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New Job Bid - 1st big Job - Help

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Mylawnwi, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Mylawnwi

    Mylawnwi LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    Hi -

    I want to say thanks for any feedback.

    I put a bid in yesterday @ $6227 for:

    12 x 28 rectangular brick patio with a small fire pit built in
    I have to break up about 25' of concrete walk 3 " thick and haul away too

    brick is like $3.25 per sq ft.
    6 inches of gravel
    2 inch of sand

    Also he has 130' of garden beds that need the existing brick edging removed and it is being replaced by other brick which will cost about


    for the whold thing. Also he is putting in decorateve stone in place of the mulch whic will cost


    We are also re shaping some these beds and cleaning out existing mulch and bushes.

    This bid also includes the aeration of his lawn and neighbors lawn along with overseeding his lawn.

    I believe this is all. I figured in like $3400 in materials, rental equipt, and hard costs. We figured about $2700 in labor. We are trying to give a deal to get the job. We are in IL. What do you all think?

    Thank you!
  2. northmichigan

    northmichigan LawnSite Member
    Posts: 133

    I'd say you are on the low side but with the economy....
  3. Edgewater

    Edgewater LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 457

    Ok so you covered your cost. I hope you enjoy the work, because that is all you will get from it unless you add a profit margin to your bids.


    You need to make a return on the money you put out for materials etc.
  4. Meezer

    Meezer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269

    Wow, that is definitely on the low side.
  5. Mylawnwi

    Mylawnwi LawnSite Member
    Posts: 19

    I agree that it was on the low side. We wanted to get the business. I work FT elseware and my partner got laid off so to get the work is better than nothing. Yeah the economy really dose make a difference. I am just trying to get this work b/c it will be good to get one like this out of the way for references and nice pics you know. So If we can make 30 per hour or more doing it we are fully ok with it. We are still very small with little overhead other than insurance, gas, & maintenance or so you know. We are using my 2 car garage as our shop so no rent there. :)

    For the guy who posted the response ( So you just covered your cost ) As you can see I have 2700 built in for Labor so how did I just cover my cost? I am not sure I am understanding you correctly buddy? I added 10% to all material cost after taxes as my margin for that and then my labor cost.

    The guy actually responded today and said it was a bit more than he thought but I am sure that he dosn't have a clue on how much the acutal material costs. I told him we could disscount our labor 5% but that is it. Also I told him he could pick cheaper brick for the patio. He is going to let us know today. and from the light I got from your responsees it dose seem as though he won't find it anywhere cheaper really.

    Thanks for the feedback though guys! If we get this I will def post some pics.


    Any pricing info you guys want to throw my way is great! Thanks!
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2010
  6. Meezer

    Meezer LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 269


    Do you plan on doing stuff like this as a hobby or are you going to do this FT as a business?
  7. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    ok tell us how much per hr he is getting....
  8. jamo1911

    jamo1911 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 65

    Hey My Lawn,
    I find it hard to believe that you will make any money on that job. Kinda scary to me. We've all been there. One of my first jobs I made a huge estimating mistake and almost lost my shirt. I had to sell my truck to buy food. My only advice is to really check your numbers. Figure out how much the dump fee will be for all excavated material. Double check thickness of the concrete in more than one place. Where is the excavated dirt going? How much fire brick will you need if any for your pit design, paver edging, spikes, Fuel etc. The brick edging alone is easily worth $22/LF some will go as low as $15 but $9.23 / LF is really low and did you charge for haul off of old brick or was it "included" You should get at least $500 in demo for that. Aerating the neighbors lawn and his for free??? That's just embarrassing. I wouldn't even tell anybody that.
    The worst thing about this is that the customer thinks he's paying too much. I would walk.
    When edgewater said that you just covered your cost he is right. Your cost for the job is labor and materials combined. A good rule of thumb is 1/3 materials + 1/3 labor + 1/3 profit. If you are spending less than 1/3 on labor chances are that you are doing sub professional work.
    Thing is that to be profitable you have to include wear and tear on tools, trucks, yourself etc. Did you ever think of what happens if he doesn't pay, or more likely pays slow? What happens if you dig and find something you have to get rid of? Do you have a contract, insurance etc.
    Good luck man and take some advice from a guy that has been there. Give the customer $1000 and go home and sit on your couch. At least you will have not wasted your time and money, just the money.
    Another piece of advice, loose the partner. If the business does well you will have a mess 20 years from now. I know 100's of people in the industry and very few can make that partner thing work.
  9. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 585

    You told that tightwad you would discount your labor? Good Lord, man!
    Walk away, fast.
  10. yardworks  inc.

    yardworks inc. LawnSite Member
    Posts: 170

    What is the 2 in. of sand for? One inch is standard. You might take some of the responses as criticism but most of us our speaking from experience. It takes several jobs to get your estimating right. If you keep bidding low to get the work you will only go broke slower. Also you will hurt yourself in the long run if this customer tells his friends and neighbors what you are willing to work for. Plus you hurt the industry charging lower rates.

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