002, 10:14 PM
Ok, we have the numbers for the job. Now the question is what equipment are you using? What type of seeder, what equipment are you using for the prep work, and how much manpower are you figuring on using.

Gie us this info and we are in business.

aquaturf
12-17-2002, 08:58 AM
Yes, that was one of the best summaries of public contracting that I have read on this board as well.

By the way, P BAxter, how is this job going to interfere with other projects that you are doing or COULD be doing instead of this low-bid work? Is it possible that you could be killing yourself with paperwork, call-backs, and the always unpredictable schedule that the GC wants you to follow - while you could have been out doing residential work at higher profit and much less headache?

You will wait 120 days minimum to be paid. Meanwhile, the GC always wants you to work in a hurry so that you can beat the specified seasonal seeding dates, and then they drive over the work with their equipment because they have one more "little" thing to do - and could you please reseed it? Or, you are not asked to reseed and the Owner rejects the seeding because there are tire marks, etc. And then you are ultimately responsible for the grass to grow, as the spec says.

On these jobs, the customer is not always right. My advice would be all of what Good EArth said, couldn't have said it better. Also, if you get the job, make it clear that you are in charge of your section of the spec. This means that you have final say on when and how different areas are seeded, and don't give in to the pushy GC that wants to get things done in rush. In the end, you will be held responsible for whatever the specifications say, unless you can prove that the Owner or GC wanted you to work outside of the specifications. This is why everything must be in writing. In fact, I would not even speak with the Owner or their representatives - make everything in writing.

paul
12-17-2002, 09:42 AM
As a contractor that does public works jobs, I have never had those type of problems (not getting paid or getting paid late) I am figuring this is a public works project, and as with most public works projects the GC has to have a bond. Things I would look for is to make sure that you are paying the right wages and find out if it's a union job. Most public works jobs require that you pay prevailing wages and you should know all about reporting them to the GC. As far as pricing this job I would need to know more along the lines of equipment that you have and the wages that the job calls for.

P. Baxter
12-17-2002, 02:09 PM
I happen to know the general contractor very well, have worked with him for the past 5 years on privite projects never had a problem getting paid. Not worried about that.... Just was intrested to see some numbers does not matter now alredy deleverd bid.... Equipment 2 bobcats, Harley rake, Rock hound, Hydroseeder, and what ever manpower i need for the job..... We are going to work right along with the general on this I will have no problem keeping up. Water is about 1/10 of a mile away.....Thanks for all your input, i will let you know some day if we got the job.

The Good Earth
12-18-2002, 12:22 AM
When you say you are going to be working right along side the contractor does that mean that as they fill the hole and grade it y'all come right behind them and finish grade and seed it?

The reason I ask is this. Once they have the line installed it must first be pressure tested. After the pressure test all the hydrants must be flowed individually and water tests taken to be submitted to the health department.

Personally, I would be leary about doing any work before both of these tests are completed.

P. Baxter
12-18-2002, 04:37 PM
I only asked for some reasonable numbers to work with and you guys go blowing out of whack!!!! Jeez it was only a simple question..... I know it is prevaling wage thats why we hire accounts... I know water has to be tested big deal..... if something goes worng its covered. I know it will take time thats why you have other people working for you to cover other buisness. I am the only company bidding on this with this contractor. I was just looking for a little help in the right direction thats all. We have renovated and hydroseeded large jobs before, golf course, water front developments, saved hillsides from sliding but have never bid on public work before. Just one simple question!!!!!:dizzy: :dizzy: :dizzy:

The Good Earth
12-18-2002, 10:34 PM
Sorry, man. I was just trying to help you out. It seems from your last post that you have it all figured out.

