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Formula's for Commercial Bidding

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by GravelyWoman, Jun 11, 2012.

  1. GravelyWoman

    GravelyWoman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Hi All! I am in currently pulling together a request for a commercial installation that includes a total of 368 plants and 28 trees (staked). Also, 9 pallets of sod and a 4 zone irrigation zone. I have already received in the cost for the supplies and it comes out to around $10,500.00 for all. I know how much I usually charge per man/hour for residential landscape jobs, but do you use the same for larger? I am estimating around 40 hours for all to be installed.
    Any help you can offer would be greatly appreciated! Thanks in advance! And yes I have already searched the forum and I did not see anything this specific.

  2. Snyder's Lawn Inc

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

    Sound little low on the hours
    today I was doing a Job calls for 600yrds of sod I was preping the ground to get ready to lay sod
    3 guys we had total of 20 hrs and only got 2/3 ofit ready
    with out seeing your blueprints or seeing the job had to price inthe dark
    I have never seen a dirt contactor know what a final grade looks like Landscapers gets BS end of the deal and have to pick up all the rocks the dirt contactor trys to hide
  3. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,143

    Your labor rate should be the same no matter what kind of job that you are bidding. Just because you're bidding a commercial project it doesn't mean that your labor or overhead costs will be any less. Your final price should be Labor + Materials + Overhead + tax on materials + profit. The only variables are the number of man hours needed to do the job and the cost of the materials. Your overhead should be a pretty constant number from project to project and profit is basically what you want to make on the job. I shoot for a net of 25% on most of our commercial projects. You really need to sharpen you pencil on the number of man hours needed to complete the job and make sure that your number is as accurate as possible. That number will make or break the project for you. Not having seen the plans or the specifics and just looking at what you have posted I think that your labor numbers are way low.
  4. starry night

    starry night LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,262

    Apparently you haven't done a job of this scope before or you would not be estimating only 40 hours. If you are not careful, you'll probably end up as the low bidder!
  5. C Jovingo Landscaping

    C Jovingo Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 436

    Yes, recheck ur labor! 40hrs = 2400 minutes & 368 plants & 28 trees = 396 things to be planted. 2400 divided by 396 gives u abt 6 minutes to plant each thing. If u do plant in 6 minutes each that leaves no time left for sod & irrigation.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. GravelyWoman

    GravelyWoman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 75

    Thanks everyone! I really appreciate the feedback! I am so glad I tossed this out to you guys and yes I am definitely adding labor hours to the job! I didn't even consider the dirt and rock factor!!

  7. Duekster

    Duekster LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 7,961

    Hard to estimate production with out plant sizes and how they are placed. You can rock on 4" pots 6" OC. Maybe planting around 100 per hour with an experianced crew but estimate 60. Or you may go to 40 per hour to include some bed prep. On the otherhand a you might get 4 - 7 gallon shubs planted per hour.

    Also do you have to guarantee the plants surviving?
  8. Mark Oomkes

    Mark Oomkes LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 15,222

    What he said.

    What he said.

    What size "plants"?

    What size trees? If these trees are of any size B&B, I would figure close to 29 hours just installing the trees. (Sounds high, but when you factor in unloading, placing, digging, etc, it isn't)

    I have no idea about irrigation installs.

    How many yards or square feet of sod? I come up with 675 yards based on 75 rolls per pallet.

    Are you doing the lawn prep as well as sod install?

    What about mobilization, pickup\delivery, travel time, etc, etc?

    I will tell you this, you bid it at 40 hours and you are guaranteed to get the job.

    One other question regarding the trees, how big and who says they need to be staked? Most trees (at least by me) don't need to be staked, there are just a bunch of stupid landscape architects that have never been in the real world and never read any studies by numerous universities stating staking does more harm than good overall.
  9. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,143

    Also, don't forget that you need to account for drive time. I have no idea how far this project is from your yard/shop or how many men you have but if they are sitting in a truck driving to a job you need to account for this time as well in your bid. That time is still costing you money so you'd better make sure that you're billing for it! You also need to account for and estimate any time spent picking up materials as well (if they are not being delivered directly to the site).
  10. muddywater

    muddywater LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,813

    368 3 gallon plants - 3 days with 3 guys 90 man hours using a dingo with auger

    28 trees - 1 day with 3 guys with dingo and auger - 30 man hours

    9 pallets of sod - prep and lay in 1 day with 3 guys and dingo/harley rake to prep and skid steer to move pallets around - 30 man hours

    4 zone irrigation system - 1 day with 3 guys - 30 man hours + $500 mark up on materials

    Total man hours - 180 man hours @ $40 per man hour plus materials plus $500 mark up on irrigation materials

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