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Help on bidding a job Please

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by Newbie07, Jun 5, 2005.

  1. Newbie07

    Newbie07 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Aaaaaahhhhhhh :help: :help: :help: O.K. We have not done many jobs and we wanted to get your advice on pricing for a job. It is a landscaping job and so far in our jobs we have grossly underestimated and pretty much just plain gotten ripped off. The woman wants us to weed the beds which are pretty overgrown, and then put down the metal border. That is in the front of the house. The beds are about 10 foot by 3 foot and 15 foot by 3 foot. She also wants it on some trees. In the back she wants it weeded, fill dirt put in, weed blocker( the rubber tarp stuff) and then mulch. It all around a pool but the pool is fairly small. She has supplied all of the material. We are pretty much just the laborers. We would love all inputs on a fair price, per hour or a total sum. there will be three of us working and we will supply all of the tools.

    Travis Whitlock
  2. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    50-60 per man hour, 3 kids, at 180 per hour.....8 hour work? 1400 dollars, i dont see how they are going to trust kids with a job like that who are not insured.......
  3. Cimarron Landscape

    Cimarron Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    I'm not going to say anything but:
    I've done projects much bigger than this and no one has asked about insurance. Sure, much better if you've got it, but here it's not required, nor the standard. Don't assume he's uninsured unless he says so.

    Plus, the work being done isn't qualified as 'dangerous'. I take out LARGE trees regularly, next to houses, fences, etc. No problems, no questions.

    I'm still learning on my bids, so don't want to give you any bad advice travis. Good luck though. Ignore the B.S.
  4. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    1st of all I would not agree to do the work around the trees if she wants you to add soil and rubber around them.Just weed them or you may be liable for killing them .Anyway the beds are overgrown but you are young and strong and no biggie there.If you have to use three guys you gonna be making alot less $$.But to bid it sight unseen I would say $850.00
    That is if she does not add on anything as you are doing it,this she will try to do,dont let her get away with it.As soon as she says to you or one of the others :"Oh I was wondering ,while you doing that could you also ........for me?"Stop and tell her that the price will be more if you do and make it high.Really though to give a good bid I need pictures.
  5. Newbie07

    Newbie07 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 138

    Thank YOu very much for the replies. i appreciate all the help. Can you explain to me how you go the 850 please for in the futures. is this by the hour or is this just a total of all the work done. We had thought about charging about 8 dollars and hour per person so arouns 24 dollars. We thought it would take about 10 to 12 hours so that would be around 240-290. Also she is supplying materials. For future how much do you add if you have to go and get everything. If you could brake down the 850 it owuld be awesome. We are going to be juniors in highschool next year. i don't think that they will pay a huge amount to a bunch of nobody punk highschool kids. Then again i don;t want to work my butt off for nothing. Thank you very much for all of the help and responses. Thank you sheshovel.
  6. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    First of all, with respect to insurance, and as always I could be wrong but I think that if a few minors are doing work for a homeowner, the homeowner is technically an employer. If you destroy her property or kill someone, she could sue you, but I believe that if you cut your arm off, you could sue her too.

    Second, I think that $8 per hour per person is fine for a high school junior. When I was in high school, I sometimes pulled weeds, cleaned gutters, etc for about the same rate. Pay attention to the stuff that she provides, what it cost her and how much time it took her to get the stuff. Think about the time it takes you to actually land a job. Think about the tools you need and how much it will cost to replace them when they break. These are the things (among many others) that will need to be covered by your bids, eventually.

    If I were you, I'd do a handful of jobs and then got talk to some local landscapers and tell them what kind of work you've been doing and see if you can get a job. I did spring and fall cleanups for a while in high school. You will have all the work you can handle, you'll probably get the same $8 per hour (or pretty close) and you'll get to see a lot more about running a business (any business).

    If you can't get a job with a landscaper, keep doing what you do and slowly add new services and slowly increase your bids to cover some of these expenses as you understand exactly what they are.

    You might even barter your work for some face to face time with a successful local business owner. If you work for two hours, maybe someone will give you a two hour lesson over lunch on the things they wish they knew when they were first starting out.
  7. rick2752

    rick2752 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 161

    Even as a highschool kid I wouldnt take less that 10 an hour per man. You are supplying the tools. You are giving her a deal as is, as we would all mark up the material as well. Good Luck!
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    OK bid it at $375.00.How did I get my price before?Off the top of my head thats how.How did I get my price now?Expierence that's how.It's always gonna take you longer and be harder than you think it will at first so charge accordingly.I did not know how old you were and nobody is a nobody.
  9. daveintoledo

    daveintoledo LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,587

    son, just because they dont ask doesnt mean you shouldnt have it, and kids cant get insurance, my point is, competative pricing, if a person has a legitimate business they have overhead, insurance, licences, workers comp is very expensive, so this comes into the bidding process. if you dont have those things your able to lowball jobs from legitamate companies.......

    and speaking of workers comp what if one of your workers gets hurt, what do you do
  10. Cimarron Landscape

    Cimarron Landscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 72

    I charge 15-20 per hour if done by Time and Materials and 25-30 per man hour when it's a complete bid. I would think LONG and hard about going lower than $12 an hour. I have more work than I can handle here. From what I know, I have a competitive but not low-balled price for this area.

    For my area, you can't hire a mexican for less than $10/hr. They are unskilled labor. Your area may be different, but I would up your amount per hour significantly.

    Like I said, I'm still learning on my bids. I'll probably be told this form doesn't work, but it currently does for me.

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