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JConner
02-21-2009, 10:51 AM
I was wondering if any of you guys could help me with bidding landscaping jobs. Do you just go out and look at the job first and then make a design something and bring that back and a price or do you give them a rough price while you are there ? i just got a call this morning i don't know what it is i will be looking at the job today between 3-5 and i will post pictures when i go out and find out what he wants. I am not very good at designing yet but i found a design software i will get if needed thanks for any help

JConner
02-21-2009, 12:13 PM
no help from anyone ?

lawn crafters
02-21-2009, 12:50 PM
ok my advice is this
first you get what is called inventory( which is what is there NOW) you alo would measure.
second you analysis the area (ask the client basically what they want) example.. i say to the client "what do you want to see when you pull up to your house?" also when analysis you find slopes and things like that.

third is a brainstorm of ideas. what you should do is pick 3-5 different options (drawings) then..

fourth form the brainstorms into a design

fifth show the client the design and see what they say( if they like it then that is the design. if they dont like it then they will make corrections) after that you redesign the original design to make a final copy.

after this you now make a plant list. this has the quanity also. then you go to a nursery and get prices. you add up the prices of plants + loam if needed + mulch +labor + a SMALL design fee ( only if you want to). then you give them a price.

if you have any questions just ask me

burge19
02-21-2009, 05:17 PM
I was kinda wondering the same thing....what design software you guys are using out there?

lawn crafters
02-21-2009, 05:28 PM
well i took a landscape design course, and i just free hand draw. howevere i use rulers and a compass and all that kind of drawing tools.
landscape designing is more of problem solving.
there is a software that this site is sponsered by, its called pro landscape or something like that

BlackDog3
02-21-2009, 05:32 PM
I do something similar. I usually design it to the specs that they ask me, and give them a price. If they don't like it i usually ask where the changes need to be re design it and give them another price. The only thing i found to be annoying is if you do all that work and you dont get the job! I been there twice with a commercial place. I also draw my designs but my girlfriend is starting to show me Coral Draw.

Chris

lawn crafters
02-21-2009, 06:12 PM
I do something similar. I usually design it to the specs that they ask me, and give them a price. If they don't like it i usually ask where the changes need to be re design it and give them another price. The only thing i found to be annoying is if you do all that work and you dont get the job! I been there twice with a commercial place. I also draw my designs but my girlfriend is starting to show me Coral Draw.

Chris

yeah that is the worst thing but what i do to prevent that is i charge a $85 dollar counsilation fee but give free estimate, and if they have me do the design and plant it and what not the i credit the $85 doallars back to them

JConner
02-22-2009, 09:32 AM
This is very helpful I appreciate all of the input. Thanks much Lawn crafters

Fert33
02-22-2009, 10:09 AM
Why not work with a designer that does that sort of thing every day. You sell the jobs, and let the designer come up with the ideas. I find that once the season starts, how much time do you really have to sit down and draw up a real good design? Let the customer know that there will be a fee for the design, that way the designer get's his or her money.

openbook
02-22-2009, 10:43 AM
Why not work with a designer that does that sort of thing every day. You sell the jobs, and let the designer come up with the ideas. I find that once the season starts, how much time do you really have to sit down and draw up a real good design? Let the customer know that there will be a fee for the design, that way the designer get's his or her money.


That is a pretty good idea. It seems to me though when I worked for a major landscape company most of the designs were pretty similar. I feel like I could just do the same.

Sometimes the designers would do stuff that wouldn't work like planting hydrangeas on top of a burm in full sun. Then I look bad or I make someone else look bad because I told the customer that they will need to be watered daily and the designer told them they don't have to water them much.

Fert33
02-22-2009, 06:38 PM
If you don't want to look bad bring the designer to the customers house to meet with them. Let him or her talk with the customer and ask questions about what they like and dislike. This way no matter what the designer likes, or thinks, the homeowner is kind of telling them what they want. Sometimes you might have to work with different designers though. A few around my area like to use a lot of the same plant material in their designs. I sometimes tell them to leave specific plants out. This way I eliminate that problem.

JConner
02-22-2009, 10:54 PM
That is a pretty good idea but i really want to get into the designing and instaling portion of this busines so i am trying to find ways for myself to do these bids and designs but i still like all of the ideas that have been put out here thanks to everyone.

Patriot Services
02-23-2009, 06:33 PM
First question you ask them is the budget. You can't draw up a design without knowing what they are willing to spend. Every week I get a call from someone that watched a show on HGTV and thinks that a 20k job should only cost 1k especially if they provide the materials. You will find a lot of dreamers asking for estimates. Dont waste time on designs without a firm budget to work with.:usflag::usflag::usflag: