How to Layout your estimate

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Unitedlawnscapes, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    I would not say "it's cheaper to have it all onsite".

    First of all this forum hates the word "cheaper".

    Second - if the supplier is nearby, I will hold one or two pallets back this way we do not have to pay for them if we do not use them :) if they'd needed, you merely stop and grab them on the way to the job :)
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  2. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,272

    Just to clarify, most of the time our block for retaining walls never hits our suppliers yard.
    For example I pay 6.65 per block for Alan block ab classic picked up at the local supplier, if I have it drop shipped direct by the semi load I pay 5.05 per block, so yes it is cheaper to buy extra when buying full semi loads. For a little residential job this obviously would not make sense but most of our walls are over 1000 face feet. I can get 16 pallets on a semi, if I don't purchase a full load the price goes up depending on how many blocks I purchase because the freight cost is figured into the cost of each block.

    We also do this with Unilock but they will only sell to us direct on larger commercial jobs.
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  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    in this area the supplier is the manufacturer, I always forget not everyone has that luxury!
     
  4. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,272

    In our area Unilock manufactures and sell direct at trade pricing but they prefer to sell it to you from a supplier at the same price, as we do because the supplier will deliver for free.Now if it's a large commercial job they will undercut the suppliers and sell to installers at dealer cost.

    Allan block is not made local, it is about 4 hours away but they still come in cheaper per face foot for commercial walls. For residential patios we use the same method as you, I have most of the pavers delivered and hold back a pallet or two, every job is different. I've been working on a wall for the last 4 weeks out of town so my mind is thinking commercial walls right now...
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  5. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,093

    I just wanted to bump this for this season. Its a good thread and we've had a lot of people asking lately.

    I just realized something about buying a truck as well

    When you look at the window sticker when buying the truck there is one lump price, correct? The only other prices on the window sticker are options that are chosen.

    Similar to what DVS said about giving a client options for seating, lights, etc.
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  6. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,759

    I'm ordering shirts for the business. Tees, long sleeves, sweats. The girl keeps giving me per unit price, this percent cotton, that percent cotton, layout fee, design fee etc, endless options. i said LISTEN, i want 100 shirts, i don't care about the screen fee, what do 100 shirts cost?

    Made me realize I'm doing it right (or at least right for me) designing and giving a lump sum, only one paver supplier catalog, and strongly recommending a pattern and color of brick. Options lead to confusion and hesitation. That doesnt lead to sales.
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  7. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    I've been closing deals on proposals for nearly 10 years.

    I list a detailed scope of work and a one lump sum price that the client will need to pay to get the job completed.

    If the job costs more than the client's preconceived budget we then discuss what, if anything, they wish to eliminate from their project to get the project cost to be in alignment with their budget. If they ask if I can do better on the price, I say "Sure. I can make the price $1,000 more. Oh, did you mean better for you? No, I can't reduce your cost without first eliminating something from the scope of work. What would you like to eliminate?"
     
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    That's a good one, I'm gonna use that line :drinkup:
     
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,406

    I have two terms (of many) that I live by - 1) Business Instinct 2) Behavioral Science

    Providing pricing to prospective clients involves understanding behavioral science of a consumer. I find that people do not think things through realistically and they complicate things more than need be.

    Ok, think about when YOU make a purchase. When you want something done, the first thing that comes to mind is "Do I have enough money" or "I'm going to go ahead and have it done, I have the money". You don't sit around thinking "ok, we're getting the kitchen redone I wonder how much the subflooring and the trim cost". And those that do - have what we call.......*control issues*.

    People, hardscape customers think just like you and I. "Do I have the money or do I not".

    Sure there are a few clients that may wanna know all the material costs. But after being in business for over 25 years - I can tell you that I've had no more than 10 people want prices broken down. 25 yrs in biz and no more than 10 people. And when they have asked for a breakdown of costs - I have never once obliged.

    Those that do break down costs, have convinced theirselves that doing so is necessary. As a veteran contractor, who has been around the block a time or two - I assure you - This is not the case. If you disagree with me that's because you have instilled such a mindset on your own and you're kidding yourself.

    If you don't dwell on cost breakdown when you buy something then why would anyone else? The typical consumer is only concerned about lump sum. And its a simple science - they either have the loot or they don't.

    The key to business, along with the key to life is being able to observe behavior and grasp what's happening.
     
  10. Kleen Kutz

    Kleen Kutz LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Ama,La
    Posts: 1,604

    There's no specific way of doing your bid. It's all about doing it the best way you and your customers are satisfied with. Mainly, it's all about having the winning bid at the end.
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