Breaking an estimate down

Discussion in 'Turf Renovation' started by LCME, Oct 12, 2004.

  1. LCME

    LCME LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 430

    What would you do if a customer asks for an estimate for misc landscape work around the property. Then, once you give the customer a grand total based on if you do all the work they say, I would like you to break it down in writing so I know what you're charging for each and every service. I believe he wants a break down so the customer can pick which service he wants done.

    Example of my original estimate:
    Labor=$$$, Material=$$$, Delivery/Disposal fee=$$$, Grand total=$730
    Detail of Services: 1, 2, etc.
  2. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Posts: 793

    Time to get a new customer,this is a red flag that you will be nit-picked
    and worried too death.

    Find a new customer,these type of people do not understand overhead costs

  3. LCME

    LCME LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 430

    I mailed the Agreement/Estimates and broke them down to 1 agreement and 4 estimates like this:

    Agreement for 2005 weekly mowing $$$

    4 Estimates for:
    1. Bed prep, delivery/install mulch & clean-up/disposal $$$
    2. 1 Tree, 4 bushes and 1 dead hedge removal and clean-up/disposal $$$
    3. Trim trees up and hedge clean-up/disposal $$$
    4. Fall clean-up 1 mowing/leaf removal/disposal $$$

    Grand total combined 4 estimates $730. But, after separating them the total is $950 payup will soon see what the customer wants to do.

    Thanks, LCME
  4. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702

    I've broken down estimates the way you have described above. I don't breakdown labor/materials/disposal, etc. Customers will break out the materials, then figure you're making $60/hr when they think you should be making $20 max -- because they're a CPA or some damn thing, and hell, they only make $50 an hour. :rolleyes: Doesn't matter to them that you have thousands of dollars in equipment to do the work.
  5. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Posts: 4,900

    I dont want that kind of customer so I usually start asking them some questions that they prefer not to answer. If thet want you to break out the mowing ask them if there salary or hourly and how much do they make. If they don't get the hint by then, which most do, ask about if they get a paid vacation and how many wks.? pension plan and medical and what percentage of there weekly income goes to each. By that time your on your way and there looking for another sucker.

  6. crawdad

    crawdad LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,939

    That's what I was going to suggest, "discounting" if they take all 4 jobs. I would definately add a paperwork surcharge to it, though. Extra work is extra money, whether it's grunt work or paperwork, and tell them that.
    The more I think about it, the more I think you should tell them you've already made one proposal, how many does he want, and why?
  7. LCME

    LCME LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 430

    Agree here with what you said. My estimates are broken down by job.
  8. eshreve1234

    eshreve1234 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 184

    This may not be what you are looking for, but when I am asked to break it out by jobs, I just usually give them my standard T&M terms. Sure you may not make as much, but you are guaranteed not to lose any.
  9. LCME

    LCME LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 430

    Exactly! discount for all 4 jobs. No discounts if separated.

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