how do you..

Discussion in 'Water Features' started by alf500series, Jun 19, 2014.

  1. alf500series

    alf500series LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 257

    question for the pond builder gurus... how do you go about figuring your labor when you price pondless water features.. is there a formula you use, just a rough guess on what it would take, figure labor on each item, etc. i have built several water features but just billed the HO per hour. i know there is an easier way just not sure of the best method. please help
  2. GreenI.A.

    GreenI.A. LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,132

    Experience. As you do more and more you will be able to look at the design plans and site and come to a pretty good guess of how many days with so many guys. I can tell you how many hours it would take us, but I have no clue what you have for equipment, how efficient your operator is, how efficient your guys are, what kind of materials, complexity of design.
  3. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Agreed. You just learn from experience. Around here, you wouldn't land any water feature installs if you were just bidding T+M. Customers want a firm bid price. Just comes from experience. The first few we installed, we took it in the shorts. But that's how you learn, man. After that we got a lot better at knowing how long a given water feature would take to build and what sort of obstacles we might run into. Then we add a little more hours than what we're expecting and that's our fixed price. Nowadays we usually come in at or under our estimated time to build. But every once in a while we still go over. That's the nature of any kind of landscape construction.

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