Question regarding bid

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by mustang65, Aug 17, 2006.

  1. mustang65

    mustang65 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 3

    I recently did a design and proposal on a good size project. The other day the client asked if his friend who is a contractor could purchase All materials and he would pay my labor. I priced out proposal and bid on retail prices on supplies so labor was a bit low. How do I address this and price structure now. Would you let client by materials.
    Thanks
     
  2. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    Why isnt his contractor friend installing the system. There have only been 2 instances I have allowed this. 1 the reg maint client of ours had family at night scaping and supplied everything we asked for.

    2 we were subbed specifically for an installation.

    You have no choice but to increase the labor charges now if you want to stay in business. Unfortunatly the client may feel your taking advantage of them but in actuality your not. If they do not accept your proposal as is its your right to modify it and you need to charge a fair price for your labor.

    As far as clients buying materials its on a per call basis. Sometimes yes sometimes no. lil old ladies who like to pick thier own annual color fine. Someone wanting to buy electrical devices with no clue... no thanks
     
  3. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    First thing you need to know is that you don't separate materials and labor on a proposal. When you do that, you leave yourself open for this kind of problem. He thinks that he is paying too much for the fixtures but he sees that your very cheap on labor.

    Now you have to explain to him that you are a contractor, and just like any other retail business, you buy product at one price and then mark it up to cover over head. This includes fuel, insurance, advertising, etc. You would have to charge much more for labor to cover the expenses of doing business. This pretty much doubles the cost of labor.

    Good luck,
     
  4. mustang65

    mustang65 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Posts: 3

    I didn't have it separated on the proposal. He called and asked to break down, I gave him retail prices and labor which as you said is much lower. Now I need to somehow change it. Also would this effect manufacturer warranties and such if I'm not buying the product.
    Thanks
     
  5. YardPro

    YardPro LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,563

    i would just be honest with him and tell him that

    1. unless purchased by an authorized contractor there is NO warranty on the product.

    2. some of your profit from the job was built into the cost of the materials. If he wants to buy the materials you will have to add the x% that you will not make off the materials to the labor..
     
  6. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    The manufacturer's warranty is just that, the manufacturer's. All you can warranty is what you are doing and that is installation. If I were you I would just explain all of these things to the client and if he wants to use his contractor friend you would probably be better off.
     
  7. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    mustang, I would take a look at how you are charging. If you can't take out the fixtures which now you don't have to order, unbox, assemble, strip lead wire to proper length, test for continuity, check lamp continuity, inspect for defects...Oh wait you probably included the cost of doing all that as part of the fixture cost...hmmmmm. If he will have all that done (which would have an effect on your install warranty) then I would eat it and start charging labor that you would install anyones fixture for. Do not start changing your price with any of your customers once you have set the price. That sets a tone. Get through it and move on. Chances are he will want you to prep fixtures for install and you will have to charge accordingly...I wouldn't do the job if he didn't let you prep it.
    chris
     
  8. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181


    I had a client just ask me for a break down like this now he is dissecting my price. Checking it vs retail prices online ect. Ready to walk on that one but its on a corner and he is allowing signs and such post install. I never offered a detailed breakdown like that in landscaping. Final invoices are pretty detailed but always honest.
     
  9. niteliters

    niteliters LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 537

    pro-scapes.. why did your customer request a breakdown? do you remember thier specific reason or was it a "could I get a break down...sure you can" kind of reflex that you wish you could take back.
    cm
     
  10. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    Hey Chris.

    They said most contractors break down everything. He is a lawyer and naturally he is the inquizative type. Very nice family.

    I told him I dont generally do breakdowns on every little thing as there are so many consumables involved like conduit, staples, wirenuts, grease tubes ect.

    I really wish I hadnt given it now. Im already more than fair on the price but its still twice what they had in mind so they are just being sure they are not being taken advantage of.
     

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