muddstopper
12-19-2002, 10:53 PM
This is my first post so maybe I can make it a good one.
The 690000 sq.ft will cost approx. 2 cent per sqft in materials assuming you are using hydro mulch instead of straw. The seeding on the residential 150000 sqft requires approx twice the amount of seed so it will cost you about 3cents per sqft in materials. If I was seeding the 6900000sq ft with my small seeder (500gal) it would take about 120 tank loads at one hour each with out any help or about 45 min with one helper. The same goes for the 150000 sqft residential at about 25 tank loads. The prep work with the rakes and such I charge 5cents per sqft for prep. The thing that is hardest to figure is the times that they are going to require you to seed. They will not install all 9 1/2 miles in one day so, are you going to have to have everything seeded each day that they disturbe or are you going to be able to seed 2 or 3 days a week and do your other jobs on the off days. Are you going to have to haul your equipment between the residential parts of the jobs or will you be able to just drive it to the next yard. Altho 9 1/2 miles seems like a lot we are only talking about 19 acres. There are a few thing that you left out, like how much fert. seed, mulch per acre that they are requireing. These fiqures are the min. that this job will cost you and have not even started factoring in wages for you and your help. Since you have already placed your bid you know what your price is. Not knowing all of the facts, I place my min. bid at $40,000.oo. And altho I would have to garantee it to grow I wouldnt be responseable for damage done to the area after I seeded it. If they wanted me to fix those spots it would be 9 cents sqft plus any unordanary costs. equip rentals, extra fill dirt, ect.
I have a bigger seeder also but it has been my experience that the pipe laying crews cant outrun me with the little machine and that most of the time I only had to seed one tank a day and that was at their quitting time, altho there where days that I did seed most of the day. So yes you can still do your other jobs also.

Lanelle
12-19-2002, 11:21 PM
Welcome aboard muddstopper. That was definitely a well-packed post.

Just a note to everyone here. From time to time as new members join in these discussions I see the same scenario repeat itself. Because we don't all know one another, sometimes assumptions are made about the knowledge level of those not yet known. Sometimes it's on the part of the older members and sometimes its a newer member misreading the experience level of a poster. Just because a member asks a question does not always imply that they lack experience. Some questions are asked as a matter of curiosity to see how others think. Some are asked just to spur a discussion. It is interesting to see how various members address a problem.
Please share the types of work that you do so others can appreciate your talents and experience. And don't be afraid to ask one another about the type of work performed. We all learn something here.

P. Baxter
12-21-2002, 08:48 AM
Muddstopper thanks we ended up at a little over $50,000 with a few other things added in, $42,000.00 seeding. There were no rec's on seeding, fert rateds or hydromulch, it was what manufacture reccomended. GC figures we did not get job another company underbid all others companies approx $100,000 on just seperated out ammended items, but it was fun.

muddstopper
12-21-2002, 09:22 AM
P.Baxter
It is good to see that I was in the ball park with my figures. It would be hard to see anybody making any money at a lower price. I assume when you said that another company underbid by $100,00. that that was for the whole pipe laying job. You said that you where thinking about upgrading your hydro-seeding machine, what type of machine do you have now and what type are you thinking about upgradeing too? I have a 500gal jet agitated machine and a 1100 gal Bowie Hydro mulcher. I like the jet machine on most residential jobs but the Bowie is the way to go on roadbanks and such and with the hose attachment it does great on the larger residental properties.

P. Baxter
12-21-2002, 06:29 PM
We run a 500 gallon jet machine it is pretty good but the more we do the more i want a paddle machine. Now i did run a Finn for 8 years running a program for Steuben County and i really liked that machine. Yes the 100,000 was for the whole job. To bad it was right in my back yard. Oh well i think we will be bidding on another 35-40 miles of pipe soon maybe that will be good for us.

muddstopper
12-25-2002, 08:24 PM
I like my jet machine for residential jobs better than the bowie. There is a lot of hype about the mixing abilities of the jet machines and about what types of mulch can be used. I am using 200lbs of jetspray mulch per tank now. What do you use in your machine and how much?
muddstopper

DaddyRabbit
01-01-2003, 01:31 PM
I can't help but think you'll be removing copious loads of debris from the Harley Rake and Rock hound resulting in time and money loss. W/a job of this magnitude most in this area would use pulverizers and still have an acceptable final grade for seeding w/much fewer trips of debris. You could then use the Harley for the residential portion. I am also at a loss as to why you wouldn't just do the seed prep then straw and tack? That is a lot of water for hydroseeding not to mention I think the tack would hold better where erosion was concerned. If this is in the contract then please excuse my suggestions. You could bid 38k to 42k and secure the job and put more $ in the company account if the straw and tack could apply. Whatever the remedy congratulations on the contract. :D

GreginAlaska
01-04-2003, 08:17 AM
Up here the state won't let you use jet machines on public work jobs.