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Tree Care, Irrigation, Landscaping, Hardscapes
Discuss issues dealing with landscapes, hardscapes, exterior landscape lighting and lighting fixtures, lawn irrigation, sprinklers, sprinkler heads, mulch, retaining walls, etc.

Patio installation


Tree Care, Irrigation, Landscaping, Hardscapes

Discuss issues dealing with landscapes, hardscapes, exterior landscape lighting and lighting fixtures, lawn irrigation, sprinklers, sprinkler heads, mulch, retaining walls, etc.
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  #1  
Old 07-16-2007, 06:34 PM
moosealley
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We have a 15' x 25' patio area underneath a deck to be installed. Probably using 6" x 10" granite pavers and will have to raise the grade a couple of inches most likely with ledge pack base and then using stone dust to fill in the pavers. What is an average per square price including materials and labor?

Thanks guys and have a great day!
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  #2  
Old 07-16-2007, 08:29 PM
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Lawn care business tipsLawn Care Business Book
umm, like 25 a sqft
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Old 03-28-2010, 05:35 PM
cisco149 cisco149 is offline
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First of All, DON"T EVER PRICE BY THE SQUARE FOOT!!!!!!!!

That just shows that you have NO idea on the actual costs of your business.

Don't be lazy like all the other contractors who DO charge by the square foot. It shows that they really don't take the time to educate THEMSELVES on the actual costs of their business.

Do your own homework. Contact two diferent suppliers on all your materials. Figure out the cost of your truck, tools, labor, materials. There have been posts on here on how to figure those costs out. If that doesn't help you, do the next best thing. Listen to me on this!!!!!

Go to the companies that do patios for about 70% of their total business. You don't want to know their prices, you just want to educate yourself. This will make them happy, because you are no longer just the "lowballer" or "chuck in a truck" who wants to do patios! Ask for help on how to figure out the TRUE costs of your vehicles, tools, materials, everything!! This way, when you have an opportunity to bid on these projects, it won't matter what anybody else is charging. You will know what YOU need to charge. Also, if you know the costs of everything but the other companies overhead and stuff, if you see the lowball bid, you can educate your customer, which makes you look better.

You don't have to expose your "profit" but you can honestly look a homeowner in the face and validate YOUR costs.

Got to a Van Der Kooi seminar, you will get hands on practice of bidding.

Don't be the everlasting problem in our industry of guys who have NO IDEA of what they should charge.

Good Luck!
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Old 03-28-2010, 08:14 PM
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Where do you feel most newer contractors mess up on their hardscape bids? Do you think they under estimate the amount of time it will take or do they under estimate the costs involved? Or both?
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  #5  
Old 03-29-2010, 06:35 AM
cisco149 cisco149 is offline
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Most NEW guys mess up on everything. Why? Because of the last reasons I gave. They HEAR stories of what other guys are charging and don't take the time to REALLY KNOW the costs. Too many guys want to jump from cutting lawns, which they have only been doing for 6 months. They don't know the cost of cutting the lawns, they only heard what other people were charging for that too!

Here's the thing, our problem in this industry is not JUST the lowballer, it's the CUSTOMER!! THat's right! What!? You ask.

When the lowballers start throwing out $35 to $40 a "cut" or "visit" how else do you think or what else do you thing the customer is going to compare it to? Like a guy said in another recent thread, a lady was trying to talk him off $5 on the service BECAUSE "the other guy" who USE to do it, was at that rate. Good for the guy who turned it down! I would love to take that guy to dinner! Now, if you can HONESTLY make money and deliver a quality service at those lower rates, AND THINK you are a company, you need to re-evaluate. I am not saying this to be mean, just keeping it real for you guys. It's only business, it's not personal.

