Customer plants

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by jrlandscaping781, Jan 27, 2007.

  1. jrlandscaping781

    jrlandscaping781 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 54

    Not sure if anyone has run into this...what would / do you guys charge for install if the customer has bought the plants themselves and just wants you to install them? Is there a price per plant that you guys use? I usually add a percentage to my cost of the plant to cover any plant warranty. Do you warranty the customer supplied plant if they purchased it from the same nursery?
  2. grandview (2006)

    grandview (2006) LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,466

    No warranty if they buy them. Depending on the job it might be per hr. or flat fee. Add drive time to their house in your price.
  3. carcrz

    carcrz LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    hourly rate w/ a guestimate on time.
  4. Sydenstricker Landscaping

    Sydenstricker Landscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,281

    No warranty and charge an hourly rate plus drive time
  5. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    No. No. NO NO NO! Try to forget using magic formulas for everything. You are just going to get yourself into trouble bidding jobs that way. Every situation is different. Customer A may have 40 plants to install. And they are all around his front yard, already laid in place, and he already has great soil - easy to dig. Whereas customer B has the same exact 40 plants, but they need to go way down a hill at the bottom of his back yard and the plants are all grouped together in his driveway, 500 feet away from their intended destination. So now you'll have to wheelbarrow these plants around the house, down the hill, and place them into the correct places, and go back up the hill with the wheelbarrow to get some more plants. Then, to make matters worse, Customer B has hard clay and rocky soil. It's 3 times as hard to dig as Customer A's is. And because it's crappy soil, you'll also have to amend the soil with 3 yards of planting compost. And you're suggesting that you just find some magic formula for which to bid both projects???? You gotta be out yo damm mind, kid!

    There's no magic formula. You just gotta know how long it takes you to plant stuff, know the particulars of the job, factor in everything, and make your best educated guess at how many hours it will take you (X). Then you give them a flat rate of X times your hourly rate. And that's what you charge.

    As for warranty? Forget it! I'd never warranty anything they bought. There's no room in my bid to do so. When I install plants that I bought, I've already worked in a 100% mark-up on those plants. So I am glad to offer a warranty. I could replace each plant once and still be even money. But when they are buying the plants, I have ZERO mark-up in those plants. So how could I afford to warranty them? If even one of them died, I'd be losing money. That's what the customer loses by buying his plants himself.
  6. lawnpro724

    lawnpro724 LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,201

    I alway's make it clear to them that if they buy their own plants there will be no warranty if they die. I let them know that I will be happy to install the plant for them but because I cannot be sure how well they were taken care of before they bought them I can't offer a warranty. If they want me to install them anyway I do it by the hour.
  7. CkLandscapingOrlando

    CkLandscapingOrlando LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 652

    What ever you would have charged him If you would have bought It.Make the same money without having to get the plant
  8. MrH117

    MrH117 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 12

    Run away...unless you are desperate for work. If you do take it you might try taking the retail cost of the plants and multiplying by 2- 3 times then back out the cost of the plants wholesale. This would be a rough way to do it but you need to analyze the site for access, soil conditions, etc that might influence the job. Customers may think that they save money by buying the plant material but they really don't. Where I live...I buy wholesale, add my markup, and sometimes I will still be cheaper than retail. (I have high price nurseries nearby). Plus the quality is usually better than at the retail nuseries.
  9. dKoester

    dKoester LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,257

    I had a customer last year who bought 7 carissa hollies (3 gal.)I charged her 75 fast dollars to install. She paid and their were no problems.
  10. tthomass

    tthomass LawnSite Gold Member
    from N. VA
    Posts: 3,497

    I didn't read all the replies but:

    I would charge a flat price and no warranty. You can plant a lot of plants in a few hours.

    Example: (5) 6-8' potted evergreens.......say these cost you $200 each totalling $1,200 including mulch etc. Good little margin you've got go'n there. Now the customer buys them instead of you.....saves some hassle right? You plant them all in 2 hrs, 2 guys = 4 man hours @ $50 per man hour. You just did the job for $200 instead of that $700 you were pulling. Forget the warranty you may offer.........warranty is a joke in this industry if you plant things correctly they are going to live but isn't it nice when a customers eyes light up with a warranty.

    For this you need to bring in any soil or mulch........what about disposal etc?

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