Installation Bids - How low would you go?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Critical Care, Jan 30, 2004.

  1. Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    If he gets the contract, a friend of mine wants to sub out some new installations to me, though the property owner wants things done real cheap. I was told that these lawns would be small, probably less than 1000 s.f. and that there would be some bark around the edges with a few shrubs and small trees. Nothing specific at this time, but I was asked if I could do these installations for $1000, ballpark figure. Seems way low to me. Even without knowing more, I see two irrigation zones and backflow, around six yards of topsoil, several yards of mulch, and plants. Even $1,500 seems scary. Right?

  2. Avery

    Avery LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,388

    Yep. Way too low. Give me a material list and more info on the irrigation and I can tell you exactly how low (based on my market).
  3. Cutters Lawn Care

    Cutters Lawn Care LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 314

    Tell him if he want things done real cheap he's come to the wrong person. 1000 is very unreasonable.
  4. OP
    Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    Hmm... well, at this point there is no material list. I'm guessing that the area for turf would be 800 - 1000 s.f., perhaps several hundred in bark mulch, two zones on the irrigation (one for the turf, and one drip for the few shrubs and trees). I did some number crunching, figuring topsoil, sod, trenching, etc., and cost alone without profit appears to be around 1000. Avery, I know you do a lot of installs, but if someone gave you a 1000 dollar bill and told you to put in landscape with that money, how far would you get?
  5. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    Tell him if he wants it done cheap it will look cheap. Simple as that.
  6. bill--bls

    bill--bls LawnSite Member
    Messages: 34

    Good morrning Critical Care, useing the prices here in central calif. you will have about $650.00 in irrigation and sod, add plant, mulch, curbing and labor. I can not see you making $$ on this.
    Down here we charge $ 1.30 to $1.50 per sq. ft. for multible new home contracts. hope this helps you
  7. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    IIRC, we were charging about $1.10/sq ft for grading AND seeding last spring, so if someone were to give us a check for $1000, probably all that would get done is the lawn, no additional soil figured in...

    BTW- if someone is wanting something done really cheap, you probably don't want to be involved anyway, even if you can make money... You'll end up smelling like crap along with them over time.

  8. OP
    Critical Care

    Critical Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,654

    Dan, the bad reputation deal is exactly what my ex-employer told me when I asked him about these jobs. You guys are correct. I've been doing mostly maintenance and irrigation jobs and so job costing installations is new to me. Pricing per square foot sounds like a great way for an estimate, but Bill, when you say $1.30 or $1.50 per sq. ft. what does that include? - thanx
  9. Ground Master

    Ground Master LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 505

    Sounds like your friend may have bid these low so he's trying to pass his mistake around. Best advice?-------walk away.........or even better run!
  10. LandMatters

    LandMatters LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    $1000 will keep my 3 man crew at one house for a full day, not including any materials. (it obviously shouldn't take a full day to plant an average to small size lawn.)

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