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Did I over Bill this job

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by SEB, Apr 1, 2013.

  1. SEB

    SEB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    Herler I didn't quote the whole other side of the house in the bid. Hence the difference in labor. Labor was suppost to be $350 on Labor for pulling Bush's & laying down fabric & planting bush's on the front side of the house only!!!!

    The Customer wanted to extend the flowerbed to the other side of the house which was about another 300 SF & it was fresh Sod. Once the flower bed was extended this is when the price jumped. I didn't mind using the claw to till up the front of the house where grass was at. But with the whole side that was added after the bid. I had to rent a tiller & thus why the bid went up $250 more dollars & actually would have been more like $350 to $400 had we completed the job bringing the total labor to $750 to $800 for what you see in the pics to pull Bush's & clear beds of old Mulch & set stones 3inchs in the ground & lay Landscape fabric along with planting all plants you see as well as laying down 30 bags of Mulch.

    Also in Hindsight I should have had another man on this job. I spent a solid 3 hours running to the Sand & Stone place to get 3 truck loads of dirt & 1 trip to get the Tiller. which while I was gone I had one guy setting the stones & he was the only guy on the job while I was gone. I handled picking up the dirt & unloading the dirt in a wheel barrow & taking it through the yard & placing it in the bed & raking it. Once my helper finished setting rocks he moved to raking out the dirt & then we both teamed up on laying the Landscape fabric
    Last edited: Apr 1, 2013
  2. Vanderhoff Landscaping

    Vanderhoff Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 396

    30 bags of mulch? Wouldn't it have been cheaper getting it in bulk?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. SEB

    SEB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I did suggest this! But the customer wanted to handle getting the mulch.

    I just don't want to Overbid the customer. I really want to see the job through & finish it. I offered the customer that I would come back out tomorrow & plant the plants & put out the 30 bags of mulch & would not charge her anything to do it. Cause its important to me that my customer is Happy & I would rather lose a little money then to have a bad name.
  4. tonygreek

    tonygreek LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,865

    You shouldn't be eating any of the costs. In some way, shape, or form, everything gets billed to the customer.

    If you own the tiller, the costs associated with it end up with the customer. If you rent the tiller, same deal, albeit much easier to price in. If your cellphone bill is $100 month, this customer is paying for $whatever of it via your overhead factoring.

    Were there no pricing expectations set when she decided to add on to the project? Sounds to me like you're getting worked by her, and not the other way around.
  5. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,392

    I don't see why you'd have a bad name
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. Ben Harris

    Ben Harris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 52

    I would never let my company operate at $40 an hour. I also would never break it into an hourly rate for the customer to view. If they want a detailed bid we give it per service, so there is no disputing. You underbid the job. But, maybe you didn't explain the price jump to her well enough.

    We run into low ball bids all the time during estimates. I don't care what other local companies operate on, I know what we need to have.
  7. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Live and learn

    You always have it in writing even if the job gets bigger so the customer knows what the price is before moving on.
  8. SEB

    SEB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 21

    I appreciate the replys everyone & your advice was also appreciated.

    Ok I do have a couple of questions. Now in hindsight of this last project! What would be a accurate bid on doing the above job. Not just a money bid. But how many men would you have bid for this job & how many man hours to do it. I didn't take in account for setting the stone in the ground. That really took up a solid 4 hours for my guy to set those stones & level them. Also didn't know that Yaupons are rooted way deeper then say a Hawthorne. Do you guys take certain bushs in to account & when removing? How do you know what Bush's are gonna be harder then others? The Hawthorne's came up a lot easier then the Yaupons. I did try to use my truck on removing one. But was afraid to get in my customers yard. But man that sure would have turned that 7 hour day in to about 5 hours yanking all those Bushs out them out with a truck. Next time I will buy a rope & do that way. But the beds where a solid 80 feet from the road and it was late in the day & we had got the Yaupons up & the Hawthornes where a BREEZE compared to the Yaupons. Also the Nandina's came up easy. But their roots made up for it. Spent a solid hour yanking up all the roots from all the Bushes. Its just tough to take that all in to account when you put a bid in.

    So any biding advice on how to bid this type of job would be greatly appreciated!
  9. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Where is the before pic

    Pulling shrubs out who says you have to be in the lawn.
    Removing shrubs from street or from driveway thats why they make log chains.(( not a rope))
    In the areas where you cant pull with a truck I have a Winch stand set up over the shrub and winch them out.

    Your price probably should been 1400-1800
    and add a year warranty on there for the plants
    But if you are happy with your price then keep it at that price
    Never show the rent price blend that in on the labor end.
  10. skorum03

    skorum03 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 354

    I'm thinking that the customer got a pretty nice deal on that job. Some people think we work for free, thats just not the case.

    YardBros Outdoors

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