Jungle Estimate - HELP!!!

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by AlleganyLawnCare, Aug 1, 2005.

  1. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    I got this one property from an organization that gives me alot of work to do. This particular property has several issues with it: It has poison ivy mixed in with several places in the front, on one side, and part of the back. They need it done asap. One side, the length of the fence is 130' long. The problem is that the overgrowth is 40 feet long x 5 to 9 feet in width (it completely covers the clothes line pole, which is 4 feet away from the fence line). On the other side of the fence, the new property owners want to put up a privacy fence, but the overgrowth is roughly 5 to 9 feet on their side. The house has a tree starting to grow into the window. The house is occupied by developmentally disabled individuals (group home) and they have to have the windows free in order to escape that way in case of emergency. The windows below all of the bedrooms are completely covered with overgrown bushes and trees.

    I roughly figured it would take 4 days (6 hours each day - due to heat and employees will be wearing Tyvek suits because of the poison ivy) with 4 people. I had figured approx. $2000 for the job. A chipper and brush hog would be rented for part of the job. The chipper at the end.

    I have enclosed pictures. I am not sre if all of them will be uploaded or not. I hope this helps. Can you please tell me if I am in the ballfield with the estimate - too high - too low - or what? I would appreciate it very much. I normally do their lawncare services at several of their houses, I do a little hedge work, but not alot. So this is important to me - they also want it kept up every couple months, so this does not happen again.





  2. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    here are some more pics.





  3. OrganicBob

    OrganicBob LawnSite Member
    Messages: 73

  4. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    2k...IMHO I think you are WAAAYYYY cheap.

    4men @6hrs/day for 4 days is a total of 96 hours. I'll assume a brush hog will run you 125/day and the chipper 175 for the day. So out of 2000 you've already have taken out 300. I'll take out another 200 for miscellaneous expenses (payroll, fuel, tranportation, etc.). That means you may be clearing 1500 for 96 billable hours. That's less than 16/hour. Please don't take offense but I think you need to think this through a little more.
  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Looking at your pictures I would skip the chipper. Have you ever tried to "chip" brush. IMHO, its more of a pain than its worth. I would go get a dumpster...unless you have the means of hauling this away in less than three trips. I would than get two machines. First would be a tractor/steer/etc. with a grapple hook. I would rip everything I can out with that and haul straight to the dumpster. I would use the excavator to romve everything on the hillside. Whatever it can't reach I would get with the laborers. I think (????) you could be out of there is two days.

    Rental of steer with grapple and deliver say 325.
    Rental of mini excavator with delivery say 350.
    4 men, 8hrs/day @ 30/hr gives me 1900 in labor.
    Not sure what a dumpster would cost...I'll assume 800
    I'll add in 350 to cover all expenses (not including payroll/equipment rental)
    Now if they NEED it done yesterday I'll add another 300 for the rush.

    All told, judging from the pictures and making a few assumptions my proposal would be around 4300.

    just my eleven cents...
  6. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    Hey I don't take any offense at all. I appreciate any help I can get. I never had to deal with a place like this before, so to be honest, I am a little lost at this much cleanup in one site. I will look into more details. I have another meeting with executive director around the 9 Aug (she comes back from vacation on the 8th) to get more details on what she wants done. Currently, between the house manager, her superviso, and the director, they all have completely different views of how bad the place is. The director hasn't seen it for a few years, the supervisor, probably twice in the year, and the house manager wants it all gone.
  7. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Delt with this situation before with snow plowing. Was a complete headache :dizzy: I learned the hardway. I would make sure you are dealing with the person that has the final say and is the check writer. It's tough dealing with multiple people that want different things done. In the end, you always wind up upsetting someone.

    TURFLORD LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 834

    Here's a thought. Why did they let it get so bad to begin with. It looks like these people are cheap,cheap,cheap. It looks like the code inspector finally showed up and thats why they're having work done. No insult, but your probably the cheapest guy in town. That's why they asked you. Ain't nobody gonna wear tyvex in august. Do you really what skin rashes @ $20 per hr.
  9. Grassmechanic

    Grassmechanic LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,697

    I enjoy challenges like this every now and then. As LB1234 said, deal only with the person signing the check. And have that person make it known to the others that you only take instructions from him/her. A walk around the property with that person is a must - write down everything that they are requesting done. Point out the hazards (poison ivy) as you walk through. Explain in great detail what you plan on doing and includeit on a contract for them to sign.

    Fom your pictures, my price would be in the $4,500 - 5k range at a minimum.
  10. AlleganyLawnCare

    AlleganyLawnCare LawnSite Member
    Messages: 180

    Grassmechanic - Thanks for the input. I appreciate it very much!

    Turflord - No offense, but a couple of things: 1. I am not the cheapest in town (I don't know whether that is a good thing or bad to be completely honest). 2. They (the agency, which is for developmentally disabled), was just given the house about a year ago. 3. skin rashes? that is the point of the Tyvek suits. Do it early in the morning (around 7a) - working on the poison ivy part that is - and only do it for an hour or so each day to help ward of any heat exhaustion. The rest of the day is devoted towards the rest of the mess. 4. They are not a cheap agency, but they like most places, they do have a budget that they have to maintain. I actually work nights with them. They want me to become their agency nurse (but I have a rule - during the day - I am my own boss; at night - moonlighting is alright). The agency nurse gig would be during the day - so that would be a no-go. Since I work for them at night, they have given me several of their properties to take on during the day for my business. I don't cut them no slack on the bill - I treat them like a regular customer. With some of their houses, it is better than most privately homes - HUD pays the bills (and promptly - within a week of submitting it) - and I am left with the decisions on what needs done and when, and to be honest - how much. I still give top-notch service with those houses, but it makes my job a lot easier when I don't have someone constantly looking over my shoulder. If a house manager sees something, or feels somethings needs worked on, they tell me, and I get to work, without price ever coming up. I am not one of those sham-doctors that bilk the system either. I charge the going rate for our profession, nothing less, nothing more. I perform quarterly maintance when I feel things are needed. The only difference with this particuliar house, is that the agency is paying for the bill, not HUD, so that is why I am having difficulty with the estimate. The other houses (the HUD ones), initially when I took over were a mess (some required alot of work), but they were easy to figure out billing wise. This is my worst looking house to date - and I want to make sure that it gets done right the first time. I have already been told that I would do quarterly cleanups on the property so it is nice to already have a foot in the door (knowing what to expect if I get the job this week).

    I will be talking to the Director hopefully tomorrow about getting her out to the property for walk-around. I appreciate all of the help (negative or positive) - it always helps to a prespective from several angles. I will keep ya'll up to date on the outcome.

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