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NickN
11-15-2005, 09:32 AM
Here's a recent design we've sold.Nothing fancy.The client wanted southern plants installed around their home.They've asked for a dogwood to be installed in the front lawn as well,to replace a blown down Bradford Pear.They have been great to work with.Install date is Nov 26th.At present,we're booked into December with various jobs.

walker-talker
11-15-2005, 09:44 AM
Why did you stretch the house and what program did you use to design that?

NickN
11-15-2005, 09:55 AM
It stretched when resizing for posting.Punch MasterLandscape is what I've always used.

sheshovel
11-15-2005, 10:59 AM
My opinion is there are too many shrubs too close to the home as well as the tree on the right side and it is a very unimaginative design.
I guess it is OK for some people who like old school foundation planting but I for one resist that kind of
planting with a vengence.
It gives WAY too much empasis to the driveway and garage and yard.It has no real focal points,no texture, or motion,it has one or two colors,and will be boring in winter.
I tend to be a bit harsh on this subject because Foundation planting is my enemy,don't take it personaly but
Just cuz you can do it with a computer program,
does not mean it is automaticly good.Like I say though this opinion reflects my own style and the styles my customers here like.
More of a flowing,naturallook,useing boulders,bringing the plantings out into the yard and away from the foundations, and useing large curving flowing plantings with different textures and contrast and focal points..
also making an area where the client can come out and sit and enjoy the garden,it's for them not the neighbors.
Whaat do you mean "They have been great to work with?"
They have accepted your estimate and design?A client has not been great to work with tell you have actually done some work with them.
I guess the design is ok in thier eyes and you sold them on it it is ok but you gotta start thinking outside the foundation planting/lawn/state of mind that has been stuck in the minds of landscapers for so many years,it will help us all to grow.

sheshovel
11-15-2005, 11:09 AM
Sorry NicKN dident mean to be so mean,but I gotta say what I mean and tell the truth about my reaction to things here.

NickN
11-15-2005, 11:37 AM
Yes,the design has been sold and installation on this job starts on the 26th.They've been great to work with in the sense that they gave me great input as to what they wanted.Some don't give very much input and I have to go with what I feel looks good.
The hydrangeas on the sides have been replaced with camelia also.There will be color all year.Encore Azaleas bloom 3 times per year here,crepes during the summer along with the spirea and iris,dogwood during spring,camelia during fall.Golden Euonomys is used for contrast.The spirea have been moved though,to make room for Conversation Piece azaleas along the walk.
No problem though.Different strokes and all.The important thing is they are happy.You can't tell from the photo,but the bed comes out 10 feet and is curved.(You can kinda tell from the azalea in the middle.)
Keep in mind,the shrub photos are when fully grown and you can't prune them with software.
Now,if you're willing to pay me,I'll be happy to come up with a design to your liking.

AGLA
11-15-2005, 09:41 PM
:blush: I'm guessing that Sheshovel used the same program for that avatar

sheshovel
11-15-2005, 09:47 PM
HAHA AGLA your quite the witty one aren't you?:D
No thanks NickN I do my own designing thank you very much though.:waving:
I couldn't see the beds in your pic..it made it look like everything was way too close to the house..sorry if I misinterpreted it
:help: :help:

sheshovel
11-15-2005, 09:51 PM
I do have to say though cuz I just can't help myself....
I would have installed a small curving bed along the driveway left side (as looking at it on my screen)or at least put it into the design so they could see how it would work
to De- emphasize the harsh driveway edge.For sure.
But of course I have no idea what I am talking about.Not at all...nope,no idea at all

Dirty Water
11-15-2005, 10:13 PM
Sheshovel, constructive criticism without being harsh or offensive is definitly not one of your good attributes :laugh:

There's no need to have such a defensive attitude. We know your a competant and capable landscaper.

sheshovel
11-16-2005, 02:40 AM
OK Jon...you are right on as usual man!

