New Job Bid - 1st big Job - Help

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Mylawnwi, Mar 31, 2010.

  1. Mylawnwi

    Mylawnwi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    Thanks Northofeden. I will look into that for sure.

    We got almost done with this job last night. It was dark last night so I couldn't take finished pics. Touch ups today. Here are a couple pics b4 I finished some cuts and added sand. Mind you some of the Caps on the wall by the pool are not cut yet so it looks choppy but they don't anymore.






  2. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,315

    That pattern looks like crap
  3. Moneypit

    Moneypit LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I would have said it a little nicer...... but I agree 100%.
  4. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    I probably wouldn't have picked that pattern, but do you guys pick patterns when you install a patio? I may suggest a few but ultimately I let the homeowner pick. I think it looks good though. Keep up the good work.
  5. wurkn with amish

    wurkn with amish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 662

    I pick the pattern and most of the time the pavers, we're the pros not them....
  6. nepatsfan

    nepatsfan LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,142

    whatever twiddles your bean. I pick the brand. I let them pick color style and pattern. why would you pick the particular paver? Do you let the painter pick the color of the house, the tile guy pick the tile, the cabinet guy pick the cabinets. why would a landscaper choose the style and color paver. Brand I can understand, if you only want to use one you feel comfortable with the product but just because you are the pro doesnt mean you have the same color or design taste as people. I may suggest a pattern or color but I give them the options for the pavers they choose and I show it to them on a computer program with the pavers in place at their house in the color and pattern they choose before I begin. I just take a picture of their house when I do the estimate. It works mint and sells jobs really well and it gives me the opportunity to correspond with people after give them the proposal. It literally takes about 5-10 minutes to do too.
  7. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    I think your charge is too low. You need to make money. You listed a lot of back breaking work...and you should pocket from it. If your customer doesn't have the money, than they shouldn't be looking to have work done on their property. One thing I have found useful in the past few years is to accept credit cards through an online merchant account; no credit card machine expense, just $15-$20 per month in fee. 80% of our billing is paperless now.

    here is my charge formula:

    E-equipment (this includes your hand tools, and rental equipment; plus time to get the machine(s). Chances are you will break a tool every so often...)
    L-labor (not your pay, but hired help with workers comp, etc if applicable)
    M-Material with taxes and delivery---I usually over estimate all materials by 5-10% to be safe.
    O-Overhead costs ----If you don't know your direct hourly or daily overhead cost, then charge a percentage on E,L,M, and S. Say 5-10% on each. E,L,M,O, and S is your break even cost.
    S-Sub Contractor(s)
    ADD UP E,L,M,O, and S. Add this number to C and P. This will ensure money in your pocket when the job is done.

    C-Contingency (the "oops" factor. This amount can either be credited back to the cost if things go as planned, added to your profit, or used for the unexpected----which many larger jobs have...)
    P-Profit. Generally 20-30% is acceptable. Now you can't go use this formula and expect to make $1,000 when you buy a statue that costs 6,000 and takes only 1 hour for you to position, but if you run your numbers right you will be sure that your bottom line is met, and money is going to the bank.
  8. andyslawncare

    andyslawncare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 812

    agreed. I wouldn't have let the customer pick that pattern. I show my customers examples of patterns we will follow, and they pick from that. I wouldn't have run straight lines, it should be offset.

    You did a proper install and I'm sure you impressed your customer by doing so. Sometimes, we all do things differently than we would at our own properties.
  9. Mylawnwi

    Mylawnwi LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I appriciate the positive feedback guys and constructive criticism from some of you. You can see the haters above in some posts. They did pick the pattern. I didn't like it too much anyhow but it is our 1st hardscaping job as said erlier in the post. I will learn more about patterns and probably steer the next guy away. I think it came out well in the end. Yes we should have made more money for sure and we will next time. This whole job was a big learning experiance as well. It was some hard work. haha. I know we could have done a few things better but hey at least the guy paid up at the end. haha. I still need to drop by to take some finished pictures. It def looks a bit better.
  10. Meezer

    Meezer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    Don' see any haters, just constructive criticism some of which you just can't take

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