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a strange Municipal bid

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by barefeetny, Feb 16, 2008.

  1. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533

    Ok guys

    this one is new for me

    I'm not looking for someone to complete a bid for me

    i can do that...

    its the paramaters of the bid thats giving me fits

    its written very vauguly and unclear in certain sections... they even tell you what week they want their seasonal cleanups done

    their are 15 separate services that are rquired however it says that would be the minimum......

    Unlike the few commercial bids i have done this has a bunch of strange wording and not clear intstructions

    For example;

    #10 provide repair or replacement to shrubs and trees when nessacary?

    does that mean to include my labor for repair or replacement or the price of the tree as well... if some oat grass died... whatever but if the 5' jap maple gos... that could be some money..

    besides that and the fact that they give no triggers for snow and ice removal i'm pretty good....This is probably a 50 large type of job so i would LOVE to land it...nice new municipal building(fire house) nicely landscaped when built

    now on the 15 services... would you even attemt to add services to the list and risk being underbid.. its pretty thoughrough. i suppose i could add a service on an attached page or just leave it off and if i get the job then offer it.... i dunno

    thanks and let me know what you all think

  2. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533

    also forgot... it said fert and pest as nessecary

    Now should i bid it on a program that i will use my lisenced sub for.... or just see if its nessecary
  3. gene gls

    gene gls LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,213

    If you don't understand the requirements of the bid, you should talk to whom ever is incharge of the property service to have the details clarified. It sounds to me like whom ever wrote up the bid spec's is not sure what they want as a finial resualt of the service.
  4. JayD

    JayD LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,060

    Call them ten times if necessary. I would make sure that both you and the customer are very clear on everything. If they think you are covering something and you are not, they will more than likely think your screwing them.
    Also, I would explain very nicely, that it is important to make everything clear so that your bid is on what every one else is bidding on. You know, apples for apples.
  5. Lawnvision

    Lawnvision LawnSite Member
    Posts: 56

    How can you include plant replacement in your bid, not a pschyic are you?
  6. Whitey4

    Whitey4 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,448

    Nate, seems to me they have a rookie writing the bid, first problem. this rookie wants to hold the contractor repsosible for ornamentals, as a bottom line, be bale to treat it and keep it healthy, and regardless of their watering habits, want to hold the contractor responsible for plant viability, regardless of the cause.

    I think you either need to get further clarification, or add exemptions to your liabilty as it regards plantings due to circumstances beyond your control. I think some of both would be wise here. You aren't an insurance company. I mean, worst case scenario, an expensive exotic tree of some kind gets verticillium wilt. That's a dead tree, and the sooner it gets yanked the better off other trees will be. How much does a 20 foot Japanese maple cost to replace? The wording you used from the bid would indicate replacement is a requirement. Would a sapling be an allowable replacement?

    This contract sounds like it's full of land mines, written by someone that has no clue. I understand the temptation, but by all means, protect yourself, or walk away.
  7. barefeetny

    barefeetny LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 533

    i was gong to call the cheif(it is a firehouse)

    i want to talk to him about what he wants... needs... much like any other customer..

    I'm thinking( uh oh) that the whole plant replacement thing would mean i bid into my 1 year contract my time to replace and repair damage

    i do agree that clarifacation is needed.... a good thunderstorm/flood/ice storm ect could easily destroy the entire landscape......I could eat it bad in my time... replacing an entire designs worth of planting would be disaster...

    If its just my time i figure i could add 5 hours into the bid to cover such occorrances... the site is newer the trees are smaller...i don't see plants being replaced as a major obstacle.... most of the plants are well suited for the envionment they are located in


    good call on the sapling/seedling replacing a mature plant... $I'll remember that if it comes into play

    Whoever wrote the bid sheet didn't do a bad job...(seen much worse)

    90% of the bid is not only straightforward... but precise and anything but on the cheap side.

    Bidder shall edge all walkways driveways plant beds at least weekly...

    Cleanups are specifed to a specific week

    Just the snow removal, ice management, the tree plant Removal repair and the fert pest... is kind of open... But this is the first year they are taking bids as prior to this they were funded and serviced by the village... Sorta you got what you got kinda deal....So maybe they don't exactly know what to expect

    I'm going to treat this like any other customer and just try to nail down a few people to expectations.

    As for the other services above and beyond.which they made mention of.. i'm just going to add them to the bid and state that if they are not wanted that they may be omited and charges related to said items deducted...

    They never mentioned anything about bagging(i don't like to anyway) plus they want biweekly service in the heavy growth months.so i don't see this as an issue

    they never mentioned trash cleanup in the parkinglot and around the buildings

    They did mention overseeding but not areation

    Nothing about sand and salt removal in the springtime(parking lot sweep/scrub)

    Nothing about watering...

    I don't know... this might just get my bid thrown out... or they'll repect the fact i took the time to think it out... I'm probably going to get undercut by thousands on someone just covering the min and give them a blueprint for next years bid...

    Feel free to chime in if you think i'm missing or Fing something up

  8. lifetree

    lifetree LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,370

    That's exactly what it means !!
  9. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,366

    First off if it's a new install whom ever installed it should have been required to have a 1yr retainer on all plant material. If that retainer period is up and you are required to replace anything that should die, it should be listed as a separate line item on a per occurance basis. If they want insurance for their plants, then sell them a plant health package that will bring you in additional money, and would limit the risk of loss.
    As stated I would bring my questions to a property/facility manager. If it's a package bid, you would be required to bid on whats included. If after that point you sub things out, that is entirely up to you. Never add more than what they are asking for in a proposal, as you will be underbid based on your submission and not the quote asked for. If you feel you should include something extra then list it as a separate line item or recommendation. As far as the plowing, make sure everyone is on the same page and things are written out to a "T". Snow & Ice management is a huge liability and should be treated as so.

    Good luck! :)
  10. AintNoFun

    AintNoFun LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,807

    i wouldn't call, i would send a fax/email to the guy and get a written response...

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