help!! how much do i charge?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lastimado landscapin, Apr 30, 2003.

  1. lastimado landscapin

    lastimado landscapin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    i was offered a contract with a cabling co. they have 4 crews trenching and running cable. We would have the job of restoration (filling in holes, reseeding, etc.) what do i charge for this? im new to the business, and this is blowing my mind. do i charge by the sq. ft.? is there any money in this? i know that if the co. doesnt have to stop and restore their work, they'll make much more money. help!
  2. Shuter

    Shuter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,171

    You have to figure out all your expenses to complete the job and how much profit margin you need to keep your busniess going and then figure a little for goof factor, then add it up and there is your price. How big are the trenches. 4' wide means alot more work than 6" wide?? Do you have to remove the debris from the trencher or is there a dump site in the construction area?? Little questions like that can add up your time quickly and lower the profit magin.
  3. lastimado landscapin

    lastimado landscapin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    its not a construction site. they trench through residential yards running cable for pp&l and others. they just cut a trench 4ft deep through yards and mulch beds, etc. since they trench all year round. I cant charge as if it was one job. i almost have to charge per foot. Im wondering if i can somehow work in the driving time since they have 4 crews trenching in different places.
  4. The Good Earth

    The Good Earth LawnSite Member
    Messages: 171

    This sounds like a pretty good gig. It seems as if it can be profitable if, and there is always an if, they let the crews get a couple of days ahead of you.

    If they let the crews get a couple of days ahead then you could charge them daily by the square foot. For example: say crew "a" is knocking down 4,000 foot of cable a day. Figure the trench is 1.5 feet wide. That would be 6,000 square feet per day. So you have to go and fill in the trench, fix the mulch, yada yada yada. You give that crew 3 days head start that gives you 1 day to repair 18,000 square feet. Give the company a price of $.075 per square foot. That includes filling the trench, seeding, and fixing the mulch. Every 3 days each crew is giving you $1,350.00 worth of work. Thats $5,400.00 by Thursday if you start on Monday.

    I don't know how you plan to seed it but I gotta believe that a hydroseeder would be the most effecient. Seed at $1.19 per lb. of a 50/50 mix applied at a rate of 3 lbs. per thousand gives you a total of $64.26 in seed, figure another $20 or so for starter fert, about $75 or so for hydromulch and say 15 bags of mulch for bed repair at $2.75 a bag and you have right around $200 in materials per day.

    I gotta think 2 employees should be able to knock out that workload in an 8 hour day. I don't know what you pay but I'm thinking around $195 per day in labor costs.

    That leaves $955 per day for screw up costs. I know my ying-yangs can screw some stuff up but I gotta believe that if they went that far overboard that 2 of us would be walking in but only one of us is coming out!! :D
  5. lastimado landscapin

    lastimado landscapin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    nice, i like your math. it makes me wanna jump up and down.
    as far as the labor, i really got hooked up cuz the guy that'll be working with me actually worked for the cabling co. he walked me right into the boss and hooked the whole thing up. it was like a dream. I was thanking god that i didnt have too many lawns to mow. Im really glad that i opted to buy the stake body dump truck its going to pay for itself, and it gave me credibillity from the jump.
    im going to be looking at getting a power tamper, and maybe a bobcat to help me keep up with the other crews.
    usually the crew themselves do the restoration. they take pics before so that they know what it should look like. most of the time they just push the dirt in the hole, throw some seed on it and straw, and they're out. they use the cheapest contractor grade seed and all. they also have a contract with a place right across the streed that will furnish the extra topsoil. it almost sounds too good to be true. Ill let you know how it goes. who knows maybe ill send you some pics of my new hummer ill buy when i get all this dough!:D a grand a day, ill be set. I was thinking $1 a foot, but i think ill cut them a deal since its thousands of feet a day.
  6. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 661

    Not to be a wet blanket, but, around here they have to repair each yard the way it was. If yard A has bermuda and yard B has Zoysia then thats what has to go back.
    The same with mulch. If its pine or hardwood or cypress.
    That could add up if you have to change what supplies you have for every yard.
  7. lastimado landscapin

    lastimado landscapin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    when the co restores. they just throw down contractor grade seed,and put the old mulch in the hole.

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