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  #1  
Old 03-24-2011, 10:10 AM
DVS Hardscaper's Avatar
DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: County Jail
Posts: 5,777
I don't know what to title this. How bout 'Home Owner Humor'?

I've been itching to post these e-mails, but I've held off until I knew for certain that we are NOT doing the work



I had some folks call about a nice, lead walk. Your traditional tract home, not small, not huge, just your traditional modern day tract home.

So I met with them. Went over everything. The meeting went real well. The client did NOT say or do anything at the initial meeting to throw ANY red flags. This is a prime example of how "pre-qualifying" is not fool proof, when dealing with the public - you can NOT engineer life.


Here is the first e-mail followed by an attachment of his spread sheet that he made for me! I had to convert the spread sheet to two pages. Keep in mind, as anyone here that knows me - I am VERY detail oriented when it comes to my proposals and designs!

Read everything over. The first person to observe where this man's mindset is - will receive a copy of the recipe for my Grandma Helen's Peanut Butter Pie!


Mr. Andrew Hardscape,

Weíve looked over your proposal had a few requests. We were hoping for a little bit more detail on what was included, whatís not included etc. For example, does your cost include the removal of shrubs, or what are the specific dimensions of the work to be done, can you add the cost of adding the low voltage lighting, etc. We might have to add or subtract certain aspects of the job depending on the overall price, but we wanted a list of options and the related costs so we could pick and choose. We really liked your ideas and enthusiasm, and we hope weíre able to do business with you.

Iíve added a spreadsheet that we were hoping you could complete to give us a feel for how much each of the individual jobs should cost (+markup). Itís pretty straight forward. Basically, if you know the square footage of the individual project and you know the cost of your material, labor and overhead then this shouldnít be too difficult. Please let me know if you have any questions.

Thanks in advance for your time,
Joe & Donna




Click Link to see the spread sheet! And umm......Yard guys turned Hardscaping Newbies - sorry, but this spreadsheet isn't what you use to cost a job out
Attached Images
File Type: pdf Client's Copy of Cost Estimater xls (2).pdf (179.0 KB, 885 views)
__________________
"It's You vs. You"

"People Throw Rocks At Things That Shine"


My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
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  #2  
Old 03-24-2011, 10:19 AM
DVS Hardscaper's Avatar
DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Here is his e-mail he sent 1st thing yesterday morning!

Hi Mr Andrew Hardscape,

Thanks for the information. Iím not sure if you had seen the spreadsheet that I had laid out for you to capture the costs, but either way, I can give you my thoughts on the information that youíve written below.

Iím having a hard time reconciling the quote that youíve provided versus what a fair or reasonable price would be. I understand that youíre a ďfor-profitĒ business, and perhaps thereís such a demand for your services that it necessitates a premium price. However, based on my math and the research that Iíve done, a more reasonable price would be lower, while still allowing you to maintain a healthy bottom line. Using the walkway (without a stoop), the area is about 112 sq ft, plus a 10% scrap factor, which totals about 123 sq.ft. A pallet (120 sq.ft.) of Belgardís Holland Stone is about a$283.97 + 6% tax + delivery (contractor price). Letís call the pavers $350, all in. The CR-8 is about $49/ cu.yd. (2,700 lbs), so thatíll cost about $126.00+6%+delivery. Letís call the CR-8 $165, all in. Add sand & Polyomer (grout) for about $150 delivered. The labor to tear up the old sidewalk and put in a new one is about 3 days with about 2 labors at $20/hour (fully loaded) at 8 hours a day. This works out to about $1,000 (rounded up). The haul off of the old material is about $200. The sum of these costs so far is about $1,865.

Your overhead costs, such as rental of any equipment (assuming that you donít already have it), fuel, debt financing etc. would only be a guess. So, the difference between the $1,865 and the $4,200 that you quoted is spread between profit and overhead. Again, I want you to make a profit, but it seems that your price are exceedingly high. I think my estimates are pretty close, and Iíve confirmed the labor information with other contractors.

If you have better numbers to share with us, weíll be more than willing to listen. If youíre firm with these numbers, that Iíll have to thank you for your time.

Regards,
Joe B-------

__________________
"It's You vs. You"

"People Throw Rocks At Things That Shine"


My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
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  #3  
Old 03-24-2011, 10:26 AM
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Sutherland Sutherland is offline
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Join Date: Jun 2009
Location: Rochester, NY
Posts: 35
I'm not sure why but I would guess he's considering doing it himself, and trying to use your numbers to figure what he needs/how long it will take.
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  #4  
Old 03-24-2011, 10:29 AM
DVS Hardscaper's Avatar
DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: County Jail
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Sutherland View Post
I'm not sure why but I would guess he's considering doing it himself, and trying to use your numbers to figure what he needs/how long it will take.
Oh no. He's going to use a contractor to do the work. The other contractor is of decent size and has been around a while is known for working dirt cheap. To my knowledge, he doesn't use fabric, he does not use Techo-bloc (which is what I quoted) - he uses Hanover (which in my mind is trash).
__________________
"It's You vs. You"

"People Throw Rocks At Things That Shine"


My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
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  #5  
Old 03-24-2011, 10:31 AM
DVS Hardscaper's Avatar
DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: County Jail
Posts: 5,777
I had called the guy yesterday.

