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Didn't get the big one....

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by D Felix, Mar 13, 2004.

  1. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    Ok, I've been hinting at it in various threads over the last month or so, I just recently put a $$ amount to it in the thread on how the bids are going thus far....

    Somewhat short, but with a not-so-sweet ending:

    The local college has aquired a large tract of land. Approximately half of the acreage was donated by an aggregate company and the acreage had formerly been used as a gravel quarry. The quarry has a 4-5 acre lake which is mostly around 4' deep, and the quarry walls are around 70-80' in hieght. To give you an idea of size, it is around 2 1/2 miles around the rim of the quarry. The land also borders a large creek, probably the biggest in the county.

    Oh, yeah, I should probably tell you what the intended use for the land is now. The college is developing it into a nature park, with approximately 10 miles of trails.

    The college hired what will call a general contractor to oversee the construction. We contacted the GC back in October about the project, and had been in contact with them on a fairly regular basis since then.

    We decided to act as the "prime" contractor, and attempt to do all of the work, either in-house or with subs. Even though we are currently only a company of three people, I felt pretty confident in the plan that we came up with. We had subs to do the clearing work, wider trails (basically roads), bridges and fencing. Had we been awarded the contract, I would have been running the show at the site, with my two bosses working on the landscape install and maintenance that has kept us in business to this point. We would have been needing to find 7 or so people to hire, which wouldn't have been a problem.

    Anyway, we submitted the bid about 2 weeks ago. We had broken every activity out from spreading the aggregate surface fines, to trail clearing, to seeding, and on, and on. We were using Excel, and were down over 500 rows on ONE sheet. While I'm not going to give specific numbers, our bid, with our subs included, plus our management fees, was over $900k. It would not have been a bad job for a company that grossed much less than a third of that amount last year! And this job was going to be 99% labor and equipment. Virtually no materials!

    Found out last week that the reccommendation had been made to the college to use THREE companies. The three companies are basically all excavation/bulldozing companies. I can only imagine what kind of p*ssing matches will be going on, and how big of a cluster f--- it will be.

    From what we were told, we were in the middle to high range of bidders. We bid on everything, submitted a complete bid. Again, we were told very few submitted complete bids. Probably us, and one, maybe two other companies. I think there was about 10-12 companies on the contact list, of those, at least 3 of them were associated with us. And not all of them submitted bids. So we didn't have a LOT of competition.

    I'm not too upset about not getting the job. I really didn't expect us to, though I did think we had a good shot at it.

    Oh, well. The phone has been ringing the past couple of days, I'm sure it'll keep ringing even more in the coming weeks.

    In our market, if we could land a $30k job every year we'd probably be happy.:)

    I've rambled long enough. So much for this being the short version....:D

  2. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Thanks for the update Dan ...better luck next time.

    You mentioned that they went with 3 companies...were they all low biders? Were you privy to all their numbers like a public tender?
  3. Russ

    Russ LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 540

    GOOD LUCK with the next one. It's kinda like fishin, the big one always seems to get away. When will the silvers be in the creek?
  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    If I had a dollar for every time I heard my wife say that..........
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    LOL @ Randy..................
  6. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    We don't know what they bid. By our figuring, in order for them to pick and choose like the did, the combined total must have been between 50-75% of what we bid. Otherwise it would have made sense to go with someone who bid on everything as a "prime" and let them deal with the headaches.

    There is no way we could have bid that low though. We may have been able to come down $50k or so, but that would have only been profitable if EVERYTHING went right with the weather and equipment. Anyone in central IN remembers how much rain we had last summer, so it's easy to understand why that was a consideration. For those that don't live here, we lost over a month of working days due to rain between April and October. There were more that we lost because it was simply too wet...

    As for the "silvers" being in the creek, well, I'm halfway expecting the GC to call in July wanting us to finish because the companies they used can't finish for what they bid. If not that, well, we've gotten our name out there more, so it'll eventually pay off.:)


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