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big commercial job

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by DiSantolandscaping, Dec 2, 2011.

  1. DiSantolandscaping

    DiSantolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 345

    ok so im looking to do more of the commercial site work with landscaping not so much mowing. i got a big job to bid for next season. my ? is can i start off doing this? I need help with erosion control and digging up and adding and moving new and existing catch basins, sawing pavement, and laying drains. I have never done this type of stuff before but i got a really good equipment operator at my disposal.
  2. DiSantolandscaping

    DiSantolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 345

    my other question is when reading blue prints do i need to look at only civil plans 1 and 2, and then arch site plan? theirs some demo and then some site work, but then theirs paving and so on as well.
  3. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    Yur getting in way over yur head for a first time job.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. DiSantolandscaping

    DiSantolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 345

    i might be but thats pretty much all the work we can get around here because their is five hundred lcos that just mow and blow or mow only for 10 bucks a yard. so i keep getting jobs to bid on from a gc and the total for them building and renovating the whole job is 3 million. so im thinking at most 600 thousand would go towards site work, the rest in to the building aspects of the new building and reno of the current buildng.
  5. DiSantolandscaping

    DiSantolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 345

    for the sewer trench the pipes must be at least 6 ft deep from top of the pipe to ground level and max 24 in wide. its basic stuff just the paving and catch basin and erosion is what i dont knwo about.
  6. LindblomRJ

    LindblomRJ LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,570

    Yup. You might have an operator at your ready, but lacking the knowledge to tackle this is asking for trouble. Drainage and erosion control is nothing you'd ever want to screw up. Done wrong it can bring down buildings and cause you all sorts of heart ache.

    But the sounds of your questions, you are not ready.
  7. JB1

    JB1 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,904

    the best thing that could happen to you on this bid is you don't get it.
  8. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    Be very careful because there are things that you are not likely to consider. One example is that you may see a plan that shows twenty shrubs to be planted and you will price it to pay for plants, labor, amendments, profit, and warranty. Then you go to plant them and there needs to be three feet of fill added just to bring the grade up for those plants.
    A red flag goes up right away when a GC is looking for bids from a small, or new, or inexperienced contractor. You have to wonder why a GC would not stick with familiar contractors who he knows exactly how they are at doing things, how fast they are, and how little assistance they need. It is very high risk for a GC to bring in a new guy. It is all about efficiency and the bottom line. Most likely, you are being asked to bid in order to fill a minimum quota of bidders, but it is also possible that they may be counting on your inexperience to under bid the job and take advantage. It may also be that they want to help "their guy" by getting bids by some that they can disqualify while keeping out other viable candidates.
    There is a lot of work in putting together a bid. Some bidders won't bother when they think there are too many other bidders or a few that will be much lower.
    I can't help but think you are being used in one way or another.
  9. thunderthud

    thunderthud LawnSite Member
    Messages: 127

    I don't know a fraction of what you're bidding and it frightens me.

    Sewer pipe is laid with a laser. Do you have one? Experience running one? You need to set the slope correctly or the entire system is screwed. You can set it by transit, but even that is tricky.

    Drainage, you gloss over the trench. A 6 foot deep trench needs to either be shored or be sloped back at the appropriate angle. Are you a laborer capable of setting shoring and setting pipe while the operator is above you? Ground level isn't an answer, it is subgrade, finish grade, some other grade?

    How deep are the cuts actually? 6 foot deep in one part could be 20 feet deep in another.

    What are the conditions under the site? Is there ledge? Do you have a contract with Maine Drilling and Blasting? Do you have a hammer or access to a hammer on short notice?

    How are you bedding the pipe? I usually use a loader. In tight spots I have to use a bedding box. Do you have one or access to one? Did you estimate how much bedding you'll actually need on site and how you're getting it all there?

    You mention catch basins. When I hear that, and think how big are the structures? On my commercial building sites I set structures with a R924 Liebherr zero swing and it struggles with some of them, sometimes I have to use a R944 which is a vastly larger machine requiring a oversize lowbed move. If you get in over your head with this, you will lose your shirt with just one machine move.

    In another thread I said I only sub out two things, I was wrong I sub three: Paving being the third. You hire pros to do asphalt work. There is a talent to doing it right. Patching, I'll do. Curb to curb is always the same guy.

    Oh yeah, curbing. Is there curbing? Have you ever set curbing? There is another dance between man and machine that takes experience to do it quickly and correctly.

    If you're asking questions like this, you've probably never done this kind of site work. But you simply cannot get big commercial work with no experience doing it. You will get run over.

    You can, however, look for smaller work like foundations and sidewalks to get your foot in the door. Once you've done a lateral sewer connection, then you've got some sewer experience. Go take the Presby EnviroSeptic class and get certified to do that system. They'll teach you some great basics you can put to use.

    At this point you need knowledge, not work that will swamp you. I never like telling someone you can't do it. But for your own security, you can't do it. At best you'll do amateur work and the GC will seize your bond, at worst you're being used as another bid in the packet to drive down prices.
  10. vtscaper

    vtscaper LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

    heed the above wisdom

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