1. Missed the live Ask the Expert event?
    Not to worry. Check out the archived thread of the Q&A with Ken Hutcheson, President of U.S. Lawns, and the LawnSite community on the Franchising Forum.

    Dismiss Notice

How detailed is your invoice?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by PerfiCut L&L, Jul 28, 2006.

  1. PerfiCut L&L

    PerfiCut L&L LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 458

    I was wondering how much detail you include on your invoices for a stone project. Ive read a few different things and have had a some conflicting opinions.

    Do you itemize everything? Materials, tools/equipment rentals, labor? Or do you simplify things by simply billing xx dollars per sq ft. ? or something similar.

    We itemize everything. From the box of stakes, to the saws we use, to any rental equipment. As well as delivery and or disposal fees if applicable.

    Just curious how otherw might be doing it.
     
  2. jd boy

    jd boy LawnSite Member
    from nw ohio
    Posts: 179

    we do itemize everything, but that is only because we are associated with a retail garden center and we both use the same inventory system.

    Otherwise, I would still itemize things, but not as much. Items like spikes, edging etc would get lumped together.

    I actually had a customer rake the soil back from paver edging once to count the number of stakes we used!
     
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,403

    Our invoices are NOT detailed.

    The reason is because our PROPOSALS are EXTREMELY detailed. Not boasting, after 10 years of doing hardscape construction, so far I have not seen another hardscape proposal as detailed as ours.

    So how it works is our invoice may read as:




    Construct paver patio (as specified in proposal) using Techo-bloc's, bossum blond, Anshar pavers.

    Installation Warranty expires on 7/28/2011

    Cost: $1,000.00




    So, by stating "(as specified in proposal)", I have covered all the details.
    Again, this accomplished due to the extremely detailed proposal. If they wanna know what was done, they can look out their window. Or they can refer to their copy of the detailed proposal. Not one person has EVER complained, so I'm confident of my system.


    I never itemize equipemt rental, material costs, labor, etc. However, our proposal does state alloted allowances of material quantities. Notice I said "quantities", not dollar amounts!

    Our proposal will show a lump price. In essence, thats all the client cares about.

    Sure, nosey or difficult people are curious as to what our costs are. But they are few and far betwen.

    I had a lady recently tell me "I need your proposal to itemize the materials, so I can know what areas to delete if I need to reduce costs". And really it does not work like that. Due to fixed expenses (delivery, equipment mobilization, travel time to and from per employee, etc, the job will always cost more than what the client will calculate it to be. So after 16 years in the green industry I've found it best to not break down costs for the client.


    A decent client only is concerned that they get a job well done for a cost that they are willing to spend. Plain and Simple.
     
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,403

    BTW -

    For landscape installation (planting), we go one step further. The invoice will read "Install Landscape as specified in proposal"

    OK, how does the client know what plants were installed?

    Well, we provide the client with what I call a "Plant Warranty Sheet" This plant warranty sheet is automatically generated as we enter in actual expenses for the job (labor hrs, equip rental, materials). The warranty sheet details the quantity of each plant, the names of the plants, and the purchase size of the plant. But, no dollar amounts are stated.
     
  5. Mike33

    Mike33 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,649

    I do not detail, mine will go : Supply all material and labor to construct ab wall 40'x3' covered with a cap. Backfill with gravel geo-grid every 3 courses. Price $4,000.00
    My competitor whom i love his way of thinking lists a price for material. labor, saw, compactor, excavation, hauling, use of plate tamper,bobcatloader, backhoe attm. and a lot of other nit picking items. This only pisses off the customer and they call me. I feel the homeowner does not know and dont really care waht tools or eq. is used and then see they are charged for it. My opinion and it works well for me.
    Mike
     
  6. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    Mine, read as follows: Deposit for patio (or whatever), or Final payment for Patio.

    If your signed proposal is detailed, why does the invoice need so much info?
     
  7. GroundScapesIncorporated

    GroundScapesIncorporated LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 386

    Just wondering

    those who give very detailed proposals, and no detail in invoices.

    Do you charge for Estimates/Proposals or do you do all the work involved in doing the proposal for free not knowing if you will get the job or not.

    Please dont think I am nocking you in any way,
    DVS hardscaper and some others, you guys always seem like you
    have the most profitable way of doing things figured out and I was just wondering on how you veiwed this.
     
  8. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,284

    Groundscapes, I don't charge for estimates. You have to do all of "the work involved" to give an accurate proposal, right? Why not include the details in the proposal? The more detailed the better. During construction, if there are any questions about what is, or isn't included, you can always refer to the proposal/agreement.
     
  9. GroundScapesIncorporated

    GroundScapesIncorporated LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 386

    Im understanding now, thanks mbella.
    one more question though, if you are so detailed thoughin your proposal that you are including exactly how much base, exactly how much block, pavers etc you will be using. What happens if you are off your mark.

    say instead of 60 tons base material that you wrote up in your proposal, you ended up using 85. What happens then?
    At this point it would be hard to say , As specified in proposal.
     
  10. GreenMonster

    GreenMonster LawnSite Silver Member
    from NH
    Posts: 2,702


    Fixed priced proposals state:

    Fixed price for Walkway as described above: $xxxxx.xxx

    so, if it doesn't end up as described in the original proposal, for whatever reason, it is reflected in the final price.
     

Share This Page