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  #1  
Old 04-01-2012, 05:38 PM
SealQuest SealQuest is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3
Start-up Questions...

Start up questions…

Here is my situation…I have the ability to start up a seal coating/crack-fill company this season and be able to go into it with no debt or overhead besides the day to day operations and even within that I have some funding to float the business to get started. I am a teacher so I have my summers off with the ability to work in the summer and have a potential pool of employees looking for summer work, high school students looking for summer work from my high school. I have a potential place to store equipment as I have a connection to some empty warehouses that have been offered free of charge in order to get established. On top of all that I have a great connection to a property management company that does landscaping, snow removal, parking lot sweeping, lot striping, and they sub out the seal coating that their clients request. I have met with them and they have basically offered to hand over seal coating business to me as it comes to them. I almost have to slow them down as I do not want to go into major jobs without knowing the skills needed to be comfortable doing a good job for them and their clients. I have a few small commercial properties I am connected with where I will be doing “practice” jobs on at basically the cost of materials that I already have set up. I plan on marketing myself as a family business locally owned and operated. I have several questions about starting up and discovered this message board and was looking for some answers from you experienced guys.

1. I am located in the Denver area and going into the 2012 seal coat season what are companies bidding for jobs? I have seen a variety of pricing on this board and others.

2. Is the Denver Metro area over saturated with seal coat companies?

3. Does pricing vary greatly depending on what part of the country you are in? I see several answers to the bidding question that seems to vary.

4. I have seen that pricing is a little higher for smaller residential jobs (10-15 cents per sq/ft and lower for larger commercial jobs (5-8 cents per sq/ft) maybe not exactly accurate prices but just a sampling of some that I have seen on this board. It seems like it is good to put down two coats for a better seal, we will be spraying. Are these prices per job or per coat?

5. Is this a business that can be a good supplemental income business for my family? Again, not a lot of overhead or debt going in. I don’t “need” this to put food on the table. It’s just an opportunity to supplement my income, help save for my kids college, maybe take a real vacation, etc. What could be made in a season if working a few weekends in late April/May, through the summer, and a few weekends in the fall when school starts? From the outside looking in, seal coating seems better than mowing lawns or painting houses.

6. If I was offered a large commercial property to crack-seal and seal coat, like a Walmart or large grocery lot is it possible for a few guys to take on a large job with a 550gal trailer mounted tank and spraying? How long would a job like that take for a few guys and a tank like that spraying?

7. What are the best products on the market?

8. I have met with a few different suppliers and obviously they all claim to be the best and have good reasons for saying that. Some are just a material/water mix, some are sand mix, and each have reasons for why I should go with them. Should I offer each option to my clients and let them decide what material they want?

9. What is the application rate or does it vary by supplier/material? I have heard 70-75 sq/ft per gallon from some suppliers, 90 sq-ft per gallon with others. Some say go heavy on the first coat and skim the second to give a clean finish. How do you figure what rate and coverage you are getting once you start applying the material?

10. I have seen quotes of $2.20 per gallon to $2.75 per gallon for material. Is that the price for 100 percent material before water is added or are those prices including the water mixed in.

11. If I will eventually be doing larger commercial properties what is the best crack-seal tank to get? Mobile or trailer mounted? 10 or 30 gallon? Can a few guys with pour-pots handle a large job quickly?

As you can tell, I am a novice at this. I am not going into this pretending I know a lot and I will take the time to get educated. I have taken time to meet with people and ask questions and everyone has different opinions. I am just looking to get educated so I can do the best job I can and build this business. I appreciate message boards where people are willing to help others out and that seems the case with this board. Thank you in advance for any advice you can give.

Sealquest
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  #2  
Old 04-07-2012, 06:28 PM
GARRETTWOOD GARRETTWOOD is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: honesdale pa
Posts: 345
Buy a new unit 300gal or bigger. You will need 10k to 15k just for a good one. Don't go cheap you will be sorry. Sealer price this year for me is 2.85 to 3.00 per gallon the more you buy at a time the less it is. Add sand and top tuff if you are going to do it right. Always do two coats unless there is alot of build up. Seal every 4 or 5 years. Get a push unit for hot tar (MA10) is a good one. Charge enough to cover all cost ins. payroll tax workers comp repairs fuel etc........................... Also need truck blowers trimmers hand tools etc............... Don't be fooled its alot more then spray and go. But done right it can be a good service. There are lots of lowballers and one coat wonders in this biz. stick to your guns and it will pay off.
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  #3  
Old 04-07-2012, 11:33 PM
SealQuest SealQuest is offline
LawnSite Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Colorado
Posts: 3
Garrettwood--Thanks for the response! I definitely don't want to be a low-baller. Want to do things the right way and build this up into a trusted service, something that people will know what they are getting and keep coming back. I will take it slow this year and make sure I am learning a lot and doing jobs the right way. Thanks again!!
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