Pricing a paver job?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by justincowart, Mar 13, 2014.

  1. justincowart

    justincowart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    Me and my wife just started our own design company and we have received our first paver job. I have experience doing these jobs, but no experience in pricing them. We do not want to over price it and lose it. How much should we charge? Do we charge by the hour or by the job? The job is listed below.

    Area: 100 Sq. Ft
    - Pavers are sunk in and need to be taken up and re-done. We are going to have to remove the existing pavers and level the ground. Afterwards, were going to lay landscape fabric, place the leveling sand, place the Paver Base Panels, lay the pavers, install the edging, sweep in the Sakrete, and clean up. I estimated about 8-10 hours for the job with 2 people doing it and thought about pricing it at $75/hour + Materials. Does this seem like a reasonable offer? Any suggestions?
  2. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    $25 per sq to install
    To rip out start over I say at least $50 per sq But this shooting in the dark hard to say with out looking at it in person

    20 man hrs seems low but I think you will eat the 20hrs up on the rip out and leveling part then you have install and sweeping in the sakrete takes time

    Good luck

    Any photos of it

    Do you have all the equipment to do the job or you going have to rent something
  3. PenningsLandscaping

    PenningsLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,853

    See what's great about restoration jobs is there way, way less overhead. So price what you need to make the job profitable for you and your business.

    Here are some things to consider, as I've done mostly restoration work.

    How sunken are they? Are you going to need to add more quarry process?

    How long ago was this installed originally? There may be a REASON it sunk. Hint: There probably is!
    Usually this is because the base that was laid was never deep enough. I usually like it to be at least 8 inches for a walkway or patio.

    Make sure you pitch it correctly. All the Sakrete in the world isn't going to do it any good if its not pitched.

    Always ditch whatever edging is already there. I've never used landscape fabric, but I know some people like to use it.

    If you need to dig it out again, it's going to take a lot longer than 10 hours.
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    The square foot rate that is recommended above is poor feedback.

    I will also say, how does one enter a business but not have any clue or understanding how to price work? I'm not trying to be a complete jerk, but I am trying to provoke the topic creator to think about things. Keep in mind, most people that meddle in hardscapes only make it 5 yrs :) It takes business instinct, which comes from deep within.

    New install or restoration work - should never be based on unit pricing (square foot pricing). This industry is all about selling time. We sell time, and we sell equipment rental. And once you're established and experienced - you're then also selling expertise.

    Base your price on anticipated production hrs. This includes loading the truck at the yard, drive time to and fro for each day involved. Factor in time to do the work. Factor in time to clean up each day. It's all about time time time.

    With restoration work, you have no idea what you're getting into. Your proposal should list material allotments, this way if you go over - you can charge, otherwise YOU eat the cost.

    Are you licensed with your state to do construction / home improvement work?

    For more in depth information on pricing work, please do a search on my user name. You can search "all threads" started by user. Or you can search posts with keywords "square foot pricing" "production hours"

    Good luck to you!

    A 100 sq ft job is a great starter job.
  5. justincowart

    justincowart LawnSite Member
    Messages: 2

    We entered the business originally because my wife is an interior designer so the business is not built on hardscaping but rather built on interior design. However, We want to branch the business out by offering other things such as hardscaping in which we have no experience in pricing those types of jobs and this is why I signed up for this site so that we may be able to get insight from experienced company owners on those types of projects. We are licensed to do the work. Our overall goal is to establish a successful design company that offers Interior/Exterior Design with Hardscaping services and finally offering a Lawn Care maintenance portion to create a residual income vs. a company built off project to project work and hiring a team to run portion of the business.
    Anyhow, I'm glad to see that were in agreement as far as selling time vs. square ft. I just needed that clarified.
  6. neighborguy

    neighborguy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 186

    Could the original poster please clarify "Paver Base Panels"? I think I know what you are referring to but want to be sure.
    First thought I have is what is the pattern of paver, can I reuse the cuts or was it laid on a 45 degree and have a ton of little triangles. Then I am (like others) concerned on why it has failed. If there was never a proper base to begin with you will need to redo entire project from scratch (I would do that anyways because even though there appears to be proper base depth who knows how or if it was compacted). If anyone ever asks me to ballpark a redo of a patio, figure almost double cost to do a new one because you have to remove entire existing patio area and save every brick vs digging up grade and disposing.
  7. woodwardschris

    woodwardschris LawnSite Member
    Messages: 42

    This will be a challenging first job.

    The paver base material (Alliance or Brock???) may work, but if the existing base has settled and continues to settle, the paver base panels won't help.

    Projects typically fail because of poor base depth or compaction. Was edge restraint installed on a properly compacted base which extends six inches past the edge of the pavers? Was a separation/geotextile fabric used? Was polymeric sand properly installed to ensure minimal infiltration of moisture into the compacted base?

    The best way to tackle this project would be to remove pavers and base, compact soil, install separation fabric, install proper base material at the necessary depth for your soil and climate conditions (minimum six inches), compact base in lifts necessary for the ability of your compactor, install pavers, replace any missing or damaged pavers, install edge restraint and install polymeric sand.

    The paver base panels should not be used as a quick fix.

    As neighbor guy commented, this could easily be double the cost of a normal installation.

    As DVS commented, you can't price projects with a square foot price.

    The use of the base panels would be an interesting material to consider...I for one really want to know if it will work. The problem is, if you are putting your companies name on this project, are you willing to take the risk of not being sure you are really fixing the problem.

    If you know this customer well, it could be a good first project.

    Try to do the job for time and materials and suggest removal and replacement of base materials as I listed. Use the knowledge gained on this project to help you establish standards you can use on future projects.

    If you want to add hardscaping to your business, you probably want to partner with an existing contractor or at least hire an installer who has a good understanding of the time it will take to complete each project. Your supplier should be more than willing to help you estimate material costs, but you will need a better understanding of the hours needed for the labor. Labor will be your biggest expense on a project so make sure you know what you are getting into before you take on a project.

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