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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: 6,576

    Like I said, walks are not cheap. The move in fee for a 50 SF job is the same as for a 3,000 SF job. The paver delivery fee is the same for a 50 SF as for 12 cubes. And this is what drives the per SF cost. Many folks don't realize this. Just like building a house - a house with only 1 level (a rancher) is MORE per SF than a house with 2 levels. Either way it needs a roof. Either way it needs a foundation. The septic and well are the same whether it's 1 level or 2 levels. You're still going to have a washer and dryer regardless of how many levels you have, and same with a kitchen. Follow me, make sense?

    I also factor in travel time. Per employee. Both ways. Per day.

    This person had me price about $13K of work. In which I would have had a crew of 3 working.

    He then narrowed down what he wanted to omit, after he sent the 2nd e-mail. I then was able to drop it down to a crew of 2. Which brought the cost around $3800.00. This didnt change the production hrs, but with only charging windshield time for 2 instead of 3, this is where *some* of the savings comes from.

    Basically I have 6 hrs (x 2 guys) to pop up the existing concrete, measure and lay out, excavate, load spoils, install the base, and shovel and broom clean the driveway and street.

    This walk has a big, radisued area infront of the stoop. This involves mitering. To screed the sand, install the pavers, get the outside radius PERFECT, miter the cuts, install the border, sweep in and water the joint sand, clean up, broom and shovel the driveway - realistically that's about 8 hrs each for 2 guys. I'm talking clean, consistant, perfect cuts.

    There is also the burial of 1 downspout necessary. As well as turf restoration. The dwelling has a hill infront of it, so it will also be necessary to import screened top soil to taper out the grade. This is about another 3 hrs each for the 2 guys. One thing I always factor is CLEAN UP. Shoveling the dirt off the pavements and brooming at the end of each day. Many contractors account for base prep and paver installation - but they omit to charge for daily clean up.

    I also charge a 'diamond blade charge' to cover the diamond blade use. For small jobs it could be $10. Larger jobs I may charge for 2 blades. I do not eat the cost of those blades, nor do I factor them into my indirect overhead. The job at had pays for the use of that blade, and I have a line item for blades on my spread sheet.

    Also, I charge for the marking paint. Small jobs like this I charge for 1/2 a can (at $6.25 per can) . Larger jobs are in full can increments.

  2. stuvecorp

    stuvecorp LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,245

    Gotta smile at people. Why is it the customer always thinks the contractor with the higher bid is ripping them off?
  3. lpwhandyman

    lpwhandyman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 197

    Times are tough. People are getting more crafty then ever before to save money. I would run from a customer like that.
  4. jsslawncare

    jsslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,673

    I'd pass on the job. Too picky and, I'd bet he wouldn't be happy with the work.
  5. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    DVS - you factor in daily site cleanup? That's fantastic and I wish more guys did. I have a wall job going right now that I designed for a contractor, and I check in periodically with the homeowner. The technical aspects are going great, but every time the homeowner mentions all the mud because the contractor's not keeping the driveway and sidewalk clean. WTF people, fifteen minutes at the end of the day. What do you think the homeowner is going to remember, especially every time they see a dingy patch on their white rugs?
  6. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Our jobsites are painstakingly cleaned at end of each working day, weekends even more so if the job is not complete. On a one week job I would likely have 20 hours of cleaning involved. Its so important.
  7. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,174

    Yes it is! People that help me and smoke don't like me very much. They think the ground is their ashtray and that drives me nut's.
  8. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    My biggest gripe is my foreman who smokes and he smokes like a chimney. But the rest of us are non smokers so it kinda makes up for it I guess.
  9. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Smokers can be a huge issue. I called a mason to come look at repointing my foundation while I was on the road. Judging by the butts on the ground, he went through half a pack in the time it took him to measure my (small) house . Filed him under "mope" and tossed his card.
  10. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,576

    During the spring, it could be more than 15 minutes to clean up the mud and dirt (yes DIRT). And we've had times where we've cleaned and cleaned and it still looked not so desireable.

    I tell my guys we need to make a good impression for the neighbors.


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