Just lost my first big bid

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by tamo, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. tamo

    tamo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    I went out to bid on a house that already sold and has to be refurbished by next Friday. The back and side yards are an absolute mess with mud and need to be graded out and then mulched. The back yard is full of tree stumps and bamboo that need to be dug up and graded. There is also a good amount of general yard debris that needs to be hauled away. Finally, there's an existing lawn that needs to be removed and then sodded.

    I quoted her:

    10 yds of mulch -- $500.00 installed (material and labor)
    260 sq/ft. sod -- $150.00 for materials (sod, soil, fert)
    all other labor -- $500.00 for stump removal, lawn removal, grading,
    laying soil/sod, dump fees.

    total of $1050.00

    excluding the time to lay the mulch the job would take at least 10 hours. It doesn't seem like a lot of work, but the place is a mess.

    what do you guys think? fair bid? she said someone came in under my price. I thought I gave a good detailed proposal, but looking at this post I can already see that I should have including the labor portion of the sod job in the sod price.

    This job would've been a pain in the ass, but I wanted it because it would've been my biggest job to date -- started last year, and a good challenge.

  2. KrayzKajun

    KrayzKajun LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 10,737

    I would have charged tht jus for the stump and lawn removal, grading
  3. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,085

    I thought you were a little low as well.
  4. chuck bow

    chuck bow LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 701

    Up here for 10 yards of mulch and installed i get 800.00 bucks and this includes edging of the beds and if there is a bed already there cleaning it up and tapping in and packing mulch down . Total bid that you gave seemed way to low around here
  5. dchauling

    dchauling LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

    I would have bid at leat 1500 from what you described. Hard to tell without seeing though.
  6. desii

    desii LawnSite Member
    Messages: 193

    I, too, think you were a little low, but I'm not sure about prices in you area. I know you would've liked to have had the job, but if you would have lost money, would it have been worth aggravation? Especially, since you say it would not have been an easy job. I'm not trying to say you should'nt be upset losing a job, that's never easy, but sometimes it's better to lose a job than to lose money. You never know, there may be a better job right around the corner. Good luck in the future and don't cut yourself short.
  7. tamo

    tamo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    thanks for the feedback. I thought the bid was fair if not a little under priced. Better to lose out on a bid then get stuck doing the job for too little money.

    I'm wondering if my mulch estimate was too much. There are 900 sq/ft of beds. From what I've read here 1 yd covers 100 sq/ft. at 3". I went with 10 yds. just to be safe. Is that formula an accurate measure? Its worked out for me in the past. From experience do most customers prefer 2" to save on the cost?
  8. Jpocket

    Jpocket LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,282

    The mulch was too low IMHO. I like to be around $70.00+ per yard, for smaller jobs like that. The bigger jobs 20+ yards of mulch I start bidding lower per yard. I might charge $50.00 or so per yard for a 25 yard job. Smaller mulch jobs realistically need to be closer to $80.00 per yard.
  9. lawnman_scott

    lawnman_scott LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 7,547

    To measure mulch take the square feet to be laid divided by 27 times the thickness as a fraction of a foot. So it would be 900/27*.25=8.33 So you were pretty close. Better to have a bit more mulch than not enough.
  10. tamo

    tamo LawnSite Member
    Messages: 213

    the woman emailed me back and said a "well respected" company came in with a "much" lower bid. I wonder how much lower you could possibly go.

Share This Page