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how is this bid?

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by mjohnson1, Jul 8, 2006.

  1. mjohnson1

    mjohnson1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    just wondered what the pros think of a bid i just put in. a guy in oakland, ca. bought a house here in knoxville without ever seeing it, wanting to "flip" it. called me wanting to mow the yard, trim bushes, mulch flower beds, clean gutters, etc. i bid it at $600. here is how i made the bid.
    -clean gutters (worst i've ever seen), clean roof, nail gutters back up- $125
    -mow $50 first time, $35 thereafter the yard is full of sticks and bricks i will have to clean up first.
    -mulch, two yards $40 a yard, $80
    -labor, 10 hours (2 guys 5 hours) at $30 an hour $300
    all this is $555 and i rounded up to $600 for the gas (14 miles one way), expenses, and i have to pay to dump the brush etc. being that he is oakland and im in knoxville i told him i would have to request partial payment up front and provide before and after photos when i am done for the rest of the payment. does this sound like fair price? i havent heard from him since i put the bid in. (2 days) i wonder if he's shocked or what. would you even mess with it since he's in another city? it's kind of hard to trust him so thats why i said half payment up front

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Too low--
    I always say I need to see the property but from what you say I know you are low--

    Clean gutters is at least 100 even if they are easy-- and you say they are bad , Clean roof??? and nail gutters back up-- again I do not see the work but maybe $200 at the low end.

    Mow with the yard full of crap you need to pick up. I know these type of properties-- at least $100 there.

    Mulch will be 60 to 70 per yard-- lets go low $120
    Not sure what the labor is for but you do not talk about bush trimming so maybe there, 10 hours added to what you already stated (gutters-mowing-mulch) at 60 per is $600
    I believe you have at least 2 guys for a full day to get this place ready for resell so I figure somewhere around $1000 - $1200 and again I am not seeing it. It could be a lot more. At 600, sit tight as he will call you back, and when you are done call me as I just sold a house with about 6000 foot of area that needs to be cleared, I just found my guy!!:)

    When He calls just say that while he was thinking about it someone called to sign up for a $10,000.00 project and you have no more time --Sorry!
  3. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    my only thought on change is the price per yard of mulch we charge $100/yard so bump that if you want other than that it looks fine
  4. DBL

    DBL LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,219

    and that too if this is the case but you charging $30/hour for labor seems alright

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    But he can not eat if he charges $30 per hour. There is nothing left after pay and expenses.
  6. mjohnson1

    mjohnson1 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    the reason i say 125 for the gutters is that theres not a lot of them, its a one story with gutters only about halfway along the back of the house, and the ones in the front aren't under trees so they arent quite as bad. the nails are all still there they just need a good whack with a hammer and they're done. also by cleaning the roof i meant there is tons of branches on it i can sweep off.

    for the mulch i just dont think $60-70 a yard would fly here i have talked to other people who charge around $40 depending on the mulch cost per yard. on a house like this i use the stuff i can get for $10 a yard. $30 profit on it seems good to me. the premium dyed mulch is $26 per yard my cost. that i charge more for, but only $50. what does it cost (you) in your area?

    as for the labor it's for weeding the flower beds, replacing the edging on them, (thats what the bricks are from looks like some kid must have pulled them out), trimming bushes (which i mentioned in the first paragraph of my post), cutting down a bunch of vines, small trash trees, etc, etc, mulching, and travel time. i am charging him to haul the mulch, and dump the brush at the mulch place. also "10 hours added to what you already stated" is 20 hours, at "60 per" as you say would be $1200!
    i guess i should have stated also that my dad is retired and just wants something to do so he is helping me for free on this job, if i was paying someone to help i would charge more than 30.
  7. DuraCutter

    DuraCutter LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 806

    It might not be a good idea to charge less cause your dad is helping you. Charge like you would anytime. Also, you need to make more money for future expansion, things thatl happen that cost money and some savings besides profit. $30/hr will never ever give you that. You're just buying yourself a job. But if that's what you like to do, do it and maybe in near future after all the hard work you'll rethink what we told you and it will click.

    I was the same when I was young, it took a while and it took real life experience before I really go it. Good luck mate!
  8. Team-Green L&L

    Team-Green L&L LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,776

    Your bidding is more than fair, but I agree. Every man hour is charged! If you don't charge for labor of your father then you might as well not charge for your own. Isn't his labor worth payment?
  9. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,925

    Exactly. You need to charge for 20 hours labor if you are using 2 guys for 10 hrs. I usually bid on the high side when it comes to calis as they are in a economy that is more than ridiculous. I have 30 cali clients that rent up here and they all think I bid way too low. That is what is driving our economy here in Southern Oregon. Almost all think that the rest of the world is like theirs. I bid my jobs to make money and not just work. Rethink your bids at 20 hrs @ 35.00 mulch at 50-60 per yard spread and at min 125-150 for gutter cleaning and the rest on hourly basis. you are looking at a min of 800 and most likely getting a good deal unless you are way off of your hourly guess.
  10. PMLAWN

    PMLAWN LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,535

    Mr. Johnson,
    Please add to all your future posts that while you ask for the opinion of others that you already know what you are going to charge.
    You asked a question and I answered with what I believe most of the experienced guys will come close to with time and money--- you reply with saying that YOU are right in your thinking because-- the work is easy??- whacking nails is all that is needed-(into soft wood--I wonder) and a simple sweep of the roof? OK so you already knew your answer- why did you ask?
    You also say that nobody in your area makes any money doing mulch but did not state that in your question--how was I to know??
    Oh yes- how stupid of me not to know that you sell work for free because you Pa was looking for a hobby:hammerhead:
    This forum is "Just starting in BUSINESS" and you asked for advice from Pros.
    Not sure if I am the Pro you wanted as I answered as a business man that has been there (with lot of just these types of properties under my belt) that has made the mistakes and wants to make profit with my work.
    Again I apologize, I just figured that everyone else on this forum was in it for making money too. I will re-frame from bothering you with my foolish jibberish of profits ever again!:)

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