I have a patio install ive quoted out to a customer for March 08, trying to get it as early in the season as possible before my landscape work packs my schedule. I estimated out it was going to cost $18,580 - $1,880.00 deduction in labor est. for booking the first two weeks in march 08. Comes to $16,700. I estimate my supplies COST will be ~$6,700.00. Then add markup to supplies, i add 20%. Even before 20% markup on supplies, to come in under another companies quote of $13k, that only leaves $6,300 in labor? I could probably still make a little money with 6k in labor, but its really not worth it. Its a 18x20ft patio, 30ft x 4' walkway curved going around the side of the house with a step down from the raised patio 8" raised above ground level closest to the house and a maximum of 12" farthest from the house using Rinox Rio 90 wall block and a mix of 6x6" grey and 6x9" golden color paver block. There is an 8' wide, 4 step stair case comming down from the back door into the patio, integrated Unique copper lights built into the steps, 3 Rinox Pillars at the corners of the patio away from the house, 3 lights on top of them, 2 copper downlights built onto the back of the house, 840watt Unique I force transformer, wiring for it all, Rinox Beast edge along the walkway, alum/steel 30" tall fencing between pillars enclosing the patio w/ gate for steps, handrailing along both sides of steps installed. Im looking at a lot of base & sand for everything when all said and done, lots of expensive top caps for the side/steps because its raised.. How is some other company going to offer a price on the same job of $13k? This is a long time customer of mine, ive done large garden retaining wall around the front side of the house, his whole houses front landscape design, all of his lighting install & service all of his lawn maintenance and snow removal for 3 years With that amount, if ONLY myself and my main employee worked with me on this install, it nets a total of under 10 days from start to finish to sustain at least $40.00 per hour, assuming full 8hr days without breaks etc. If i have two more guys on site, all that would do is eat up "a weeks" worth of profits for their paychecks even if it speeds it up a couple days. It it were a simply, come in prep, lay block, clean up thats one thing. But doing every extra involved part, raised wall on side, lighting, pillars, fencing, gates, 2 step sets, walkway to driveway ... theres not many corners i can cut to speed up the job.