pricing very large jobs?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by italianstallion69, May 13, 2013.

  1. italianstallion69

    italianstallion69 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    This is the largest project I have worked up a price for:

    the project entails:

    purchase/install 450 1.5-3" cal trees
    "" "" 800 5 gallon shrubs
    "" "" 800 1 gallon groundcovers
    75,000 sf of seed and fine grading with site topsoil, 50,000 is retention basin seeding, would be harley raking to prep for seed/straw
    200-300 tons of planting topsoil
    ~450 yards of mulch
    approx 3 acre site- machine access looks good in all areas
    there will be many curbs to cross in course of a working day , islands, parking lot edge,

    planting shrubs/groundcover will do with a hyd auger off mini.

    I figure on 30-45 working days with 6 guys a day, 2 operators 1 for ss 1 for mini, 1 alternate "tractor" guy to move mulch/trees around site with loader, as i find tractors climb curbs 100% more easily than skids steers.

    How much would you charge?
  2. SRT8

    SRT8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CA
    Messages: 1,318

    Well over $200k
    Where is the job located?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. Drakeslayer

    Drakeslayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    Are you looking for other people's prices without giving yours? This is a very hard question to answer without specific material prices in the area. Post a spec sheet if you you would like serious answers and not just speculation. :hammerhead:
  4. italianstallion69

    italianstallion69 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    using my fancy historical/forward looking excel spreadsheet...

    i am at 380,000. But, 1 i tend to underestimate what my competitors will bid eg i bid a college project at 86,000 the next closest bid was 110,000.

    so i am worried i should be closer to 450-500.

    trees 54000
    shrubs 12000
    groundcovers 5000
    mulch 14,000
    mini ex rental 8000
    straw 5000
    labor 35000
    hotels 6500
    fuel 5000
    seed 5,000
    misc stuff i forgot 10,000

    cost to do 159,500. est profit 220,500

    the largest project we have executed is 88,000 but I am more than confident we can this in stages.
  5. SRT8

    SRT8 LawnSite Bronze Member
    from CA
    Messages: 1,318

    Is this a shopping center? Restaurant?
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Don't assume that you will be able to plan the timing of how you construct this. You will likely have to build it in pieces while working around the schedules and physical presence of others which can seriously impact your efficiency. Also, you may be kept from doing parts of the job until the last minute, so make sure you have the speed capability to execute or contract stipulations to cover these.
    Also, we tend to assume that a good rough grade is what we will be working with, but sometimes those curbs ar free standing and you need lots of fill before you can plant - make sure that is covered in the contract.
  7. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

  8. RWI

    RWI Banned
    from GA
    Messages: 125

    I have got one of these. mine is a little different than the one in the pic, I wish it had ac.

  9. italianstallion69

    italianstallion69 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 108

    well as update, this is a residential development for a developer

    looks like they are going to rebid it so unlikely to get contract this year.

    I am determined to get one of these 500k + deals!!!

    and nice mini but my operator wants a zero swing tail,

    AGLA i only do commercial, so im very aware that we often get change orders to spread and grade topsoil, those site guys just sometimes cant seem to handle that simple task. contract usually states .1" within grade. Ive delayed work based on rough grade being piles of trash.

    still trying for another big development nearby thats 890,000 by my bid.
    not actually sure I can fund the 890grand job but ill try if i land it!

  10. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    I hate to rain on your parade. But it looks to me that if you don't already know how to bid these larger jobs correctly and you've been as far off from the others as you mentioned above, that you're probably in over your head here.

    That will bite you in the A$$ one day. I've seen dozens of guys go out of business in my time because they got in over their head and didn't really know their production times or didn't adequately consider all the possibilities.

    If you're asking these questions and you're that far off, it tells me you're trying to get jobs that are probably a little bigger than you should be messing with. You're trying to take a short-cut to the big time.

    The proper way to land big jobs is you get there slowly, and with experience. How do you land a $10K job? By doing a whole lot of $5K-$8K jobs. How do you land a $20K job? By doing a whole lot of $10K-$15K jobs. How do you land a $50K job? By having learned the ropes doing a lot of $20K-$40K jobs. It's the same with these huge jobs you're trying to score. If you want to land a $500K job, then you should probably have a whole bunch of $200K-$400K jobs under your belt first. If you want to land that $890K job, then you should probably have already done a bunch of $300K-$600K jobs.

    Had you done this, you wouldn't be asking these questions. You'd know your production times. You'd know the best way to install these. Exactly what kind of things to plan for, etc.

    If you do land a big $500K job, the first thing you should say to yourself is, "Uh-oh! What did I forget that all the other bidders didn't?" And then hope whatever it is - is something you can afford to take a hit on.

    You're setting yourself up for trouble just guessing like this. Almost every job I take on I know before I even sign the contract just about exactly how long it will take my crew to do it, what surprises might come up, exactly what my expenses will be for the job, etc. How do I always know? Because if I am submitting a bid, you can almost guarantee we've done LOTS of jobs of that scale before. Or at least CLOSE to that scale.

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