bidding landscape jobs

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by captjgann, Oct 14, 2007.

  1. captjgann

    captjgann LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    started bidding commercial work. find that I am usually low bidder. So I started adding up all my job costs: plants, dirt, labor, mulch, insurance, truck , trailer, loader, edt. Once I have my cost I multiply by 2, sometimes this is my bid and sometimes I add a profit margin. what do you suggest for competative bidding?
    thanks, jeff
  2. TarheelTLC

    TarheelTLC LawnSite Member
    Messages: 59

    I am just getting started in the business but are using the same rates as you. Based on what I am reading we are way low. I just did a job with about $600 in materials and quoted $1188.00. The lady gave me $1300.00 and is talking about an irrigation system and more beds. It took about 16 hours and I am a one man show. With every job I am going up on price based on experience and realizing I am under estimating time.
  3. Lawnut101

    Lawnut101 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,260

    I just did some figuring, and your only charging around 40/hr. If I were you, I would raise my hourly rate to 60-70/hr or so. I'm new to this also, but that would definitely help you out a bunch.
  4. loom-gen

    loom-gen LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    When bidding jobs on a "by the hour" basis keep in mind how fast other companies can do the job. they may have superior equipment and may know all the short cuts. When starting out, bidding low is ok as long as you make something and still build a clientel. Don't be greedy; at least not yet.
  5. capetan

    capetan LawnSite Member
    Messages: 226

    an all day job or in your case a two day job, by yourself i would try to get atleast $500($50 an hour) a day plus (cost of equipment, resoures, and the cost of material used) from that $500 you subtract, insurances, taxes, and other expenses you have associated with your business, if you have a legit business you would be lucky to clear $250(could be less depending on expenses) a day, and 1250 a week, which is about $25 to $31 an hour, over the course of year and up to 4 months off depending on your winter, you would net $45g a year give or take , charging $50 an hour working 5 days a week for 8 to 10 hours a day..... which isnt bad, you can make more with additional laborers and efficient equipment, but in some markets at $50 an hour you will be out bid, depending on the type of work you can make $30 an hour for basic labor (picking weeds) or up to and over $100 for various landscaping, tree work, hardscaping, and or more speciality work.. in the back of your mind just think out the cost of job when you do an estimate how many laborers, what type of equipment, skill involved...
    i normally have a base rate of $35 or $40 an hour (plus a certain amount an hour for laborers and equipment) even for manual labor tools i will add $10 to the base rate, even though theres no motors or gas, these tools break and have to be replaced on a regular basis, just think of all your cost and expenses, everyone has a system find something that works for you...... good luck
  6. shane mapes

    shane mapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 537

    i to are a new be ....i started out really low , like $18.00 - $20.00 er hour . i thought it was going to be around $40.00 per hour , but by the time i did the whole job i wasn't makeing much... i stopped doing extra jobs and stated with mowing and worked on my bidding with my current customers .. now i have a handle on it it just takes time............ good luck

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