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Bidding prunning with no idea of quanity


LawnSite Member
I've recently been given the opportunity to bid a new and very large apartment complex developement. The owner wants me to give separate bids on mowing&trimming, and then prunning any trees and bushes. It is still under developement and they have no idea how many trees and bush they will have on this property. Any suggestions on how to approach this bid without making the owner think i'm just leaving my bid generic so i can change it if needed?


LawnSite Platinum Member
No way would I give them a set price for pruning without knowing what and how many trees/shrubs to prune. I would give them a hourly figure for the pruning or wait until they know what they are going to plant.


LawnSite Senior Member
I agree with DLCS. At least with an hourly figure your giving him a figure that is set. Good luck!


LawnSite Bronze Member
Be careful on this one. You can get burned if you don't know the number or size of trees or shrubs being installed. Some of these apartment managers are outright criminals when it comes to maintenance. I would just give a bid on the mowing if you can tell about how much turf there will be. Leave the hedge/shrub/tree bid alone until they finish the landscaping.


LawnSite Senior Member
Oly Wa
When you say "under developement" do you mean it's curently under construction? If so, you should be able to get access to the landscape plans from the owner or developer. You could also go to the County/whatever office (not sure what things are called in your area) and give a deposit to take them home, I've even had to buy them outright. With them you can count every shrub and tree and they will all be named. That will give you a pretty good idea of what it will take. In fact you will be able to figure the area of turf, beds, length of sidewalk edge, curbs, parking lot area that may need to be blown, etc., and you should be able to give a pretty good ballpark price.
One thing I always build into a contract like this is to get a yearly increase in price to compensate for the amount of debri (dump fees at the landfill) you're going to have to haul off as things grow over the years. It really is significant after a few years. Unless of coarse you can dump onsite which is rarely the case I've found in a large developement.
Do not give a price until you can see a final product.

Even if you have plans that you can see, things change with plans sometimes. Why take the chance and lose your butt.


LawnSite Platinum Member
Wouldn't touch it without more details.
Just another example of how commercial contracts are begining to be split up because of loss leader pricing.


LawnSite Senior Member
I think DennisF and Olylawnboy, along with some of the others, have covered this one. To begin, I think the owner is full of it. I don't know about your area, but in this area an owner will have already approved all building and landscape designs before the builders will even break ground. How else do you think they're going to have an apartment complex ready to move into within a specified time frame? He wants a blind bid so that he can take advantage of you or someone else. I wouldn't even bother with someone like him. I can see to many problems dealing with him in the future.

If you want to have some fun with him; obtain a copy of the proposals submitted to the city and send those in with a bid and an extensive contract. Then sit back and see if he calls.:D


LawnSite Senior Member
Do you know what type of bushes/shrubs/trees they are planting? Is this complex in the very early stages of construction?

I'd have to say without even knowing the species of the plant out I wouldn't even give an hourly rate letalone a fixed price.

Sit and explane your delema to the developer and try to get him to shed some more light on what is being proposed/planed. IMO that would be your best bet.

Personaly if a Developer couldn't tell me how many plants or even the species so I could come up with a $ per hour figure it would send up a "Red light" for me. I'd say "No thanks" but thats me.

Good luck!