Minimum markup for patio supplies & labor?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Ramairfreak98ss, Jan 28, 2008.

  1. Ramairfreak98ss

    Ramairfreak98ss LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,210

    I have a patio install ive quoted out to a customer for March 08, trying to get it as early in the season as possible before my landscape work packs my schedule.

    I estimated out it was going to cost $18,580 - $1,880.00 deduction in labor est. for booking the first two weeks in march 08. Comes to $16,700.

    I estimate my supplies COST will be ~$6,700.00. Then add markup to supplies, i add 20%.

    Even before 20% markup on supplies, to come in under another companies quote of $13k, that only leaves $6,300 in labor? I could probably still make a little money with 6k in labor, but its really not worth it.

    Its a 18x20ft patio, 30ft x 4' walkway curved going around the side of the house with a step down from the raised patio 8" raised above ground level closest to the house and a maximum of 12" farthest from the house using Rinox Rio 90 wall block and a mix of 6x6" grey and 6x9" golden color paver block. There is an 8' wide, 4 step stair case comming down from the back door into the patio, integrated Unique copper lights built into the steps, 3 Rinox Pillars at the corners of the patio away from the house, 3 lights on top of them, 2 copper downlights built onto the back of the house, 840watt Unique I force transformer, wiring for it all, Rinox Beast edge along the walkway, alum/steel 30" tall fencing between pillars enclosing the patio w/ gate for steps, handrailing along both sides of steps installed.

    Im looking at a lot of base & sand for everything when all said and done, lots of expensive top caps for the side/steps because its raised.. How is some other company going to offer a price on the same job of $13k?

    This is a long time customer of mine, ive done large garden retaining wall around the front side of the house, his whole houses front landscape design, all of his lighting install & service all of his lawn maintenance and snow removal for 3 years :confused:

    With that amount, if ONLY myself and my main employee worked with me on this install, it nets a total of under 10 days from start to finish to sustain at least $40.00 per hour, assuming full 8hr days without breaks etc.

    If i have two more guys on site, all that would do is eat up "a weeks" worth of profits for their paychecks even if it speeds it up a couple days.

    It it were a simply, come in prep, lay block, clean up thats one thing. But doing every extra involved part, raised wall on side, lighting, pillars, fencing, gates, 2 step sets, walkway to driveway ... theres not many corners i can cut to speed up the job.
  2. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    First off get rid of the early season discount. Thats crazy. In cost you the same amount of money to open your doors no matter what day it is. Also in the early season if it rains it will not dry out quick which will cost you money.

    Here is a pricing leason.

    So you have 6700 in material. Working off the #s you gave i am guessing you want around 10k in labor. So we are up to 16700. Now we need profit. Lets shoot for atleast a 25 % profit MARGIN. SO WE divide 16700 by .75 and come up with $22,266 as the final job price.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,580

    At my fine company, we don't mark up materials.

    We make money off of labor.

    We rent men.

    Thats what we do. Thats where we make money. Off of our men.

    The suppliers an dealers make money off of what they sell. Thats their business!
  4. lawnMaster5000

    lawnMaster5000 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 591

    From the sounds of it you are proposing a very nice landscape with the bells and whistles. Are you certain your competitor is proposing the same? Too often a client compares your gold to the competition's bronze thinking "they both look shiny, so what's the difference...?"
  5. shovelracer

    shovelracer LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,008

    The difference is all to obvious to the homeowner. 3-5K. Thats usually as far as their thinking goes. Very few people get it out there cause they are uneducated. It is your job to sell them on your product, and why proper installation is essential. I cant even count how many times a person has claimed to have a better offer only to see that it is something totally different. I dont play those games anymore. Your price should be your final and best offer. A discount just opens up a huge can of worms.
  6. ChampionLS

    ChampionLS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,066

    Your losing money there. Thats foolish. You should be adding a minimum of 20% to your materials. Labor covers the cost of your workers, but what covers the cost of all your equipment, trucks, and hardware? You could stop what your doing, go work for someone else,and not have the headache of owning, maintaining and storing all that equipment! ALL those associated costs are coming straight off your labor profit.
  7. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    Before you quoted that post, did you even look to see who wrote it? I think DVS is one of the smartest business guys on this site. His overhead cost are not coming out of his labor profit. They are built into his hourly rate! Then his profit is on top of that.

    Anyhow, those overhead cost should not come out of the material mark up anyway. Material mark up is profit.
  8. MRBsx2

    MRBsx2 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 85

    Hey i agree with a lot that dvs says, but here i can not agree with this.....materials should always be marked up by at least 20% i mark mine up by 25%.. i make money off of men too, but why should i get materials, order materials, and deal with all thet crap of distributers for free. Material mark up should be money in your pocket. I dont know one construction company that do's not mark up there materials. Of course you make money off of your men and the work that they are doing you make money everywhere you can and materials is a easy way in my opinion.
  9. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,260

    The thing is, someone who does not mark up the material is not going to be cheaper then someone who does. Chances are they will have more profit worked into their hourly rate.

    You should never count material markup money towards overhead. No one works with the same material each day, so it would be impossible to base any type of budget off material markup.
  10. etwman

    etwman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,540

    "We make money off of labor.

    We rent men.

    Thats what we do. Thats where we make money. Off of our men."

    If I'm reading this right DVS is a Hardscape Pimp. He runs a hardscape escort service....right?

    Sorry I couldn't resist.

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