Just think, if we all had prices within a very small percentage of each other, what would the sell really come down to? It would level the playing field. The customers would see the guys who have the truck he takes care of. Now, you don't need the debt of duramax diesels or big trailers or even brand new mowers. But if you want to be a Duck, you gotta walk like one and more importantly, talk like one. Then the customers would look at your estimate, then the other 4 they probably got, and if 3 of the 4 were withing 5% of each other, do you think the lowballer has a shot? He doesn't!!! I know from experience. Then it comes down to who does their job right!

Once you have met that customer, and given the proposal and started that relationship, DON"T STOP CALLING!!!! Don't give up on them until they tell you to!! Stop gossiping that it's "the freaking lowballers taking all the business!" Know YOUR business, not others. God says it in the bible, don't worry about others, I will put you where and how I want you to be. Think about that!!

Back to the original question of hardscape newbies!

Just because you took a 2 day, book class at the local JuCo to get the ICPI level 1 cert. DOES NOT MEAN YOU KNOW PAVERS!!!! You want the best advice ever? Of course you do!

The best thingS I ever did....
1. Went to a Van Der Kooi course, WON his book and studied how to account for MORS (Multiple Overhead Recovery System)
2. Then to make that better, I was invited to it by my Belgard Rep. I sat with him one day for about 4 hours at my buddy's Zaxby's, I almost threw up when I TRULY KNEW THE COST OF MY BUSINESS!! I stay in touch with resources like him on a DAILY basis. THink about it, if I want my finger on the pulse of the hardscape business, who better to know than the guy that sells the other guys their materials. I know where the work is, how much others charge and it keeps him on his toes. The more you study and keep educating yourself on ANYTHING, the more it becomes second nature.
3.Then the hard part.......

[size="4"]I stuck to my guns!!!!

When a homeowner is TRYING to ROB you of your hard earned money, say NO!! Too many guys give in because they figure, "a little is better than nothing" NO!!! A little is worse than nothing!!!!!! Trust me guys, you will not go wrong when you do this!!

If you are educating the customer throughout the whole process, how in the world do you think they will rest easy when they have estimates ALL OVER THE PLACE?

I know when I give a customer a proposal, it's tight and it's accurate. I know at exactly what point it COST me to do a job. The last time I did that, was when a customer got EVERYTHING for FREE when we did a TV episode in their backyard, and they thought I should have done it for free since I got all the suppliers to give their stuff for exchange of national TV exposure. Yeah, you will have to call me for that story!!!! I know when to say no, and warn the customer about the credibiliey and accountability of an abnormally low bid.

Now, I have done enough of this type of work, that I can play a little more than others on the pricing, one day you can too! BUT YOU HAVE TO PAY YOUR DUES! Don't think you can crawl in the ring with the big boys on the first day of school.

You will appreciate your knowledge and hard work twice as much. It makes you passionate to where the customers see that, and that is what they want. They will pay more when they feel comfortable and trusting with the guy who is PASSIONATE about the job. Why do you think the Big Companies are hurting now? They FINALLY got punched in the face by the "Quality Not Quantity" rule.

I could go on for days, but hopefully my ADD hasn't jumped around too much in this thread! Good Luck guys!
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  #6  
Old 03-29-2010, 07:34 PM
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You make a ton of interesting points here.

Quote:
Once you have met that customer, and given the proposal and started that relationship, DON"T STOP CALLING!!!! Don't give up on them until they tell you to!!
When you talk about this, it seems most contractors will present their bid and wait for the call. What is your view on the better way to handle this?

Quote:
studied how to account for MORS (Multiple Overhead Recovery System)
What is a multiple overhead recovery system?
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  #7  
Old 07-14-2010, 01:03 AM
mmeza mmeza is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by cisco149 View Post
Most NEW guys mess up on everything. Why? Because of the last reasons I gave. They HEAR stories of what other guys are charging and don't take the time to REALLY KNOW the costs. Too many guys want to jump from cutting lawns, which they have only been doing for 6 months. They don't know the cost of cutting the lawns, they only heard what other people were charging for that too!

Here's the thing, our problem in this industry is not JUST the lowballer, it's the CUSTOMER!! THat's right! What!? You ask.

