$1250 job!!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by precisionlawn, Apr 17, 2003.

  1. precisionlawn

    precisionlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I'm starting a $1250 job tommorow. I'm stoked about it. It's reseeding (3700sf, breaking up old bare spots, filling them in with topsoil, seed and fert.), trimming hedges, pulling three small shrubs, laying hardwood mulch (2300sf), and weeding beds, about 1700 sf.
    All in all about two days. I thought i bid high, guess not!!!
  2. Gravely_Man

    Gravely_Man LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,075

    Congratulations to you. Will you be doing all of this by yourself or with others?

  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    2300 sq ft of mulch. thats, ummm, around 20 yds isnt it?
  4. precisionlawn

    precisionlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    Gravely man,
    One other helper.

    There is already mulch down they only want a 1 inch cover so lets cut that in half and say 10 yards!
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    What are the expenses for this job (not incl. labor)? Dumping, mulch, topsoil, seed and fert.?
  6. precisionlawn

    precisionlawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 254

    I dont have my estimate in front of me but it is alittle bit less than half of the $1250. about 40-45%
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    Ok. So let's assume it's 40%. That's $500. Now we're talking about a $740 job. You said it'd take 2 of you 2 days, right? Let's assume these are 8 hour days. 2 guys x 8 hours x $25 x 2 days = $800. So you're not even making $25 per hour on this job. PLUS, I am making 2 big assumptions above.

    Not to burst you're bubble. I am glad you're excited. I remember when a job like this used to excite me too. But realize that it's not ALL that exciting when you break it down. These days, our company gets at least $35 per man hour for jobs like this. Often, it ends up being more. So for that same job, we'd have made $1120.00, rather than $740. Actually, I typically charge $650 / day for the crew who would do this kind of work. So I would have made $1300. That's BEFORE expenses. And I keep that crew busy 5 days a week doing these kind of jobs. They're doing a job today that will net $800 after expenses.

    Again, I am not trying to burst you bubble or brag here. I just want you to understand what a job equates to when you really break it down. You shouldn't feel like you overbid this job. You should feel that you underbid it. Always look at the bigger picture with your long term goals in mind.

    To run a successful, professional, outfit with all of the stuff needed these days, it takes a lot of money. $740 sounds like good money to you now. And it may be. But at less than $25 per man hour, you're not going to get rich quick. In fact, I argue that it's going to be a real struggle. Hopefully this makes a little sense.
  8. David Gretzmier

    David Gretzmier LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,645

    2300 sq. ft beds / 12 =191 cu. ft mulch ( 1 inch ) or /27 = 7 yards. It sounds as though you are doing ok, but two guys for two days should charge somewhere around 1400 for labor around here. that plus a 15-35 % markup on materials, would be in the neighborhood where my bid would be. I used to get excited when I was doing mostly mowing and these came along, but landscapers charge more than you think. good luck and I hope this job goes quick and easy.

    Dave g
  9. Gr grass n Hi tides

    Gr grass n Hi tides LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,020

    On Sunday I had a spring clean up that took me 8 hrs., which included weeding & mulching flower beds, dethatching, edging, hedge trimming and chainsaw work on two large trees. This was on a home that was going up for sale this week which had been neglected for many years.

    The figure I had in mind was actually lower than what the homeowner wanted to give me, but I also spent more time on the job than I thought I would because they were very particular (which is fine). The owner told me he would pay $500. I was prepared to quote the original job at $350, but at that time thought the job would be shorter. Plus, the homeowner added on a couple of things to be done than were not originally planned.

    On Wednesday I hand delivered my bill to the real estate agent (yes, a real estate agency that pays fast). While I'm standing there in his office, a call comes in from a buyer that made a full dollar offer on the property. On the market for just 3 days. The real estate guy that called me for the job said to this buyer over the phone, "yes sir I think the landscaping added a lot of value too." No joke. This was a great boost for me.

    Aside from a little gasoline, some chain saw oil, and a few leaf bags, my only expense on the job was $48 for two yards of mulch. As a small offset, I wound up with a little firewood !!

    I'm new in this business as a full timer, but received a valuable lesson in bidding. Imagine if I had done this job for $350. We work hard work and provide a valuable service, and should be paid accordingly.
  10. paponte

    paponte LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,366

    The customer is getting a great price. That would be my price for one day of work. :cool:

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