Bid Question

Guys,

I've been asked to bid a project of 2300' of 6 and 8 inch water line at a depth of 2 feet that will extend from a river to a pecan orchard. I am told working conditions are "ideal" (I'll factor into price as I see fit). They are supplying pipe and I am to bid costs of labor, installation, and expenses. However, they want me to provide a bid based on "per linear foot." I haven't bid anything like this before as most systems are done by zone, per head, etc. Anyone have any idea or suggestions? I'm aware the scope of work for larger lines and 2 feet deep isn't much. I've installed golf course irrigation systems, so this seems fairly simply, just hard to bid on feet versus time. Any help is greatly appreciated as time is important for bidding purposes. Thanks ahead of time.
 

mitchgo

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Redmond, WA
just hard to bid on feet versus time.
That would go hand in hand-

With a excavator digging 2' for a 8" pipe ( Seems pretty shallow to me )

How long would it take you to dig 1 foot. Adding in the cost for your excavator charge/labor charge

( These numbers are way off just an example as I don't use excavator or have jobs that big - concept is still the same though) But lets say it takes 10 minutes to dig 20' And total additional time of 20 minutes to lay in the pipe, backfill and clean up. A total time of 30 minutes per 20' . Or 40' an hour . Add your labor cost per hour ( Say $100).. Your excavator cost per hour ( Say $150) . A total of $250 per hour / 60 mintues = 4.1$ per foot... IF that was your rate of digging / installation charges. Obviously it will be a bit more.
 
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bobw

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Calgary, Alberta
I do a fair amount of commercial installations and often need to provide per foot or per head pricing. General contractors like having the number so that if things change, they can calculate how much of a price difference there is. This stops trades from ripping them off on change orders.
 

DanaMac

LawnSite Fanatic
If I was going to bid per "anything" (head, zone, linear foot), I would be way off the chart for price. Too many variables that can slow you down and eat up time. And then if the customer wants to eliminate xxx heads to save money, or get you to make the zones larger, you get f****d. I guess I could figure my numbers, divide by the variable, and then add 50-200% to cover the customer trying to screw around with things and waste my time.
 

bobw

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Calgary, Alberta
If I was going to bid per "anything" (head, zone, linear foot), I would be way off the chart for price. Too many variables that can slow you down and eat up time. And then if the customer wants to eliminate xxx heads to save money, or get you to make the zones larger, you get f****d. I guess I could figure my numbers, divide by the variable, and then add 50-200% to cover the customer trying to screw around with things and waste my time.
Just remember that if they cut down the size of the project, you'll be subtracting that amount. That's the beauty of it for them...
 

DanaMac

LawnSite Fanatic
Just remember that if they cut down the size of the project, you'll be subtracting that amount. That's the beauty of it for them...
That's partly of what I mean. If I were to give a per xxx price, and they cut the project by 50%, well there goes a lot of the profit. If I am giving a price on 6000', my price might be $xx.xx per foot. But if it was scoped out at 2000', my price might be $yy.yy per foot, much higher than the 6000' job. So them going price per foot screws us if they can cut back the size of the project, other contractors delay the project (which we know NEVER happens :rolleyes:), unforeseen complications not billable in a per foot price, etc.
 

TXirrigation

LawnSite Senior Member
Be sure to add to your bid that this is the price for ideal digging conditions. Also put in a rock clause, acts of god, etc.

That way if you are almost done with the trench and it rains 15", they will have to pay you to re-dig
 

bobw

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
Calgary, Alberta
That's partly of what I mean. If I were to give a per xxx price, and they cut the project by 50%, well there goes a lot of the profit. If I am giving a price on 6000', my price might be $xx.xx per foot. But if it was scoped out at 2000', my price might be $yy.yy per foot, much higher than the 6000' job. So them going price per foot screws us if they can cut back the size of the project, other contractors delay the project (which we know NEVER happens :rolleyes:), unforeseen complications not billable in a per foot price, etc.
Let me clarify... I don't think I've ever seen them just ask for a per foot price... if they want a breakdown, its usually

Job price
price per foot of pipe
price per head

and that way they can evaluate scope changes. You can certainly get screwed ...i.e. they cut out an area of sprays and expand an area of rotors... etc. But, I've never seen anything like that happen. Usually there's just minor changes to the shape of the landscape area.

To the OP... one of the biggest issues we face is that they NEVER want the job done in one shot.. make sure you set a limit to the number of times you'll mobilize to the site and bill extra for extra trips. Hauling equipment around is not cheap.
 

Mike Leary

LawnSite Fanatic
The trouble with a lot of those sites, and why I finally gave on them, is the lack of communication between the General and the subs: we've showed up at jobs only to find the concrete guys already poured the hardscape without any sleeves! That sort of thing is a billing nightmare. :hammerhead:
 

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