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clcscaper
11-13-2008, 10:16 AM
I have a customer who has beds prepared and plants purchased. He just needs someone to plant for him. What would be acceptable per plant price for 3 gal. and 7 gal. plants? We usually provide plants and charge 2.25 times the cost of the plant so we can afford to guarantee the plants so I'm not sure what to charge in this case.

NewHorizon's Land
11-13-2008, 12:15 PM
Why not find out how much the plants cost and still charge that?

cpel2004
11-13-2008, 12:28 PM
Hows the soil, how many plants do you have to put down, depending on the landscape I would charge any where from $6-8 per plant.

clcscaper
11-13-2008, 01:55 PM
thanks cpel2004. There is just under 50 plants about half 3 and half 7 gal.

ARGOS
11-13-2008, 10:52 PM
By the hour.

JNyz
11-16-2008, 12:02 PM
Hows the soil, how many plants do you have to put down, depending on the landscape I would charge any where from $6-8 per plant.

How can you make any money charging 8/shrub?

Charge a day rate of 1600.00 even if you get out of there in 4 hours.

Stuttering Stan
11-16-2008, 06:37 PM
Charge a day rate of 1600.00 even if you get out of there in 4 hours.[/QUOTE]

Wow, $1600 for one day labor? I'm speechless. Do you work for the CEO of Exxon?

Lawnworks
11-16-2008, 09:43 PM
I don't think Jnyz's rates are applicable to most of us judging by some of the other pricing I have seen from him as well.

I want to see your crib JNyz.

ARGOS
11-16-2008, 10:25 PM
Charge a day rate of 1600.00 even if you get out of there in 4 hours.

Wow, $1600 for one day labor? I'm speechless. Do you work for the CEO of Exxon?[/QUOTE]

$1,600...maybe too cheap. Are we talking a six man crew with three two man augers and a foreman?

TSGVA
11-23-2008, 12:39 PM
Exactly right, ARGOS. They need to figure out production rates per plant, applying equipment and workers to get your hours. Add your markup to wholesale $ for replacement plant insurance (hopefully just added profit if properly installed). We have line item costs for plants based on production rates by plant size, translating into hourly charge.

Let me know if this is wrong...we are fairly new in the landscaping realm, but I think it's common sense. We design/build mostly waterscapes and hardscapes. We charge $200/hr for a 5-man crew and applicable equipment.....yes, maybe higher than some competitors but you need to show what you can DO. Portray the overall value. Who wants to be the low baller and not make any money?!

We don't mow lawns, so we're not talking apples to apples with the lawn guys.

JNyz
11-23-2008, 05:18 PM
I don't think Jnyz's rates are applicable to most of us judging by some of the other pricing I have seen from him as well.

I want to see your crib JNyz.

Not sure which one you want to see so I also included a link to my vacation home.

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2131-Basswood-Dr-Lafayette-Hill-PA-19444/10069024_zpid


http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/7412-Pleasure-Ave/55317621_zpid

DBL
11-23-2008, 06:06 PM
we charge 60% of the retail of the plant, not our discounted price. Unless, its a cheap plant like mums for example well charge about $6-$10 for each plant

TXNSLighting
11-23-2008, 06:32 PM
A little over triple the price of the plant here.

Lawnworks
11-23-2008, 07:33 PM
Not sure which one you want to see so I also included a link to my vacation home.

http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/2131-Basswood-Dr-Lafayette-Hill-PA-19444/10069024_zpid


http://www.zillow.com/homedetails/7412-Pleasure-Ave/55317621_zpid

I would be interested in learning more about your company. You should start a thread.

CkLandscapingOrlando
11-23-2008, 07:36 PM
At least 2 times the plant price.If a guy told me 1600 to plant 50 shrubs I'd tell you to hall ass.Your looking at 2 hours labor if you know how to plant.I dont think a waranty applies if you dont supply the plants.

JNyz
11-23-2008, 07:46 PM
I would be interested in learning more about your company. You should start a thread.

What do you need to know that I go to work at 6AM, get home at 6PM and bid on everything that I can? Oh one more thing, I bid by the man hour 50-80 depending on what equipment will be on site.

Lawnworks
11-23-2008, 07:53 PM
What do you need to know that I go to work at 6AM, get home at 6PM and bid on everything that I can? Oh one more thing, I bid by the man hour 50-80 depending on what equipment will be on site.

Very helpful! Thanks.

TSGVA
11-23-2008, 09:52 PM
JNyz, how many crews are you running? I agree with bidding by the man hour.....derived from production rates and equipment on site. In your proposals, are you ultimatley showing line item install $ per plant.....back-tracking from cost per man hour?

