View Full Version : price my job please

03-25-2004, 08:36 PM
today i gave a quote. the lady asked me to do the same job the guy quoted her. she handed me the estimate sheet(with the price cut out) and a printout of the final product. i didn't get the job. i came in much higher than the other guy. he has a big company and does very beautiful work. here is the job: site is very accesible, i'm talkin pull the truck right up to the work area. remove about 2200 sq ft of turf. install 51'- 3 tier retaining wall (interlocking). bring in 8 yds of topsoil, 2 yds double ground root mulch, 5 ton 3/4" red stone. one 12'clump birch, one weeping norway spruce(5-6 ft), one 7-8 ft deodora cedar, 4 korean boxwood(3 gal container), one dwarf alberta spruce (20-24") 2 hydraingia(2 gal cont), 4 gold tip juniper(2 gal cont), 4 daylillis, 2 spiral juniper (5 ft range), 2 dwarf blue spruce, 4 ornamental grasses(1 gal pot), 2 flats assorted annuals. weed barrier for under the stone. then, install 2000 sq ft sod. the soil is very workable, flat, no sprinklers to work around. i was very surprised when i gave her my quote, and she showed me his. again the guy is a pro, i've seen his work, he's reputable and proffessional. thanx

03-26-2004, 12:24 AM
one hundred million dollars, muahhahahaha.... payup

its hard to tell with jobs like that, some people just get lucky, IMO

03-26-2004, 08:49 PM
Ok I'll try: Rent skid steer for sod removal & soil. So figure $2000 sod strip & install, $55/cu yd soil (if moved by machine, $80/yd if barrowed), $60/yd root mulch installed. 5 ton red approx 60/toin w/ machine, $100/ton w/barrow, EPHenry Nurserywallstone or similar $7-$7.50/piece (153 pieces), Price of all shrubs *2.5-3 of cost to install and guarantee. I don't have time to tally it for u, but it is a ballpark 4 ya.

03-27-2004, 12:45 AM
Bob ...really hard to do for you, especially with your info... what time of stone. for retaining wall? We use almost exclusively tumbled pisa 2 ... 3 courses plus a cap? ... what is the square meters that the stone is covering? ok square ft will do .. how thick do you want the red stone. I have an estimating program that I would punch the numbers in and have a quote in a matter of a few minutes. It's all programed for our material though. Example the retain wall ..programed for pisa 2 ...mulch is shredded cedar... etc. Stone...well red shale went out of style here years ago ...messy chit.

After just a real quick look at your post...hate to guess but 10k give or take a couple of k

What was your quote

03-27-2004, 01:46 AM

Can we assume this lady took the professionals drawing and showed that to you as well?

This should be a good lesson in NOT LEAVING DESIGNS WITH CUSTOMERS (unless they pay for them). I don't think Bobby would have made the same mistake!

03-27-2004, 01:46 AM
i quoted exactly 10 k. the other guy was $6,200. nice work he does. they get in, get out, move on quickly. can't call him a lowballer, he's doin something right. but i was very surprised

Strawbridge Lawn
03-27-2004, 08:15 AM
Approx $2,100.00 for materials. Yeah,, approx $4,000.00 for labor is good. Prob take me a week (guess).
A reasonable price $6K

03-27-2004, 09:17 AM
It's always nice to get a look at others pricing but you can't let those prices dictate what you would quote. Do you still stand by your quote Bob or do you figure you error ed?

Heres a real small one I sold yesterday ... take a shot at it

New home ..rough grade completed - now needs 10cm (4")soil all over to bring it up to final grade
access-- front yard is ok but small- back yard is small machine only(MT50)

Area for soil and sod is : 183 (200 sq yards)sq meters

3- 2" caliper trees

I'll save you a bit of time... you'll need approx -25 cubic yards of soil....200 yds sod

03-27-2004, 09:50 AM
what's the sq ft for the sod? yes jw, the guy gave her a beautiful full color printout of the job, and she showed me. that's what i priced.on another job, i cut this guys grass a few times cus he broke his leg. he had just had landscaping done. i asked how much he paid. he said, well, what would your price have been? i came up with $7000. he said he paid $13,000. prices vary so much from contractor to contractor. get this, across the street from the first job, the lady just moved in, and called for landscaping, she went with the first guy that came by. he put in a 60 ft paver walkway, cheap nasty looking shrubbery...about 5 rhodedenrons, 8 ilex compacta holly, eight 7-8 ft arbrovitea, 2500 sq ft of sod. he got $30,000!!! it was a new development, he picked up 3-4 others on the same block. half the plants died, and he won't replace them, 4 of the neighbors are taking him to court.

