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Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job
If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.

Apartment Cleanup - It's Very Bad


Online Lawn Care Estimator - Help me bid this job

If you need help coming up with a bid for a lawn care, landscaping, tree cutting or irrigation job, post the specifics here and pictures of the job site. If you are looking to learn about bidding, review the jobs posted here.
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  #1  
Old 06-30-2012, 09:17 PM
lxarth lxarth is offline
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Exclamation Apartment Cleanup - It's Very Bad

So I get a call from the manager of an apartment complex this morning, and she wants me to take a look at her place. It's not big, only a double tri-plex (6 units total).

The two buildings face a large courtyard/garden area. She explained that it was very overgrown, and needs some dire help. Saying she is concerned about safety. My first inclination that something isn't right...you know it's a safety hazard now...why did you wait SO long?

When I arrived I was blown away. The try and sum it up...the courtyard is a disaster. It, alone, is 2,000 sq-ft...of weeds. Sure there are a couple of bushes, but it's just weeds. One tenant came out while I was there to tell me that they have been complaining about it for a while now.

The two buildings are surrounded by a weed-bed (like a flower bed only, well, weeds). Followed by a sidewalk that surrounds the place, followed by a small bed (under arborvitaes). Then the back has a retaining wall which that area it retains is...you guessed it...WEEDS.

The entire place equates to 6,800 sq-ft of beds. With 80-100 small bushes and trees.

So...sometimes I take pictures to show you guys, and ask what you think...not this time. This time we did a video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0eTW...e_gdata_player

It's only a 3:15 minute video, so if you want to watch it, it will help you understand the seriousness of this place.

Okay...so here it is. While talking to the manager on the phone she said she would like grass put into the courtyard (just seed it, as sod would be too much). She said her budget for the cleanup (and seed) was $800. I almost hung up on her then, but I was polite and told her I would see what I can do.

She wanted a bid for the cleanup, and a bid for trimming the trees/bushes separate. Her idea is that she can cut the cost down by having some trimming done later in the year.

I've actually found my newest cleanup bids to be very accurate when using the member "hotwired":
http://www.gopherforum.com/showthread.php?t=9774

Basing this job like my others, I would price it at $1,890-$3774. With a price around $2,800 to be pretty good. (63 man hours at $45 per hour). And I was thinking of charging an extra $630 for the 80-100 bushes and trees.

I guess I just have to say...what do you all think? What price is good. I might be able to cleanup the courtyard for $800, but I don't want the job if it's only that. There are 6 tenants there that will see me NOT doing a complete job.

Ideas?
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  #2  
Old 06-30-2012, 09:39 PM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
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Its funny how the most neglected yards have the smallest budgets and rental income of $4000-$6000 a month. You gotta love these cheap bastards. If they would just pay for basic maintenance this wouldnt happen.

To do it right would be $2500-$3000. I suppose for a grand you can clean it up a bit but it would be doing 1/3 of the job. Even if they agreed to a partial clean up. You would get calls about what wasnt done.
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Old 06-30-2012, 10:15 PM
Hedgemaster Hedgemaster is offline
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Heh. I wonder how much she's looking at in FINES right now.

That's probably the only reason she's calling you now.
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Old 07-01-2012, 01:49 AM
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Quote:
If they would just pay for basic maintenance this wouldnt happen.
It's funny, because she tried to lie about it on the phone. The tenant who talked to me said that the owner (not sure if it's really an owner) comes to collect the monies from the laundry room daily, and so they see what's happening. She also said that when the manager did finally show up (she doesn't live on site) nearly everyone swarmed from their apartment to ask about this problem.

But the manager told me that they had someone maintaining it all as a garden, and he just walked off the job, and she didn't know about it. Yea right, lady!

Oh, I should also mention, I'm about two weeks out for this kind of work, and she wants it done by next week...no problems, extra money to put off another cleanup though.

Quote:
I wonder how much she's looking at in FINES right now.
I could see that as another reason she is looking to get this done ASAP. Fines from the city, and tenants leavings.
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Old 07-01-2012, 02:13 AM
SECTLANDSCAPING SECTLANDSCAPING is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxarth View Post

I could see that as another reason she is looking to get this done ASAP. Fines from the city, and tenants leavings.
I just did a house with ft high grass because the city was going to fine the homeowner. It had to be done in a week, coincidence?
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:28 AM
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This would be a pass for me unless I really needed the $$$. It's clear this is a one time deal, at-least until it gets that bad again. I would also be very concerned about getting paid even if I did take it on.
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Old 07-01-2012, 08:58 AM
Liberty Landscaping LLC Liberty Landscaping LLC is offline
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That is a lot of work. I would bid higher as your going to have issues getting more out of them of it comes to a longer time. I always add a few hours into my bid but have never seen anything that bad esp from a commercial / apartment complex. I would tell her you need a large deposit say 1000-1500 for you to book the day. I would pass but that's me. I wonder if you will get it if the budget truely is 800. Keep us posted and get a signed contract detailing the sope of work and PAYMENTS before starting if they agree. That's my 2 cents
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Old 07-01-2012, 10:43 AM
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Her expectations as far as time and budget are nowhere near reasonable and she is trying to bait you with more work later(trimming trees & shrubs) if you do the clean up now. Probably best to pass.
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Old 07-01-2012, 12:26 PM
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Quote:
I would bid higher
I always add 10% to my cleaup bids. So this bid would probably end up (with trimming) at $3,800.

As far as payment, I would require it all up front. I've lost too much money from people not paying for cleanups to not ask for that.

Besides, she thinks $800 will cover it? She knows she can't do that.

When she had asked about grass, I told her sod is about 4x more expensive then doing sod (but without the instant gratification), and she said she knew that, she already got bid on it. The bid, I'm guessing, was to cleanup AND instal sod. She just being cheap.

Funny thing is, she said "in the laundry room we have a tiller. So you can use that instead of renting one to help on cost". Oh, ok lady, I'm going to use your little tiller instead of renting a nice one for $50...

I'll send her an email this afternoon with a price. I'll let you all know what she says.

Last edited by lxarth; 07-01-2012 at 12:32 PM.
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Old 07-01-2012, 04:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lxarth View Post
I always add 10% to my cleaup bids. So this bid would probably end up (with trimming) at $3,800.

As far as payment, I would require it all up front. I've lost too much money from people not paying for cleanups to not ask for that.

Besides, she thinks $800 will cover it? She knows she can't do that.

When she had asked about grass, I told her sod is about 4x more expensive then doing sod (but without the instant gratification), and she said she knew that, she already got bid on it. The bid, I'm guessing, was to cleanup AND instal sod. She just being cheap.

Funny thing is, she said "in the laundry room we have a tiller. So you can use that instead of renting one to help on cost". Oh, ok lady, I'm going to use your little tiller instead of renting a nice one for $50...

I'll send her an email this afternoon with a price. I'll let you all know what she says.
NO!

Please take your camera and do it in person!

I want to see her pass out on Youtube!

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