Any One From Illinois Need Help Bidding

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by prefectionist, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. prefectionist

    prefectionist LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    I am SO GLAD I found this forum. Thou I hope I'm posting in correct place. I specialize in finish grading and sod. This year is my sixth season. Last year I added hardscape and landscape. Not that I wanted to but my work comes from new home construction and the builders would say they wnated this done ect. So WHY NOT I said.

    My main trouble is I am under estimating cost and time on job. When I think I bidded correctly my labor cost is so far off. I almost wished I didn't start landscape part and stayed with grading and sod.

    Then also do you offer FREE landscape designs?? They sure take a lot of time to do. I have a CAD drawing program ( dynascape) I draw up the lot size with house on it then my wife adds all the plants. I would say we have 5-6 hours in each one. So we end up in our basement working until 2 or 3 in the morning. I NEED SOME ADVICE.......... spring is near.
     
  2. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    I'm a little north of you. In 9+ years, here's what I've found and believe.
    You have to do what fits YOUR business. You don't have to be all things, and sometimes its okay to say NO! There are several ways to estimate, none are more accurate than experience and time tracking. Maybe look into subbing the landscape or hardscape!
    Estimates are free, designs are not. Some argue whether est. should be free, but thats not the question. You have to recover that cost. And is it worth the extra late night stuff. Charge a design fee cause if they're good enough to impliment, its worth charging for. If not, they get what they pay for.
     
  3. Sunscaper

    Sunscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 306

    I design for free. The trick is to design the bare minumum for their speculated budget and needs. After they see it in person upsell, upsell, upsell. Get them in the door, make suggestions on higher end plants, and make $$$
     
  4. Sunscaper

    Sunscaper LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 306

    BTW where did you buy dynascape and for how much?
     
  5. prefectionist

    prefectionist LawnSite Member
    Posts: 7

    THEY BILLED ME TWO PAYMENTS OF APROX 1000.00 EACH LAST YEAR. BUT BE CAREFUL I BROUGHT DESIGN & QUOTE DYNASCAPE. I DIDN'T KNOW THERE WAS ANOTHER PART CALLED MANAGEMENT. THEY CLAIM I DIDN'T PAY FOR THAT PART. I PURCHASED IT DIRECTLY FROM THEM AT
    1-800-710-1900. I MUST OF SEEN IT IN A LANDSCAPE MAGAZINE.
    BEFORE YOU JUMP INTO BUYING IT. THEY DO OFFER A 30 DAY TRIAL.
     

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