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Hoeferlawn
05-26-2009, 06:35 PM
Doing my first small landscaping job and need some help pricing the job. First off Do you charge by the plant or by the hour? Very new to this aspect of the business and need help.

6 knockouts
3 fountain grass
20 liriope
10 daylillies
4 Weigelas
various flowers to fill in

White Gardens
05-27-2009, 12:53 AM
I generally price out the plants and material and add 25% + -, to cover expenses for picking up etc....

Then I add in my labor.

EagleLandscape
05-27-2009, 02:00 PM
570, not including flowers. plus payment for drivetime to and from job.

nowayklown
05-31-2009, 01:01 AM
i charge by the plant installed. 2 gal pots i charge 35 per if that gives you an idea. also take into consideration bed prep, if you need to till or remove grass fertilize anything of that nature should be priced accordingly as a labor cost

Florida Gardener
06-01-2009, 11:45 PM
you need to break down what needs to be done to complete this job in its entirety. Do you need to make new beds? remove sod to extend beds? Rip out old plants? break it down and charge for everything. This includes pickup/delivery of material, disposal of old plants/containers etc. I charge the customer what they would pay at the nursery(which is usually 100% of WS) and add labor to install the plants. If i need to rip out old plants, that's another charge. If i need to make a bed or extend a bed or transplant a plant, those are all additional charges. You should be getting paif for EVERYTHING that is involved in getting the job done. I like to make $50/hour on cutting,cleanups,etc. On landscaping jobs, i like to get $75/hour. There is a lot more involved and its a lot more detailed and time consuming. We need to get paid accordingly.

PSUturf
06-02-2009, 12:14 AM
We multiply the wholesale price of the plant by 2.25 to get a retail price. We multiply that by 1.5 for the installed price of the plant including warranty.

Any type of bed preparation (sod stripping, adding soil and or compost) is extra.

unit28
06-20-2009, 11:33 PM
I multiplied 1.55 to each job to cover labor.
And that was back in 95...maybe I had a good salesman?
Or is this still standard..what's up?

Anyway, I'm out of retirement funds,.... so off to work I go.

AGLA
06-21-2009, 08:24 AM
There is no standard price or standard way to calculate it. Not everyone can get the same money for the same job. Not every customer base is going to pay the same price.

If you are brand new at this and you charge the same as a well established proven company, the customer would most likely go with the established company. If the customer wants to save money, he might be inclined to hire an unproven installer if it costs less.

You also have to know that someone who has been doing this for a long time knows how long it will take, how much it will cost him, and what to do to give the plant the best opportunity to thrive. He will also have enough job requests that he does not need to get every job, so he can price for profit. A new guy does not have the phone ringing off of the hook, so getting any job is important.

All you can do is to price out how much all of the materials will cost YOU, how long itwill take you to do (including clean up, disposal, and/or mulch...), what is a normal labor rate in your area, and add a percentage for profit. Then see if you get the job - this can indicate whether you are over charging (but a cheap client could be the case). If you get the job, keep track of every bit of time that you put into it including phone calls, drive times, ... and all expenses. That will help you price better next time.

Lawnut101
07-01-2009, 12:45 AM
For me 2-3x the cost of the plant is about what I charge. It just depends on how big the job is.

Turf Logic
07-03-2009, 12:45 PM
On that small of a job we would be 3x the cost of a material plus delivery time.

CMerLand
07-04-2009, 12:21 AM
Riddle me this joker cause I love playing devils advocate. For you guys that price something on the basis of what you pay for the plant, what does the cost of the plant have to do with how long it takes to put it into the ground????? We sell labor dont we?

For example: Client wants 4 --6-7 ft B & B white pines installed in the yard. Looking in a dealers book here price is $ 75.00 per so doubleing the price gives u an installed price of $ 300.00.

After hearing this she decides she changed her mind on the pines and wants something else and requests golden deodeor cedar that sell for $ 150 per for a total cost of $ 600.

Ur doing the exact same amount of labor to complete the job, and using your methodology probably underprice on the pines and overprice on the cedars. Why should the price of the plant have to do with the profit potential of the job. Dont be lazy estimators, figure out direct costs of the job (plants, labor equipment) indirect costs (overhead expenses) and the desired profit.

Just a thought!

Turf Logic
07-04-2009, 07:24 PM
Riddle me this joker cause I love playing devils advocate. For you guys that price something on the basis of what you pay for the plant, what does the cost of the plant have to do with how long it takes to put it into the ground????? We sell labor dont we?

For example: Client wants 4 --6-7 ft B & B white pines installed in the yard. Looking in a dealers book here price is $ 75.00 per so doubleing the price gives u an installed price of $ 300.00.

