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Estimating Massive Job!

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by John’s Lawn Co, Feb 24, 2020.

  1. John’s Lawn Co

    John’s Lawn Co LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    Hey yall, hope everyone had a great offseason for those not plowing, but back into the swing of things this spring, getting rammed with estimates when I came across a large hardscaping project so curious to see what you guys think in terms of price. I've always done walkways, patios, smaller stuff but this project has everything: steps, concrete removal, paver overlays, retaining walls, a firepit, huge 20 by 20 patio, I mean the works Lol. So even though these people want everything done at once they want the price broken up, just looking at the work me personally I think were looking at close to 20K but I got to break it up and any other job related insights are also welcome. So there's three different parts and I'll attach images as well so you can take a look

    Image Link https://imgur.com/a/Ak4gs4P

    1. Installing a 24 by 24 paver patio (576 square feet), Wood Burning paver firepit (probably 125 square feet of material), and redoing the walkway leading down to the new patio (125 square feet of material) add in some waste and around 880 square feet. Also regarding the steps I'll have to see, I might have to leave some of the original brick as the door and window seems to be framed around it...great.
    What I'm Thinking- $9,500

    2.Installing 38 ft 2 tier modular block retaining wall, replacing timber beams with modular block and capstones, replacing walkway areas, installing small downspot drain with pop up emitter, (560 square feet)
    What I'm Thinking- $7,200

    3. Ripping up 50 ft long, 3 ft wide, 2 inches deep of concrete walkway, replacing with paver walkway extending that out another foot so 200 ft of pavers, and I figure the structural integrity of the slab by the door is fine and we can get away with an overlay as opposed to more demolition so probably another 100 square feet all in all well say 400 square feet of pavers.
    What I'm Thinking- $6,200
    Total $22,900

    What do you guys think, thanks a million, any input is appreciated!
    Last edited: Feb 24, 2020
    Cam15 likes this.
  2. rclawn

    rclawn LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,418

    Make sure you know what you’re doing, don’t want to see you end up in court now son!
  3. Mac-s Lawn & Snow

    Mac-s Lawn & Snow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 459

    We can't see where you are in the country and prices vary from state to state. Your pricing model seems a little lower than mine when I just look at sq. ft. totals. It a larger job though and that usually affects pricing. Here's my take on it all. In the bid, I'd say the total is for all the work in the bid and the pricing for any one section of the bid will go up if the customer doesn't go for the entire project. Good luck and let us know if you get the job and how it goes.
    MattZ28, cotyledon and Cam15 like this.
  4. clcare2

    clcare2 LawnSite Member
    from indiana
    Messages: 242

    I would be closer to 20$ a sq ft for the pavers with normal prep.
    Concrete removal would make it much higher.
  5. Hayduke

    Hayduke LawnSite Senior Member
    from Oregon
    Messages: 289

    As you will hear over and over again on this site, if you don't know how to bid a job based on your actual costs and documented production rates plus what your local market will bear, you probably shouldn't be doing it. That being said, everyone eventually runs into a job that's bigger than they have ever done, so you have to start somewhere.
    Your pricing looks extremely low, but I am also in an area of the country where cost of living is 25% higher than national average. Just be prepared to lose money or not get the job if you don't know your realtime production rates and costs. If this is a big job for you and you are used to doing jobs much smaller, then you have to be very careful not to overlook some small details that on a large job can quickly add up to lots of additional materials and/or labor costs.
    I underbid a large job by $15,000 in my second year. Paid my suppliers and employees, but not myself or my company...sucked
    jlbf0786, Mdirrigation and MattZ28 like this.
  6. Jimmythegreek

    Jimmythegreek LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 26

    judging by the site pics you have easy access. they also spent some bucks on a trex deck and a new HDTV lol. the wall is simple and easy, very little grade change. the biggest thing is the concrete demo and removal and then the base prep. Your #s are low to me for my area, but I dont know what operation you have setup. You a 1 man show with a helper or two or ? No offense by that, I just read massive job and looked at pics and #s and its basic to me. But if you mainly do little stuff I can see you thinking its alot. 2 things are the wall and that walkway go hand in hand, you need one to do the other so thats tied together. the back steps arent hard, if brick is embedded you cut them flush and butt to them and flash over the top and hide the cutoffs. What are you digging with and moving materials? if you own equipment thats fine but if you are renting equipment like an excavator and skidsteer your gonna make day pay in the end and no profit. how do you plan to haul off the concrete and the excavated dirt? thats gonna cost some $$ if you dont have a dumptruck. theres a fine line between getting a job and making it worth it. alot of smaller guys really want a job for the experience and they need the work, but there has to be enough skin in it for you to own that job down the road and deal with the headaches of it all. how much experience do you have with pavers and retaining walls in general?
    MattZ28 likes this.
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,773

    I have written extensively over the last 20 years on this site how to price a job.

    Use the site’s search feature and search my name, for threads I have created.

    And Square foot pricing is bad idea. Don’t do it.

    The state you’re in has nothing to do with production hours. To price a job, you need to know production time.

    Make sure you’re properly licensed, if
    Your state / county requires.
    Mdirrigation, hort101 and Mark Stark like this.
  8. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,214

    Nothing in that price to clean up/repair surrounding landscaping after construction traffic.
    Mobilization , trucking/delivery , lay down area (this stuff has to get there some how)

    I’d say over all the price is 20-25% too low
    Doesn’t matter if this is Texas or New Delhi
    Those things still have to happen and aren’t incidental.

    $20,000 isn’t a large project
    When you get into larger projects (real ones) then those details becoming really apparent and then you remember to include them on everything

    typically when I’m doing a backyard project , it’s going to involve dismantling a fence and running over a landscaped area that needs to be put back together when I’m done,
    And if you think you’re going to drop off and store your materials in their driveway during construction 1) think again and 2) now you’ll need to repair dings, dents, cracks and stains in their asphalt.
    Reseeding lawn areas are cheaper
    Mdirrigation likes this.
  9. AztlanLC

    AztlanLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,064

    I quick math and I'm about at 45-55k once completed, to me your prices are very low, to be honest, if you have no idea how to price these jobs do you think you will be able to do this properly? why not sub a company and markup their price and you get to see how is properly done, not trying to be an ******* just trying to help here

    THIESSENS TLC LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,010

    Off the top of my head by looking at your photos and brief discription, I’d be somewhere around the $40k-$45k mark. I just finished pricing a job for around $77k for a patio, pergola, gas fireplace, wall & pillars with built in water feature, led lights & gardens. It would be my biggest job yet if I get it. But the patio alone will cost around $30k. I think you have the right idea by pricing out each section individually, just make you sure you account for EVERYTHING!

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