Bidding Question

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by gilllawnservice, Apr 4, 2005.

  1. gilllawnservice

    gilllawnservice LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    I am submitting a bid that to me seems high. I'm new to the landscaping part of things but I am convinced that is where the money is. I have yet to land a job but I have utilized all the tools and have phoned around asking for labor rates and this seems to be about the average.

    I have an area close to the street and between the sidewalk which I need to excavate, cover with weed fab, and plant 12 Coral Bells (2 gal), 12 Ornamental Grass (5 gal), 12 Purple Sage (3 gal), 5 Cub Yds of Redwood Mulch, and 3 tons of 2" rock.

    The front of the house requires me to remove the current block edge, install the rock and reinstall the brick pavers (existing).

    Materials alone are at $1615.00

    I figured about 15 hours of work @ $55 an hour. (Is this to high?)

    Total for the job is $2545.35

    Any input you guys can provide would be great.


  2. nocutting

    nocutting LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 530

    Hi, in my area its not uncommon to double the cost of the materials [ usally on larger jobs and kick in another 15-20% for error?.......That seems like apretty easy job [ a day job?]...considering your not getting many jobs , maybe giveing a flat rate for labour wouldnt kill you?....What sounds fair, $600 for your trouble? and you may get another job on the street if this one comes out as nice as it sounds- regards Saxon payup
  3. urbanlandscape

    urbanlandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 47

    Assuming you are buying your materials wholesale, or least with a discount "to the trade", mark your materials at least up to the local retail price. I think your price sounds fair. My area is mostly high end, and I would consider that a reasonable labor estimate, but with a material markup. If you want the work and you are in a less affluent area, than by all means, lower your labor price a bit. But make sure you mark up your materials. We don't get a discount so that it can be passed on to homeowners, it's so we can stay in business. Good luck.
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Here's what I get...$1615 + 20% for your mark-up =
    =$1938.00 materials + add tax///
    15 hours at $45.00 ea =$675.00
    total job no tax included yet =$2613.00

    your take is $998.00 that's fair is it not??
  5. greenwithenvylandscape

    greenwithenvylandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    I'm not attacking you just asking a you have any sales skills or is this your first attemp. Just another way to look at it. Are you going to houses with 3 days of beard? Are you stuttering through the sale? When you say you havn't landed a job yet that's what comes to mind...just a thought
  6. Adamma Landscape Group

    Adamma Landscape Group LawnSite Member
    Messages: 88

    You say you are new. Experience is the best teacher. How would you learm if you do not have the experience. Submit your bid which to me is fair. If you make a lot of money thne that is fine. If you loose that is an experience.
  7. precisioncut

    precisioncut LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 653

    I typically charge a per sq ft price for "regular" jobs, but if they have something out of the ordinary like a pond or 25' palms, those get added as extra cost and labor.
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    I've got to chime in and agree with those that you can't sell your materials at "cost". That is why we get discounts. Now lately I find that the Home Depot and Lowe's are beating my suppliers on a lot of products. If you feel you must match local retail then by all means that is your decision as the contractor and owner of your buisness. NEVER provide a client your discount. This undermines every facet of our industry. For myself, $55/hour sounds high. Especially if your experience level is not on par, BUT I would have atleast doubled your materials. Call backs and warranty issues must be cost accounted to. I personally prefer to figure 2.5 or 3 times materials. If I use a 3x materials figure, it usually includes labor. Also, remember you have stated you will be reinstalling materials that are already on site. Are you responsible for potential breakage or alterations that may require you to alter those materials or aquire substitutes? Always cover yourself. It's a real bummer to find out you wasted time, materials and fuel just to donate money to someone else's well being. I vote for going broke watching TV at home instead if going broke is the end result.
  9. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,275

    Stick with your gut! I am fairly new to estimating...and everytime I go in and change an estimate, I do the job, and find out I should have stuck with my gut. That being said...if your not fast, efficient, and well experienced $55 an hour seems a bit high.
  10. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    There are pavers to remove and re-lay. How many square feet? There is more work to remove and re set than to do an initial installation. You are charging for that?

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