Need Help Pricing asap please!

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by sklandscape, Mar 30, 2013.


    THORNTON SERVICES LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 432

    This does not make sense to me , I mean with that kind of money the owner could have a hydro seeding company come in with equipment and hydro seed the lawn and be done in a couple days and be done right , but if the offer for you to work on this guys yard for at least $30 hr for 2 months is there I would say go for it , sounds funky to me though , I think you may be getting in over your head on this one , and if you are starting a business you do not want a bad reputation to start , just take jobs you can handle, leave the big stuff to the big company's , your time will come for the big jobs , thats my thoughts at least , good luck.
  2. torquelandscaping

    torquelandscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 64

    You can't look at it as milking the clock. While on worksite don't loaf around just because he gave you a two month time limit. I always think of work in the future if I do good job. These guys aren't saying it would only take two days if they had crews. From the amount of work described it sounds like an easy job. Pull some bushes, level a little dirt and seed. It's just hard to get a scope of job with no pics. Alot of good info on this site and people on here are helpful. If no other jobs lined up go for it and use as learning experience. Do small jobs in a logical order to make you more efficient. Don't do the same thing twice...
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  3. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    Okay, this whole "daily" pricing thing is a different tactic than what I use. If it works I guess go for it, but here's my .02.

    So the lot size is 2 acres, which going buy a "Builders Acre", you're looking at 80,000 sq ft, minus the house, garage, land/hardscaped areas. I would look at this as more of a "landscape" job, not a maintenance gig.

    First, how many bushes? A few, or rows of 20? How many actual sq feet of "dirt" are you playing with? What grade do you need to set? Typically you want a 2% grade sloping away from the house when establishing a new lawn to help with proper drainage. To measure this, put a stake at the house, then another stake 50ft away. Take a string and tie to both stakes, and make sure it's level. The distance between the second stake and the ground from the string should be 1ft or more. If so, your slope is fine. If not, you need to move some dirt around. Are you going with seed or sod? And you will definitely need topsoil because a subgrade (initial layer of dirt all tilled up) won't support a lawn. Again, this ties in to how much sq footage you'r dealing with. You want between 4-6 inches of topsoil on top of the subgrade you initially tilled. Then you can lay your sod/seed.

    Get all your measurements, then get your cost of materials to complete the job. Next, you're going to want to rent a machine. Go rent a compact tractor with a 3-Point grader and front end loader. That's probably $200 a day on the high end. This will allow you to get everything done fast and efficient, especially by yourself. Say you can get the job done in 2 or 3 days, it's about $400 to $600, however the price of the job would make that affordable. You can have all your material delivered, and the job would make you much more money if you did it in 2 days, not 2 months. 2 full days planned the right way is much more efficient than 2 months.

    Final point. I cannot give you any advice on what to charge. I have no idea your costs and cost of supplies. What I can advise you on is do not do this job over 2 months. Get it done how it should and can be done, which is in a few days.
  4. jrs.landscaping

    jrs.landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 2,764

    I'm trying to figure out the bid.

    5 days a week @ $300 per day x 8 weeks = 12k in labor + materials?

    Why wouldn't you give him a firm price of 12k + materials and sub the job to someone who can blow it out in a few days and collect a % :confused:
  5. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    Agreed. This sounds like a good way to get in way over your head. This biz is about quality and volume, and it's hard to have volume if your jobs take 2 months. Price the job accordingly, get a deposit, knock out the job in a few days, and get paid.
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  6. sklandscape

    sklandscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 6

    Cody S.: ok thanks for the help full insight, ok so if the "daily pricing wouldn't be the ideal way of pricing how would you go about doing it?
  7. grass-scapes

    grass-scapes LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,552

    Lol...he sounds like some of my FORMER employees. Hearing, but not listening or comprehending.
  8. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    Okay well let me put it like this. First, get a wheel tape and measure everything that needs materials, then figure out what you need of each. So here is my "example" of how I would price a job like that.

    Say the area is 100x75. This is 7,500 sq ft. Now, say you need top soil. Once you grade to subgrade it shouldn't be too bad to accept sod, however I do not know what you are dealing with. For the sake of the example, I'm going to say that I rented a compact tractor for $175/day and graded it, and I only needed a small layer of topsoil, say 2 inches down, so I'm going to get about 45 yards of topsoil. Say I get topsoil for $20/yard, this comes out to about $900. Now comes the sod. If I can get sod for $0.20 per sq foot, then that translates into $1500 for sod. So, so far for materials we have $900 for topsoil, and $1500 for sod. Then there is the $175/day cost of renting the tractor, however you cannot justify adding in that cost to the cost of the job. A good reason why is if another company had a machine they would not have a "rental fee" in their bid, and it would be lower.

    So, you have $2,400 in materials. Now, what are your labor costs? Now say you have 20 bushes to remove, all medium sized shrubs. With the bucket on the tractor you can get one out in 20 min. This translates to 6 hours of labor. For that lets say you charge $360. However, that is without dump fees, which unless you leave them there or have a place to take them, you will have those. So after dump fees you charge $400. You have your labor for the bushes, lets get your final cost now. Based on my example numbers, and my labor rates, I would charge between $6,000 and $6,500. That is on the higher end.

    Remember, this is all an example, but it should give you an idea how to price.
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  9. 205mx

    205mx LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,393

    It's incredibly hard to price over the web for a job. It's about as bad as a guy calling and asking how much to re mulch his beds.
  10. Cody S

    Cody S LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 753

    Exactly. You also can't run a business off of other people's pricing
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