customer wants a small landscape job done, but i dont have any experience

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by contourbs, Sep 28, 2004.

  1. contourbs

    contourbs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 185

    just wants a bed along the front of the house with some bushes and i guess with mulch. what should i do
     
  2. battags

    battags LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 607

    There is no better way to start getting experience. I would be honest with the customer and let them know that this is the first install of any type that you will be doing. If they like your weekly maintenance and your quote is not bad, they will probably go with it.

    I would suggest LOTS of input from the customer on the design. Have them visualize the boarder of the bed with a garden hose so they can re-adjust the outline to their liking. Give them a few days to play with it and settle on something that they like.

    Since you don't have experience in this area yet, have someone at a garden center or nursery suggest plants for the location. DONT go it alone! I would take pictures of the area to be planted, with the garden hose outline of the future bed, and speak with a pro about what to install. Better yet, have the homeowner do the leg work as far a selection and design and you install the items.

    Read up on installation of plants and shrubs. The LS search function is a great way to start. I also suggest to customers adding beds to start small. You can always add plantings and ornamentals to a bed. The biggest mistake I see around here is throwing too much stuff in one bed and not having any of it look right.

    Good luck and let us know how you did!

    Brian
     
  3. contourbs

    contourbs LawnSite Member
    Posts: 185

    what is needed to be done, make the edge for the bed, remove the grass. Then lay down weed block. then what?
     
  4. MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC

    MJLsLawnCareNmoreLLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 841

    Give'r a try. Thats how you learn and get experience. If your really concerned, let the customer know that your new at it and that you will give a fair price accordingly. Trust me, you'd rather let them know ahead of time rather than royally f'ing up and having them get mad at you for not being a profesional. Do some research, think it through, and try it. Good Luck.
     
  5. trying 2b organic

    trying 2b organic LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 566

    No landscape fabric under organic material plz. You will be tucking bits of it back in for the next 5 yrs then u will be pulling it all out. I am a noob in landscaping but the landscaping forum is pretty cool.
     
  6. work_it

    work_it LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 976

    Once you get the outline and remove the grass it's a must for you to prepair the soil. I would check with a nursery for that. It's much easier to buy it premixed than to try and add the proper amounts of sand, pete, composted manuer, etc.... . Just inform them at the nursery of what you're trying to do and that you will be tilling the existing soil with thier planting soil. They will be able to give you good recommendations. After that all you have to do is come up with the design and color scheme for the plants. Top it off with a nice 3" layer of mulch. You may also want to include the price of a soil analysys. They're cheap and worth every penny. May help to keep you from having to come back and replace some plants in the near future.
     
  7. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    Why wouldn't you take the job? There is nothing better than going in and trying something new. Read up as much as you can. I am usually quite upfront with the customer and let them know I don't have much experience. I give them a great price break. If they want you to do it, they must already have faith in the fact that they think you can do it.
     
  8. chefdrp

    chefdrp LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,384

    Thats the way i started out. Just mowing then little by little people are asking for more. I just cut my outline first. Remove sod make a nice edge by hand. add topsoil, put in plantings water them, Then add mulch at 3 in. Go collect money.
     

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