Bidding On Lawn Contracts

 
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Old 02-22-2007, 04:15 PM   #1
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Bidding On Lawn Contracts


I am getting ready to bid on some apartment complexes. Does anyone have a good formula they use for lawn maintenance?
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Old 02-22-2007, 06:50 PM   #2
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


Everything is different. You have to base it on machine, manpower, travel time, fuel costs, overhead etc.. What are your workers comp costs? What does your insurance run you? What I can do with a 3 man crew and what you can pull off are two completely different games. Not even close (not saying I am better, but rather, I am sure we have different ways of doing things and probably different equipment). Also, what kind of upsells are involved? Are you just mowing, blowing, and going? Can you add on a turf program? What about mulch? Gotta keep the beds weed free? Leaves in the fall? Will you have to take a hit on the maintenance in order to get the snow work? Whole bunch of things to consider.

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Old 02-26-2007, 02:04 PM   #3
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


I know all that factors in. I was looking for a formula to figure out how long it would take me. Just an average time.
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Old 03-01-2007, 03:55 AM   #4
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


im a paint contractor just checkin out what you guys do, but why is it that most paint and landscape type contractors lowball to get work?take a hit when you get home!not while your working(i mean finacially)!carpenters and construction contractors dont seem to do it, if anything they make pure profits for nothing, and for what? because they use a tape measure and have some saws???, they dont know how to do what we do so why discredit yourselves?in my area landscape/plow guys just keep undercutting eachother to get work,down to the teenage rates,and most of them go out of business or make mcdonalds money after overhead just to go cut more lawns/plow and they dont even know why lol?????? northstar you sound like you have your overhead in control, but why sell yourself short to get the snow????any quality perenial service provider should'nt have to eat profits in fear of the unproper hack crew to maintain a profitable business, or have to lowball in hope of getting snow contracts!respect what you do and sell your quality service for what its worth!HO's need to respect what we do!your not the kid walkin around the neiborhood with a mower and a blower!this situation really erk's me!are you a landscaper with a contract or a landscape contractor?no disrespect it happens all to often in my industry as well!

ps now that i think about it i could prolly bank off of a lowballing unofficial hack beat down service! /damage rate of course. call me for an estimate!lol

all work to be completed in workmanlike manner according to standered practices!

Last edited by farrellpainting; 03-01-2007 at 04:23 AM.
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Old 03-01-2007, 07:00 AM   #5
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


Quote:
Originally Posted by JEC Lawn View Post
I know all that factors in. I was looking for a formula to figure out how long it would take me. Just an average time.
I often wonder who's more mentally retarded- the painters or the landscapers- because I've NEVER seen any other trade that apparently is so clueless about how to price their services and is willing to base their living on advice they get from an internet forum.

How can you make a statement like "I know all that factors in", and in the next sentence ask for "an average time" to complete the work????? Only you know what equipment you have, what the property looks like (is it large, open expanses of lawn, or cut up little bits and pieces?), how fast your crews work, etc.

Please, before you bid one of these contracts too low and lose your azz in the process, do the math yourself and figure out what you need to charge based on your circumstances. If you'd rather just look for the easy way out by using a "formula" you find here, go work at Home Depot's garden department instead so the landscapers who are willing to do the right thing don't have to compete against someone who doesn't have a clue what they're pricing.

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Old 03-02-2007, 05:29 AM   #6
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


You have to knock things down in order to get the work because of people who do not know how to bid and do constantly lowball. It is a horrible business. Every ying yang with a lawnboy mower and a 1977 El Camino calls themselves a landscaper. Out of work and need some cash? Hell, slap some magnets on the side of the station wagon and you are off and running. Better than 75% of landscapers don't know about overhead. They figure if they pay a guy $10 an hour that is the hourly rate that is charged to the client. The don't factor anything in. Just work from paycheck to paycheck. It use to be only mowing as well. Now guys watch a DIY show on Saturday morning about laying pavers and, lo and behold, they start putting in the paver patios and retaining walls on Monday morning. It is a very uneducated business with people with good hearts but no business sense.

That is the exact reason I am getting into real estate rehabs. Plenty to be made there and if you don't control overhead you don't get to grow your business. Just you, all by yourself. Heck of a lot easier that way.
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Old 03-02-2007, 05:52 AM   #7
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


Man, you're going from the frying pan into the fire by getting into rehabs....lol. You think the lawn guys are picking up info from DIY? Just wait until you're having to buy properties that are severely overpriced because DIY idiots are overpaying for houses they intend to flip.

To make matters worse, even the "pro" flippers are all using under-the-table and illegal labor to get their houses ready, so unless you're willing to do the same, you'll never compete.

