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View Full Version : Need Landscaping Advice


c.wood
02-03-2010, 02:46 PM
I have run a lawn mowing biz for the past year. I have never done ANY landscaping work but am open to installing flower beds, etc, nothing major.

I have a new customer who will want his lawn mowed all summer. He also wants me to landscape around his new biz adventure. He is going to set up "display" homes from www.athensparkhomes.com. I can calculate my cost but I don't even know WHERE to begin calculating my time. The building will be the Sportsman's Lodge and it will have a porch on the front. Total measurement of the building itself is 11'X51'. He wants landscapinng around it all.
http://www.athensparkhomes.com/sportsman.php?page=1#photos

He has sod put down but I would need to build the flower beds.

SO, my question is...... how would you go about tackling this project (creating flower beds) etc. And how much would you estimate your time in it?

Any and all advice or recommendations are very much appreciated!!!!

Stevegotcrabgrass
02-03-2010, 03:13 PM
estimating time is something I feel comes with experience. You will def make mistakes, some jobs you will bid way too low and some you may overbid and make a nice profit. Skill is also a factor. The same job may take me 1 hour and you 4. I would know your cost and maybe multiply times the amount you want to make. 3x 4x??? Hard to determine though without really knowing much. Good Luck.

echeandia
02-05-2010, 12:35 AM
I don't know about Florida but here in Virginia you need a contractors license from the state to put a shovel in the ground. You might want to check with the Department of Professional Regulation to make sure you are complying with state law.

AzLawnMan
02-05-2010, 01:46 AM
Most states require you to have a contractors license to do work over a certain amount of money, check it out big penalties if you get caught. Do you use any type of software? or do you just write your estimate on paper with a calculator? If your using say quickbooks you can have your prices already in the system so all you have to do is put in the info and the system will give you your number.
Example:

Product -------------- quantity ----------- price ------------ total
5 gallon plant-------------- 20 ------------- $22.50--------- $450.00
now all those prices you have to put in manualy. But it will break down what your cost is and what your profit is. You can have your entire estimate on paper with numbers and all you have to do is adjust the prices according to your job.

Smallaxe
02-05-2010, 10:56 AM
Set a maximum cost window with the client, and tell him it could be less.
If unforeseen circumstances should appear, discuss the options of "Doing it Right" or "Staying under Cost".

You are already mowing weekly or so, so keep open communications and place emphasis on quality.
Bid only one bed at a time - once you are sure of all the details and they are agreed upon.

starry night
02-05-2010, 11:34 AM
I'm not sure what your client's expectations are but it doesn't really sound like you are ready to be doing landscaping. Do you know various plants, at all? What's the soil like around these homes; will it need amendment? Do you know planting techniques? Do you have equipment for edging the beds or can you rent it? Who will be responsible for the plantings after you do them, you or client? It's hard to give you advice without us knowing how much you already know or have thought about.

Smallaxe
02-05-2010, 01:57 PM
d&h is correct.
But , you have plenty of time to learn how to dig a hole, loosen the surrounding soil, while mixing in ammendments then, soaking them in, being sure of adequate drainage.

Edging can be accomplished a number of different ways, depending on the size and current material.

I would spend time now talking with nurseries and even purchasing a few items as, plant are still reasonable at this time. Work toward being a high volume wholesale customer, later. :)