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  #21  
Old 07-20-2012, 08:28 PM
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Birchwood Birchwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVS Hardscaper View Post
Career success is what makes us fortunate to be able to enjoy "free time".

Charging for blade consumption is easy. No different than estimating the cost of grass seed needed for turf restoration at the end of a job. only takes about 3 seconds, literally. Everyone should already have "Diamond Blade" as a line item on their job cost sheet. This is something that computers make life easy for us.

I do factor in that Techo pavers will eat more blade. If it's a large job, with a lot of linear feet of cutting I may throw in the cost of an entire blade so we're covered.

If you've ever had repair work done to your car you will see on the bill that the shop charged you a percentage of the bill to cover shop expenses. Such as carb cleaner, brake cleaner, penetrating fliud, shop rags, etc.

When I had the A/C unit replaced at another house the repair guy counted exactly how many wire connectors, how much wire, etc. he used and it was itemized on the bill.

When the exaust manifold on our dump truck was replaced some bolts were rusted and broke - the truck repair facility charged me for a full can of penetrating fluid for soaking the bolts.

I even have a line item charge for marking paint. Small jobs are factored for half a can at $6.50 / can. Large jobs are factored for 1, sometimes 2 cans, at $6.50 / can.

Folk - the profit margins for hardscaping are minimal. You can not give things away, you must charge for them, they're costing you money. If you wanna make a profit at hardscapes - you gotta recover all your costs. Blade use is just one item contractors neglect. FActor in all the other things people leave out and it adds up. I could write all afternoon about this.
Dvs

When you line item all your materials are you including this in your contact? And are are showing a list price for all these items or one lump sum. I'm curious, because it sounds like a great great way to show the customer what is involved. I break it down alittle but don't go into depth of how many nails, tons of gravel of sand, but I do for my own purposes. But when it comes to the proposal it is just on price.
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  #22  
Old 07-21-2012, 01:22 PM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Birchwood View Post
Dvs

When you line item all your materials are you including this in your contact? And are are showing a list price for all these items or one lump sum. I'm curious, because it sounds like a great great way to show the customer what is involved. I break it down alittle but don't go into depth of how many nails, tons of gravel of sand, but I do for my own purposes. But when it comes to the proposal it is just on price.

No Stevie, NO! I don't share all the cost breakdowns with the client

That's internal information only!

If they know their project cost included $942 for travel time, or that I'm charging them for a can of marking paint - they would never pay someone to do the project!

I do however have a section of my proposal that says "this proposal is based on contractor supplying and installing the following quantities of materials, any additional materials will involve additional fees: 362 SF Holland Stone pavers, 152 SF Celtik Wal, 54 linear feet Celtik Wall caps, 24 tons of CR8, and 8 cu yds of screened top soil".

But on the proposal I do not break down edge restraint, fabric, spikes, adhesive, bedding sand, poly sand, marking paint, porta pot rental, fuel, etc.

Clients makes changes from time to time. And sometimes some people do not want to pay for the changes. Well, when changes are made - it usually entails the need for more materials.

Last summer we did a circular patio with a block wall holding up the patio. It was a perfect circle. The guy was working me on price during the negotiation period. So I calculated to the exact sq ft the materials needed. And I mean exact. So we did the job, perfect circle as on the design, and so forth. Client decides he wants to move the patio edge about 18-inches. This not only distorted our perfect circular patio and made it egg shaped - but it also required additional wall block and caps.

The client argued with me for 30 minutes (no exageration) because he did not want to pay for HIS changes. I said "look, the contract lists this quantity of material and we used every bit of it, we do not have one single block left over, the only way we will make this change is if you pay for the materials". He paid for the materials. But it got very heated in getting him to.

So no, you don't wanna share all your expenses with your customers. Toyota does not break down all the costs affiliated with building a car on the invoice.

But you should list quantities as I exampled above. So many reasons why you should do so, it would take me forever to go over all of them. I like 99% of my customers, but there are a few out there that will try to squeeze the most out of a contractor that they can and you need to be prepared for them.


.
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"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.

Last edited by DVS Hardscaper; 07-21-2012 at 01:26 PM.
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  #23  
Old 07-21-2012, 02:00 PM
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zedosix zedosix is offline
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I give my clients a very basic contract, just stating what the job is ex: back patio with 4 level steps and seat wall etc but I also attach a scaled drawing to the contract and state as per drawing #2034 for example. I find that the more info you give them the more they want, and they want to hold you to it as well. What if you tell them "install 24 tonnes granular" and you only install 18, someone will be looking for a rebate. I would rather spend my time at the cottage then making up fancy contracts! Too each his own I guess.
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  #24  
Old 07-21-2012, 11:14 PM
8inchBlock 8inchBlock is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVS Hardscaper View Post

Those of you that are buying $200 blades - you can STOP wasting your money. STOP NOW.


