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Really need Help for an estimate.

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by KAT_Ayanami, Apr 15, 2007.

  1. KAT_Ayanami

    KAT_Ayanami LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Hey, how are you doing? Im new writing around here but I have read several post this last months.

    I opened a small construction company some months ago and I just recieved my first job that is bigger than 5000 sf.

    The job is a concrete paver driveway-patio around a big house making a whole circle.

    It has two parts:

    1. SIZE: 2300 sf.
    The house has old half a circle of paver in front that needs to be repaired.
    will need to be removed, releveled and re-placed back.
    I will probably need some extra gravel and sand and new pavers to put on.

    I estimated $23000. ($10 per sf)

    2. SIZE: 2700 sf.
    I need to close the circle around the house. There is a company that will take the flagstone and leave the old 5 inches of gravel, so I would only need 3 inches more and do the rest of the work and material.
    This part is big.

    I estimated $35000. ($13 per sf)

    Could you tell me if this prices are fine for Maryland?
    The problem is that since I have never done such a big job Im afraid I might charge too little money for this job.

    Thank You.


    PS: Im looking forward to hear from DVS Hardscaper :)
  2. waltero

    waltero LawnSite Member
    Messages: 206

    What kind of work have you done leading up to this job? What kind of equipment do you own? And finally, How much experience do you have total?
    The price is really dependent on YOUR overhead and cost to do the work, there are so many variables for someone to comment without more information.

    I don't think you understand why the pavers are failing and it doesn't appear from your post that you will be addressing those areas. I would also say that you need to give more information, and possibly some photos for anyone to really help you.
  3. KAT_Ayanami

    KAT_Ayanami LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    We have done many patios in paver, the problem is that we were the labor, not the owners.

    - I will have the material delivered and I will rent a tamper. (You don't really need much more than that and the equipment to level and place the sand)

    -The pavers are falling because of the weights of some pick ups that the owner have. The bedding is only 5 or 6 inches thick and I will need some more gravel to cover and compact. (anyways, pavers always sink a little)

    - I have estimated the material, labor, overhead, and profit independently. I know how to estimate any kind of job. The only thing I don't know is if my prices are correct because I tend to charge way less than the average contractor. And why should I charge $10.000 dollars less just because my overhead is minimum??

    - I don't really want to know the EXACT amount that I should charge, but instead an approximation of around $5000 dollars.

    The place is Silver Spring, Maryland.

  4. cedarcroft

    cedarcroft LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 442

    ummmmmm.....yeah. I believe this has been discussed once before. There is no secret formula, you have to determine your cost of materials labor and overhead and then determine how to mark it up from there taking into account access, excavation etc. Based on a square foot price I would say you are low. find out the above information and then divide it by the square feet being installed and you will have your sq ft price, not the other way around.
    one more thing:
    if you are undercutting other contractors to get jobs and doing jobs where "pavers sink a little anyway" then you should be ashamed of yourself. Do good work at a FAIR price and you will go far.
  5. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    I would suggest that you not re-use the existing bedding. Pavers should not sink if installed with an application appropriate dense grade base material.

    Do you have high overhead? If not your numbers are fine. Find a place that rents a plate rammer not a compactor so you can get good compaction. no matter how thick of a base you put if it is not compacted it will shift.
  6. KAT_Ayanami

    KAT_Ayanami LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    Like I said on my post, I just did that >_< I did material, labor, overhead and profit. And then, I calculated how much would it be per sf to compare with the prices said in this forums.

    Thank you, that is what I basically needed to know :)

    That is not true!! I am not undercutting any other contractor and making a crappy job!!
    Our jobs are completely professional and we have more than 20 years of experience in construction.
    I just stated a fact that pavers used for cars do sink with time a little here and there. What I am doing is fixing somebody else's mistake because they only used 5 inches of gravel.

    What do you mean with an application?

    I thought of adding 3 inches more of gravel and compacting the whole thing again. Since the other gravel has been there for 3 years I thought that It would be compacted enough to leave it as it is and construct on top. (Cheaper for the owner)

    My overhead is pretty low right now since we don't even have an office yet and we are using family tools and similar (we have been in construction for long time)

    I thought a tamper, but I will check the plates.

    The owner doesn't care what he pays but he wants an extremely good job. That is why I'm asking around.

    Thanks Again.
  7. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Pricing could be high if your brick costs you $1 sq.ft., could be low if its costing you $5sq.ft. What type of brick are you going to be installing. I say your quote is on the high side if you are installing the 4x8 holland, or what ever you call it up there. The owner will certainly do a bit of research ; read get another quote, and then ask you to explain your costs. Thats a ton of brick to be laying and charging by sq. footage. Figure your expenses and go from there. He only needs to worry that you will still be in business in a couple of years.
  8. KAT_Ayanami

    KAT_Ayanami LawnSite Member
    Messages: 41

    I dont have the name out of my head... but it is the octagon that has a square attached to it. The price is around 2.80 per sf.

  9. dchauling

    dchauling LawnSite Member
    Messages: 159

    ANYWAYS, when you lay them on crap base that is already there they will sink again. Excavate it all. Then start fresh you can use the old material as long it is clean and mixed in with the new stuff. How do you know if there was geo-textile? What condition is it in? Do it right or don't do it at all.

    Those bricks are in the top 5 ugliest, they are called decore here and were finally taked out of production.
  10. ribbie78

    ribbie78 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 150

    The fruitloop blocks? I guess if the customer wants fruitloops give 'em fruitloops....

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