Am I charging to much?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Daily Lawn/Landscape, May 18, 2011.

  1. Daily Lawn/Landscape

    Daily Lawn/Landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 695

    Customer wants to use flagstone as a boarder around her landscape. The total length of the area to be edged is 234'. I will be laying the stone into a sand base. And it will only be 1 layer, she does not want it stacked. I quoted her $2294.00 plus tax. She was quoted another price almost $450 less from a much larger landscape company in town. Am I out of line or is the larger company just giving it away? What say you?

  2. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    The larger company may just have all that stone laying around and want to get rid of it or she lied to you to get a lower price.
  3. GreenLight

    GreenLight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 527

    I don't really have any qualms with your price. Theoretically you are charging her just under $10.00 a linear foot which isn't outrageous at all.

    What I would have a problem with is her choice of product. Single layer of flagstone for a linear border edge?? I don't really get that. Even a thick flagstone is still generally not going to be more than 2 1/2 inches and after insetting it to the base at least an inch below grade it is going to be a pretty non functional, non stable edge. If the edge is separating grass and bedding then it becomes even more difficult as the grass will eat it up quickly requiring a lot of maintenance (flagstone stepping stones come to mind).

    Im not knocking you at all, but I think her choice of flagstone is poor. Strip rubble snap ends or tumbled cobble would seem like a much better choice and I know that it's her decision, but the negative variables that come with that flagstone would be a pain.
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    No one can say if you're over charging or under charging. They can type and type all they want, but it's only opinions :) I say this as no 2 businesses have the same overhead, and so forth.

    I have a business with 3 seperate income producers. We do landscape and hardscape construction, we mow lawns for lots 15,000 SF and under, and we do demolition. I do alotta observing.

    I've always know the hardscape and landscape industry are full of hack and I've always known it's competitive.

    But what I've learned is people really wanna keep up with the Jone's. They will want $15k of work done, but they don't have the money, yet they're determined to get it done for $9k. They will shop and they will shop and they will shop and THEY WILL FIND SOMEONE TO DO $15K OF WORK FOR $9K. Not to self promote, that's not my intention. I'm simily sharing my observation about the hardscape market - There is no glory to the demolition, no neighbor to keep up with, no relative to impress - they either have the money or they don't. Where as many people who want hardscapes don't have the money, yet they will manage to get *something* done! It never ceases to amaze me, if they are determined to get a patio - they'll get a patio, and they'll pay cash for it - but it'll be butchered from one end to the other.

    I've had people tell me they have gotten lower prices. If they catch me in the rigjht mood I'll play along with them, I'll say "can you scan and e-mail (or fax) me the quote and I'll take a look at it".

    I've had people try to downplay the scopeof the work. "well it has straight lines and you won't have to do any cutting" LOL WRONG! There's still cutting!

    I've had people dangle a carrot in my face and say "we wanna do the front next year". If only I had a quarter for each time I've heard that. I always wanna say "ok, well if I like working with you in the back we'll take care of you in the front, but if I don't like you, then I'm not concerned about the front"

    So, it's hard to say if you're too high or too low. Only you know your annual budget, targeted production hrs, expenses, etc.

    And yes, there will be time where we do have left over material. If times are slow and we have someone that wants to use it, we may just do the job and not even charge for the left overs, we'll do the work just to turn hours. Luckily, this year has been on fire for us!

    Last edited: May 19, 2011
  5. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    Why worry? You know you costs and the site. Keep bidding and be focused on making your company profitable, not on getting every potential job that comes to you. Set your sights higher on better paying clientel.
  6. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 76

    I get this one way to often!! I will almost always tell people straight up when I am meeting with them I am not going to be the lowest bidder, but they also won't have to get it done again in 2 years.

    You need to self yourself/company and the workmanship you provide and not concern yourself with what other people are charging.

    Also larger doesn't mean better!!
  7. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Like some others here have said, a bigger company may pay it's employees the same
    as you,
    but the company overhead can be spread amongst more people.
    This may mean they can charge less per hour for an employee than a smaller company.

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