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Hi all,

Just looking for some advice and guidance really.

I run my own living wall install and maintenance company, however I have been approached by a school to quote for the grounds maintenance.

We can do the project, but I am unsure how to price and at what prices to charge as the living wall market is so much different.

Would be great if anyone could help out with pricing.

They require the following:

 

Specification

Apr

May

Jun

July

Aug

Sept

Oct

Nov

Dec

Jan

Feb

Mar

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Weed control programme

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                       

Kerbs and gulleys weed control

 

x

 

x

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

Grass Cutting (April to October)

100m2

xx

xx

xx

xx

xx

xx

x

 

 

 

 

 

Grass cutting on sports field

4000m2

xx

xx

xx

xx

xx

xx

x

 

 

 

 

 

Sports Fields Markings

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

x

Hedges on site

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Established borders / shrubs

 

 

 

 

x

 

 

 

 

 

x

 

X one visit

            

XX two visits per Month

            

 

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Replies

  • Ben, do my best to advise. We did used to maintain a 1200 pupil secondary school  in extensive grounds, we had it for 3 years and only lost as they joined a group of academies with 20 schools and wanted one contractor which was beyond us.

    Firstly is this a tender or a quote?

    How many years?

    Have you got the machinery needed ?

    You will need at least two of everything, if your ride on breaks they will still want the playing field mowing !

    No mention of litter in spec ? Our site was horrendous with a good hour and ahalf needed on every visit.

    Also snow clearance and salting ?

    The way to price is to break each task into segments and time required EG Hedge cutting = 8 hrs x your hourly rate. We always add 10%  onto the cost of each segment to cover unforeseen costs.

    You and your staff will have to enhanced CRB checks this is a cost and these have to renewed annually.

    What level of liability insurance do they want ?

    They will probably ask for chapter and verse RAMS.

    As to actually doing the work this has to be arranged to avoid break and lunch times and arrival and leaving times. Some noisy work can only be done out of hours if close to buildings.

    Hope that helps, anything else just reply and I'll do my best to answer.

    • Hi Peter,

      This is just a quotation and we are looking to get it signed for 3 years.

      We don't have the machinery so we would have to invest in it which isnt a problem.

      My Liability insurance covers everything due to the other works the business does. 

      What i'm finding difficult is that with living walls we price per m2 but that can be around £1100 upwards on many factors.

      I can't find any guidenance on what rates ground maintenance should be.

      • We would not be quoting at less than £100 hr plus vat.

        • Do you have any pricing for what they require per hour or m2?

          • Ben,

            As mentioned we would break each task down into time consumed over 12 months so we arrive at the total time taken to do everything in the spec.

            There are many variables to take into account including the points previously made when working out the hours EG The hedges are one cut, which is standard with schools who want them cut towards the end of the Summer holidays, is the height suitable for them to be cut without the use of steps? If steps are needed this increases the time considerably . Could you use a sub contractor with a tractor mounted flail?Is there much strimming? Or can you spray off around obstacles to minimise this? These and other variables all have to be considered.

            We would charge £1.60 plus vat for cut and drop mowing per sq mt. The rest of the work at min £100 hr plus vat.

            Just one word of advice should you get this buy a ride on with a rear discharge deck not side discharge as side discharge limits direction of travel and you end up cutting in the same direction all the time which doesn't give a good finish.

            What is the history here, why are you being asked to quote? Are they unhappy with present contractor? Is it being done in house and think by making staff redundant they can save money? Or are they just looking for the cheapest price?

            Try to speak with the decision maker on an informal basis during a walk around the site, it's surprising what nuggets of info you can pick up which gives you an edge on the competition!

            • This will be a huge investment if you're not already set up.

              • Think Ben realises this , 25k would be my guess but it's a 3yr deal plus the tax allowances which machine costs can be written off in the first year seems it would be viable. Plus he will still have value in the kit at the end of 3yrs if he doesn't get the work again. So depending on the contract value it will stack up.

  • PRO

    This is an interesting discussion, did I read this write Peter "We would charge £1.60 plus vat for cut and drop mowing per sq mt. The rest of the work at min £100 hr plus vat."

    At 4000sqm that is 4000 x 1.60 = £6400 plus VAT, surely that's not right is it? 

    also would you be charging £100 per hour per man? 


    Presuming that you'd need to factor in training staff for PA1 and PA6 as well, maybe Brushcutter/hedge trimmer and ride on competency certificates if the health and safety team at the school are sticklers

    Am I the only one on here that thinks quoting is the hardest part of the job to learn yet it is not taught on the curriculum for any trade apprenticeship whatsoever!

    • PRO

      Great last paragraph Jake.

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