,





.
Sorry but this advice is garbage and obviously only relevant to your specific company not the industry as a whole. Having ripped through thousands of ln ft of stone a higher quality blade will last longer, be faster, and reduce expenses. If you only are cutting for a half dozen patios/walls per season- then sure- use $65 home depot blades. I can guarantee you quarries aren't using "el cheapo blades" and there is a good reason for it.
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  #25  
Old 07-22-2012, 10:58 AM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Originally Posted by 8inchBlock View Post
Sorry but this advice is garbage and obviously only relevant to your specific company not the industry as a whole. Having ripped through thousands of ln ft of stone a higher quality blade will last longer, be faster, and reduce expenses. If you only are cutting for a half dozen patios/walls per season- then sure- use $65 home depot blades. I can guarantee you quarries aren't using "el cheapo blades" and there is a good reason for it.

Are you for real?

Have you ever used an "el cheapo" blade?

We have My statements are from experience. Not theory

PS - quarries use crushers.

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  #26  
Old 07-22-2012, 11:03 AM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by zedosix View Post
I give my clients a very basic contract, just stating what the job is ex: back patio with 4 level steps and seat wall etc but I also attach a scaled drawing to the contract and state as per drawing #2034 for example. I find that the more info you give them the more they want, and they want to hold you to it as well. What if you tell them "install 24 tonnes granular" and you only install 18, someone will be looking for a rebate. I would rather spend my time at the cottage then making up fancy contracts! Too each his own I guess.
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Zedo - it's all in the wording. Phrases such as "up to 24 tons".

You're in Canada. We're in America. Different court systems. Contracts are just an important business tool as a cut off saw. Both enabling one to be fortunate enough to have a cottage.

Details are good. It establishes competency and professionalism.

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  #27  
Old 07-22-2012, 08:34 PM
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Birchwood Birchwood is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by DVS Hardscaper View Post
No Stevie, NO! I don't share all the cost breakdowns with the client

That's internal information only!

If they know their project cost included $942 for travel time, or that I'm charging them for a can of marking paint - they would never pay someone to do the project!

I do however have a section of my proposal that says "this proposal is based on contractor supplying and installing the following quantities of materials, any additional materials will involve additional fees: 362 SF Holland Stone pavers, 152 SF Celtik Wal, 54 linear feet Celtik Wall caps, 24 tons of CR8, and 8 cu yds of screened top soil".

But on the proposal I do not break down edge restraint, fabric, spikes, adhesive, bedding sand, poly sand, marking paint, porta pot rental, fuel, etc.

Clients makes changes from time to time. And sometimes some people do not want to pay for the changes. Well, when changes are made - it usually entails the need for more materials.

Last summer we did a circular patio with a block wall holding up the patio. It was a perfect circle. The guy was working me on price during the negotiation period. So I calculated to the exact sq ft the materials needed. And I mean exact. So we did the job, perfect circle as on the design, and so forth. Client decides he wants to move the patio edge about 18-inches. This not only distorted our perfect circular patio and made it egg shaped - but it also required additional wall block and caps.

The client argued with me for 30 minutes (no exageration) because he did not want to pay for HIS changes. I said "look, the contract lists this quantity of material and we used every bit of it, we do not have one single block left over, the only way we will make this change is if you pay for the materials". He paid for the materials. But it got very heated in getting him to.

So no, you don't wanna share all your expenses with your customers. Toyota does not break down all the costs affiliated with building a car on the invoice.

But you should list quantities as I exampled above. So many reasons why you should do so, it would take me forever to go over all of them. I like 99% of my customers, but there are a few out there that will try to squeeze the most out of a contractor that they can and you need to be prepared for them.


.
Thanks for the info, on a side note does anyone list sq footage on their contacts? Is it finished size or material sq ft?

We lost a job last year and this year because another guy is selling a larger sqft number at a smaller sqft price, in the end equal to our total price but we have a smaller finshed patio. Had a chance to look at the patio from a year ago and it must have been 100 sqft smaller. Either the guy is an idot and cant do math or he is pulling a fast one over these customers.
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  #28  
Old 07-22-2012, 08:51 PM
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DVS Hardscaper DVS Hardscaper is online now
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My proposal is finished priced.

There is more to building a patio than dropping pavers on the ground.

You have down spouts to contend with. Turf restoration. Many times seat walls, retaining walls, etc.



.
__________________
"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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  #29  
Old 07-22-2012, 09:32 PM
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White Gardens White Gardens is offline
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You guys are funny.

I've got about $350 dollars I've spent on blades, plus two saws in the past 7 years........

Wrap that around your noodle.


....
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  #30  
Old 07-22-2012, 09:57 PM
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Birchwood Birchwood is offline
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The blades we use are around $100 a piece, I wouldn't want to use anything more expensive because we sometimes cut asphalt or cut up the old concrete and have hit rebar. We use around 4 a year.
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Elves and Company - Holiday Decorating
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