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Did I bid right?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lifesaverbuddy, Jun 15, 2005.

  1. lifesaverbuddy

    lifesaverbuddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    3 colorade spruce at $195 a peice ($260 retail)
    2 schubert at $180 a peice ($240 retail)
    delivered directly into the hole: $75 for the first, $20 for the rest; $155
    fertillizer and 2 bags peat moss: $25
    top soil brought in and crap material hauled away: guessed $275 at most

    Total with GST real close to $1150

    It'll take me 2 days to dig the holes, mix dirt, plant the trees, water, fertillize, and clean up.

    I quoted this at $2450. Good?

    I also gave them a quote on 155 shrubs for $5335

    They decided to go with the trees and asked for a quote on 23 swedish aspen, 2" calipre. So I quoted $10,200

    23 trees at $180 ($240 retail)
    delivery: $570; 11 delivered one day, 12 the next
    fertillizer and peat moss: $90
    topsoil brought in and crap material hauled away: guessed $500

    Total cost to me: 5350

    It'll take me 4 days to dig holes, mix soil, plant, water fertillize, and clean up

    $10,200 good?

    I have been dealing with his wife. Today he answered the door, took the quote, looked at the number, asked how much the trees cost. I said $240. He says "23 at 240, so that's 4. You get 6 grand?" I said "I believe the cost of trees are actually $5200 with tax" because I couldn't remember the number. "5 hey. So that's double!" I was stumped. I murmered on about delivery, topsoil, hauling fees, skidsteer operators, etc. I went to my current jobsite and completely reworked his quote just to make sure I didn't make a mistake. Then I came home and called the nursery to see how much they'd have charged him. I was $300 high. I dont know. What would the rest of you do? It is a lot of money. It's like $150/hr.

    She asked if I could come down. I said only if my costs do. Then I told them to plant the first 5, get their money back from the developer after they inspect, then plant 2 gal aspen after. I think he was pleased with the idea.

    Guess we'll see whether they call or not. Anyhow, any advice?
  2. lifesaverbuddy

    lifesaverbuddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    No thoughts?

    I am new to this. My old boss said to charge double what it costs you, so I did. Now that I really think about it, it does seem like a lot. But the nursery charges that much too. What would the rest of you charge?
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    OK whats the deal on delivery of the trees?You could rent a trailer and deliver them yourself for less than that!If you are buying the tree's the nursery should charge you less than that.I pay 45.00 delivery within a 25 mi radius of the nursery and it dosent matter how many trees I buy if they fit in the truck its all 45.00.I deliver myself and charge my cust delivery but sure as hell dont charge $155.00 for 5 lousy trees to be delivered that's a big rip off forget it!
    Your charging retail?What size trees are these???
    Cuz by what I fiqure,your getting total $1575.00 labor including removing the old stuff and topsoil brought in.Are you bringing it in??I'm a bit confused what is GST?
    On the second quote,your confused If it takes you three days to dig the holes and prep the soil and plant 5 tree's what makes you think you can plant 23 trees in 4 days?
    And there is NOWAY I WOULD PAY $570.00 delivery charge enless they were delivered by limo or something,helicopter mabey.$10,200 to buy and plant 23 -2"thisk tree's is absolutly outrageous.Hell they could buy a few achers of land with full grown trees on it for that price!That would scare the pants off any client don't expect them to call you back.What skidsteer operators?they are gonna carry the trees to the holes for you?
    You are all screwed up on this..re think it make do some price shopping on the phone and re do the whole est from scratch.They should deliver free for buying all those trees.and if they are bringing a skidskeer or whatever then they must be bringing a large truck(semi) and should deliver all at one time.
    One more thing,don't use peat moss or starter fert for trees.
    Just add soil amendment or compost.
    Question,who are you dealing with thats going to charge you these prices for your material?I would try dealing with another nursery that one is full of crap trying to charge you those kinds of prices for tree's and delivery.
  4. nocutting

    nocutting LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 530

    Hi Sheshovel, [ dont ever wanna take you on "Head First?"].....Wow, you know every part of the country is different.......I'm near a big 20ac nursery [ big for my area]....they wont even consider a delivery if the order is less than a "Grand" and the avg. charge is $250.00[ all done by zip code]....thats a 1-man delivery no help unloading!!!!!!.....about the rest of this job, the "Kids" only been a foreman for 3 yrs?......this job is over his head [ and the customer knows it]...If a customer dictates a price hes willing to pay [ going to pay, in this case]....Its time to pack your bags and get out before he screws you!!!! [ hes so much as said that already]....ease up & let the "Kid" bail, regards Saxon [ they'll always be another willing customer down the road] :waving:
  5. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Posts: 793

    They decided to go with the trees and asked for a quote on 23 swedish aspen, 2" calipre. So I quoted $10,200

    23 trees at $180 ($240 retail) = 10350.00
    delivery: $570; 11 delivered one day, 12 = 570.00 ??? :rolleyes:
    the next
    fertillizer and peat moss: $90 = 157.50 ???
    topsoil brought in and crap material hauled = 500.00 ??? ;)
    away: guessed $500

    Total cost to me: 5350

    It'll take me 4 days to dig holes, :dizzy:
    mix soil, plant, water fertillize, and clean up

    $10,200 good? I HAVE = 11577.50

    Im with Sheshovel :)
    570.00 is too high to charge for delivery the most delivery
    should be is about 100.00.
    The fertilizer and Peat moss ( We used to put a little peat moss with a little cow manure for each hole.But never added the fertilizer.
    You have not shown the total cost of topsoil,or how many loads of crap were hauled out. ;)
    4 days to dig 23 holes? :dizzy: You need an auger-rental is usually about 300.00 with delivery and insurance. :)
  6. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    In the first part --the 5 trees ...we would be around 450 a piece installed so yes your price seems ok ...difference being... we would be no more than 3 hours with a couple men so 6 man hours..

    edit- I'm not going to break it all down and I wont for a customer either ... Your quote on the 23 aspens is also right in line.... If we could get our bobcat with spade in we could knock those 23 off in half a day with a three man crew.

