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Old 07-07-2014, 04:56 PM
HandsToThePlow HandsToThePlow is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Dec 2013
Location: Mableton, Georgia
Posts: 39
HELP!! How much would you charge for this job? Details inside..

I have a customer who wants a pine straw flower bed.

its 2 seperate pine beds:
453 sq ft
93 ft of border

by my calculations would be about 9 bales @ 3.66/ bale after tax to get 2-3 inches

The brick borders cost 1.88 / ft x 93 = $175 for border materials

Materials would cost
$35 for straw and
$175 for the brick borders
$20 for round up
$20 weed fabric
$10 for stakes

Part of the bed is existing and is 2 years old and the other i have to create from scratch.

im thinking of doing it this way:

1.raking and bagging all old straw
2.roundup for weeds that are their because the bed is in bad shape
3.make an edge to even ground out for brick border
4. black 3.5 mil plastic w/ stakes for weed control maybe x2
5. Border it
6. throw straw / blow

--would this be a decent price hopefully you can follow me.--

would prob take roughly8 hours of labor working alone.

1.5-2 hours ---- to rake/blow/bag leaves
1.25 -1.5 -------hour to edge and make sure border is correct and even
30 min ----------roundup islands
30 min-1 hr ----plastic layed and staked for 500 sq 2 seperate beds
1 hour ----------to lay borders
1 hr -------------to lay straw + blow

i was going to charge $275 - $350 for labor would like to stay from $35-40 / hour (pick up materials, gas, installation, removal of leaves) + $260 (materials)

is this correct or should i take another route??
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Old 07-07-2014, 07:38 PM
CND23 CND23 is offline
LawnSite Member
Join Date: Jun 2013
Location: Schenectady, NY
Posts: 8
Were a smaller operation and we break down our projects almost identical. We find it's the best way to make sure the price is fair on both ends. And chances are your going to give them the most reasonable quote. If you get undercut it probably wont be the same quality of service. If they contact a larger operation they might get crew charges for "half a day" or "full day" then suddenly your quote is looking much more reasonable.

If your accurate with the time for each step of the project, it looks like you will be making $40+ an hour and time for materials on this one. Theirs never a guarantee though.. we have done meticulous break downs before that were just way off. And if unsure go to the books find a similar project and see what your labor was.

I noticed in this particular quote, these beds have leaves. Did you check whats under these leaves? it may be soil or it maybe another 1' of leaves. this late in the season leaves signal years of neglect. Then material cost goes up for a couple yards of topsoil. Give yourself time to tamp the edge as well if your leveling the ground. And friendly warning, don't get busted with a bottle of roundup if you don't have herbicide license. If their yard is pretty private your probably fine, but if it's an upscale neighborhood, be cautious who sees you.
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Old 07-08-2014, 04:34 PM
MasScape MasScape is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Dec 2012
Location: Virginia
Posts: 258
So you are not charging markup on the materials?? I see you listed the costs then put that in the estimate? As a professional you should never be selling materials at cost (only under special reasons).... Add a percent profit on the materials cost.
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Old 07-08-2014, 05:49 PM
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Ditta&Sons Ditta&Sons is online now
LawnSite Bronze Member
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: Niagara Falls, Ontario
Posts: 1,439
Yes, always markup material cost and never let the client know exactly how much you pay for the product, dont put the store price in your estimate. Put your price.
Those bails of straw are costing you more than $3.66, you have to run out to get them and bring them back, same with the bricks. You need to get paid for that time somehow. Even if you charged him by the hour to run those errands, you should still markup the product.
mybe price the bails at 4.25 and the bricks at 2.25/ just made another $30
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Old 07-09-2014, 09:51 PM
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Pietro Pietro is offline
LawnSite Senior Member
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: The Garden State
Posts: 855
You need a minimum amount for all jobs. A full day off work is worth $500 minimum profit for me. Half day of work I'll settle for $250, otherwise I'm not moving my truck.
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