When the lowballers start throwing out $35 to $40 a "cut" or "visit" how else do you think or what else do you thing the customer is going to compare it to? Like a guy said in another recent thread, a lady was trying to talk him off $5 on the service BECAUSE "the other guy" who USE to do it, was at that rate. Good for the guy who turned it down! I would love to take that guy to dinner! Now, if you can HONESTLY make money and deliver a quality service at those lower rates, AND THINK you are a company, you need to re-evaluate. I am not saying this to be mean, just keeping it real for you guys. It's only business, it's not personal.

Just think, if we all had prices within a very small percentage of each other, what would the sell really come down to? It would level the playing field. The customers would see the guys who have the truck he takes care of. Now, you don't need the debt of duramax diesels or big trailers or even brand new mowers. But if you want to be a Duck, you gotta walk like one and more importantly, talk like one. Then the customers would look at your estimate, then the other 4 they probably got, and if 3 of the 4 were withing 5% of each other, do you think the lowballer has a shot? He doesn't!!! I know from experience. Then it comes down to who does their job right!

Once you have met that customer, and given the proposal and started that relationship, DON"T STOP CALLING!!!! Don't give up on them until they tell you to!! Stop gossiping that it's "the freaking lowballers taking all the business!" Know YOUR business, not others. God says it in the bible, don't worry about others, I will put you where and how I want you to be. Think about that!!

Back to the original question of hardscape newbies!

Just because you took a 2 day, book class at the local JuCo to get the ICPI level 1 cert. DOES NOT MEAN YOU KNOW PAVERS!!!! You want the best advice ever? Of course you do!

The best thingS I ever did....
1. Went to a Van Der Kooi course, WON his book and studied how to account for MORS (Multiple Overhead Recovery System)
2. Then to make that better, I was invited to it by my Belgard Rep. I sat with him one day for about 4 hours at my buddy's Zaxby's, I almost threw up when I TRULY KNEW THE COST OF MY BUSINESS!! I stay in touch with resources like him on a DAILY basis. THink about it, if I want my finger on the pulse of the hardscape business, who better to know than the guy that sells the other guys their materials. I know where the work is, how much others charge and it keeps him on his toes. The more you study and keep educating yourself on ANYTHING, the more it becomes second nature.
3.Then the hard part.......

[size="4"]I stuck to my guns!!!!

When a homeowner is TRYING to ROB you of your hard earned money, say NO!! Too many guys give in because they figure, "a little is better than nothing" NO!!! A little is worse than nothing!!!!!! Trust me guys, you will not go wrong when you do this!!

If you are educating the customer throughout the whole process, how in the world do you think they will rest easy when they have estimates ALL OVER THE PLACE?

I know when I give a customer a proposal, it's tight and it's accurate. I know at exactly what point it COST me to do a job. The last time I did that, was when a customer got EVERYTHING for FREE when we did a TV episode in their backyard, and they thought I should have done it for free since I got all the suppliers to give their stuff for exchange of national TV exposure. Yeah, you will have to call me for that story!!!! I know when to say no, and warn the customer about the credibiliey and accountability of an abnormally low bid.

Now, I have done enough of this type of work, that I can play a little more than others on the pricing, one day you can too! BUT YOU HAVE TO PAY YOUR DUES! Don't think you can crawl in the ring with the big boys on the first day of school.

You will appreciate your knowledge and hard work twice as much. It makes you passionate to where the customers see that, and that is what they want. They will pay more when they feel comfortable and trusting with the guy who is PASSIONATE about the job. Why do you think the Big Companies are hurting now? They FINALLY got punched in the face by the "Quality Not Quantity" rule.

I could go on for days, but hopefully my ADD hasn't jumped around too much in this thread! Good Luck guys!
Cisco....you rambled on about how you need to be educated and what not but the other person just asked for a simple answer. What is a general average of what the labor SF cost to install a patio. You have a general idea of what your labor cost per SF to install a patio should be. You seem pretty educated on that. Why not share.
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