    PS misty... the GST is a tax(7%). Now that I think of it our price would be over the 10k before gst
  7. lifesaverbuddy

    lifesaverbuddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    Thanks for all your replies guys. I forgot to mention I really only work 4-6 hr days because I work a night job full time. So 2 days to dig 28 holes by myself seemed reasonable. Also, the truck at the nursery only carries 18 at a time, so I thought splitting into 2 half days would work well. Keep in mind they have a walkout basement, so I'd have had to wheelbarrow everything uphill too!

    New problem. One of the nurseries had some great 6 ft swedish aspen in 2 gal pots. They're all sold out around here and now I cant find any. I asked her if 4ft will do. She says no. I spent all day running around and calling places. I can get 5 gal for $39 plus tax(GST), so I told her if she takes the 5 large trees and the 23 aspen at once, I'll do it for $4100.

    3 colorado spruce(6ft): 208.65x3=625.95
    2 schubert(2"): 192.60x2=385.2
    23 swedish aspen(5 gal, 6ft): 41.73x23=959.79

    Estimating $300 to $500 for my skidsteer operator to haul trees, dig 5 large holes with tree spoon, place trees, haul topsoil down, haul junk up, haul junk away. The trees have to be hauled 2 blocks through a park in order to get to the back yard. They have no alley. The fence also has to be taken apart to get in because they have no gate. He charges $180 for 1.5 hrs of skidsteer work, $60/hr after that. $50/hr for his 1-ton.

    topsoil: I'd like 3 yrds delivered. That'll run me at least $100. It's $130 for 12 yds, but 1 yd runs about $80. Throw in 3 bags of peat($8 each) and some fertilizer(?). I learned to use this from my old boss. Our stuff grew, very little replacement. Even my aunties use peat planting their flower beds! Kris, you're in my area, what do you use? So, $150.

    So total cost to me is $2620.94. I should also add in staking for the aspens, but I have no idea.

    I make about $1450 for 2-3 days (6hrs each). It seems like a lot to me, but it's probably low compared to everyone else in my area. I'm not out to make a million, just to pay my rent and tuition. I left a message on her machine tonight stating that if she wanted to go this way and wanted to plant Thursday then I needed to have a cheque(75%) by tomorrow so that it clears by Wed and I can have everything ordered. Guess we'll see. Also need input on my measly little contract:

    Landscape Service Agreement

    This agreement for landscaping services is effective between the following parties:
    Company: Lisa’s Landscapes, Address and phone number

    The company shall provide the following services at _____________________________:





    Standard of Care:
    The company warrants that it’s services shall be performed competently by the owner/operator and licensed and insured subcontractors only. This section contains the only warrantee issued. The company is not liable for acts of God/Nature or customer neglect.

    Total for services listed above: __________

    The customer will pay a ____% deposit of __________ prior to the start of services.

    The remainder, __________, will be paid directly upon completion of services.

    If customer chooses to terminate service, the company will fully reimburse the customer’s deposit minus the cost of labor delivered before termination, the cost of non-returnable materials, and penalties incurred on returnable materials and cancelled services. If the cost of labor, non-returnable materials, and penalties is greater than the customer‘s deposit, the customer agrees to pay the remainder upon termination.

    ______________________________ ______________________________
    Company Customer


    So, that's that! Any more comments would be greatly appreciated. Once the final grade is passed on my first job and the sod is in I will post pics. Then you can all judge for yourselves. So far I put in 2 tiny retaining walls and pavingstone on both sides of the drive. Topsoil is in and leveled, and 85% of the lawn edging is in too. Now just waiting on the city. Customers are very happy, out taking pictures of everything, and I got another quote to write up for tomorrow through word of mouth. Plus since I'm a girl, I'm the talk of the neighbour hood! And you'll all be happy to know I paid $300 for my licensing and $500 for my commercial liability. Even have commercial auto! But that means I can't haul a trailer ever, so no hauling for myself.

    Hope you're all having a smooth and productive season.

    Thanks again. Lisa
  8. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Hey Lisa... I did't realize that was you posting... hope you have a great summer!
  9. lifesaverbuddy

    lifesaverbuddy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    She just called. Will leave a check for me with her nanny. I can pick it up and deposit after lunch. Wahoo! My first job covered all my insurance for the year, now I can start putting the money into savings! It feels so great to have my first goal completed, and start working on my second.

    Any thoughts on my measly little contract?

    Thanks again. Lisa

    P.S. Kris, hope you have a great summer too. Thanks for all your help earlier on this season.
  10. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Your contract should do you fine Lisa... we use the triple mix for planting and throw in a handful of bonemeal.

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