My first patio proposal . . . please critique

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Century Landscape, Jun 24, 2011.

  1. Century Landscape

    Century Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    Hey guys,

    I just submitted my first patio proposal to a guy a couple of days ago as part of a much larger project ( new construction ) in a very restricted subdivision. I tried to make all of my proposals very competitive, as I haven't done any work in this subdivision and want to get my foot in the door, and also looking to get some paver installs under my belt. I'm also doing sod installation and all his beds and landscaping.

    So anyhow, he said all my estimates looked good, but he thinks he may not do the patio. The reason he gave is that it's he'll probably just get a slab poured because it will be less maintenance - I didn't squawk much about it because most of my profit is in the other jobs anyway.

    But, I'd really appreciate it if some of you veterans in the forum could maybe look over the estimate I gave him and see if you think the times estimated for labor and the material estimates seem reasonable, or if maybe I priced it a little high?

    Patio area includes a half circle with 11' radius and there's also a walk that adds about another 45 square feet for a total of 235 sq feet. Labor involved would be digging down enough to install 6" limestone aggregate compacted, then 1" concrete sand, and 2 3/8" 4x8 Holland stone from Belgard.

    For my labor, I estimated 8 hours with 2 people to grade and prep site with compacting the aggregate, then another 8 hours with 2 people to screed sand and install and compact pavers.

    All my materials with aggregate, sand, pavers, restraints totaled 1843.92 and the labor with rental costs figured in totaled 1433.64 for a total of 3277.56.

    It seemed pretty fair to me, but this is my first job. Does it sound about right to those with more experience?

    I know all pricing is highly dependant on local costs and labor costs, but I'm just trying to get a rough feel here if the price was a factor in possibly losing the job. And does my estimated time to install sound about right?

    Thanks all
  2. Century Landscape

    Century Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    And before I get knocked for it, this is a clay subsurface so I planned on using some woven geo tex fabric.

  3. castle555

    castle555 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 127

    Okay, I'm in California so the market price is different, however, I'd like to point out something for you to think about: Your project has a cost of about $13.95 per sf. and even Concrete, stamped, colored or stained and sealed at about $ 8.00 to $9.00 a sf. here. so you can see why the super was perhaps not interested.
    Even salted and banded concrete can be bid for 4.50 or 5.00 a sf these days.

    Also I recently bid a small project with Belgard Mega Arbel and came out about 9.50 per sf installed, although you could go about $10.00 to $ 11.00.
    I figured 6" excavation, 2" of AB base and 1" =/- sand plus the paver thickness and polysand jointing.
    the Geofabric is a must for soil separation from your base and the substrate
  4. Century Landscape

    Century Landscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 87

    Thanks Castle, I appreciate the input.

    I didn't know that stamped concrete was quite that cheap. I'll have to do a little more homework on some of my customer's other options to at least give me a better idea of what their decision making process might be.

    Did my time figured sound about right?
  5. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,635

    That stone cost us $7sq.ft. you guys must pay only 3 or 4 for you to make money on that at that price!
  6. Crusher Run

    Crusher Run LawnSite Member
    Posts: 76

    Here in northern Vermont, the company I work for charges 19$ sq.ft for stamped concrete and is very busy. Which should be sealed every year, not exposed to chemicals, not to mention the ugly ass control joints. I don't like it.
  7. castle555

    castle555 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 127

    Your labor time for the tasks seems close enough, but I would give it an extra hour for every 8 estimated to be on the better side of time management.

    Stamped, and sealed concrete was around 12.00 to 14.00 a sf back before the economy dumped.
    Another base formula I've used is to take the material cost (this is for hard labor and masonry work, i.e. pavers, stone, etc.), and multiply the material cost by 105% to cover labor expense.
    It can come out pretty colse if you workers are skilled... So many variables, though.
    Let me know how it turns out
  8. castle555

    castle555 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 127

    Wow, the prices do vary a lot by region. And yes the Belgard Mega Arbel runs about $4.65 retail cost here. I believe the associated rising fuel and shipping costs for heavy items, is what's driving that price difference.
  9. castle555

    castle555 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 127

    No, I don't like the poor sealer performance and associated high maintenance costs either.
    The other thing that is driving down concrete price per sq ft, and everybody deals with this in their own area, but especially here in our wreckage of a state of 'California' is the 'low-ballers' that are catering to the consumers appetite for 'cheapest'. You get what you pay for and I have heard of some bids as low as 3.50 to 4.00 a sf, where that guy is literally 'buying the job'.
    And it is also the unlicensed,illegal work and some of the unlicensed immigrants bidding on jobs that is creating havoc for decent contractors. However, I do blame the 'pay the lowest price customer', who probably also complains about all the illegals crossing the border. You can't blame them for seeking a better life here.
    Things are not going well.
  10. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 946


    Here's a few things I noticed:

    1. Are you making a percentage off of your materials? Hopefully so...
    2. Are you sure you need to use 6" of base? Here in the greater New Orleans area we generally use 4" for walks and patios.
    3. Your labor/ rental cost seems to be low. Not sure what your rental fees are and your overhead is, but we're generally at $800 per day for a two man crew.

    If it helps at all, we'd be at around $16+/- per sq. ft. for a job that size.

    Best of luck!


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