03-27-2004, 09:56 AM
around 1969 sq ft

I assumed you would just need the sq yard on sod since that is how it is sold here.

03-27-2004, 09:58 AM
well kris here is my thing. i want to get my price, but i need to be competative too. and prices just vary so much. here's an example, turfdude, who lives close enough so that income levels and such are fairly the same, priced the stone at $60 a ton. i can not see myself ever going less than $110 a ton on 3/4" red stone. i bid another job last weeek, 50 ton of the same stone, my usual price for this stone is $130 a ton, i came down to $110. the guy that got the job bid at $70 a ton. both turfdude and this other guy have succesful busineses, so i'm sure they know what they are doing. i understand they can get the jobs done alot faster with their experience and equipment, but, is there enough of this type of work to go the "make it up in volume" route?

03-27-2004, 10:00 AM
$60 per yd for the soil, $2500 for the sod. this includes everything, final cost

03-27-2004, 10:09 AM
It could be that your off on your production rates. When I first started quoting maintenance jobs a few years back man was I high....or way to low! no clue at all about it, never cut a lawn besides my own house let alone commercial properties. I had no idea that an emark could cut grass that fast. Second year after keeping track of times I adjusted the quotes to what we needed to make and I was in the ball game.

On edit: ok just saw your quote...4k right? Did you forget the 3 2" caliper trees ...anyhoo ... I sold it for 4,960 plus tax(7%)
I know for a fact that there is guys around here that would do it for 3k.
What I should have really asked you is how many man hours do you figure for it? I haven't got it at home here but I think it worked out to 53man hours, including trucking and general conditions(travel, cleanup etc)

03-27-2004, 02:28 PM
What you can get per hour depends on your level of experience and marketing. What makes you different than the other 10 guys with the Ford powerstroke trucks?

Are you friendlier and easier to talk to? Do you give off the 'image' of knowing what you are doing? Do you have pictures of work you've done to back up what you say.

I can eat out at burger king, chili's, or super upscale restaurant where the waiter lights your cigerate and vegetables don't come with the meal. They all provide food. However, each place draws a different crowd.

***You still have to know (1)how long a job will take, (2)how much your material will cost, (3)what your overhead is, and (4)how much profit you want to make. I only wish it was as easy to do as it is to post in a forum!!!

03-27-2004, 06:06 PM
ah kris i did forget the trees. we did 2 similar trees the other day. 3"caliper plums. our cost $125 ea. sold installed for $275 each

03-28-2004, 08:56 AM
Bob - you never answered my question ...how many man-hours did you figure for that small job I posted?
Production rates are the one thing we can talk about on here on a level playing field. Material costs, labour burden and all the other junk will vary from region to region, company to company but production rates are going to be close and don't change that much from year to year. Once you know your production rates and all the stuff jwholden mentioned at the bottom of his last post you will be confident in your quote no matter what the other guys price is. It is what it is.

03-28-2004, 09:23 AM
i've never done 25 yds of soil. the most i have done is i think 8 yds. shovels and wheelbarows thru a small gate. for 25 yds i'd have to rent a machine. i don't know, maybe 2 hrs? as far as the sod, we would get that down in 4 hrs, 2 men. it's apples to oranges, and i'll tell you why. we don't get enough of that type of work to warrent efficiency methods and such, it's not like when we're done, we have another similar job to go to. but, we will get there. oh, and you called your job "a small job", for us, it's huge!

03-28-2004, 09:51 AM
Ok ...I understand . I think you talked about keeping track of times before ... for sure start doing that. Be anal about it starting out. Keep track of every little task.It will help you tremendously in the future.
The MT50 is a small machine that will only carry around one wheelbarrow full....it would take more than 2 hours. That 53 hours is just what I allowed. Those times can be beat and probably will be be....3 good guys could probably do it in one long day(36 man hours). Those saved hours will be gravy.

Project Earth, LLC.
03-28-2004, 08:36 PM

I think you can see HOW he got to his bid, and if he is a bigger outfit running a bunch of crews he can do the job for that profit and still feed his family year round. Imagine he's doing that job times 2 or 3 a week.. I'd be happy with that. BUT- all the headaches and expenses he has to keep up with. Bigger isnt always better.