I don't know what to title this. How bout 'Home Owner Humor'?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DVS Hardscaper, Mar 24, 2011.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    I've been itching to post these e-mails, but I've held off until I knew for certain that we are NOT doing the work :laugh:

    I had some folks call about a nice, lead walk. Your traditional tract home, not small, not huge, just your traditional modern day tract home.

    So I met with them. Went over everything. The meeting went real well. The client did NOT say or do anything at the initial meeting to throw ANY red flags. This is a prime example of how "pre-qualifying" is not fool proof, when dealing with the public - you can NOT engineer life.

    Here is the first e-mail followed by an attachment of his spread sheet that he made for me! I had to convert the spread sheet to two pages. Keep in mind, as anyone here that knows me - I am VERY detail oriented when it comes to my proposals and designs!

    Read everything over. The first person to observe where this man's mindset is - will receive a copy of the recipe for my Grandma Helen's Peanut Butter Pie!

    Mr. Andrew Hardscape,

    We’ve looked over your proposal had a few requests. We were hoping for a little bit more detail on what was included, what’s not included etc. For example, does your cost include the removal of shrubs, or what are the specific dimensions of the work to be done, can you add the cost of adding the low voltage lighting, etc. We might have to add or subtract certain aspects of the job depending on the overall price, but we wanted a list of options and the related costs so we could pick and choose. We really liked your ideas and enthusiasm, and we hope we’re able to do business with you.

    I’ve added a spreadsheet that we were hoping you could complete to give us a feel for how much each of the individual jobs should cost (+markup). It’s pretty straight forward. Basically, if you know the square footage of the individual project and you know the cost of your material, labor and overhead then this shouldn’t be too difficult. Please let me know if you have any questions.

    Thanks in advance for your time,
    Joe & Donna

    Click Link to see the spread sheet! And umm......Yard guys turned Hardscaping Newbies - sorry, but this spreadsheet isn't what you use to cost a job out :nono:

    Attached Files:

  2. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Here is his e-mail he sent 1st thing yesterday morning!

    Hi Mr Andrew Hardscape,

    Thanks for the information. I’m not sure if you had seen the spreadsheet that I had laid out for you to capture the costs, but either way, I can give you my thoughts on the information that you’ve written below.

    I’m having a hard time reconciling the quote that you’ve provided versus what a fair or reasonable price would be. I understand that you’re a “for-profit” business, and perhaps there’s such a demand for your services that it necessitates a premium price. However, based on my math and the research that I’ve done, a more reasonable price would be lower, while still allowing you to maintain a healthy bottom line. Using the walkway (without a stoop), the area is about 112 sq ft, plus a 10% scrap factor, which totals about 123 sq.ft. A pallet (120 sq.ft.) of Belgard’s Holland Stone is about a$283.97 + 6% tax + delivery (contractor price). Let’s call the pavers $350, all in. The CR-8 is about $49/ cu.yd. (2,700 lbs), so that’ll cost about $126.00+6%+delivery. Let’s call the CR-8 $165, all in. Add sand & Polyomer (grout) for about $150 delivered. The labor to tear up the old sidewalk and put in a new one is about 3 days with about 2 labors at $20/hour (fully loaded) at 8 hours a day. This works out to about $1,000 (rounded up). The haul off of the old material is about $200. The sum of these costs so far is about $1,865.

    Your overhead costs, such as rental of any equipment (assuming that you don’t already have it), fuel, debt financing etc. would only be a guess. So, the difference between the $1,865 and the $4,200 that you quoted is spread between profit and overhead. Again, I want you to make a profit, but it seems that your price are exceedingly high. I think my estimates are pretty close, and I’ve confirmed the labor information with other contractors.

    If you have better numbers to share with us, we’ll be more than willing to listen. If you’re firm with these numbers, that I’ll have to thank you for your time.

    Joe B-------

  3. Sutherland

    Sutherland LawnSite Member
    Messages: 35

    I'm not sure why but I would guess he's considering doing it himself, and trying to use your numbers to figure what he needs/how long it will take.
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Oh no. He's going to use a contractor to do the work. The other contractor is of decent size and has been around a while is known for working dirt cheap. To my knowledge, he doesn't use fabric, he does not use Techo-bloc (which is what I quoted) - he uses Hanover (which in my mind is trash).
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    I had called the guy yesterday.

    A comment I had POLITELY made to him was:

    "do you walk into a car dealership and call the manufacturer asking them to disect their costs for you?"

  6. pieperlc

    pieperlc LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 545

    Wow. Is he going to tell you how to do the work too? My recomendation: lower your cost to get the job! Then, hire him as your estimator.
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Also, I don't know why he mentioned Belgard's Holland Stone.

    They were interested in Techo's Elena with a Hera 6x6 border. With MD sales tax, and the price level I'm on with my supplier my cost is $693.96 LOL

    It's a small job, not a breaker not a maker.

    LORDY have I learned to LOVE people........

  8. Brad Ent

    Brad Ent LawnSite Member
    Messages: 228

    I'm not trying to be a wise guy, but how do you recover your time and expenses to view the job, put togther estimates and volley questions back and forth??
    Is this just cost of doing business??
    At what point do you start charging for estimates?
  9. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    So you'll tie up 3 days and are only supposed to charge a grand in labor.

    Sounds like they are trying to impress you with knowledge cause they feel you are over charging based on where ever they are getting their info from. They want to put it out there that they won't be or at least allow themselves to feel suckered. They feel you see them as suckers. They are hoping for the bro deal, but are wanting the higher quality, but ultimately price rules over quality.
  10. Budlightshooter

    Budlightshooter LawnSite Member
    Messages: 60

    so what in his head was a fair price?

    Its about as bad as the estimate i had the other day, lady say straight up i am a bargin hunter and want the cheapest she can get, i said thanks and walked away......


Share This Page