Quote My Job II (I want to be Bobby)

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by grasssin, Aug 27, 2004.

  1. grasssin

    grasssin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    Allright first off the lady starts out by asking for a "trimming of entire property" I give her a price of $650 + $35 for each load to the dump. Finished that with three loads.

    Walk around with her to show her my work, she likes it but says "Can you put in edging on the front garden and fill with Cypress mulch?" Sure no problem. Then asks for me to put landscape fabric down, despite the drawbacks she wants it down anyway.

    Likes it so much so wants the entire side garden done which is the length of her property. Which includes now of tearing out all the ivy growing there. And she wants me to use TWO layers of landscape fabric.

    So far she has not even asked for a price on all this work, which makes me worried, giving her an estimate 1/2 through tomorrow though so not to scare her when we are done...

    Here is the total dimensions for everything done:

    *350 linear ft of metal edging installed ($8 for 8ft section)
    *20 yards of cypress mulch installed (no one sells by bulk around here but figure $70 a yard by bag)
    *Ripping out of ivy and wisteria in about 2000sq ft section
    * Installing black F****** edging in between property lines, preventing wash out of mulch
    * Installing 4000 sq ft of landscape fabric with yard staples

    Good Luck!!
  2. GeeVee

    GeeVee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 421

    Be honest. do try your hardest to give her a figure the job shouldn't exceed. - But you won't be providing service past a certain amount of time on the job.

    Unfortunately, folks will crunch your numbers and beat you up if you continue to do things in this fashion.

    Bid/estimate. keep track of all costs. Learn.
  3. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,581

    $7,500 + tax unless you want to work for free
  4. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    If I were you, I'd make this an hourly job, plus materials.
    I'll even tell you how to sell this as a customer advantage...

    When I run into a job like this, I figure up a charge for materials and delivery to have in hand. Then I just tell the customer...

    "Look Mrs. Customer, I know from years of experience that this is the type of job you don't know what you're 'in for' labor wise until the job is done. Many landscapers out here will just 'pad' the price on a job like this to insure nomatter what, a profit is made. So rather than over charge my customers on jobs like this just to be sure I make a profit, I quote a price for materials and delivery, then a guaranteed hourly rate for the labor. That way this work you want done doesn't cost you a penny more than it's worth."

    Then I present the bill for materials and delivery for collection. Then I present the paperwork on the job with an hourly labor rate and get a signature.

    Sometimes I will break a job down, quoting all parts of the job I am comfortable with, then a flat rate hourly for the unmeasurable work. Just whatever works for me.

    IF I had to price the job up front... well....

    Using your numbers...
    Materials & Delivery = $2,000
    Landscape clean/install @ $1 per sq ft = $2,000

    So 4K plus whatever you want for the edging & fabric install...
  5. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Wow Quality!!! You posted while I was posting... $7500... Really?
    I was thinking maybe $5,000-$6,000 myself....
    $2.50 - $3.00 per thousand sq ft....
  6. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 566

    Envy thats an awsome way to describe to a customer the logic of charging by the hr for those hard to bid jobs. Ive been saying the same thing but not in those words.
    I do a quote and stick to it generally because it makes the price more palitable to the customer. Course some jobs you dont dare quote as the example indicates.
  7. Envy Lawn Service

    Envy Lawn Service LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 11,087

    Thank you... I work hard on marketing and sales. It's a tough game to figure out what works and what doesn't. So when I get the chance to pass on a tip that might help prevent a fellow member from loosing his @ss on a job like this... I will do so.

    Sometimes you don't dare quote a flat rate for the job... as it could go either way. As evidenced above, I would have felt comfortable at 5-6K on this job, drawing from somewhat similar experience. But I haven't had to deal with removing that particular vegetation, nor is there much edging installation going on around here. I've just done enough to know it can be a PITA. So $7,500 might be the right price? I might have went in the hole?

    When in doubt....
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    of course you want to be like me. what i would do is: quote my systemized price for mulch, or any materials. anything other would be sold as "general labor" and charged hourly. funny though, when i did this in another thread, i was bashed to no end.
  9. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,581

    I charge what I want on every job. If I'm not comfortable with the profit I'M going to make, I won't take the job. I'm not desperate for work, so every price is inflated just because I don't need to do it..
  10. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    Horay! Finally the correct way to bid, "see the part about profit" if each member would do this the prices charged would be keeping up with cost of living and customer would come to expect to pay more.


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