To anyone that estimates plant installation strictly by a 2x-4x multiplier: does this cover your costs properly while providing the profit you are looking for.....every time? Isn't that kind of like bidding a paver terrace by the square foot, without taking into consideration all the variables like travel, cuts, excavation, etc? Can be dangerous if you take the quick and easy 'square-foot' approach. Our profit margin is comfortable at 10% on L/ OH/M. But, if a client supplies all the material, we still add 10% of what the material would have cost us to supply. Anybody else factor Profit this way....have any other suggestions?

We are fairly new at bidding landscaping, however we are right on point for bidding hardscape and waterscape construction. When factoring in items such as mulch, bed prep/amendment, do you roll that into the plant multiplier (if that is the best method) or treat it as it's own item? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it would be better to know exactly what it's going to cost, item by item, making sure all my bases are covered.....rather than shooting from the hip with some average multiplier. Just gathering opinions, preferences and information here......any thoughts?

JNyz
11-24-2008, 04:32 PM
JNyz, how many crews are you running? I agree with bidding by the man hour.....derived from production rates and equipment on site. In your proposals, are you ultimatley showing line item install $ per plant.....back-tracking from cost per man hour?

To anyone that estimates plant installation strictly by a 2x-4x multiplier: does this cover your costs properly while providing the profit you are looking for.....every time? Isn't that kind of like bidding a paver terrace by the square foot, without taking into consideration all the variables like travel, cuts, excavation, etc? Can be dangerous if you take the quick and easy 'square-foot' approach. Our profit margin is comfortable at 10% on L/ OH/M. But, if a client supplies all the material, we still add 10% of what the material would have cost us to supply. Anybody else factor Profit this way....have any other suggestions?

We are fairly new at bidding landscaping, however we are right on point for bidding hardscape and waterscape construction. When factoring in items such as mulch, bed prep/amendment, do you roll that into the plant multiplier (if that is the best method) or treat it as it's own item? Correct me if I'm wrong, but I think it would be better to know exactly what it's going to cost, item by item, making sure all my bases are covered.....rather than shooting from the hip with some average multiplier. Just gathering opinions, preferences and information here......any thoughts?

I run two crews.

I was just putting a number out there that I would charge if a client was purchasing the plants like the one that started this this thread.

If I am purchasing the material I like to do 3 x material cost at the local wholesale nursery. If I sell the job I then put the material out to bid at 5-6 wholesale nurseries within 50 miles of the job. I do not kick back any savings except buy lunch for the GM of the nursery I get my material from. As far as maintenance goes I like doing that by the hour. Multiplying works for me but I can see how it might not work for everyone. I'm sorry if I was confusing on my original post.

I do believe clients do not go with the low bid more then 50% of the jobs I bid on. That is why you as contractors have to go out and sell yourself, not just drop off a proposal and walk away. Tell the client why you are good at what you do, show them the extra step you take, and the quality of your jobs.

castle555
11-26-2008, 04:49 AM
Planting -goes by size of plants, or you can just charge 25.00/hour per man +material.
Also, it can depend greatly on soil type for example -need a jackammer to plant? in some areas around the Sacramento Valley there is rock, and there is heavy clay.
My company does price a labor cost per plant if the soil is low effort -at $1.00/1 gallon, $2.50 per 2 gal., $7.50 for 5 gallon, $12.75 for 15 gal., and $75.00 per tree for 24" box.
The bottom line is how long does it take to move the plant, dig the hole, and backfill.
Using fertilizer packets? charge for each. Soil amendment? cost plus markup.
Delivery cost - usually $50.00 to 75.00 depending on distance. -hope this helps.

ARGOS
11-26-2008, 10:11 AM
Planting -goes by size of plants, or you can just charge 25.00/hour per man +material.
Also, it can depend greatly on soil type for example -need a jackammer to plant? in some areas around the Sacramento Valley there is rock, and there is heavy clay.
My company does price a labor cost per plant if the soil is low effort -at $1.00/1 gallon, $2.50 per 2 gal., $7.50 for 5 gallon, $12.75 for 15 gal., and $75.00 per tree for 24" box.


You guys are inexpensive. We have tiered rates starting at $35 and going to $65 for masonry or irrigation. $7.50 is where we start for the 1 gallon.

I don't think Georgia will need a jackhammer. We tote around the jack hammer and spade bit too. We use it a lot for trenching.

clcscaper
12-11-2008, 09:32 AM
thanks for all the great info guys. I didn't realize I was starting such a discussion.

Dhouse
12-11-2008, 10:50 AM
We usually charge 2.5 times the plant price - this covers pickup, delivery, installation and a 1 year warranty. This doesn't apply to perennials just shrubs and trees.
So 10% profit on a landscape job is the going rate for landscape installs?