NickN
11-16-2005, 08:31 AM
I agree,there is alot of potential with this home,but the owners specified that this was all they wanted.The bed doesn't even go completely around the home.They wanted it to stop right past the corners.I mean,look at the home.This isn't exactly a high end neighborhood.The owners are retiring this year and wanted some landscaping around the home.(Look at the before pic)
Simple as that.We got this job while we were trimming shrubs and mulching beds across the street.It's a small install I sold for $1400 including the dogwood.Won't take more than one day to complete and my gross profit will be a little over $900.

sheshovel
11-17-2005, 11:57 AM
And your working too cheap too my freind,please don't take offence at my words,I'm sure your customers will be very happy with it,just making some suggestions is all.Sorry if I sounded mean..I tend to sound like that no matter what I say..in real life too!! LOL I think you will be fine..next time make about 1500 profit on a job like that

work_it
11-17-2005, 12:06 PM
On the other side of the fence. There's a company here who does the most generic work and designs that show absolutely no imagination, but they're one of the busiest landscape companies in the city. This guy has found his niche in low-end landscaping and is doing quite well at it. My point is...you need to keep in mind that not everyone wants elaborate designs that they have to remortgage their house for.

SprinklerGuy
11-17-2005, 12:12 PM
Are you saying that almost a 65% gross profit margin is too little?
Are you kidding me? Please tell me you are kidding....you don't know his market for one....all markets are different yes?

But, none-the-less....65% gross profit isn't too bad in my book.

walker-talker
11-17-2005, 04:30 PM
It's a small install I sold for $1400 including the dogwood.Won't take more than one day to complete and my gross profit will be a little over $900.
Are you saying that almost a 65% gross profit margin is too little?I am wondering he deducted his labor? Gross profit margins are not hard to make if you are doing the work for free. I am interested in a breakdown of your income minus expenses?

sheshovel
11-17-2005, 10:48 PM
Exactly what I was thinking too

sheshovel
11-17-2005, 10:50 PM
No he found a nitch in cheap ugly landscaping and he can go ahead and have that nitch cuz good Landscapers don't want it..

NickN
11-18-2005, 09:20 AM
Ya know Sheshovel,I've tolerated you long enough.Let's see,while you were posting on LawnSite yesterday,I was making money and I've seen that crap in Paint Shop Pro you try to pawn off as landscaping.I've had to correct you numerous times when you gave WRONG lawn and landscape advice.I've seen the crappy stone work you do.Yet,I held my tongue.Something you obviously cannot do.
You don't know anything about me,my regular clients, or my business.

SprinklerGuy
11-18-2005, 11:15 AM
Well said Nick....you should see her irrigation work pics.

Popper357
11-18-2005, 11:27 AM
I can't get over the Sheshovel comment about "how much she dislikes foundation plantings and shrubs close to the house". Considering almost every house built has this type of beds because they are the most functional. Shrubs soften the lawn/wall transition.

There seem to be a fundamental flaw with some opinions.

work_it
11-18-2005, 12:04 PM
I don't think she's entirely right, but she's not entirely wrong either. I think, like with any kind of business, you have high-middle-& low end needs which must be met. So somebody who wants somthing simple and inexpensive certainly wouldn't want to deal with sheshovel. For example: somebody who can only afford a Geo isn't going to go shopping at a Mercedes dealership.

As for sheshovels views on trees and shrubs being planted close to houses...once again we're talking about a matter of personal preferences. It is the landscapers job to make his/her customers happy, but it is also their responsibility to inform the customer of the risks involved. Like telling them that the root systems may damage their foundation, or if they're planted close to walkways, patios, driveways, gas/electric/water/sewer lines they may end up with a real mess when/if they ever decide to have them removed.

So, once again, it all comes down to what levels of customer service you're willing to provide and what kind of reputation you're trying to build.