A comment I had POLITELY made to him was:

"do you walk into a car dealership and call the manufacturer asking them to disect their costs for you?"



,
__________________
"It's You vs. You"

"People Throw Rocks At Things That Shine"


My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
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  #6  
Old 03-24-2011, 10:37 AM
pieperlc pieperlc is offline
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Join Date: Jan 2004
Location: Midwest
Posts: 462
Wow. Is he going to tell you how to do the work too? My recomendation: lower your cost to get the job! Then, hire him as your estimator.
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  #7  
Old 03-24-2011, 11:34 AM
DVS Hardscaper's Avatar
DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: County Jail
Posts: 5,777
Also, I don't know why he mentioned Belgard's Holland Stone.

They were interested in Techo's Elena with a Hera 6x6 border. With MD sales tax, and the price level I'm on with my supplier my cost is $693.96 LOL

It's a small job, not a breaker not a maker.

LORDY have I learned to LOVE people........




,
__________________
"It's You vs. You"

"People Throw Rocks At Things That Shine"


My Equipment Brag List:

-1 CAT hat
-16 pairs of Hanes socks (the Heavy Duty model), many with holes.
-12 pairs of underwear, ranging from Joe Boxers to Jockey, many are in need of replacement. (no more photo requests please)
-hundreds of t-shirts. Some w/ grease stains, some torn & tattered.
-7 pairs of jeans, ranging from Levis to Polo to GAP. 1/2 of them have holes in 'em.
-1 belt
-1 pair of old worn out Nike shoes.
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  #8  
Old 03-24-2011, 12:10 PM
Brad Ent Brad Ent is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2007
Location: Manchester, CT
Posts: 230
I'm not trying to be a wise guy, but how do you recover your time and expenses to view the job, put togther estimates and volley questions back and forth??
Is this just cost of doing business??
At what point do you start charging for estimates?
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  #9  
Old 03-24-2011, 12:16 PM
shovelracer shovelracer is offline
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Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: North Jersey
Posts: 2,009
So you'll tie up 3 days and are only supposed to charge a grand in labor.

Sounds like they are trying to impress you with knowledge cause they feel you are over charging based on where ever they are getting their info from. They want to put it out there that they won't be or at least allow themselves to feel suckered. They feel you see them as suckers. They are hoping for the bro deal, but are wanting the higher quality, but ultimately price rules over quality.
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  #10  
Old 03-24-2011, 12:53 PM
Budlightshooter Budlightshooter is offline
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Join Date: Feb 2010
Location: Minnesota
Posts: 60
so what in his head was a fair price?

Its about as bad as the estimate i had the other day, lady say straight up i am a bargin hunter and want the cheapest she can get, i said thanks and walked away......



Quote:
Originally Posted by DVS Hardscaper View Post
Here is his e-mail he sent 1st thing yesterday morning!

Hi Mr Andrew Hardscape,

Thanks for the information. Iím not sure if you had seen the spreadsheet that I had laid out for you to capture the costs, but either way, I can give you my thoughts on the information that youíve written below.

Iím having a hard time reconciling the quote that youíve provided versus what a fair or reasonable price would be. I understand that youíre a ďfor-profitĒ business, and perhaps thereís such a demand for your services that it necessitates a premium price. However, based on my math and the research that Iíve done, a more reasonable price would be lower, while still allowing you to maintain a healthy bottom line. Using the walkway (without a stoop), the area is about 112 sq ft, plus a 10% scrap factor, which totals about 123 sq.ft. A pallet (120 sq.ft.) of Belgardís Holland Stone is about a$283.97 + 6% tax + delivery (contractor price). Letís call the pavers $350, all in. The CR-8 is about $49/ cu.yd. (2,700 lbs), so thatíll cost about $126.00+6%+delivery. Letís call the CR-8 $165, all in. Add sand & Polyomer (grout) for about $150 delivered. The labor to tear up the old sidewalk and put in a new one is about 3 days with about 2 labors at $20/hour (fully loaded) at 8 hours a day. This works out to about $1,000 (rounded up). The haul off of the old material is about $200. The sum of these costs so far is about $1,865.

Your overhead costs, such as rental of any equipment (assuming that you donít already have it), fuel, debt financing etc. would only be a guess. So, the difference between the $1,865 and the $4,200 that you quoted is spread between profit and overhead. Again, I want you to make a profit, but it seems that your price are exceedingly high. I think my estimates are pretty close, and Iíve confirmed the labor information with other contractors.

If you have better numbers to share with us, weíll be more than willing to listen. If youíre firm with these numbers, that Iíll have to thank you for your time.

Regards,
Joe B-------

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