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Branching Out
11-03-2004, 08:36 PM
I have an opportunity to bid my first condo complex. I already have several commercial office places that only need the usuall cut and go. But this complex requires a more personal touch.

Contract is the tyopical: Begining in April for clean up and ending in November with fall clean up

I figure it will take 3 men about 5 hours for weekly mowing. The cleanups I havent figured, yet. I was there today and there isn't too many leaves, even with as windy as it's been the last several days. The also have a lot of surrounding evergreens.

Aside from the usual standard contract items they have added some additional things to it. Some are pretty normal some are not.

ie:clean out dumpster areas at time of spring and fall clean ups.check for grass in side walk cracks at times of mowing. Weed flower beds at time of mowing 2x a month. Beds with private plantings are exempt and will be designated as so. Shaping and sheering of foundation plantings in spring with follow up in june or july(I think it should wait till september) Flowering material (cherries and dogwoods etc) pruned in summer months(another mistake I believe). Dead, diseased and dying limbs will be pruned out and removed as needed. I have added a clause to that that a maximum hieght of 8' above ground and a maximum diam of 3-4". Sprinkler heads damaged during mowing activity will be replaced at no charge. Another exception I added. They must replace and reset below grade level before season begins. The chemical part I have subbed out and already have a price so it's not an issue.

Any help guys, would be greatly appreciated

Branching out.......

nelbuts
11-03-2004, 10:10 PM
As a general rule if i break sprinkler above ground I pay. Anything below ground condo pays. Not sure of your pruning schedules there but I when I lived up north I pruned plants based on their types and needs. I had some pruned during spring clean up then others in June and then fall pruning for others. Think you might want to be more specific such as number of prunings and shrub types. Just my thoughts. Good luck

Branching Out
11-04-2004, 06:24 AM
Thanks for the reply. I am going to add in a provision for pruning as needed for specific trees....Any suggestion on pricing the whole package?

Branching out............

impactlandscaping
11-04-2004, 07:04 AM
This is a long post, sorry....

Well you are off to a running start by estimating 15 man hours per week for mowing. Now figure the time to check / spray weeds in cracks, etc. each mow visit , and beds 2x a month.Are all 3 going to walk the property w / backpack sprayers? Or just one while the other two weed beds? Figure a schedule and assign each crew member to an after-mowing task, and rotate them as needed every month or so. Figure the spring shaping to be less time consuming and the fall one to be more, take the two prices and avg. them and come to a price per event.Figure the extra time to clean the dumster areas, and add that into the contract as an attachment to each clean up.. Are you going to have on-site debris disposal for limbs, leaves, clippings, etc? If not, build a fee into the contract to cover debris removal every two weeks for beds and for the spring/fall cleanups.

Most of my contracts have also had a clause for tree limbs in the way of pedestrain traffic and mower operators, allowing us to remove them if necessary. This seems to make the manager happy, relieving them of claims from residents who bang their heads on braches over sidewalks or small children climbing in them..Watch the tree limb clause, because if you are not charging for tree care, i.e. fert treatments, anti fungal, etc., you could get into a lot of pre-exisiting conditions that could lead to losing $$. Some co's and assn's will actually try to get replacement trees and such for free in this way. Do what we do: walk the entire property with a clipboard and digital camera. Take pictures of everything, making sure to get pics of pre-exisiting damages : curbs, sidewalks, beds, trees, dead / dying shrubs, insect infestations, cracked windows..You get the idea. Then compile all of this information into a "report of findings", along with a set of pictures for the manager, and make them sign off on the report before siging any contract. I will not do anything for assn's, HOA's , or apt. complexes w/o this documentation to back us up. I am not in the business of giving away free work and free plants, and I'm sure you don't want to be either. Basically, spell everything out in black and white: what you will do, what you are not doing, and what you can do for services not covered under the contract.

impactlandscaping
11-05-2004, 07:50 AM
^^Bump^^..thought this guy could use some more input, thanks.

Branching Out
11-05-2004, 04:54 PM
Thanks impact