Lawnworks
11-18-2005, 06:58 PM
And your working too cheap too my freind,please don't take offence at my words,I'm sure your customers will be very happy with it,just making some suggestions is all.Sorry if I sounded mean..I tend to sound like that no matter what I say..in real life too!! LOL I think you will be fine..next time make about 1500 profit on a job like that

How can you even make that assumption? He did not say anything about how many man hours it would take. If it was 18 man hours it would be about right. It is all about billing out for man hours... more man hours(at your localized rate) = more money.

Lawnworks
11-18-2005, 06:59 PM
I can't get over the Sheshovel comment about "how much she dislikes foundation plantings and shrubs close to the house". Considering almost every house built has this type of beds because they are the most functional. Shrubs soften the lawn/wall transition.

There seem to be a fundamental flaw with some opinions.

I agree.. most houses need foundation plantings. Maybe it is a different world in Cali.

NickN,
What do you think about knock out rose instead of azaelas? Just an ideer. From what I have seen these bushes flower spring to fall.

Lawnworks
11-18-2005, 07:01 PM
No he found a nitch in cheap ugly landscaping and he can go ahead and have that nitch cuz good Landscapers don't want it..

......Ouch!!!

sheshovel
11-18-2005, 09:17 PM
I was talking about the guy workit brought up I was not talking about NickN with the above.

sheshovel
11-18-2005, 10:45 PM
OH you have HAD to correct Sheshovel a number of times for giving incorrect landscaping advice?
You must have been dreaming.
I don't have to explain to anybody about my hours and when I work or how I make my schedule,but I will this time..I was home taking care of my dog who got ripped up by some animal the night before and was waiting to take him in to his Vet appointment to get sewn up.
THAT is why I was at home posting while you were out making money.After that was done I brought him back home and then went to work.
I was not talking about you when I said that guy found a nitch...read the above post.
I have a paint shop pro program but don't know really how to use it but I try to get my point across by using it anyway,you have not seen any of my designs that I know of.
AND What sprinkler systems are you referring to Sprinkler guy?The only ones I have posted here were ones that I was changing or reworking from the existing ones so I have no idea why you decided to throw that little snide remark in here,because it is misleading.
When you learn about the basics of form and function
focal points ,color and contrast,texture and other basics of landscaping that you learn hands on and not have a landscaping program do it for you then maybe you will wake up to the fact that landscaping has changed and design is progressive.
You are not just designing and throwing in a quick inexpensive landscape out there to make a quick buck..You are using your imagination and creating a piece of art that is truly your own,your putting your mark on that home..your doing something important ,something your customer will look at for many years and everybody in the neighborhood and all their friends and family and everybody who lays eyes on it.
I simply said what I thought and apologized even for saying what I thought.:rolleyes:
But you know what..keep on thinking in those little tight azzed landscaping boxes keep on doing what every landscaper and their little buddies do..and have done for years and years..:blob3:
Keep on charging by the "Man hour" and pricing your work like anybody can do it.:blob3:
I could care less
I am not going to waist my time trying to teach people who don't care to think freely or use imagination in their work.:D

Lawnworks
11-18-2005, 11:20 PM
But you know what..keep on thinking in those little tight azzed landscaping boxes keep on doing what every landscaper and their little buddies do..and have done for years and years..:blob3:
Keep on charging by the "Man hour" and pricing your work like anybody can do it.:blob3:
I could care less
I am not going to waist my time trying to teach people who don't care to think freely or use imagination in their work.:D

I will agree w/ you that creativity and imagination are a big part of landscaping. That part is alot of fun and the rewards of a finished product are great. BUT what is wrong w/ mastering the art of estimating man hours needed to complete a job? I am in this business to make a profit maybe that does not apply to you?

MarcusLndscp
11-19-2005, 02:02 PM
If I only had a nickel for every thread like this one. I would be a rich man. payup

sheshovel
11-19-2005, 09:04 PM
I will agree w/ you that creativity and imagination are a big part of landscaping. That part is alot of fun and the rewards of a finished product are great. BUT what is wrong w/ mastering the art of estimating man hours needed to complete a job? I am in this business to make a profit maybe that does not apply to you?

