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Fist Commercial Bid, Please Help

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by Icemanku, Jan 14, 2008.

  1. Icemanku

    Icemanku LawnSite Member
    Messages: 190

    I've never bid commercial accounts before and need some help.

    I'm not sure how big this complex is yet, but how do I negotiate? Do I ask the current bid price?

    If I get the contract can I just outsource a local chemical supplier to do that part? (I don't have a license yet)

    Please advise

    Here it is:

    · Mowing and edging all turf areas at least once per week during Spring through Fall growing months.

    · Mowing shall not remove more that one and one-half inches of the above-ground grass.
    The turf shall be cut at a uniform height (no scalping or uneven cutting).

    · Mowing and edging as necessary to maintain a manicured turf during dormant Winter months.

    · Raking of leaves to be performed as needed to maintain appearance.

    · At the conclusion of each visit, walks adjacent to work areas are to be swept or blown clean.

    Turf Fertilization and Pest Control:

    · All turf areas are to be fertilized at least two times per year.

    · Monitoring continuously for weed infestations and taking timely measures to treat with appropriate herbicide.

    · To be spot treated with appropriate fungicide as needed to maintain appearance.

    · To be spot treated as often as necessary with appropriate insecticide to control soil pests.

    Shrub and Ground Cover Beds:

    · To be maintained weed free, as needed, using appropriate chemicals and manual weeding.

    · Destruction or removal of flowering plants or shrubs shall not be done without prior approval of the Property Manager.

    · Applications of fertilizers shall be carried out throughout the year to maintain proper nutrient levels. The day of application shall be coordinated with the operation of the automatic irrigation system to assure watering the day after application.

    · Hedge and other type of shrubbery to be trimmed as necessary to maintain a manicured appearance.

    · All shrubbery along concrete areas will be kept trimmed back to the concrete line. Shrubbery will be kept free of vines.

    · To be spot treated with appropriate insecticides and fungicides as necessary. Such treatments shall be coordinated with the Grounds Committee Chairperson prior to application

    · All shrub and ground cover will be weeded weekly and beds will be aerated once a month during the months of March through October and November through February as needed.

    · All areas of poison ivy or poison oak shall be sprayed regularly with an appropriate material until it is completely killed and removed.

    Landscape Trees (4" Caliper or Less):

    · To be lightly pruned as necessary (at least once a month during the growing season).

    · To be kept free of sucker growth.

    · To be spot treated with appropriate insecticides as necessary.

    Large Trees (Greater Than 4" Caliper):

    · Keep trees free of vines. Tree limbs will be kept free of vines in all areas at all times.

    · The maintenance contractor shall watch for insect and disease infestations and other tree damage such as lightning and vehicle damage at all times. The maintenance contractor shall notify the Property Manager immediately of such damage or disease so that the association can take corrective action

    · To be kept free of sucker growth.

    · All trees over roadways will be kept trimmed to a height of nine feet above the road. All other trees, particularly over sidewalks and driveways, will be kept trimmed to a height of seven feet above the ground.

    · During November through March, effort will be concentrated on fallen leaf removal and removal of all dead tree limbs.

    Replacement of Dead or Stolen Plant Materials:

    · The contractor will provide a bid to replace dead or stolen plant materials within seven days after observation or notified of same.

    · Any damage to the installed irrigation systems caused by the contractor shall be repaired by the contractor within 24 hours at no expense to the owners.

    Debris, Trash and Litter:
    · Normal trash and litter will be removed from all lawn and landscape areas, including drive areas, on a weekly basis.
    · All debris resulting from any and all landscape work by the contractor shall be removed before the contractor leaves the project.
    · In using blowers for debris removal, the contractor shall not blow any material onto lawns, ground cover, bushes or other planted areas.

    Paved Areas:
    · All sidewalks, curb lines, and concrete slabs shall be mechanically edged as needed to maintain a neat, clean appearance.
    · At the parking area perimeters and paving joints, weeds and grasses are to be controlled with contact herbicide sprays and/or manual weeding are required.

    General Provisions:
    · The contractor shall provide adequate supervision to assure that all work will be done in accordance with these specifications.
    · The project will be inspected by supervisory personnel after each visit of the contractor and randomly checked by a member of the Grounds Committee.
    · Costs for normal supplies such as fertilizer, insecticides, weed treatments, etc. shall be born by the contractor.
    · The negotiated contract shall be in force for twelve (12) months. The contract may be canceled by either party after providing sixty (60) days written notification of same
    · The contractor shall pay all payroll taxes and other related costs such as social security, employment insurance, workmen's compensation, etc.
    · The contractor shall repair or replace any damaged project property resulting from negligence or overt acts by the contractor.
    · The contract shall accept responsibility for loss or damage to property, or bodily injury resulting from its negligent performance of service.
    · Under separate cover, the contractor shall forward to the Property Manager Certificate of Insurance evidencing coverage of: " Workmen's Compensation " "Comprehensive General Liability", " Automobile Liability."

