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How to Layout your estimate

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Unitedlawnscapes, Oct 3, 2013.

  1. A. W. Landscapers  Inc.

    A. W. Landscapers Inc. LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,287

    How much does the waterline that feeds the ice maker in your freezer cost?

    How much does the sound system volume control button in your vehicle cost?

    How much does the cardboard tube on your toilet paper cost?

    How much does the solder that fuses your copper pipes together cost?

    How much does the display screen on your cellphone cost?

    How much does the plastic bag that your bread comes in cost?

    The answer is, it doesn't matter because none of these things are options that can be removed from the final product so there is no need to disclose this information to your potential client. The client isn't buying a water line or a control button or a cardboard tube or solder or a display screen or a plastic bag. The client is buying a refrigerator/freezer and a car and a roll of toilet paper and a house and a cellphone and a loaf of bread.

    Now if you want to give your client different prices for different options because you failed to get your potential client to commit to a an exact project, by all means, provide them with the different prices for the different projects. But there is still no need to list individual prices. All you have to do is prepare a proposal for each version of the project and have one total price for each version of the project. Your job prior to preparing your proposal/proposals is to determine what your potential client is considering for their project and how many variations of the project they need to see a price on to make their decision. Then it is your job to prepare an individual proposal for each one of those variations of the project and sell them one of the projects. There is no need to list individual costs of line items.

    Flagstone patio $xx,xxx
    Flagstone patio with fire pit $xx,xxx
    Flagstone patio with fire pit and pond $xx,xxx
    Which project would you like to do?

    Try it, it makes the buying decision sooooooo much easier for your potential client because all they have to do is justify the cost of one of those projects instead of having to justify each and every cost of each and every line item for each of the three proposals.
  2. Armsden&Son

    Armsden&Son LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,358

    Well said AW.... I like what DVS said about behavioral science as well.

    The one thing I would say however is that with modern day society's obsession with technology and the internet, everybody likes to think they are ____ savvy. "Oh that landscaper isn't going to fool me! I can look up the cost of those pavers at the touch of a keyboard!"

    And really, that is the ONLY thing I see people griping about in terms of a break-down. Materials.. And let's be honest, it's always been that way. Plumbers, electricians, carpenters, ...... You name it... Tradesmen are always getting second guessed on the price of materials....
  3. whiffyspark

    whiffyspark LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,110

    DVS has that covered.

    He doesn't mark materials up
    Posted via Mobile Device
  4. earthly

    earthly LawnSite Member
    from IOWA
    Posts: 243

    We always show each separate part of the project with its own price:

    Install Belgard Urbana 3pc paver patio with soldier course (approximately 650 square feet $14,999.17

    Install seat wall with 2 pillars using Belgard Weston universal wall stone (approximately 120 square feet) $6392.76

    Install plantings per landscape design $6363.36

    Total $34,373.11 (includes tax)

    It doesn't look quite like that but close, we use quickbooks. You get the idea! That way if they don't want to do a certain part they don't have to do it all. It is better to bid against yourself and give your clients options instead of here take it or leave it.
  5. dstifel

    dstifel LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 920

    I do like earthly said. I break down into individual parts of the project.

    Retaining wall xxxx
    Patio xxx
    Lighting xxx

    I always figured less I show them the less they have to argue about.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. xtreem3d

    xtreem3d LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 801

    Couldn't agree more :waving:

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