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"FREE" estimates...really?

Discussion in 'Business Operations' started by GarPA, Mar 21, 2004.

  1. TheGrassGuy

    TheGrassGuy LawnSite Member
    Posts: 103

    Free estimates for lawn care.
    I charge a fee for landscape estimates unless the client already has a design or a plan for me to ge by.
     
  2. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Posts: 2,116

    Free estimates for lawn care. It eats up a lot of my time.

    No way in the world would I ever do a free estimate to design and propose a landscape install. My minimum on that is now $199.00. This ensures that the client is at least serious before I commit a minimum three hours to draw up and propose a price. So far, I haven't been able to complete a design/proposal in under 5 hours. That should change as I gain more experience, though.

    From my standard maintenance contract:

    "Landscape design & proposal consists of taking measurements of existing landscape and using good judgement to draw plans and present pricing for landscape installation. Design price does not include making changes or alterations to plans. Minimum drawing requirements are black & white on 8.5” X 11” paper. Drawings will be shown to customer, but will not be left with customer. If customer elects to hire Meier’s Landscape Maintenance to install the landscape as designed, the design fee will be deducted from the price of the install. A separate written document will govern the terms and conditions of the landscape installation."

    Later,
    DFW Area Landscaper
     
  3. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    Same here with landscape designs. They are done on 24" X 36" paper and the customer is charged. Too much time and knowledge to do a plan of that magnitude for free.

    The everyday mowing, aerating, fert., etc.. quotes are not a direct charge to the customer at that time.
     
  4. Tim Canavan

    Tim Canavan LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Posts: 218

    Free estimates, yes. Free design, no.
     
  5. qualitylandscaping

    qualitylandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,581

    Yep.. Free estimates for maintenance.. $175.00 minimum for landscape design and I refund approx 50% of the total design amount if they hire me to do the job.
     

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