Good luck,

Bob
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Old 03-03-2007, 07:24 AM   #8
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


Nah, I have an "in" with a friend. He is a mortgage broker and we have a pretty steady business model. In our area, Columbus, Ohio, the market is saturated with available homes. There are homes that have sat vacant for years that nobody even bothers to look at. It is amazing. Couple the availabilty of homes with the fact that the market is undervalued by about 3% and there is a chance to make some good coin. Every business has it's drawbacks and I'm sure that the rehab game will have it's own but it can't be nearly as bad as the landscape business. I am not giving up on landscape construction. I am just going to pick and choose my jobs now. I will have the luxury of not bidding against every ying yang who doesn't know what it truly costs to operate in the business.
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:17 PM   #9
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


if your getting into flippin rehabs i hope you are a jack of all trades and not just an opportunistic landscape contractor!musts=hvac,elec,drywall,plumb,painting( belive me theres alot more to it than opening a can of paint)masonry,carpentry etc.. and thats just the tradesman part of it.if you cant do all of these profesionally(i mean foreman for a company)than you will just be a homeowner!!!!also you should know the real estate biz yourself.bank loans,local rehab programs(not for drugs),accounting, legalities and paper work involved in buying and selling residential real estate etc....

i looked into this cause there is alot of it going on in my area,various rehab programs and such, and let me tell ya its alot!!!investigate why no one has taken these properties,its kind of like youll be getting these properties that no one wants and youll be the under cutter only it doesnt effect them!!the people that do this in my area are major construction companies and even they leave what would seem to be gold mines for other self pro claimed real estate geniouses.

oh yeah and then you have to actually sell it!!!!!!

you might be barkin up the wrong tree!!

Last edited by farrellpainting; 03-03-2007 at 11:21 PM.
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Old 03-03-2007, 11:52 PM   #10
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


bob,
it boggles my mine as well,i asked one guy who was trying to start a gc,how he does paint estimates and he told me he would just call another paint contractor and ask him what they would charge!!!!!hahahahahaha!!!!!my old boss spent 20k on a manlift and didnt add it in to his overhead or charge per useage!hahahaha he would always piss and moan about it,i told him that he should charge for it oneway or another and he told me that it would pay its self off over time cause he can get things done faster with it!hahahahaha

and these landscape/plow guys around me that buy brand new trucks,excessive models like 30-40k and think its all good cause theyre business owners now!!!and they dont even know what overhead is, seriously ive asked a few,and they say that a nice new f350 is good for biz cause it makes them look professional, then they go out and undercut the guy with a beat up s-10!!!!i mean wtf?

and now painters!most ask what the last bid was and just throw out a lower #,and have no idea what production rates are!one guy i worked for said he charges like 30/hr but usually only makes about 20/hr on good jobs?WHAT???????????????lets not leave out drug use and addiction with painters why is this?i started painting at 19 for summer cash im now 22 with my own company,and i cant find one clean quality painter out there.i guess i should start doing drugs or move to a new profession?lol! and who pays per day??i get asked that by every guy that asks me if i need help?if i wanted to support a drug addiction i would just sell drugs!it is a toss up between painters and scapers,but heres my just,most painters are just low lifes,and most landscapers are just over-zelous idiots!thats my take!
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Old 03-04-2007, 08:24 AM   #11
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


I'll post my progress on my first house and you can evaluate whether or not I am barking up the wrong tree. The flipping business is an information business. You have to arm yourself with the proper information in order to make this work.

I don't consider myself a jack of all trades but it isn't my first county fair either. You can naysay all you want but the proof is in the pudding. You know, Farrellpainting, that if all landscapers are over zealous and all painters are low lifes maybe you should start hanging with a more high brow crowd. Obviously the expectations you have for the rest of us aren't measuring up. You are only 22 why don't you just try and not be so jaded.
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Old 03-04-2007, 04:37 PM   #12
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


north star ,whos more jaded the 37yro paint contractor that blows me off when i suggest a logical way to do something or me for actually making sense?age has nothing to do with knowledge!experience yes but i gather logical knowledge from other knowledgeable sources,regardless of age!but when it comes time for me to suggest something to a paint contractor, mine or twice my age it goes right out the window cause im only 22, i cant tell you how sore my neck gets in the summer when i drop by and check out another paint contractors site to shoot the @#$% and if i see something that could be done easier/better i casually suggest it,and they cant swallow their pride enough to take my advice and say thanks because im young!and all i can do is shake my head!thats jaded!and its the culprit for my jaded attitude i guess,i should be more aware of this and find a solution (like just let them keep doing idiotic things and not say anything).so thanks for pointing it out!im just tryin to help them though!

and i said MOST not ALL you took that the wrong way.there are some very big well known scape/plow contractors that are great in all aspects probably like yourself,and then there are the people that go out and buy a 40k truck,all new equip,pay a buddy or 2 under the table, and just go out and undercut other developed companies such as yourself,and steal your contract,only to go out of business the next year,or worse put you out of business,cause you actually know what you should be making!

the paint world now is the same but the exact opposite.what i mean is the uninformed (business wise)companies go out and just chop prices/bids just to get work,and all they have is a an old rusty $700 mazda p/u,a laundry basket full of tools,and untrained under the table workers.this is what i meant by lowlifes,so called paint contractors that dont want to make the effort to actually maintain or build a decent business.and most painters that are looking for work have "apprenticed" through these kinds of companies.this is absolutley terrible their bosses pay per day and allow crack heads/drunks to be painters,not only is this bad for the rates painters could be charging,its a disgrace to the face of painters everywhere,especially painters like myself that take pride in their work and dont like to be percieved in this way!crackheads and alcholics should be in re-hab not painting your house!

i said all of that stuff about flippin,cause ive looked into it to and it doesnt seem to be that profitable unless like bob said you are a professional,or own a construction company!i painted a house that this 1 man pro gc was going to flip,well the paint job alone was close to 10k,on top of restoring the whole interior garage etc...,long story short it took him over a year to get the property ready,he finally had to sell it (bank wouldnt let him keep it any longer)and had to take a 100k hit,and i made 10k in a month!what im saying is if you know your info or not, if you cant get the work done in a cheap timely fashion thats all up to code,like owning a big construct biz, it isnt worth it!if it was all about info then real estate agents would be all over these properties already, but its more of a construct tractor thing to do!

i will try to humble myself!

Last edited by farrellpainting; 03-04-2007 at 04:41 PM.
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Old 03-04-2007, 05:44 PM   #13
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


Ya'll need to lighten up in here!
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Old 03-05-2007, 10:53 PM   #14
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


i need to either go into painting ... or landscaping ...
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Old 03-27-2007, 09:43 PM   #15
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


Can't we all just get along. So I have a question? I just started a lanscape business and according to everyone in here I'm just a lowballer dirtbag trying to undercut everyone. When is and who is the right time and person to start a business? I worked with a major lanscape company for close to 7 years and was the go to guy. I eventually moved away and relized I was in a untaped resource and decided to start my own business, beleive me I'm not doing it for nothing. I am very business savy and could sell a farmer cow **** if i had to. I just signed my name on over 20k worth of equipment so trust me I'm not gonna be low balling anyone. I've been advertising for 2 months now and already sold over 20 contracts, 10 were other contractors and I'm doing the properties for more money than what they were doing it for. Not everyone is trying to undercut I'm charging more and still getting them. just goes to show you what a little education and people skills can get you.
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Old 03-29-2007, 06:48 PM   #16
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


How big is the total area of the lawn? How much trimming is required? How many people? Are riding mowers aplicable if not how many men mowing with push mowers? How many trimming? Is it small parcles of grace or large open area's? If you can answer these questions for me I should be able to estimate a time required to mow and trim this lawn.
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Old 03-06-2008, 03:01 PM   #17
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


Quote:
Originally Posted by farrellpainting View Post
im a paint contractor just checkin out what you guys do, but why is it that most paint and landscape type contractors lowball to get work?take a hit when you get home!not while your working(i mean finacially)!carpenters and construction contractors dont seem to do it, if anything they make pure profits for nothing, and for what? because they use a tape measure and have some saws???, they dont know how to do what we do so why discredit yourselves?in my area landscape/plow guys just keep undercutting eachother to get work,down to the teenage rates,and most of them go out of business or make mcdonalds money after overhead just to go cut more lawns/plow and they dont even know why lol?????? northstar you sound like you have your overhead in control, but why sell yourself short to get the snow????any quality perenial service provider should'nt have to eat profits in fear of the unproper hack crew to maintain a profitable business, or have to lowball in hope of getting snow contracts!respect what you do and sell your quality service for what its worth!HO's need to respect what we do!your not the kid walkin around the neiborhood with a mower and a blower!this situation really erk's me!are you a landscaper with a contract or a landscape contractor?no disrespect it happens all to often in my industry as well!

ps now that i think about it i could prolly bank off of a lowballing unofficial hack beat down service! /damage rate of course. call me for an estimate!lol

all work to be completed in workmanlike manner according to standered practices!
are u kidding me dude? im a carpenter by trade, and run a landscaping company on the side. ive been framing for 6 years. do you really think you could frame a wall ? hip roof system? i bet you couldnt even tell me where to begin on a blueprint. carpenters dont just make more because they have special tools bud, its because not everyone can be a carpenter. anyone can paint. there is no skill in painting
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:50 AM   #18
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


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.... carpenters dont just make more because they have special tools bud, its because not everyone can be a carpenter. anyone can paint. there is no skill in painting
Anyone can paint? Ya, and anyone can bang a nail, or mow a lawn. But not just anyone can succeed in business, at those things.

No skill in painting? That's a good one.
No skill in my painting, and maybe not in yours, but there are some good painters out there.
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Old 01-28-2013, 04:36 AM   #19
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


Are you sure you wanna bid on that lawn job?
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Old 01-28-2013, 06:31 AM   #20
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Re: Bidding On Lawn Contracts


Most of the folks that posted in this thread haven't posted in the last few years. Are they out of business?

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