Install Time

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by SamIV, Feb 1, 2003.

  1. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Would like to know how long it would take some of you more experienced contractors to do this install by yourself:

    11 zone system with master valve
    78 spray heads
    6 rotors
    All heads on funny pipe.
    3 drip zones (All on different sides on property)
    Corner lot
    Outdoor Controller with Rain Clik
    7 sidewalk bores
    Main line trenched all the way around house
    Plumber does tap and PVB install.
    All zones with PVC and trenched.
    Soil type-Hard clay
    Yard size 120' W by 150' D
    Most zones in the 8 to 10 foot radius and half odd shaped.
    All Zones center fed
    No trees to worry about.

    I'm just curious because I do this by myself and would like to know if I'm up to speed.

  2. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Messages: 270

    I'll guess, in the area of $4700 - $5700. without seeing site or schematic of system.

    ? don't know your material cost (class PVC, pre-punched drip, etc)

    ? don't know your trenching equipment

    ? don't know what clock is installed

    ? don't know what GPM your working with

    ? don't know if the plummer is your sub

    ? don't know if your doing sleeves

    does seem like your zones are very small (8-10 radius). Is this by design or intent. With Regards... devildog
  3. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,712

    minimum of 120 man hrs
  4. SprinklerGuy

    SprinklerGuy LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    3 man crew for 5 days....possibly more, no chance of it being less.

    Sam, as you will see, the experienced contractors do not do it alone. I am pretty sure the HBFoxx didn't mean "120" man hours and then mean him alone for 15 days!

    Nobody should tackle a job like this alone unless it is his only job for the month. Even then, not very good money to be made that way. Just my opinion.

    Plus, I cannot see the client real excited to have a one man show at their house tearing things up for minimum of 3 weeks! Ouch!

    Good luck!
  5. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Thanks guys. I know I should have help, but I work by myself and I can't change that yet. These are regular customers I've had for years and don't mind me being there for a 10 to 12 days. I mainly do lawn maintenance, and trying to get started full swing in irrigation.

    I've been at it for about 6 days and have 5 zones left, and 2 are point source drip. So I guess I'm doing ok. Think I have about 5 days left including cleanup. Yes I should have a crew, but remember guys you had to start somewhere also.

    Devildog, I know some of the zones are small, but the way the property is set up, it calls for this many. Such as a drip in the front, one in the back and one to water containers. Customer wanted these seperate. Gues I just wanted a little reasurance.

  6. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Messages: 270

    Glad its working out for you. You're right, we all started small. If your smart you'll keep it that way (and simple). with regards... devildog
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,872

    I think sprinkler guy is dead on. I agree with everything he said and with his time estimates.

    I also agree with the others who said it's crazy and less profitable to just do this all yourself.

    But hey, to each his own.
  8. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Messages: 270

    Thought you would also like his post from yesterday, from another thread:
    with regards... devildog

    I think I would have gone with employees sooner. All the work I missed out on the first 3 years.

    Also, I would have started using the computer sooner. I am sure there are 2000 people out there that I have worked for that I can no longer get in touch with.....

    Staying small is great for 10 years do you want to be digging up mainlines and glueing pipe? What about if you get hurt on the weekend softball game? What about if you get in a car wreck? Hurt your back? Break a finger? Get my point?

    Staying small doesn't always mean 1 person. With very little debt and the proper structure, a guy can make GREAT money with 2 technicians. I should know. Also, add an install crew to that to do the larger repairs, the commercial redo's, the new drip systems and other stuff, now you're talking!

    Now, if I can only figure out how to make the same money working my butt off 12 hour days in summer, getting muddy, burning my hands on the torch accidentally cuz it is 120 degrees outside and 10 minutes isn't long enough for it to cool off, fixing broken 1.5 inch mainlines under 4 laterals right next to a tree stump. And still get to play golf 2 days per week, go quad riding one day per week, make all my son's baseball and basketball practices, take my daughter to "story time" at the library, see my wife for lunch once in awhile, and not get physically whipped every day. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Grow smart, don't just grow. But do grow, or fade away into the pit I call, solo op land.........your body will get older, you will have kids someday, you will want the finer things in life will want to retire. You cannot retire by selling your 25 year old business that you answered phone, sold jobs, did work, did billing, did bookwork, and so on......nobody will buy a business like that. Oh wait, yes they will. I paid a guy 2500 bucks for his phone number, a Wire Tracker, and some shovels....he was in business 12 years. Now he works at a parts house, behind the counter.....he is not retired with my 2500 bucks.

    Think of your future! Build a business that will work for you. If you are working the business all you have done is bought yourself a job. An expensive, 24 hour a day job! Believe me, there are days I wish I could go back to being a when someone calls and complains about the heat, or needs a raise, or has to go to the doctor 2 days this week, in the middle of our busiest time, or cuts the phone line to the house, or breaks the pool line that is set in concrete, and we have to drain the pool below the skimmer to fix it.....for free! Those days, I wish it was just me. But believe me, those days are fewer and farther between than they used to be. I am not knocking the solo, believe me, I respect those guys too, but think about these things I have said......sorry so long.

    Tony Neumann
    Sprinkler Solutions of Arizona and Colorado
    AND ANOTHER......
  9. SamIV

    SamIV LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    Well guys, I'm finally done with the install except for cleaning the sidewalks. It's been raining here, have to wait for it to dry a little. Took me 11 1/2 days at 96 hours. Total cost of rental fees, boring fees, and product was $1807.26. I gave them an estimate of $5200. This comes out to $35.00 an hour. As this was truly my first large install, do you think this was fair time and price.

    Will do the next job in three weeks. I have 4 more booked in the $5000.00 range. Have to take care of the mowing contracts before I get to the next one. Had bores for the first two done at the same time.

    I agree that I will need a crew eventually, but this is not my only income. I have fifty something clients with mowing contracts. The grass is not growing right now, so I have spare time to pursue this.

    Thanks for all the advice,
  10. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Messages: 270


    All things considered, that was a respectable time & gross for the work. Your cost of sales are high, due in part to the equipment rental. What were your actual product costs for the install with these smaller zones?

    My estimate of your scenario was 80 hrs +or-. Did you include windshield/mobilization & equipment rental in the approximate 96 hours of this job?

    Boring fees..... could you not do a blow under these obstacle's yourself and save the sub-cost. What is the fee for these bores?

    Given the circumstances and scenario you've described, I would estimate a savings of 15% of your time, if you had a "helper" during specific elements of this install. Can you find day-labor in your area for these instances?

    It was good off-season work, experience and money. Congrats.
    with regards... devildog

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