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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hello friends. I have a new business in CA I was wondering if anyone knows the going rate per sq. ft. for trenching and footings?
I don't want to undercut fellow business owners, or myself. Any help would be very helpfull. I rent all my equipment so that will probley be a factor as well.
Thank you for your time and help.
Marc.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Thanks. Ya I have seen that before. It's a good post, and very informative. My question is not my over head, or materials. I know how to dig it I know what the equipment cost, Advertising, etc. What I don't know is the going labor rate. I can do it for 200. pluse my equipment cost, but why? If I can make the same as everyone else and keep the market more consistent.
I geuss my question then would be whats the going labor rate?
Thanks.
 

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Welcome to the site.

Truth is there really is no "Going Rate".

I can do the same foundation on two totally different sites and the price would be diffferent based upon each site's characteristics.

I have tried many times to convince the GC'c that I work for of this fact when they inevitably ask the same question as you, "How much per foot?"

There is no accurate answer.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Thank you. I told one GC that I would do it for 200.00 pluse my equipment cost. He seemed nice, and was really happy with that. I'm a new business tring to get my name out their localy. I think I underbid this job a bit but hopefully I'll end up with more work out of it in the end.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Digging a few footings, and a trench for the water line. Its a 4 hour round trip no charge. About 5 hours of work. I figure I'll be using a mini excavator to do the digging. I havent had alot of work out here so I need to get what I can I guess?
 

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Odd... but I think tree-fiddy is actually about right:laughing::laughing:


re-read your own posts, and stop and think about it....:no:
 

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Stud
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Digging a few footings, and a trench for the water line. Its a 4 hour round trip no charge. About 5 hours of work. I figure I'll be using a mini excavator to do the digging. I havent had alot of work out here so I need to get what I can I guess?
How is the machine getting to the job site? If you are moving it from rental place to job site you should get paid for that.
40/hr. for 5 hrs. to operate mini doesn't seem too bad, but the way I look at it you are working for 22/hr. due to 4 round trip. I wouldn't travel 2 hrs. for such a small job but I'm not in your shoes. Good luck.
 

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Eater of sins.
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Wow, you are new. I made this same kind of mistake you are making, trying to get more work because you way under bid this one.

If you insist on giving this kind of rate anywhere in CA. you will be known as "the cheap guy".

And be expected to do this work this cheap all the time. Then when you realize that you aren't making enough and try and raise your price people are going to say now that you are trying to gouge them.

Andy.
 

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Well I am sure you have not discussed it with the builder, but you may be able to cover some of your overhead in the equipment costs.

You don't plan on renting a mini and charging him your direct costs are you? That should have mark up in it to cover your overhead, (4 hours driving), as well as your other costs associated with managing the machine. Don't forget fuel, taxes, damage waiver insurance, and delivery.

All of these items should legitimately be marked up if you are handling that part of the work.
 

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Digging a few footings, and a trench for the water line. Its a 4 hour round trip no charge. About 5 hours of work. I figure I'll be using a mini excavator to do the digging. I havent had alot of work out here so I need to get what I can I guess?

Lets see.... As far as I can tell you're outta your mind. 9 hours of your day for 200 bucks? You cant even begin to pay your expenses at that rate.... Maybe you should look to hire on with a contractor that will pay you a living wage before you venture out and work so cheaply that you jeopardize your families well being.....

Now, before you get upset with me and decide to flame my veiwpoint please just sit down with a pencil and figure your costs might be before you have even thought about making a profit. There is a vast amount of info that can be gleaned here so sit back with a cold beer and do some more reading befrore you try to get someone else to price your work.
With that said I would like to welcome you to the BB and hope you enjoy it and can also be a help to others.....
 

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Discussion Starter · #15 ·
Thank you guys so much. I've noticed that their is alot of bitter contractors out there from reading other foums. That said You have given me more help than my wanna be contractor friend. I am very greatful to all of you I take the good with the bad. Like I said I'm new in the business, and I will figure everything out as I go. What you are telling me is to figure out what I want per hour or sq foot and add that to my overhead and profit. Got it.
I am kindda curious how many of you remember what you felt like when you first started, taking that leap of faith. Its a scary place to be. I think their is much I can learn from you vets in the business.
Thank all of you for even offering any advise. It has helped.
Yes I am charging my overhead and profit in the equipment cost. I'm having the equipment droped off. I'm doing 10% profit. Its not much but its something. I normally charge 45 per hour calculated in my head plus all the other stuff, but I really needed this job.
:thumbsup:
 

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Thank you guys so much. I've noticed that their is alot of bitter contractors out there from reading other foums. That said You have given me more help than my wanna be contractor friend. I am very greatful to all of you I take the good with the bad. Like I said I'm new in the business, and I will figure everything out as I go. What you are telling me is to figure out what I want per hour or sq foot and add that to my overhead and profit. Got it.
I am kindda curious how many of you remember what you felt like when you first started, taking that leap of faith. Its a scary place to be. I think their is much I can learn from you vets in the business.
Thank all of you for even offering any advise. It has helped.
Yes I am charging my overhead and profit in the equipment cost. I'm having the equipment droped off. I'm doing 10% profit. Its not much but its something. I normally charge 45 per hour calculated in my head plus all the other stuff, but I really needed this job.
:thumbsup:
Yeah I remember because the feeling never really goes away.:laughing:
I would like to think that I'm more comfortable with it after almost 30 years but I tend to worry about things, just the way I'm made.

I think the period of time when I really felt I was in over my head was when my first boy was born. I was 27 and suddenly running scared. Having a family dependent upon my efforts launched me into a whole new gear.

I remember selling work that I had little or no experience at, getting a deposit and driving away wondering how the heck am I going to pull this off. And glad to have a check too. I didn't get a lot of sleep those first several years.

I will offer you something about pricing your work, and this took me many many years to figure out.

Never let your own sense of value influence the price of your work.

You will make most of your living working for people with vastly different sense of value than your own. What seems like a bargain for them may seem very steeply priced to you. The mistake that a lot of us make is to think "That is way too much money, I'll never get this job" Then proceed to pencil your well thought out bid down to something you feel has value. It's like you are giving away your own money in some regards.

You also have to do what feels right to you. The guy wearing your shoes is the only one that can help with that one.
 

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Over time you will bid jobs and lose money on them. That is part of the business. You are in a situation where it is a small job and the amount of money you could lose is small. The bigger picture here is that you are able to get your feet wet and the experience that you will gain from this project is priceless.
 
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