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pricing on patio

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by tractrpowr45, Apr 16, 2006.

  1. tractrpowr45

    tractrpowr45 LawnSite Member
    from NY
    Messages: 32

    I was at a potential clients house the other day giving him an estimate on spreading topsoil when he asked me if I could give him a price on doing a simple 10' x 10' Hollandstone patio. I told him I would write him up an estimate when I got home and mail it to him in a couple days. He then asked me to just give him a rough idea of what it would cost. I told him around $1000.00. He said can't you do any better than that? I said I wasn't sure on exact pricing because I didn't have my paver pricelist with me plus I can't just figure material quantities off the top of my head. When I went home and sat down and actually wrote everything up, I discovered I am going have to price the job at $1100 to $1150 in order to make a profit($600.00 for labor and $500 to $550 for material cost. Is my labor charge overpriced, just right, or should I be charging more? I figure the job will take me 8hrs. Maybe the guy is either a cheapskate or just has no idea how much paver patios cost.
    Any help would be appreciated.:)
  2. tylermckee

    tylermckee LawnSite Member
    from wa
    Messages: 248

    Guy is probably just trying to lowball you, tell him your price and stand by it. Unless you are really scrounging for work.
  3. Techo-Bloc

    Techo-Bloc LawnSite Member
    Messages: 11

    10x10 patio???

    Holland Stone should cost to a contractor about $1.80-$2.00 a Sqft. So your material cost for block is $200 plus an extra $200 for stone, edging etc. A good labor rate for a typical job would be 2 1/2 times the cost of material. Making a total cost of $1000. Most of the time the profit level on small patios, such as a 10x10, is not worth a contractors time.

  4. cedarcroft

    cedarcroft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    your numbers seem right. I have a customer that chisels me on every estimate I give him. I found that If I stick to my guns and complain about feeding my children the way he complains about my "ridiculous" prices, he usually backs off and pays my very fair prices. took me a while to figure out his game, but now I know and I play his game right back and we are all happy.
    here is an example:
    Norman: WHAT!!! $1500 to spread dirt around, thats ridiculous, no way. I can't pay that you're crazy.
    Me: Thats a discount rate because you pay cash. I would normally charge over $2000 for 20 yards of topsoil. I am charging you the bare minimum and my kids still need to eat too!
    Norman: Bull$hit, I could get a couple of mexicans to do it for a hundred bucks.
    me: no problem, next time I will pick them up for you and they can shovel it by hand instead of using the Bobcat. I am sure they will do a great job. but this is my price and you know Its right.
    Norman: Yeah but you're my guy, I want you to do the work.
    Me: so stop breaking my balls everytime I hand you a bill.
    Norman: you're killing me (as he whips out $1500 cash and pays me)

    This is an actual conversation that we had 2 days ago. its paraphrased and edited becasue being from NY there was alot more cursewords involved but that is really how it went down and I got paid what I needed and he got a fair price. he just likes to chisel and break balls. so the moral of the story is to stick to your guns and you should be allright.
  5. PSUturf

    PSUturf LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 663

    We get $19 per square foot for Hollands. That includes excavation, base, pavers, soldier course cuts, joint sand.
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Cedarcroft..Isen't it great once you figure out how some of these customers like to bargan?It's great!
    It's like NOWAY they are just going to accept any price without a tussle the first time you tell them..it's in their blood I think,to try and make you feel like your overcharging..in many societies if you don't haggle it is concidered an insult.

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