1. Outdoor Creations

    Outdoor Creations LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    It is getting that time a year again and I am starting to tread in some new water. I ran across a couple of builders that want me to price installing rock by the sq. ft. I have always figures by the yard. They want the price of the fabric included, labor, rock, fabric.Presently getting about $80 to $85 per yard installed and was wondering if what I have been charging has been in line or way out of line? I have always done it this way but just thought I would ask for some input.
    Thanks alot!
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,742

    Well, why don't you review your time records and material costs of jobs that you have done. Then divide by the square foot. That will let you know if it is consistant enough to charge by the SF and it will figure in all your waste as well.
  3. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    First, I'm assuming when you say rock you mean some type of decorative stone.

    Second, how can you charge an install price by square foot? You may cover a certain area but that area needs to be 'x' amount thick. Therefore you would chare by the cubic foot. However, if your supplier sells by weight I would say charge by weight.

    With that said, I believe, like the previous posted said...you need to take a look at what YOUR costs would be and then figure it out.

    Your pricing seems EXCEEDING low. I can't see yourself covering your costs at those prices. I just looked up our cost for 3/4 barn red stone (one of the cheapest decorative stones) from last year it was $36 per ton. Figure about a tone and a half per cubic yard and that's around $56-58 per ton with tax. Throw in some type of delivery fee...either your hauling costs of the suppliers and its gonna add another fee bucks a ton. I'll say I'd be around 65-70 per yard just to get the stone to the worksite.

    Now, with that said, I have no idea what you are paying for the 'rock' but I can't see it being that far off unless my assumptions are wrong. That means you'll be coming away with maybe 15-20 bucks to install it. I just don't see that covering any type of realistic operational costs.

    MY two cents.

    FYI, we charged for the installation of 3/8 delware blend stone at around $125 per cubic yard. I can go look for the exact amount but whatever, we payed around 33 per ton or 50 per yard. We did the hauling, had our dingo on site to load wheelbarrels and manuever the stone. Since the beds were prepped at a seperate price the time to install a cubic yard with two of us and the machine was around 20-30 minutes per yard.
  4. Outdoor Creations

    Outdoor Creations LawnSite Member
    Posts: 26

    We use a 1 3/4" river rock, I can get it for roughly $23.50 per ton which covers about 80 sq. ft. On the most part we deliver ourselves for the smaller jobs or have it deliver on the bigger. They charge about $75 for delivery of up to 14 ton.
    When I was told he wanted the bid at "per square ft." I would assume it would be just so he could roughly figure on a job they were building. But with that said there is no way "REALLY" to give that kind of price if for one you dont know the lay of the job. You could get in somewhere where it could be a true disaster and end up lossing or you get could get a sweet job. It is hard to say.
    Just need some help!
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    I'll caution you on that per square foot pricing...it sounds like you already have your head on straight for that.

    I had a similar experience where the prime wanted a per lineal foot price for installing drainpipe. I said I didn't do that it really depends on the job, location, access, etc. He said he wanted it that way so he could compare apples to apples of another company thats giving a bid. I said fine. Gave him a per square foot pricing valid only at that specific address, valid until 60 days from quote, and I gave a price structure for between 100-200 feet was X/ft and 200-300 was X/ft. I also gave a minimum amount of $1200 for the job. I basically took my job and divided by the lineal feet and added a little of a fudge factor.

    In other words you have to be real careful he doesn't say okay I need 80 sq.ft covered and you are installing stone for a total bill of 75 bucks. It just isn't worth it.

    At a minimum, I'd make sure you have minimum $ amounts per job. You could also structure it for cost dependent upon total amount of material. I know my stone supplier gives a lower price for quantities of 15+ and 30+ tons. You could kinda set a price structure for him to entice him to give you a full days/multi days worth of work. Try talking to him as well and explaining why you really don't like to provide per square foot pricing. Just communicate with him up front and let him know your reasoning. Otherwise explain to him you are going to plan for worst case scenario (all hand shoveling, no heavy equipment, repair of existing turf, etc.) so you don't loose your shorts. Beyond that I'm not really sure what to say.:dizzy:
  6. Travel'n Trees

    Travel'n Trees LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 631

    Grades use 10-15 percent more rock.

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