    Additional Items to be Included:
    · Neither the contractor nor his employees shall make use of amenities of the association.
    · The contractor and his employees shall exercise due care in parking vehicles and equipment in a manner that will not interfere with home owners and their guests normal use of the driveways and streets.
    · Pouring of fuel into equipment shall not be done over planted areas. Pouring of fuel over any paved surface shall be done in such a manner as to avoid surface damage.
    · Contractor and his employees shall have the right to enter, at all reasonable times during daylight hours, those private areas owned by individual members of the association lying between the streets and the fences. Entry into fenced areas surrounding the individual member's homes is not permitted without the owner's approval. Trimming of plantings within home owner's fenced areas is prohibited.

    * The contractor shall not begin the operation of mechanical equipment before 7:30 a.m.
  2. packey

    packey LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 556

    Most companys will not give you current bid price. It sounds like this is an hoa set up Here is what I have learned about hoa's You better do a really good job because someone will nit pick every thing you do. They will expect grass to be within a certain height no shorter no taller. They beleive they are doing you a favor by hiring you to do their work and you are expendable. With that said they are my biggest best paying ckients. .
    To bid go walk through the grounds take your time take a camera, a video camera is great and video the grounds. use a measureing wheel to get current square footage of manicured areas, and beds. Take time to make note of where all sprikler heads are some do to outside conditions could be really close to the soil level or higher. Look for other obsticles that will be in your way. Think through every part get it in your mind how lone it will take to mow, weedeat, edge all area. Note if you have alot of weeds to treat.. All of these things will take time. I woulld figure my cutting price by square foot. my edgeing and weedeating by linear foot I would have a bid for bed work separte of at least a price for the labor.
    The square footage you come up with will also help you find a sub for your fertilization. Make sure you know what that will cost before putting in a bid.

    Is this the form they sent you if so find out what they are talking about when they mention debris being blown onto the lawn. It is common practice to plow dust and grass clippings back onto cut lawn but it sounds like this is going to be a no no. This may be one of those places where you will need to bag everything and find a place to dispose of later. If so this will take a lot of extra time.
  3. IndyChad

    IndyChad LawnSite Member
    from Indiana
    Messages: 216

    It does not matter what the bid from the company last year was! Figure up all of your cost: license by the state to have a business, insurance (liability, workers comp), fuel, equipment, continuing education, electric, administrative cost, etc. These factors are just as, if not, more important than the time it takes you to service the property. If you just go in and give them a lower price than they had last year, you will have yourself a problem without knowing YOUR cost.
  4. Kortas

    Kortas LawnSite Member
    from Arizona
    Messages: 40

    Keep us posted on how this works out.

    I'm getting ready to enter this arena as well, and I'm interested to see your results.

    I got 2 requests this week for commercial but refused them both at this point.
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Is it a Wal-Mart??? kinda sounds like their agreement.
  6. Ooomwizard

    Ooomwizard LawnSite Senior Member
    from atlanta
    Messages: 296

    Don't get bogged down by all their gobbledegook. Want they want is basic lawn care, shrub care, (and maybe some color changes). Figure out how much time and materials it'll take (your costs) and bid on how much profit you want. Basic business.

    Often you can get by with HD or Lowes for fertilizer and weed control. And, in many areas no license is necessary.

    Mark in ATL
  7. Meehan47

    Meehan47 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 33


    I am in the same situation as you. I received a bid package for a local hospital. It is filled with long, drawn out procedures that basically equal "basic lawn care service".

    I do however have a few questions. I was going to create a bid sheet on excel, is that sufficient? I would be very detailed in the description for each service.

    The specification sheet also requires 1 application of fertilizer to shrubs. These shrubs are mature shrubs, is a basic granular shrub fertilizer sufficient?

    It also wants a "per unit rate for fall cleanup and removal", what do they mean by unit? per truck load?

    This property is requesting the mulch to be 100% oak bark mulch. To my knowledge, the mulch that I purchase at the landscape supply store is not oak mulch. The current mulch from last year looks to be "double shredded" mulch. The property is having pre-bid visits sometime next week, so I will be asking alot of questions.

    Anyone with experience please lend some advice.....thanks
  8. artisan lawns

    artisan lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    We picked up a good commercial contract this year in Texas and I am now finding out the insurance requirements are next to impossible to secure. I did the up front work with the insurance agent regarding requirements and got a thumbs up from both the agent and the client only to find out now my auto policy wil not work due to specific verbage requirements. Anyone else had to work through this issue with a big nationwide client?

  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    What is the specific language??

    Are you trying to use a personal policy but for commercial uses?

    The only problem I usually run into is I run without employees, and usually the companies don't understand why I don't have work comp on the insurance certificate.
  10. artisan lawns

    artisan lawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    1) it is a commercial policy
    issues with the following on the certificate
    additional insured listing **
    primary & non contributory clause***

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