Question on a irrigation maintenance contract

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by LwnmwrMan22, Mar 2, 2008.

  1. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    A large supercenter locally, with national offices in Bentonville Arkansas, wants me to now bid the entire landscape contract, everything from lawn mowing to fertilizing, to landscape repair to irrigation.

    I've got a guy subbing out the start up and shut down, but I'm also responsible for any "minor" repairs.

    Here's the situation. It's 21 zones with approx 110 heads. My sub is going to charge $800 to shut it down and start it up.

    I'm charging the store $1000 for my time and effort.

    Here's my question, I'm now responsible for "minor" repairs. I figure $50 per head replacement, but how many heads are going to go bad?? 10 per year?? 20?? 50?? I'm figuring an extra $1000 on top of the $1000 to start the system and shut it down.

    Am I even in the ballpark??

    Minor is head replacement and adjustment. Anything beyond that is time and materials.

    The manager flipped when she got the quote and it was over double of what they have paid in any of the last 8 years that I've done the store.

    Again, it's the first year that they've wanted it bid out, strictly by the line items that the corporate office wants.

  2. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    Dont bid on a repair contract. Bid an irrigation check, and if they want... give them unit cost avgs of what a broken head might cost, broken controller, bad valve. Dont guarantee that youll keep the system operational for a few hundred bucks a year. youre just asking to lose money there.,
  3. Tom Tom

    Tom Tom LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,281

    Thats just it, no one knows how many will go bad.

    I'd bid it Time and Material
  4. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    Agreed. And if they dont like it, you dont want it.
  5. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    Well, they've already balked at my bid this year for the entire maintenance on the project. Some of the issue is that the store has never been in control of an irrigation system, or maintained as much actual landscape area vs. turf area. In the past, at the old location, they literally had 8 bushes with no material around them.

    As I said in my first post, I've been doing this location for 8+ years, since they opened, including now a completely new store at a new location.

    This is the first year they're totally in control of everything. At the old location there was no irrigation, and last year the general contractor was still responsible for the irrigation at this location.

    Now the general contractor is out, and I'm supposed to follow the terms of service to a "T", new store and all.

    The store manager has always been flexible in the past, especially when it benefits her bottom line, so that's what I'll bring up to her.

    I suppose one way I can lower the entire bid, at the beginning is to drop the $1000 I was putting in for head replacement, and put it as time and materials.

    Then I can work it for a couple of years and get a feel for it.

    I'll have to hold fast on my other numbers though, but this'll knock about 6% off the original bid, up front anyways.
  6. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    Pitch that to her. Nothing breaks, no charge.
  7. AI Inc

    AI Inc LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 26,804

    So I guess the people running it are a lot like the ones shopping there huh, cheap white trash.
  8. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,690

    Yeah. Tell her shes got a full line of Orbit in aisle 46, if they want a big bonus, do it themselves.
  9. LwnmwrMan22

    LwnmwrMan22 LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,373

    It's kinda funny. I personally don't like comments like this, because there's different reasons why people shop at different places.

    However, the manager herself one time said basically the same thing, which I thought was quite unprofessional.
  10. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 50,373

    Hey, us cheap white trash gotta shop somewhere.

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