Casey21
12-11-2008, 12:32 PM
If a customer wants to buy the plants then I will give them a day rate for a 3 man crew to come in and plant. 1 day min. I would not warranty there plants that they purchase. I myself like to charge 2x - 2.5x the plant price on a residential install.

Commercial is different and you really need to know how many plants you can plant in an hour/day because you will never get 2x the plant price on a large commercial job.

steve5966
12-11-2008, 07:15 PM
We usually charge 2.5 times the plant price - this covers pickup, delivery, installation and a 1 year warranty. This doesn't apply to perennials just shrubs and trees.
So 10% profit on a landscape job is the going rate for landscape installs?

If your using a multiplier only, your going to be boom or bust. A few plants and you don't make any money, a truckload and you'll make some.

Figure out what it costs you to do the work before you bid the work. Using a multiplier is the easy way, but at the end of the day you won't know if you actually made a real profit.

ford550
12-12-2008, 11:23 AM
We don't charge a per plant price. We mark up the cost of the plant to cover warranty and profit and then calculate time (from history records and experience). Too many variables in just saying 2 or 3 times the plant. Like stated before, doing it that way is like pricing per sf on pavers, your going to lose money, every job has different variables.

clallen03
12-12-2008, 04:46 PM
I have read twice that some are expecting 10% profit on landscape install. So for a $5000 install you only profit $500? Maybe Im wrong but that seems like working for free. I do my best to get 33% profit on every landscape job that I bid on. $1500 profit on that $5000 install sounds more like it.

steve5966
12-12-2008, 05:07 PM
I have read twice that some are expecting 10% profit on landscape install. So for a $5000 install you only profit $500? Maybe Im wrong but that seems like working for free. I do my best to get 33% profit on every landscape job that I bid on. $1500 profit on that $5000 install sounds more like it.

What did your shovel cost you? Truck? Insurance?

I'll take 12.5 % net profit every day of the week and be a happy guy.
You need to know what it costs you to do the work before you know your profit. All of our overhead recovery is figured into every bid, as soon as the job is complete i'll know what the profit is.

clallen03
12-12-2008, 05:25 PM
I see your point and my 33% does include all overhead. I think we are on the same page but even after all overhead is recovered I still need more then 10% net profit.
The bottom line is it normally takes about 2 days to complete a 5k install and if we complete 3 in a week 1500 dollars is still considered peanuts in my book!

ford550
12-12-2008, 09:25 PM
So are you saying that at the end of the season at $1500 net profit per week, you would be looking at a $60,000 net profit and that is not good enough? Maybe I am misunderstanding this? After all OH, wages, materials and salaries (including yourself) are paid and that new company profit isn't enough. I need to be given a lesson by you on what I am doing wrong:confused:. Net profit is not what you pay yourself at the end, it is what the company is making. Your salary should have already been recovered in the costs before profit.

JNyz
12-12-2008, 09:33 PM
So are you saying that at the end of the season at $1500 net profit per week, you would be looking at a $60,000 net profit and that is not good enough? Maybe I am misunderstanding this? After all OH, wages, materials and salaries (including yourself) are paid and that new company profit isn't enough. I need to be given a lesson by you on what I am doing wrong:confused:. Net profit is not what you pay yourself at the end, it is what the company is making. Your salary should have already been recovered in the costs before profit.


I think you hit the nail on the head. Most guys do not know what profit means.

TSGVA
12-12-2008, 11:36 PM
So are you saying that at the end of the season at $1500 net profit per week, you would be looking at a $60,000 net profit and that is not good enough? Maybe I am misunderstanding this? After all OH, wages, materials and salaries (including yourself) are paid and that new company profit isn't enough. I need to be given a lesson by you on what I am doing wrong:confused:. Net profit is not what you pay yourself at the end, it is what the company is making. Your salary should have already been recovered in the costs before profit.

Chris, you beat me to it.....glad I'm not the only one who's happy with a 10% net profit plus my salary, OH, etc, as mentioned earlier.

Lawnworks
12-13-2008, 07:31 PM
How much of a salary do you guys take? Seems like you would want a low salary so as to escape ss and fica taxes.

ford550
12-15-2008, 10:05 PM
How much of a salary do you guys take?

Salary should be based on how much you gross and what type of "HATS" you are wearing. Multiple hats means you are filling multiple positions. Which is what most of us do. Not only are we owners, presidents, etc., we might be the designer and estimator or manager, secretary, etc. I really don't want to get into exact numbers, but a company in the upper $000,000's to $1M range is in the $xxx,xxx for salary. I doubt your going to get anything specific on the website.