After hearing this she decides she changed her mind on the pines and wants something else and requests golden deodeor cedar that sell for $ 150 per for a total cost of $ 600.

Ur doing the exact same amount of labor to complete the job, and using your methodology probably underprice on the pines and overprice on the cedars. Why should the price of the plant have to do with the profit potential of the job. Dont be lazy estimators, figure out direct costs of the job (plants, labor equipment) indirect costs (overhead expenses) and the desired profit.

Just a thought!

3x the cost of material I have found will cover all aspects of overhead on a job that small. The bigger the job naturally the multiplication rate is going to come down. We usually cross check everything we price by looking at 2x the cost of material 3x cost of the material and then we start looking at profit margins over cost of the job and overhead and meet in the middle. We would never take a job that small in the first place I was more or less just giving a basic suggestion.

Stillwater
07-05-2009, 04:47 AM
There is no standard price or standard way to calculate it. Not everyone can get the same money for the same job. Not every customer base is going to pay the same price.

If you are brand new at this and you charge the same as a well established proven company, the customer would most likely go with the established company. If the customer wants to save money, he might be inclined to hire an unproven installer if it costs less.

You also have to know that someone who has been doing this for a long time knows how long it will take, how much it will cost him, and what to do to give the plant the best opportunity to thrive. He will also have enough job requests that he does not need to get every job, so he can price for profit. A new guy does not have the phone ringing off of the hook, so getting any job is important.

All you can do is to price out how much all of the materials will cost YOU, how long itwill take you to do (including clean up, disposal, and/or mulch...), what is a normal labor rate in your area, and add a percentage for profit. Then see if you get the job - this can indicate whether you are over charging (but a cheap client could be the case). If you get the job, keep track of every bit of time that you put into it including phone calls, drive times, ... and all expenses. That will help you price better next time.




The most thought out and usefull answer I have read in a long time

White Gardens
07-05-2009, 11:53 AM
I second that thought Stillwater

PerfectEarth
07-05-2009, 09:52 PM
570, not including flowers. plus payment for drivetime to and from job.

Hmmm, those plants would cost me about 440$... 130$ more to pick-up, prep, install, mulch, etc...??

electronics2667
07-15-2009, 07:09 PM
What i do is mark up the plants by 20% & labor is 45.00 per hour

JimLewis
07-16-2009, 01:45 AM
DiamondLandscaping, AGLA and CMerLand all had the right answers. And I was about to say exactly what CMerLand said. Anyone who prices jobs by the yard, by the unit, by the tree, by the zone, etc. is doing it WRONG! It may work out for them. That is, they may be making money. But the methodology is all wrong!

Like CMerLand said, we base our rates on LABOR - How long it takes to install something and the other labor aspects of the job - not some multiple of the cost of the plant.

I could probably get a 20' tall Red Maple for $140.00. But it would come in a huge 55 gal. pot or huge B&B root ball. So big it would take a small bobcat or 4-5 guys to move it into place. Or for that same price, I could buy a 4-5' Dwarf Hinoki Cypress that one guy could move and plant by himself in 20 minutes. This example illustrates what we're talking about. To base your rates solely on a multiple of plant cost is totally flawed.

Anyway, FWIW, in my opinion, you should always come up with your price based on this formula;

1) Cost of materials (including mark-up)
2) Expenses (e.g. disposal, jackhammer rental, etc.)
3) Labor (where your labor rate covers your overhead)

As for cost of materials and how much to mark stuff up, I always try to sell stuff for about the same cost that the customer could buy them on their own. So some items I can't really mark up. Like Sod. I get no discount for sod. So how can I charge .35 per sq. ft. for sod when they could get it themselves for .25 per sq. ft? That would just seem like I am ripping them off. They'd feel jipped if they ever found out how much they could buy that sod for on their own.

Similarly, I don't get much of a discount on gravel, barkmulch, or rock. So I can only mark that up a little or else I risk them checking the local prices and feeling betrayed.

BUT, on other items I get a BIG discount. And that's where you can enjoy a good mark-up and still be selling it to them at a fair price. One example is plants. I am able to buy plants at local Wholesale nurseries at a little less than HALF of the retail cost. So I can mark them up 100% and STILL be selling them at a totally fair price. Same thing with irrigation. We get that stuff for at least 50% off retail cost. So again, we get to enjoy a huge markup and still be able to sell at the going rate. Same with outdoor lighting.

So the point is, you sell MATERIALS at about what they would pay for them (or you can sometimes get away with charging a tad more) + expenses (and there is no reason to mark this up) + your hourly rate.

Now if you don't know how long it takes to plant those plants you listed, well, we can't tell you that either. That's something that you just learn by trial and error. Go with your best guess and I guarantee you'll learn your labor rates pretty quickly.