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Deck Quoting

 
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:34 PM   #1
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Deck Quoting


Hi All, first time poster here but been following for a long while. I’m wondering if anyone on here can help me with estimating. I recent went out on my own and the one aspect my old boss never showed me was how to build a quote and estimate a job. I have a general idea but my method is loosing me jobs. How I do it now is simply figure out what the daily rate is for my guys and I and then times that by what I think the job is going to take. I mostly build pressure treated and composite decks and then some bathrooms and kitchens here and there. How do you guys do it? Do you have a per square foot number? Or do you figure it out per task. Like each footing costs X and so on and so forth. I’ve lost 5 jobs over the last week because clients said I was overpriced. Please help!!!
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:41 PM   #2
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Re: Deck Quoting


I do it just like your saying and add tree fiddy

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Old 06-29-2020, 06:47 PM   #3
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Re: Deck Quoting


How do I find out if I’m just charging too much per day? I don’t know anyone in the trade in my area that can help me out.
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:52 PM   #4
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Re: Deck Quoting


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsbd86 View Post
How do I find out if I’m just charging too much per day? I don’t know anyone in the trade in my area that can help me out.
how much would you want to make if you were working for someone?

you pay a man what he is worth to you...

how can you possibly be in business if you do not know local labor costs?

you also MUST know your overhead costs...

Labor + Material + Overhead + Profit + PITA = Cost
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Old 06-29-2020, 06:52 PM   #5
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Re: Deck Quoting


Only you can answer that. Like I said just add tree fiddy
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:07 PM   #6
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Re: Deck Quoting


I appreciate the information. I should have said that years ago I left the guy I worked for for a bunch of years and went into another full time job. That job now allows me to have several days off during the week and I have been asked to do projects for friends and family. I started out by charging what I used to make daily and then upped it as I added a trailer and tools. End of last year I created a business to protect myself god forbid. I was never shown how to calculate everything to come up with the right price to charge people. I pay my guys who are skilled guys in the same full time field as me what I think they should get paid BUT I don’t know if that is too much or not. Maybe I ran into a couple clients who just legitimately didn’t know what their decks cost to build. Again, thank you for any help you can offer.



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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsbd86 View Post
How do I find out if I’m just charging too much per day? I don’t know anyone in the trade in my area that can help me out.
how much would you want to make if you were working for someone?

you pay a man what he is worth to you...

how can you possibly be in business if you do not know local labor costs?

you also MUST know your overhead costs...

Labor + Material + Overhead + Profit + PITA = Cost
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:09 PM   #7
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Re: Deck Quoting


Composite decks are expensive for the average owner. Cut yourself short trying to blow threw the work and you will regret it.

I figure by footing then time. I don't bother with square foot or linear feet for railing. You can easily do a rail section in 20 minutes . Two an hour safely, three shouldn't be a problem as you get going.

Stairs can take day easily. Posts and blocking are time consuming.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:10 PM   #8
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Re: Deck Quoting


Plugs for trim boards take time too.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:26 PM   #9
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Re: Deck Quoting


Could be you are not too expensive, just the wrong customers.

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Old 06-29-2020, 07:32 PM   #10
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Re: Deck Quoting


Quote:
Originally Posted by Jsbd86 View Post
...Iíve lost 5 jobs over the last week because clients said I was overpriced. Please help!!!...
it is not your fault that people can not afford what they want.

sounds like too many tire kickers...

screen your clients better, get an idea of their budget so you don't waste your time bidding stuff they can't afford.
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Old 06-29-2020, 07:43 PM   #11
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Re: Deck Quoting


Everyone got excited for decks around here and most are pulling back after getting quotes.
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:19 PM   #12
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Re: Deck Quoting


Don't worry about losing bids, worry about doing ENOUGH bids.

You should only win about a third of your bids. If you win everything all the time you are CHEAPER than everyone else. Where you want to be to maximize profit is just slightly more expensive than most but not THE MOST EXPENSIVE. This will allow for quality work, good profit, good volume and a solid marketing budget to build your business.

How are you marketing your business?
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Old 06-29-2020, 09:58 PM   #13
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Re: Deck Quoting


Forget the friends & family everybody wants the buddy deal. Really simple to find out what the comp is getting probably the easiest part if that’s what your after. Sounds like you need to tool up on business skills. Nobody on here knows what your market is.I would be doing some scouting & studying. As mentioned the rails & top is the easy part. Nothing happens overnight
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Old 06-29-2020, 10:35 PM   #14
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Re: Deck Quoting


It's also possible that you and the guys working for you, since you and they are not doing this full time, might be a little slower than a full time professional, and hence your timeline is too long.

