its limbo time! how low can you go!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Brianslawn, Nov 26, 2005.

  1. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    how much for an install (3 commercial buildings) total material is $17,000 -$18,000. 60 pallets of sod to lay, 80 2" cal trees, over 100 various sized plants, and about 15 cu yds of mulch?

    the first guy to win the bid, who was fired for operating illegally, bid $20,000.

    can any of you guys beat his price or what would you charge?
  2. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Brian, I don't know about trees down there, but here a 2"-2 1/2" Red Maple would be around 400.00 each, delivered and installed under normal conditions. That price would be subject to site conditions, access, etc.. So off the bat, I'd be 12K over the low bid of 20K just on trees....I'm out..:D
  3. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,779

    It is time to give up doing the limbo and take up pole vaulting. Instead of how low you can go, try a different venue and see how high you can go.

    You sound like you are in the business of working extra hard to help someone pay you less. That can become a bad habit.
  4. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,345

    I usually try to at least double material cost which would put my bid in the $34,000 to $35,000 range. On a job of that size I might knock off some, but certainly not down to $20,000
  5. Brianslawn

    Brianslawn LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,002

    thats how i like to do it. and thats what i was wanting to bid. i went with 27 and was still highest bidder. proof once again the market is too over saturated at least around here. to be big in landscaping around here you got to give cheap work at a cheap price and be capable of several large jobs a week. i once bid an even larger job with $45,000 materials for $55k. was still the highest bidder. no money in commercial here.

    even retaining walls are going up for as little as $7 a sq foot! :dizzy:
  6. garth1967

    garth1967 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 640

    very good advice well thats the advice i would like
  7. muddstopper

    muddstopper LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,345

    I do very few landscape installs, but do like to bid on the better paying ones. What I have found with commercial work is that the same profit margin is never there. Sure you can make a big chunck of change in a short time on one large job, but in order to do so you have to cut your profit margin down. I have found that I can do two or three smaller jobs using the same amount of materials and labor as the bigger jobs and make twice the money. Once you have taken on a large project you are commited to that project until finished, this limits your ability to take on the smaller, more profitable jobs.
    The State is building a new highway right in front of my house, 228 acres of hydroseeding. I was asked to summit a bid and of course my thoughts where, wow, heres a chance to make really good money and be able to eat lunch everyday for the next couple of years right in my own kitchen. After running around gathering pricing on materials, figureing out fuel and labor cost, wear and tear on equipment, ect, everything you need to figure up a bid, I threw it all in the trash. Why, because I am seeding everyday and chargeing twice what I would have to bid to get the job. Why work just as hard everyday for half the money. Let the lowballers have the big commercial work, they will cut each others throat until they are no longer in business.
  8. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    Theres almost no money in large commercial anywhere.

    We avoid almost all comercial jobs because you have to work for free, and they take forever to pay.
  9. General Landscaping

    General Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 801

    Sounds like room for expansion.
    2 years of work is worth growing payup
    The highway work should be a no-brainer for a unsupervised crew.
  10. hosejockey2002

    hosejockey2002 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,195

    Brian, please don't take this personally, but I see you're from Bentonville, Arkansas, home of Wal-Mart, the biggest lowballers in the world. Looks like it's carried over into landscaping there....

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