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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Here is a crawl space, the homeowner basically wants a concrete floor covering all the dirt with concrete steps going up to that footing. A line pump will be required to get it in there, as the street is quite a bit lower than the house and kind of far away.



So I worked out a bid and came up with $1086.00 for concrete and line pump. Labor I figured three to five days of man hours for the set up; that includes some digging, form up the slabs, form up the stairs, add steel, lay visqueen, and some other minor stuff. And then a crew of guys on the day of the pour, So I estimated $1,200 for labor. For the material I figured steel, epoxy, form work for stairs and slabs, plastic, etc. = about $300.00 (which can vary). Then to rent some tools = $82.00.
So I came up with:
Concrete & Pump = $1,086
Labor = $1,200
Material for prep = $300
Tool Rental = $82
Total w/tax = $2,800

Now previously he had another guy give him a bid and then leave and never contact him again. Homeowner would call him, he wouldn't return his phone calls, which is the reason he's hiring me to do this in the first place. Homeowner says that other contractor gave him a bid for $1,800. I looked it through, and I can't figure out any way to charge that little, unless he showed up, dumped in the concrete and left, without doing any preparation work.

But now I am beginning to think that's the reason the other guy left. He realized he made a mistake in his bid and doesn't even want to talk to the homeowner now? I'm not sure, but do you think I went about this bid the right way?
 

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Workin' Hard & Havin' Fun
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At $1800 it's a mistake, and you walk away. At my price sir, I'll not only finish the job, but I'll answer my phone when you call.

At $2800 I'm not convinced you really make any money... but... congrats on running the numbers so well!
~Matt
 

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Without knowing the volume of concrete, or sq/ft, I can't second guess, but it seems cheap. I just bought a line pump, and in my area, the minimum pump charge is $100 an hour, 3 hour minimum. Pump mix mud runs a little over $100 a yard, and if you have steps to form, you will have issues with the slump of the mix from the pump.
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
At $1800 it's a mistake, and you walk away. At my price sir, I'll not only finish the job, but I'll answer my phone when you call.

At $2800 I'm not convinced you really make any money... but... congrats on running the numbers so well!
~Matt
Yeah, I thought I was being nice at $2,800, when he told me the other guy quoted $1,800, I thought "hmm, I'm either stupid or he made a mistake". Homeowner says he might wait for the other guy to come around so he can get it done for $1,800. But I don't think that's going to happen, so we will try and work something out.

Without knowing the volume of concrete, or sq/ft, I can't second guess, but it seems cheap. I just bought a line pump, and in my area, the minimum pump charge is $100 an hour, 3 hour minimum. Pump mix mud runs a little over $100 a yard, and if you have steps to form, you will have issues with the slump of the mix from the pump.
I didn't measure it out, but I looked at it and estimated six yards, that's what the other contractor estimated too. The slab will be in three sections; one down low to come out flush with the door, another one beside it stepped up high, and a third one behind the footing where I'm standing taking the picture. I was thinking of pouring the stairs and the lower section of the slab in a mono-pour, then attach some braces from the stair forms to the floor joists above.

As for the slump, if you're talking about losing slump through the hose, I don't think that will be much of a problem because the hose doesn't need to be very long. I was going to use a 4000 psi, 6 sac mix at a 6 inch slump, then vibrate the stairs really good.
 

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never been so wrong in my life when I looked at something and estimated the volume....., 6" slump? seems kinda wet to me, I wouldn't be able to get away with it.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
never been so wrong in my life when I looked at something and estimated the volume....., 6" slump? seems kinda wet to me, I wouldn't be able to get away with it.
You may not on a commercial site with special inspectors on your back, but that depends on the mix. I think for what I'm doing it will be plenty strong.
 

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How do you arrive at 6 yards without measuring? I usually measure before calculating the amount.
 

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If you get the job, measure it and then add a little more.

Nothing sucks as bad as coming up 1/2 a yard short when pouring concrete, and then having to call in another truck for 1/2 a yard. I would rather have a yard to much and waste it than have to do that.
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
How do you arrive at 6 yards without measuring? I usually measure before calculating the amount.
I have a pretty good eye for estimating an amount that small, being I used to inspect concrete and eye it all the time. If I'm off, I shouldn't be off by much, plus it was the same amount the other guy estimated, and I guessed the six yards before I knew that.

I know I need to add a little extra when it comes time to order it. A trick that works well for me is I measure out the cubic footage and divide by 25, then add 1/2 yard for what's stuck in the pump. If you were figuring exact then it would be 27, so dividing by 25 accounts for waste.
 

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Twisted Cameron
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Let me get this straight, you may be stuck there for 5 days, are you putting in half time? Plus a crew of guys the day of? FORGET THAT!!!! tell him you would rather go to McDonalds than go any lower. you pay a crew of guys even just 200.00 the day of and get stuck here for 5 days at 8 hours a day, 40 hours my man. thats a measly 25 an hour, after taxes and overhead. Even if its only insurance. Your giving the guy a hell of a deal man.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
He said he's not going to do it now because of his budget, and that maybe now isn't a good time. He says the other contractor was confident he could set it up in a day, then pour the next day. I was thinking three to five days labor on the set up. But I was figuring on doing some digging for a haunch where he wants a wall to go later, put in visqueen, add steel epoxied into the existing perimeter, and get the stairs done nice. I suppose if I just went in, put in some boards for the slab, built the stairs kind of sloppy, I could get it all done in six hours and call it a day, I just don't think that's a good idea.

I know my rates seem low, but lately I have been getting calls stacked up, so I may be raising my rates.
 

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Twisted Cameron
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Well that sounds like that may be better for you. I have been in the situation where I bid something low, and then the customer tried to beat me down. Its nice when that happens cause it makes it so much easier to just walk away.
 

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mmmm

It takes that much for me to get out of bed in the mourning,much less work.For me the $2800 number may not be right,maybe more.I will say using a 3/8 mix and 2" line will help cut placement costs (labor).I never figure a pump at less than $500,did I say never?There are some jobs I will bid including pump,others home owner pays for it.

It was mentioned a good point,some you need to walk away from.From my stranger than fiction files.When I run across jobs that look like it will eat me alive or don't want I double the bid.That way if it comes to me I probably will make money.Looks like you covered the basics,now adjust the real costs.Good luck and learn from this,your into making money,not heart attacks.
 
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