5.99 a square foot?????

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Right Touch, Nov 25, 2008.

  1. Right Touch

    Right Touch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    hey guys just got underbid by a company who is charging $5.99 a square foot for paver installations. The job was over $20,000 (with my estimate of $10/sqft) for a driveway, walkway, and small patio, AND the customer referred us to a friend who wanted to get the same thing. So I lost a total of over $40,000 in work because of this guy. In our area, $10/sqft is usually a base price, and of course the sky is the limit. I am furious to see a company do the work for this cheap. I am almost tempted to post his website here so we can spread the bad word. The worst part is his website shows pictures of decent work. The site itself isnt great and I was hoping his photo gallery would prove why he is able to charge so cheap. It looks like he does everything by the book though... Anyone else furious that this guy is ruining the standard, or is it just a sign of the bad economy and we should all lower our prices? He is still working and I am sitting in my office on the computer. Who is really losing out? Seems to be me...
     
  2. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Posts: 4,347

    10 sq ft is still cheap.

    we charge between 12-15 typically. driveway is alot of base material, and excavation.
     
  3. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,631

    How can you be sure he is only charging 5.99 sq.ft? Maybe the customer is comfortable with the man, and not you! Never know what the reason is, don't sweat it just move on. But where I come from the average selling price of brick alone is $4sq.ft. He's charging somewhere, no one works for nothing.
     
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    Our pricing derives from estimated production hours and estimated materials. We do not unit price. However, most of our jobs average between $15 -$25 / sf.

    As far as paver driveway - we can install a 4,000 SF driveway for about the same labor cost as we would charge to install a 2500 SF patio. The reason why is because with driveways you have more room to maneuver equipment, and aggregate is compacted with a 12 ton roller....instead of a dinky plate compactor.

    This week we're doing a 5700 SF paver driveway. Today, 3 of my guys, working at a slow, steady pace, screeded bedding sand and installed 848 SF of pavers. Whereas when we do patios, my guys usually average 500-600 sf in the same amount of time. Driveways are wide open and you can rock and roll. And you can drop pallets of pavers almost right where you need them, unlike some patios where you're only able to place the cubes so close.
     
    Last edited: Nov 25, 2008
  5. Right Touch

    Right Touch LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 382

    I agree with DVS in that every job needs to be priced according to site conditions and so forth, though most consumers seem to be able to relate to a "Square foot" price, so in order to reduce confusion, we are kinda forced to price that way. I told the customer that that price barely covers the cost of the material, and I have never seen a professional charge that low, and I would need to see the other guys estimate to make sure we were comparing apples to apples. Well that was last month and I drove past the house today, and nothing has been done yet. Maybe the customer actually listened to what I said and will call me soon to do the job.
     
  6. Summit L & D

    Summit L & D LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    I wouldn't wait for them to call you. Pickup the phone and show a little concern for their unfinished landscape, if nothing else it will build good will with the client. In times past this has actually generated more work for me.
     
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,412

    could be that they don't have the money.

    yeah, maybe they did get a dirt cheap price.

    And maybe.....they realized to do it right, it'll cost more than they're prepared to spend.

    Therefore, the job won't be happenin.
     
  8. soopa

    soopa LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Posts: 135

    The only way I could charge $6 a sq ft is if I was just dropping some cheap Hollandstone on a pre-prepared base.

    I'm usually in the $15-25 range myself.
     
  9. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    permit me to be dumb ....is customer supplying material and he installs for 5.99.
     
  10. tonyGub

    tonyGub LawnSite Member
    Posts: 42

    Around here there is company doing the exact same thing 6-7 sq/ft. they are crushing everyone. This price includes the material. They can do it because they manufacture their own materials.
     

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