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Commercial Startup/Winterization

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by MikeK, Mar 15, 2004.

  1. MikeK

    MikeK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    Hello All:
    I have until Wed Night to get this Bid in so I was hoping someone could help me out quickly.

    I have to give a bid on Winterizing and Startup for a commercial system.

    Main line is 2 1/2 Inches, It is 55 Zones and the largest zone is 56GPM.
    It is mostly Rotors and the # of heads per zone varies between 10 and 23 heads/Zone
    I realize that I need about 340 CFM to properly winterize, I sould just be able to hook up my (2) 185 CFM compressors, Right?

    What do you guys think?
  2. Crowl-Irrigation

    Crowl-Irrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    You should be able to do it with one compressor. If you have any problems charge the main first then open a station.
  3. MikeK

    MikeK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    I guss I did not state my question clearly.
    What would you guys charge for the Winterization and the Startup of this system?
  4. Crowl-Irrigation

    Crowl-Irrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    55 zones right..Do you have a remote? Or can you set timer to 5 or 6 min test after draining main and last zone? $300 If 2 people needed, 1 to watch stations 1 to run controller. $350 If done right it is a 2 to 3 hour job. Prices should cover you if a station does not work and you have to break out the locator.
  5. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,755

    Commercial that size would be $ 10.00 per zone. For blowout and the same for turn on and check out , repairs additional by the hour.
  6. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    55 zones

    56 gpm


    do you know how long it will take to check 55 zones???

    that will be an all day project...maybe 2 days...with 2 sprinkler techs.

    why would you charge $300 to activate when you can do a few residentials in the same time frame and double your money?

    c'mon guys...


    on a 55 zone system with between 10-23 heads per zone...how many broken heads, lines, wires and valves in this system???


    some one help mikey out.

  7. greenworldh20

    greenworldh20 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 659

    what would i charge?


    you can bid for less and make it up on the repairs.
  8. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    I would do the blow out and start up as a package....but what the hell do I know...it doesn't freeze in Arizona.


    That being said...we hardly ever take on any large commercial stuff without doing it time and materials. We give them an estimate of the time we may spend there and try to stay under it...but we tell them that we cannot promise anything.

    Commercial repair / maintenance can be a money maker this way...if you try to be competitive with other companies, you may not make any money...or worse yet, lose money.

    I made it a policy to contain my excitement over commercial accounts and stick to my guns on my time and materials pricing...and you know what? I still do lots of commercial work and I get to charge for drive time and all the time on site, including time to show the PM what we did when done.

    I would rather do residential work also...but it is hard as hell to pass up an opportunity to do work on commercial sites where I can leave a tech for an extended period of time...no drive time....and make my hourly rate plus markup on parts.

    That being said...if I find out I am competing with another company on a repair/maint. bid for a commercial property...I usually tell them I need to pull myself out of the running and move on....chances are pretty good the other company will screw it up and they will call me back anyway.

    I even go so far as to charge them for estimates on repairs...I tell them it will be $600 bucks to check the entire system and provide them with a detailed written estimate of what needs to be done. If they go with us and let us do the work within 30 days of the estimate, I credit half of that back. Of course I figure that 300 into the bid somewhere....if they don't call me back, I have their $600 for my efforts.

    Good Luck Mike.
  9. MikeK

    MikeK LawnSite Member
    Messages: 145

    Thanks Guys,

    I figured fuel and rental on the compressors would be close to 300. For 300$ I'll stay home.

    I ended up just putting the pencil to it and tried to figure out the time verses the opportunity cost of doing residentials.

    I bid it at 825 for the winterization and 550$ for startup.

    Startup will just cover turning on the system, checking the heads for adjustment and flagging the problem heads. Once we have gone through all of the zones, the clock starts ticking at our regular rate for the repairs.

    I would have prefered to just do an hourly rate for startup but the customer really needed a fixed price for this.

    I think this will be OK, one of the things that is really tough with Resi is scheduling the darn things, this is like doing almost 12 residentials and that is 12 less phone calls our office staff has to take. We are not going to make a ton at this price but I kind of wrote thins one off as a learning expierence.

    I'll find out tuesday if we get the bid, but so far we are about 75$ under the next guy.

    Thanks for all your help
  10. Crowl-Irrigation

    Crowl-Irrigation LawnSite Member
    Messages: 10

    2 days?? We install and service many systems of this size and it has never come close to a full day to drain one.

    If it is your account then it should be a well maintained system. Spring startup and summer checks are a must. As well as a remote.

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