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Turfing on new build homes

Hi all,Hope weather is treating you well and you all have plenty of work on!I have just been invited to tender for fencing, paving and Turfing on some new build homes.I am interested in the Turfing more than anything else, there is around 7000sqm in total. But I have no idea what sort of price They expect per square meter.Also there are questions I have for example is the ground going to be ready? Can I just tender for the Turfing rather than the will lot? Am I supplying the turf or just accounting for Labour?I don't know whether they are appropriate to ask and if it Is something I should already know. I am used to doing domestic work only but we are looking to expand into commercial sector this year which is why we are after this type of work.Sorry for long post, just wanted to provide as much info as possible.Any advice would be great!Thanks in advanceAsh

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  • There should be some Bill of Quantities, Specification sheets and plans for the work, which will answer most of what you ask. They can be very involved, but you need to read them VERY carefully, highlighting any causes for concern and ask for a quick meeting with the whoever asked you to quote.  

    The quantities and areas can be a bit daunting, but usually with a new build homes, the work will be split into bite-size parts as the homes become completed.  Should you be successful, we always found that the builders are very helpful, after all they want the work completed and to a good standard as much as you do.

    With regard to preparation, you need to find out at what stage your work starts.  Quite often you are working with new 'imported top soil', which is fairly easy to prep, but occasionally it will be 'existing', either way, the builder SHOULD give you something workable - it is important that you get this straight with them. You are usually expected to prepare, supply, lay turf and maintain for maybe one cut or sometimes 6months to year.  It will probably be your responsibility to water to turf, so beware if asked to lay in mid summer!

    There will be strict rules regarding Health and Safety, you will probably need £10m liability insurance and I would think a CIS card, although we haven't been on a site for a few years, things may have changed. 

    Good luck Ashley - I loved site work, it drags you kicking and screaming into the 'real world'!! Do a good job and word will soon get back to other builders/architects.

    • Thanks for the advice Colin. I am going to contact him tomorrow to at least have a good conversation with him.
  • PRO
    You may need a CSCS card as well as having to suffer CIS deductions. As a LTD company we can deduct them off of our PAYE bill, otherwise you can claim them back off of at the end if the year.

    Big developments can mean a tiny m2 price but that doesn't mean you can't return a profit.
  • We did some turfing work on one of bloor homes sites, the purchases had the option to have it turfed by the developers or left as a blank canvas.
    If this is the same I would suggest see the sales guys in the showroom and with us, they put are flyer/ card in there brochure.
    You will find the developers like the purchases to go with blank canvas.
    It's a lot easier then as you are dealing with the new owner, and less daunting as you can do them gradually as they are built.
    You will be under a lot of pressure from the developers if you choose the other option.
    Good luck whatever you decide.
    • Thanks for replying. I think they may be council houses so they are Turfing front and back gardens although it would probably have been easier to do it the other way. I will check this though so thanks for the advice.
  • PRO

    If this is for builders the first priority is to ask how quick they pay.  Builders are notoriously bad payers. If you are laying out a lot of money on materials and they are slow payers then you can quickly find yourself in trouble.


    • Thanks Graham. I was going to do some sort of cash flow projection for it to ensure we will be ok. But it's good of you to point this out!
  • Thanks for the replies. We already have CSCS/LISS Cards in place and insurance of £15mil. Got it all sorted last year so we were ready. Had a read through plans and there will be new soil placed throughout the site as there were traces of asbestos found so it is all being excavated.

    Work for a building developer so I'm guessing it's 90 day pay. Have the money in place to fund us for that period just unsure on how to price the actual square meters, I'm guessing they may be tighter domestic customers. Which if I was just laying turf with little levelling I would be around £5-6 per square meter. We can lay 250-300 square meters per day. Do you think this is around the right sort of figure to aim for?
    • ive worked on both sides of the fence (so to speak) as both a landscaper and previously as a qs. Bottom line is DONT guess or assume anything. go back with a written list of any queries and get everything back in writing

      • Thanks thermo. I will send all the queries over to him. I was guessing that he will have a few companies he has asked about the tender so didn't know if he would want to be bombarded with questions. Haha. Thanks for the advice!
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