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Old 08-11-2017, 10:26 PM
Join Date: Aug 2017
USDA Zone 7
Posts: 1
Holublexey is on a distinguished road
Landscape Design Pricing!!

Hello all, I have recently started my own landscape business. I started with just doing some basically weeding, edging, pruning etc. I recently got a job offer to do a brand new house that was just built that only has the foundation built. There is no grass or anything, starting from scratch. So I am designing his entire landscape starting from literally nothing. Now my only dilemma is how I should be charging him based upon the plant costs. Do I double the plant there a certain percentage I should do?? I do not like to go by hourly because I don't always feel that's the best thing to tell customers, but it always lingers in my head the minimum I should be working for. However, it's just different when you are purchasing supplies and installing them. Any suggestions??! Like if all the plants cost $1800, should I charge the guy $3600??? Thank you
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Old 09-06-2017, 10:19 PM
bluelotus's Avatar
Join Date: Mar 2010
Location: southeast CT
USDA Zone 6
Posts: 37
bluelotus is on a distinguished road
The first question you need to ask yourself is "Do i have the experience and know how to design, manage, and install this project?" There's nothing "wrong" with taking on a large design/build, but there are a lot of unseen factors involved that can be really big headaches if you aren't prepared. Not to be a dick but if you are just starting out and are just doing maintenance (weeding, edging, pruning) you might be in over your head on a full design/build, and sh1t can get f*cked up real quick for both you and the customer.

With that said, what design program are you going to use to make the rendering? What is the customers budget? What is the sunlight schedule? Last thing you want to do is (and i use this example b/c i see this all the time from "pros") put hostas in direct sun. What are your focal points? when you design a garden(s) you want them to be enjoyed from multiple locations outside and through windows indoors. What are soil conditions? how much mulch or stone will I need? What type of bed edge?... the list goes on and that is why designers charge a fee just to make the drawing.

Now to end my longwinded answer.There is no right/wrong way to price a job. I would highly suggest a T&M bid over a set price despite you not wanting to do that. Go to the local nursery and build a plant/material list; see what that cost will be and know your labor rate. Then estimate the time needed to dig the beds, install the edge, install all those plants, and mulch/stone the beds... then add 15% as nothing will ever go as quickly as you think.

Lastly.. and this is kind of a hot topic... but yes your customer should know YOUR labor rate and THEIR material costs. All of our proposals and invoices are itemized to account for what they are being charged for. People want/have a right to know where the price comes from in a proposal instead of just saying "Yeah, this job looks like 10 grand" It also does help with tire kickers in my experience as well.
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Old 09-27-2017, 11:26 PM
Join Date: Mar 2016
USDA Zone 1
Posts: 6
danielmatthew is on a distinguished road
Great; all the best Holublexey! Could you share the size of your landscape area and its requirements?
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Old 03-06-2019, 10:09 AM
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tjl tjl is offline
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Roanoke Area
USDA Zone 7
Posts: 73
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I can offer you my services as this is what I do. If you go to my FB page and type in Thomas J. Lacey-internet landscape designer, you will see examples of designs that I have completed for other firms in the US and Canada. If you would like more information, feel free to privately email me, thanks.
Thomas J. Lacey-Landscape Designer
FB-Thomas J. Lacey-Internet Landscape Designer
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