How to Layout your estimate

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

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    But how much construction do you do? Your user name seems to be more heard towards cutting yards....
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  2. Snyder's Lawn Inc

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

    1/3 of my income landscape /hardscape now

    in 1981 till 85 that's all we did, in 85 we started mow lawns .

    Mowing was maybe 1/3 of are income till last 5 years now its 2/3
    This summer and last summer did a lot hardscape in the heat Mowing has drop down to maybe 1/2 on the month scale.

    We use to travel with a Contactor Biggest wall I have done was 16ft high and 1200 ft long that was 97 or 98

    Biggest Landscape / lite hardscape job was a 2 years project in 94-95 it was 350k help you understand the size we blowed 7,000 square bales of straw Installed about 500 tons of river rock Installed a granite cobble stone walk 100' x 8ft used same stones has a border around all the landscape beds They dug these stones out a old street in Neb. We installed them same way they did 100 yrs ago My Grandpa was the boss of that part. He use to redo streets like that. That was his last job. He died in 98 at the age of 91 I was glad I got work side x side with him.

    I been to 5 different states.
    The last big scale job we did was in 01-02
    Getting older and got tried of the traveling.
    So now we just stay home work do smaller scale stuff.
    I rather just sit on a mower but when ask, to bid on stuff. Most of time I wont pass on it.
    I just don't just mow Im a full service contactor We have 365 day contacts from the lawn to the Snow. I avg in just cutting grass 30k per month on good months 5-10k per month on other work tree,shrub trimming, spraying For the projects I do hard to say for a month or even a year say 10k to 80k
    Snow its been high for last few years 50k per winter. Now getting tried of the snow but having the year contacts I have to do that part.
    Few more years I'll pass it on to my son.
  3. jbailey52

    jbailey52 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,095

  4. igotdiesel2

    igotdiesel2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    I always break mine down into 3 categories:

    Material (what the customer pays, not what I pay.)
    Labor to install said material or service I preform ( not man hours just what I charge per item.)
    Delivery fee/ dump fee ( not what it costs me but what I charge. I also waive the delivery fee if I install sometimes depending on what is being done.)

    When I trim bushes I don't say $xx.xx per bush, it is just bush trimming or what not plus dump fee.

    A lot of times when I bid say a mulch job I will get the material part and the delivery part just not the install part. I'm OK with that as I make a good amount for very little time and expenses. I have also got a few mulch jobs because I break down the labor and they think it is not worth the clean up off their driveway and aches in their backs for that amount.

  5. Agape

    Agape LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,644

    would love to see an example of a proposal if you are willing to share.
  6. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    I am very willing to share a proposal. remembering an finding time to find one to use as an example is a different story :). One of these days I will post one here
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  7. Henry

    Henry LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 548

    If you have 50 blocks left over you need to focus more on your estimating!
  8. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,619

    So many variables.

    I could write a book about this.

    I, a veteran contractor, with business instinct, would MUCH rather have left over material than be short on material. And ALL our contracts specify material allotments, so if we're short - we can charge for the additional needed.

    It could be a retaining wall on a slope. A 100' long wall that's 12' tall on a steep slope and that wall may step up quicker than you realized. Thus requiring less material. It does happen.

    But see, if it's a large job - I NEVER have all the estimated material delivered at once. If the supplier is close to the job - I will purposely hold 1 or 2 cubes of material back at the supply yard. If we need it I go get it, if we don't, then the supplier puts it back in inventory.
  9. scagrider22

    scagrider22 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,272

    Most of our jobs are srw walls, it's not at all a big deal to have 50 blocks left over. I typically always order an extra pallet, it's cheaper to have it delivered and on site than it is to come up short, stop what I'm doing and send a guy out for one pallet. I just finished an 1800 face foot wall and had about 60 blocks left over, not really a big deal especially when we get them drop shipped directly from the factory (the block never goes to the supplier) so it is cheaper to buy extra, if I have to go back to the supplier for materials to finish up it costs me time and the block price goes up about 1.50 per block.
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  10. Middle Tennessee Lawn

    Middle Tennessee Lawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 220

    You can give a customer too much info all they need is scope of work and price. May sound crazy but some customers if they figure out what your making will either try to do on there own or beat your price down.
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