Lost My First Bid

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by VO Landscape Design, Jul 4, 2007.

  1. VO Landscape Design

    VO Landscape Design LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 356

    This is my very first bid. A gentleman calls me up and wanted me to bid on a some properties he needed some work done on in a neighboring town. They were some of his rental properties, single brick level apartments, three of them. He needed 46 shrubs trimmed (spirea and evergreens between 2-3' tall), 25 new ones (remove old), about 30' of concrete edging, put down about 2500 sq. ft. of mulch and weed the beds before mulching (not many weeds). He has the concrete edging and the mulch from previous installs on other property in the same block. Each of the 3 areas are accessible from the street, piece of cake to get too. He also has an area to dump the trimmings and old dead plants. I was to providing the plants. Can you give me a rough estimate on this job? So as to limit embarrassment a little while longer I will post my bid after a few replies!!
    Thanks all
    VO
     
  2. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    I would tell you what I would bid, but I need more info. Do you have to remove 25 old buhes and put in 25 new ones? How big are the ones that need to be removed? What will they need to be replaced with? Also elaborate on the concrete edging.
     
  3. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 21,654

    I don't like bidding blind because blind spots increase the price, pictures would help.

    Maybe I'm wrong but I don't like the sound of things, anyway...

    Removing the old bushes can be a mayor PITA... Sometimes they come right out, other times the root system is extensive and thick and the soil rock hard and it takes an hour each, unless you have an excavator but either way it's not cheap... There's no telling without sticking a shovel in, you have to call Miss Utility first, but there's no haul fee. 200 just for the debris cleanup from the trimming and the bushes. New bushes aren't cheap either, and I don't believe in planting in temperatures over 85, really cooler is better, 65-75 is perfect, you probably did the right thing bidding high.

    I might can find new ones for 2-3 dollars each, being it's off season they might be on sale, then again 25 might be tough to find, an easy 150 here and another 150 in labor, 300 for the new ones, remove the old ones 400 and you still stand a chance of getting severely burned unless they come right out. Mulch, 600...

    Oh yeah, hedge trim 46? I'd guess I can get it done between 60-120... But at 2-3 dollars each it's an easy 100...

    What have we here, 100 + 200 + 300 + 400 + 600, 1600 and maybe as low as 1200 - 1400 would be my absolute lowest and I'm hurting for work which means it probably ought to be double that... I could do it cheaper but just from the sound of things it looks to be a week's worth of work... If you quoted 2g I don't think you'd be that far off, you can't do it for less than a thousand just in mulch and the 25 bushes removed AND new ones planted, the cost of it, a thousand's nowhere near enough...

    Could even be 3g, hard to say without seeing it, just some figures anyhow.
     
  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    My guess is that you bid it correctly because you did not get it. An owner of multiple properties that takes bids from new landscapers is looking to get work done cheap. These are not the best jobs for new companies to be bidding at because this type of owner typically is looking to exploit lack of experience. The lack of experience is not in doing the work. It is in writing contracts, estimating time, and having the notion that the property owner will supply them with lots of work (so they try extra hard to get the job).

    Stick to home owners as they tend to want someone that not only can do nice work, but who they feel they like personally. They also do not generally look to bring in lots of contractors to see who can under bid the next guy. Also, smaller jobs are more forgiving if a mistake is made in the bidding or contract.
     
  5. mattfromNY

    mattfromNY LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    If this guy has edging and a pile of mulch from 'other projects', who was working for him before, and why aren't they doing this project? Sounds fishy. I've run into it before 'Oh, the other guy I had didnt have the right equipment', or 'he just had too many other jobs going on'... Usually whenever I've heard this, the homeowner turns out to be a PITA to work for, and I find out really quick why someone else isnt doing the project. You're probably better off, and all the wiser. Move on to bigger and better things.
     
  6. VO Landscape Design

    VO Landscape Design LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 356

    Remove all the old bushes and replace with new, #1-#3 size pots. They are not very big (2') and should come out easy. The concrete edging is 2' long and looks like an L shape if you look at it from the end.
    VO
     
  7. VO Landscape Design

    VO Landscape Design LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 356

    I bid at $2000. Nice to know I was close to some estimates. Never really know when you are starting out. The winning bid was $849. I want to be around when this gets done!! July heat and all here in IA.
    VO
     
  8. procut

    procut LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,853

    I would have been way out the ball park. 2500 sq ft is going to take about 23 yards of mulch at a 3" depth. I don't know what the 'new bushes' are going to be, or how much they are going to cost. Just guessing here, I would be at leat $2000. The guy that bid $849 is a low baller.
     
  9. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    Don't feel bad, happens to the best of us. At least you did not go too low, win it and end up working for nothing right?
     
  10. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,416

    That's great consider yourself one step closer to landing a contract. Remember figure "your cost" if you win then that great but if you lose dont consider it a loss. Your getting closer. Just my two cents.
     

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