quoting commercial jobs

maryleckieAugust 14, 2007

I was wondering if someone might give me some advice on bidding on commercial jobs. This is a small company just starting out and we're starting to receive plans on some commercial jobs. When calling around for our wholesale price on trees/plants/palms what is the protocol for pricing to the customer, for instance how do most of you decide what to charge, do you double the price of the item? Do you just add a small percentage on? I realize that you have to factor delivery charges and such if they are there but just need some basic advice on what the general rule of thumb might be for pricing the job and how much to add on. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!

Thank you in advance.

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Be aware that commercial work is a rough business. You have to be very savvy about reading and understanding plans and specifications.There are some contractors who have made an art out of low bidding to take advantage of lack of information in a plan. Then they point out short comings as the job goes along and mention that it is not in the contract. They write up change orders and in the end the job costs more than the highest bidder.

If you are bidding on work as a sub, be aware that ou may expect the site conditions to be a certain way only to find that you need to bring it fill or remove it before you get to the point of what you expected at the beginning. Not all are like that, but don't assume this work to be the same as residential.

The toughest thing is that there will be a million other subs working (and parking) all over the site until the last day. You won't have the luxury of waiting for them to clear out.You will have to work around them.

The GC won't care about your work so long as something else is more of a priority.

Be careful.

    Bookmark   August 14, 2007 at 6:01PM
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txjenny(z8 TX)

I haven't done that many commercial jobs, mostly for the reasons laag mentions. It's absolutely true; I've had to put plants in while the irrigation guys were coming up behind me, pulling up what I just planted! They'll leave the plant on the sidewalk because it's not their job to replant it.

I don't do that type of job anymore; I've focused on residential with some small commercial jobs (coffee shop, local non-profit, etc.). Much more workable for me, and less stress!

    Bookmark   August 16, 2007 at 9:22AM
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plantman314(z5-6 StL, MO)

First things first, price the job based on what you need to make for wages, material, overhead and a slightly reduced profit margin.

Make sure to read the specs provided, and not just those in the landscape section. Find out if you must have union labor or pay prevailing wage. Do you need any special insurance or bonding?

Review the plans closely, and do not rely on plant counts provided. Count everything yourself.

After you provide your proposal follow-up to see if you got the job, and if not why. Most gc's will tell you what everyone came in at.

    Bookmark   September 9, 2007 at 10:59PM
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My friend just bought over 200,000.00 in Commercial Landscaping Equipment and had a guy that said he could operate the equipment and bid the jobs. However we have invested over 5G in advertisement and leads, and have recieved a couple of leads that would cover all investment cost and still have a large profit. It would appear that the guy either doesn't really know how to bid or just doesn't want to. So I am trying to find out what people do I need to contact in order to have these leads bid upon and the equipment actually working instead of sitting.

    Bookmark   October 5, 2007 at 11:05AM
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