A quick way to estimate a brick paver landscape job.

Your phone rings and it is one of your lawn mowing customers asking you how much it would cost them to get a brick paver patio area built in their back yard. Because you never bid on such a job before, you start to panic because you don’t know how long the job will take. You try to estimate the amount of hours, the cost of materials and the cost of renting a backhoe to come to a final price. But even then you are unsure of the price. As we will see from this discussion on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum, there is an easier way to bid such landscape projects. Compare this suggested method with your own and see how it works for you.

One lawn care business owner wrote “I am trying to get help on a bidding price for a brick paver patio job I was recently offered. The material for a 22′ x 16′ (352) sq. ft. patio area will cost around $1550.00. Labor is going to be charged at the rate of $10.50 a sq. Is that a fair price for labor? Should that also include the cost for renting a small machine for digging and debris removal? Which would mean the labor alone would be around $3,700. Does that sound right for an patio paver customer? I guess what I’m asking is, is the price at $10.50 a square suppose to include the purchase of the material too? Usually my landscape customers buy their own material and I just charge the labor at $10 a square to install what ever they want, is that a proper amount?

To help better break these costs down, I am figuring man hrs will be 3.5 days x 3 men. I will need 1 day to dig out the area and 2.5 days to install the patio and finish. The machine rental cost will be approx $250 and debris costs will probably be about $75.00 unless I am able to lose most of it where the grade needs to be dug and leveled plus a small 2 tier block wall around perimeter. This would help level the playing area. I am pretty much figuring around $8 a sq ft. Minus material cost that will be bought separately.”

A second lawn care business owner responded “don’t get yourself all confused on this. Here is an easy way to handle bidding such landscape install jobs. When I get a job that has material involved, what I like to do is take the material costs x 2.5 = ?. I had actually got this easy bidding method from a friend of mine who builds decks and does siding, and that’s the way he comes up with a price. He says it has always worked for him.

Now I don’t use that for everything. When I can make more money on a job I will. For instance, I buy a yard of mulch for $ 28 and charge $95 to the customer for the mulch and spreading it out. To do the mulch job, it takes one guy about 45 min to an hour to spread out one yard.

Anyway, play with the numbers and see what you come up with. Compare my method of charging 2.5 x the cost of materials to the price you come up with in your method of guessing how long the job will take and compare the two prices. When you are done with the job, compare how your actual costs, with your actual time spent on the job compares to using my bidding method and go from there in the future.”

Read more about Lawn Care Business Bidding Tips, Upsells, And Disasters To Avoid. Learn how to improve your bidding process with this lawn care business book and be prepared before hand by knowing what you should be looking out for before a problem occurs.ā€¯

If you need help estimating lawn care or snow plowing jobs, get these lawn care and snow plowing estimation calculators.

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