View Full Version : Was this a fair price?

03-22-2006, 05:04 AM
I just had a customer that saw some of my work and wanted me to give him a quote on landscaping for his house. Customer wanted an area 100' long and varying widths from 3' to 6' landscaped. I drew up a plan which consisted of roughly 60 plants, trees, annuals, with a price of $3700. Now this price included sod removal, mulch installation, cost of materials , haul fee for removal of cut sod, and a design fee. My total cost for materials was around $1500 the rest would have been labor at a rate of $35/pr man hr for myself and a helper at $12/hr. Customer said the price was to high and I offered to do it cheaper with smaller plants but that was the best I could do. Am I in the ballpark with this price? Too high or too low? ANy thoughts would be appreciated.

03-22-2006, 06:12 AM
When doing jobs that involve alot of work,if you get the deer in the headlights look,you should always be ready to break the job down into phases.

phase 1-------Removal of the sod and the bed creation and hauling debris
Phase 2 -------could be providing and installing the plants

The design fee unless you are or pay a Landscape Designer
could be waived

2 1/2 times the material cost is 3750.00

03-22-2006, 06:54 AM
Thanks for the advice. So I take it was in the ball park with my price?

03-22-2006, 07:19 AM
In my opinion you are.

Have a great day

03-22-2006, 10:18 AM
I come up with about $3800 so I'd say your bid was quite fair.

03-22-2006, 12:42 PM
do you charge by the hour on installs? Did you tell the customer your hourly rates? Honestly I think your hourly rates are very low, I charge 50 per man for any hour of work (estimate based) that includes wages, work comp, taxes, and overhead. Price is about right for this job, but I would look into your hourly costs.

03-22-2006, 01:22 PM
Your hourly rates are way too low. Why are you charging a different rate for you...then your helper? How do you expect to make any money off of your helper @ $12.00 an hour? I pay my guys more than that.

03-23-2006, 01:19 AM
Tell him you are sorry but that is the most reasonable price you can offer him..ask for your plan back and walk away.That is a VERY reasonable price.

03-23-2006, 04:54 AM
that will lowball the work for some tomales. Yie Yie Yie Yie Yieeeeeeeeee. Ariba Aribaaaaaaa!!!!!! And the real truth to the whole thing is they do crappy work most of the time. Then the people end up calling you back for you to do the work right.

03-23-2006, 10:49 PM
I would Charge around 4,300

03-24-2006, 06:09 AM
When doing lawn maintence and doing Landscape work the pricing structure is different.

There is little or no equipment to take into consideration
When it is then it can be added in.

When you are doing installs,it would be better to charge by job than by the hour.example--( I can plant 60 plants in an hour,should I only get 50.00 for that hour ? ),(I think not)

This is why most of us landscapers will charge 2 1/2 times to 3 for plant installs.

When you put out mulch if you charged by the hour you would not make much money.

So this is not low-balling as it has been said it is just a different way to
price landscape installs.

When running a landscape business you need to do both maintenance and
Landscape designs and installs,talk with some full time landscape designers and installers to get a clear understanding of how the price structure works.

I only do designs and installs,no grass cutting here.


03-24-2006, 08:02 PM
walk away .when you set a rate for your work never second bid your work for a cheaper rate . landscaping is all manual labor, its hard work an if your gonna bust your ass atleast reap the benefits,, see ya george

03-26-2006, 08:21 PM
Thanks to everyone for the advice. Ive decided that in the future I will set my price structure at what it seems most of you guys are doing..2 1/2 times my material costs. There just seems to be so many people that want the work done for nothing. I had a lady this weekend that wanted an estimate on a mulch install. It came out to 50 yards of mulch, I get it for $24/yrd and charged her $60/yrd, I thought she was going to blow a gasket when I told her the price but what can you do. Thanks again to everyone for the advice.

03-26-2006, 08:45 PM
Pine, you need to price by your expenses and the profit you want to make. 2 1/2 times may or may not cover that depending on the situation- you need to consider access and everything. If you are paying your helper 12 you need to mark that up in addition to your materials, the same percentage as you mark your labor up. At the end of the year divide your overhead expenses by your gross and that will give you a percentage to add on to everything you sell including labor if it is 20% of gross and you want 15% profit before taxes (an example only) then divide all of your job costs by .65 (1-.35) and this will be your price. It will often come close to a times 2.5 or 3 or something but you really need to time yourself on each job for each individual task so you can come up with an accurate labor cost for future jobs. From there you can take into consideration things like access and so forth. It is a lot of work, I have just recently started doing this myself. Also count your time and your truck for plant pick up and travel.

03-27-2006, 01:53 AM
my hourly rate is $110 for a 3 man crew and $120 for a 4 man. my crew gets $10 a hour.

03-30-2006, 11:34 PM
I would charge between $4-5k unless it seemed like less work than you describe... Theres no way that price is TOO HIGH. if the customer things your WAY off, its probably HIM/HER thats way off in what they were expecting off the bat.

oh yeah and $35 per hour or whatever is way low in my area, i can guestimate stuff based on my working "fast" hourly rate at like $70-90hr and that price fits in well for labor. If i had helpers at the job i would charge the same per man hour..

big job taking a day or two would be 16hrs for myself and 16hrs for my one helper say would be 32hrs X $75hr =2400 in labor, plus your costs of plants etc are $4k~

03-31-2006, 08:33 PM
Don't feel bad. I been getting alot of 'YOUR to high'!!!

The latest 'your to high' quote was for 2600sq of paver and 225 face feet of reinforced SRW. I would of had to excavate and remove a black top driveway and excavate down 12in. Then remove 600sq of concrete that was god knows how think.

I came in at 37k. Guy thought i was crazy!! The guy really though i was crazy when i told him he needed a guard rail since i would of been builing a 5 foot high wall 2 feet of the driveway!!!.