Large Estimate Question

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by ToddS, Feb 2, 2007.

  1. ToddS

    ToddS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    We were contacted by a local elementary schools PTSO about some landscaping. They are wanting a price to clear a large hill area (approx 15,000 sq/ft) that is over grown with weeds etc. They are wanting to plant creeping junipers in this area along with pinestraw. They are experiencing some erosion problems on the hill and want to see if the juniper will help with this issue. The hill is not that steep, but again there is nothing on the hill other then weeds.

    My questions are:
    1. How many creeping junipers will it take for a hill that size to help with erosion issues.

    2. If not junipers, any suggestions?

    They are wanting me to round-up the area to help with the weeds and I explained to them that the soil is too cold at this time for the chemical to have the greatest effect and that they may want to wait on this project for the spring, but they still want an estimate. What would you charge for this project? I will have two employees and myself working on this as well. They do have a budget since they are a PTSO, but they would not tell me what it was for the project. Any help with pricing is appreciated. Thanks

  2. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    Well, there's a lot to it, you have to figure out the cost of all the individual parts and piece it together, as that will give you the total.

    To get started, you might want to check on the prices and varieties of Junipers available.
    As with every family that is a part of the kingdom, there exist varieties and species within...
    Last time I checked there were over 200 varieties of junipers, that's not counting the species within each variety plus it was just at first glance, so...
    You don't need to study all 200+, but have some idea of what, and how much.

    Then, the soil has to be in condition for the juniper to grow...
    I do not know what conditions are required, but I do know it's like with grass, if you plant it in soil that is not receptive, then the plant can not survive.
    So, you have to find out what is required for junipers to grow and stay healthy.
    For the most part, they are maintenance free...
    But don't assume they are entirely so, or the weeds will soon be right back growing all through there.

    Another plant to consider would be Ivy.
    Again, the same things apply: Find out cost, types available, and conditions required (I think shade is one of them, dunno).

    As for clearing the area, that all depends what is there right now...
    You say it's only weeds, but have you gone up in there and looked?
    You need to find out what all this 1/3 acre lot consists of, weeds and otherwise.
    It may be possible to clean it up with round up.
    It may also be possible that heavier equipment is required (aka. bulldozer).
    But that we can't know without further information.

    btw, just from the sound of things...
    The cost is probably going to run in the thousands, possibly more than 3 or 4, maybe a lot more.
    But I'm bidding blind here, idk, no telling w/out seeing and knowing.
    Good luck.
  3. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 652

    If you know how tall and wide you would like them to get I may be able to give you a few choices.Junipers are real tolerant of a wide range of soil, thats one of the reasons they get used so much.Make sure the soil Is well drained.If they get water logged they'll get root rot.Try not to keep them right next to any irg heads.Where are you located If Its by me I may be able to give you some other ideas. I hate Juniper for the most part
  4. ToddS

    ToddS LawnSite Member
    Messages: 58

    The area is not irg. It is basically an area that has never been kept up and has started to get overgrown with weeds etc. The school is maybe 5yrs old and the county seeded it when it was built, but that obviously did not take as it was never kept up with. Like I said in the original post, the PTSO is taking responsibility of this area and they do not like the way it loks so they are trying to improve it. I don't think it is in there budget since it is a large area and they are pretty tight with there budget. They are set on having some junipers put in there. To make an accurate estimate, I just need to know approx. how many junipers can be placed in an area of this size. I already contacted a chemical company to take care of the weeds etc. My part would be placing the junipers and pine straw the area. Hope this clears up any questions that anyone may have in helping. Thanks again.

  5. topsites

    topsites LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 21,653

    I am glad you saw that. Because that's what had me worried, when from the sound of things, I had figured as much.

    But I'm slow myself right now, and for probably similar reasons I've gone and probably will go on some estimates much like that: A LOT of work, and an out of my ballpark small budget. In some ways, it's almost as if customers know the demand for our kind of service right now is real slow...

    Once it gets to that point, I will not turn in an estimate if it has anything to do with year-round maintenance (because if they say yes for some off chance, you can get seriously burned)... But, this being a one time deal, it should be ok, likely the worst that could happen is they say no.

    As for the junipers, lets try this:
    Now on these figures, I just did them to see what I could come up with, you might play with it some and see what you come up with.

    Plant one either every 3, or every 4 feet apart.
    Being that it's 21,500 sq.feet, that would be an area of say, 100L x 215w ...
    In this case it doesn't really matter how long each side is, since a square of any dimensions that adds up to 1/2 acre will fit as many junipers, I'm just doing this for the math.
    So, hmmm...
    You would plant 25 of them across, and 54 along the width: 25 x 54 = 1,350 junipers.
    Could that be right, geez that sounds like an awful lot of them...

    But, if you plant them 6 feet apart, or maybe even 8-10 feet apart, if you were to go 8 feet apart, it should halve that number to 675?
    It's still an awful lot, even if you can get them for 3-4 dollars each, that's no less than 2000 dollars. And maybe I'm wrong here, but that would be the absolute cheapest. I still don't see it, I still see your own cost being way up in the thousands, then to get paid for the labor and all, and they're thinking of spending how much? idk, I hope I'm wrong...

    If it makes you feel any better, this is the reason I most often hybernate winters.
    It's just this kind of situation, it's about the only calls for work I get...
    I usually go through the procedure much like yourself, if only for my amusement, heh.

  6. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 652

    Look you have some junipers that grow 10 foot wide and 1 foot tall and you have some that grows 3 foot wide and and 10 feet tall.How tall and wide do you want them to grow?That will have alot to do with it because each varity as a price.and your right,your looking at a few grand.Even 1 gal.In Florida are going to run 2 or 3 buck each.And you can bet that If you place them at 8 feet they'll cry that Its to thin.Do these people have a budget

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