5.99 a square foot?????

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

  1. btammo

    btammo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 98

    You make all of these purchases, your overhead goes up. You need to recover that somewhere and it isnt going to triple your production. Do you really think that subbing out the base work would be cheaper in the long run? Its always good to think outside the box, but the box still has to be square.....
     
  2. Henry

    Henry LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 549

    I've lost at least 3 jobs this year to companies that are installing for $6 psf. The last was a 2700 sf driveway that I quoted $32,700 with Techo Bloc pavers. They got a price of $15,000 from a company 40 miles away.
     
  3. TJLANDS

    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,669

    There are two companies in central and southern NJ that install for 6.00 per sq ft. Yes that includes materials. They advertise all the time at that price for "select" pavers. One of them did an install at one of my res. customers
    and finished at 6.75 per sq. (1200 sq ft Driveway and walkway) They did ask me to bid after they had received bids. Couldn't touch it.
     
  4. Yard.Barber

    Yard.Barber LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 314

    Even if I did this for myself at home could not do for $5.99 a square foot.. All the beer alone I would be drinking would kill that
     
  5. Sunscaper

    Sunscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 306

    I completely agree and the answer is volume. If you only do a few jobs a year than it is not worth it. However if you plan to compete with companies who have 90% of their business in paver installations and they have these tools how can you even hope to enter the market place without the investment? I cannot say how subbing out the base could work in short or long term thinking. I would guess it once again goes back to how many jobs you plan of doing. I remember in 2003-2005 in s.w. PA when I started doing pavers the going rate there was $6.00 per s.f. My uncle still does pavers there and the rate is still $6.00. I never made much money on the pavers up there. I always did better on the walls.
     
  6. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,628

    Thats fine to charge 6sq.ft. but your customers are always the same, half broke and don't really give a damn about quality, just price. You can count me out and most other guys on this site out to, doing business like that. You only hurt yourself in the long run. I mean what are you selling them, seconds or something, and how much base are you laying down, any restraint edging in that price...bet not!
     
  7. bigviclbi

    bigviclbi LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Posts: 894

    HMMM...... volume with smaller margins. Wal-mart works that way and they are doing alright. But $6.00 a square foot hurts, we have that around here as well. For large jobs you definately can find ways to reduce costs, sometimes by hiring an excavator who can get in and out more quickly than you especially now when they are so slow. Price is gonna play a big part in things this year, i always give a price with techo and a cheaper substitute just so people know the quality of pavers makes a difference in price.
     
  8. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    TJ, how was the workmanship and the edging?

    It's not just volume, but also efficiency. What it costs to actually perform the installation can be more important than the cost of materials. We all know how important having the right tool is, when you do primarily paver and SRW work, you usually own the right tools. Your labor will be experienced and be able to move quickly and effectively with lots of practice. If you had a crew and the equipment to install a 400sqft walkway or patio in a day, rather than two or three, realize the savings in labor. And that crew handles another job or two in the next day or two.

    Quality can suffer at these rates if you are rushed and you don't follow the basic guidelines. Another factor is the quality of the paver, not all inexpensive pavers are bad. Often they are simple shapes and colors and can be laid in quick, tight patterns with minimal cutting.

    I could never imagine doing that kind or work or specifying it, as my advised average is double the numbers in question. Clients should be happy when the job is finished and still have a sustainable hardscape many years from now.

    Kirk
     
  9. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Male
    Posts: 7,563

    Efficency has very little to do with $6 psf.

    In most cases the major product alone is 2-3$ psf (the paver). then you factor in excavation, prep and base eeeeek!

    From what ive seen, the larger driveway type jobs get pounded out these days by companies with a min ex and an attachment that picks up an entire row of pavers at a time (essentially laying a 4x4 square at once).

    So because of the the huge area, lack of difficulty of the job, no exteme cuts or special design and the sheer fact of size (ie discount on bulk paver purchase) you could be looking at $6 psf because the company is literally doing and entirely different job from you (albiet the same results).

    Most of us dont lay pavers with a mini ex, and in my opinion from the ones ive seen around here, they look junky (seems all connect, belend patterns are blotchy because they got dropped in lot by lot instead of mixed and so on).

    But for production purposes (commcercial ares and large driveways) this method really cant be beat,and it is on the level with blowing in mulch instead of doing it by hand, you really cant compete!
     
  10. TJLANDS

    TJLANDS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,669

    It was on a stone dust base and concrete was used for an edge. Grade and what little cuts they did have looked fine. Customer was happy with it and more happy about the 5 grand he saved. Some of which I will get with some nice landscaping upgrades.
     

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