I strongly recommend you get David Gerstel's 2 books on construction business.

They are, in my opinion, invaluable for guy starting out. Even for someone with years of experience.
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Old 06-29-2020, 11:33 PM   #15
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Re: Deck Quoting


I try to give a pretty detailed proposal so the prospect can see I'm not just pulling a number out of my ass. It also gives them a small understanding of what the job will take. The proposal virtually walks them though the build.

He's an example of my proposal. This isn't my contract.

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Old 06-30-2020, 11:39 AM   #16
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Re: Deck Quoting


i ran a deck business in the 80's .i was no way over priced . when i was running every lead i once figured i was getting 1 in 10 . needed to learn what calls to take ,which ones to actually bid or give thought to .i had a good add and got way to many calls .

figure out your material cost/what you will need - need to do this to do the job anyway .
then sit back and start figuring in details ,every detail .this will help with your time estimate .

figure your material cost .
figure your labor cost .
time consuming ,after awhile you will learn what the potential clients want and what you need to bill for . takes time ,no easy answer .
what it takes you to do and the next guy is different .how you design or build is different .
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Old 06-30-2020, 12:27 PM   #17
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Re: Deck Quoting


To quote Master Griz San "You my Son, may be casting your net, in the wrong pond" Arigato!
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Old 06-30-2020, 03:51 PM   #18
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Re: Deck Quoting


I'm sitting here, thinking about figuring another deck. And, all of a sudden a post about figuring a deck. I had to click on it, rather than actually work.

I start with the holes in the ground, then posts, headers, joists, deck boards, and so on. In other words, I figure the materials.
Then I estimate how long it will take to build the deck. this will be different for everyone.
I know my rate. I've been doing it long enough, I know what it takes to stay in business. Unfortunately I don't know what it takes to make alot of money, but that's another subject.

So, materials, plus my rate = deck price.

So, besides Labor + Material + Overhead + Profit + PITA = Cost. How can we help. I'm more than willing to help, I've gotten plenty of help, in my life. I don't mind throwing out some help.
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Old 06-30-2020, 08:44 PM   #19
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Re: Deck Quoting


what is you wrote those bids out for 25% less and got the jobs, would you have then had enough to pay the guys labor and materials for that day's job?

sell your skills to the customer, if they don't see the value then the price it too high.

just dealt with this last week-perosn w/ a $2million lakefront home wanted $3.5/sf install rate for wood flooring b/c that's what their 'friend' told them. I already had that vibe from them and knew cared more about price than quality and weren't the kind of customer I sign.

when you're hungry, I get it, you just want to sign up jobs.

I've been doing this for a long time now and still write up estimates for myself showing the steps to get the job-detailing an estimate for man hours, mats, add up all the steps markup the materials and write up the scope detailing the work/specs and a single price.
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Old 06-30-2020, 09:20 PM   #20
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Re: Deck Quoting


Thank you all for the information! After reading everything over I have realized two things:
1. I plan my projects the same way as most. Materials cost + time to complete job = cost
2. I should be including PITA and overhead.

Here’s my problem. I don’t really have much overhead. I have a truck that is my every day truck and a trailer that is paid for. My tools are all paid off too. So I think my only overhead is my yearly insurance, license fees, gas, and what I pay my accountant for tax season. How do I figure all that into my quotes?

Here’s my other problem. I don’t have much of a handle on what a good daily rate is for my guys. This in part because I’ve always done things by myself and also been paid a daily rate from an old contractor. That’s the rate I pay my guys. I add a little more for me. I know it may sound crazy but that’s the truth. I feel like I may be overbidding jobs but then I talk to a friend in the deck building business and he tells me I’m underbidding. Who know 🏼


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what is you wrote those bids out for 25% less and got the jobs, would you have then had enough to pay the guys labor and materials for that day's job?

sell your skills to the customer, if they don't see the value then the price it too high.

just dealt with this last week-perosn w/ a $2million lakefront home wanted $3.5/sf install rate for wood flooring b/c that's what their 'friend' told them. I already had that vibe from them and knew cared more about price than quality and weren't the kind of customer I sign.

when you're hungry, I get it, you just want to sign up jobs.

I've been doing this for a long time now and still write up estimates for myself showing the steps to get the job-detailing an estimate for man hours, mats, add up all the steps markup the materials and write up the scope detailing the work/specs and a single price.

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