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How to Layout your estimate

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Unitedlawnscapes, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    So when you buy a new truck you want to see a bill of materials that tells you how much everything from the alternator to the oil in the crank case and every other component costs? I bet the dealers love you! :laugh:
  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602

    And when he goes out to dinner he also asks the restaurant to break down the cost of the house salad,
    Dressing, baked potato, and vegetables.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Snyder's Lawn Inc

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

    Well it work for me since 1981 And It work again I got the job I was talking about 57k and the bid was broken down. Showing every cost per item and Labor broken down for per task. My way works for me Your way works for you
  4. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    congrats on the work...A friend of mine used to own an excavating company in Kirksville.
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,602

    Never did anyone type that it would / does **not work**.

    The point is - it's not necessary. You're sharing information with the consumer that has no relevancy to anything.

    The consumer purchases just like you, I, and everyone else does. One thing I've noticed about contractors is that they make selling and they make marketing more difficult than it really is. Yet, we are buyers of services and products just like our customers are.

    When a person gets the itch to have work done, they think "you know Bill & Helen have a great backyard, I'm ready to get mine done".

    They don't say to theirselves - "you know Bill & Helen have a great backyard, I wonder how much the gravel base cost". That does not happen.

    Breaking down costs is mis-leading. In terms of materials there are more materials used than you would itemize. Such as: marking paint, carpenter pencils, diamond blades, adhesive, straw, seed porta pot rental, etc. The client will say "honey look, the price is $10k, and he has on here materials are $2500.00, that's a heck of a profit on the labor, I bet we can bargin him down", when they don't realize that actually there is probably a total of $3200 in mats.

    Same with labor. There is more labor that goes on off site than most people realize. Mack in the spring we did a job where we were onsite an average of 6-7 hrs per day. The lady said to me "don't you put in an 8 hr day?" I responded "we still have to go to the dump and unload this and we gotta load the truck for tomorrow, by the time this day is over we will have put in 10 hrs".

    It's not good business practice to break down material costs. When my home was built - the builder did not break down materials. It's just not something that owners with business good instinct do.

    I think if you pause for a minute and think about what I'm saying, you'll start to realize that you're sharing info with the consumer that is moot. The consumer has a vision in their head and they have a budget. Sell them what they are envisioning and for their budget and the job is yours. It's so easy. You can sell yourself by an informative, well put together sales presentation with good quality photos. And you can sell yourself with an informative, well put together, detailed proposal.

    Congrats on your "bid". Man, I never bid work, there is no way I can be the lowest price. Bidding just doesn't work for me.
  6. Snyder's Lawn Inc

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

    Don't get much haggling on the way I write my bids up
    I always sell my self. They can see it in black and white where there money is going .
    A lot times if they try talk me down. I tell them lets compare bids. A lump price bid you cant compare to my bids. So customer will call the other contactor and ask. 90% time they don't want to break it down so the Customer cant compare apples to apples . 60% of time I'll get the job.

    This is a good selling point for me. I tell them with there bid, you don't really know what you are getting.

    Say I have a price of $1.75 per pound of seed and The lawn calls for 600lbs My price is $1050 and other guy has it his bid $400 seed. The lawn size is 60k
    My price is broken down, So they know how many pounds per 1k they are getting
    The other guy said he putting down 10lb per 1k of turf fescue but at the price of $400. There is no way he is putting down 10lbs. He buys from the same Seed company as I do and use same seed.

    I bid on so many state jobs and they have to be itemized

    That's funny about your home. My brother in law is a house builder and he breaks his down he been doing it for 20 years.
    I put siding on my house and 3 contactors had there bids itemized all the way down to staples for the house wrap. They showed there cost and there markup.

    Maybe around here people does it different

    I see your point

    So if you are building say block wall and you use 50 less blocks do you credit back to customer or do you still make them pay for them since you didn't install them.
  7. Snyder's Lawn Inc

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

    You was that
  8. alldayrj

    alldayrj LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,793

    There's more bids in here than storage wars!
    But anyway, I do the lump price. Breaking down the proposal in detail should be done in either method. I don't know why you would assign individual costs and open the door up for debate on each line item. If you're doing that well with your method, just imagine how much better you could be doing.
  9. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,094

    My head hurts

    And yes, if we say we will install a wall 12'long and 4' high, that's what the customer is getting. The block count is my issue/concern.

    While we are on it, when you bought your truck, with a full tank of gas, I presume, did you find out the cost per gallon of gas? How about how much steel and at what price per pound ford paid for it?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. Snyder's Lawn Inc

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

    Well then you run your business your way
    I run mine my way
    If I don't use all the blocks I had in my bid I credit the customer back.
    Sorry you don't like the way I run this business that's fine.
    Been working for me since 1981. Must be way I was raised, I only get paid for what I do and used.
    Funny you say that on the gas. It was listed how many gals they put in It was a free tank of fuel.

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