Because it almost always takes more time and is more difficult that you think it might be,
He has to look at the job,do the est and design,sell the job to the cust,clear and clean the area,remove the debri,pick up and deliver the materials,unload the materials,make a profit on his materials,add soil amendment and work up the beds,plant the shrubs and the trees,water everything in,apply mulch,clean up the mess from installing the landscape and inform the customer on after care,and bill the customer.
All for 900.00 bucks?
Is that before or after he pays his help?
No I don't know what his market will bear.
But I do know you not only should charge for your labor involved,but you have to charge for your knowlage and expierience too.Or are you giving that away free?

MarcusLndscp
11-20-2005, 09:29 AM
knowlage and expierience

K N O W L A G E AND E X P I E R I E N C E deese r too very impotant peeses of da industree dat us all neid ta b mo betta at

NickN
11-20-2005, 03:59 PM
This will be my last post concerning this.My time is better spent with other things,like making money while Sheshovel worries about LawnSite posts.
For the record Sheshovel,here are two posts I found right off regarding your WRONG advice.
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=121456
http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=117387
Nothing wrong with being WRONG either.Just don't pretend to be an expert on everything and every location.

Lawnworks,
This particular client emphasized,azaleas,crepes,and camilia.So,I gave her what she asked for.Short,simple,and profit.
BTW,.our gross profit will be a bit higher due to a new supplier.Employee pay and benefits will run around $240 for the day.This is a two "man" crew for 16 total manhours.I'll be overseeing this job,as well as another in another town for this day.(Leaf cleanup,what fun!:rolleyes: )Once the sod is cut and the area prepped,employees can take care of the planting,mulching, and cleanup.I can help out with leaf cleanups while they're doing that.It's busy for November.

Dirty Water
11-20-2005, 09:07 PM
I find it really funny how Sheshovel is knocking on people who do cheap landscape work, yet she herself does a lot of work for mobile home parks.

Pot...meet kettle.

Lawnworks
11-20-2005, 09:07 PM
16 man hours at $56 per man hour.... sounds profitable to me.

sheshovel
11-20-2005, 10:22 PM
Fine whatever you want to think guys.
I said pansies
die off in winter they do around here when covered in snow.And I THOUGHT bermuda was not supposed to be cut shorter than 1' I diden't say It was I said I thought it was..Big deal.I do work for new landscapes in one manifactured home park so what
that does not mean my work is cheap nor that the people don't have the money to spend on quality landscaping.

Lawnworks
11-21-2005, 07:32 AM
Big deal.I do work for new landscapes in one manifactured home park so what
that does not mean my work is cheap nor that the people don't have the money to spend on quality landscaping.
:rolleyes:

sheshovel
11-21-2005, 02:21 PM
I find it really funny how Sheshovel is knocking on people who do cheap landscape work, yet she herself does a lot of work for mobile home parks.

Pot...meet kettle.

And you tell me not to be so defensive
I do alot of work in all areas up here,not just there.This is why I am defensive,I try to make a point and it gets all twisted into something I did not mean it to be at all.
I can kiss every b..tt in here and say everything looks peachy keen and great,
or I can try to get people to offer more to their customers and make more money.
It sure can't HURT to offer them something they did not necessarily ask for.
Maybe they have no idea of the possibilities in their yard and unless you show them those possibilities they won't know will they??
It won't kill him to ask for more money will it?
Won't kill him to bid higher or add more labor will it?
All I am trying to get across is that landscaping is a true art,it is a skilled craft,and it should be treated as such by the people do it.

Lawnworks
11-21-2005, 04:15 PM
All I am trying to get across is that landscaping is a true art,it is a skilled craft,and it should be treated as such by the people do it.

It is also a business and should be treated as such.

sheshovel
11-22-2005, 01:11 AM
No comment this time

sheshovel
11-22-2005, 02:42 AM
No as a matter of fact READ walker Talkers thread on pricing,OK?