What would you charge for this?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Jdmtnbikr, Jan 13, 2006.

  1. Jdmtnbikr

    Jdmtnbikr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    Ok here is the situation..

    I have a residential client right now that I do interior plantscaping for, every other week. I charge a flat $25/hr rate for maintenance. At the moment, they only have 3 floor plants. So basically I am in and out of there in 5-10 minutes with 25bucks in my hand. (they have $$$)

    The other day I told the owner of the house that I am expanding to exterior maintenance/little design as well.(I have taken some courses, and read a bunch of books, not jumping into this blindly) He told me that at the moment he has a gardening crew that comes by every week and does "a little more than blow and go, but not much". He is happy with them, BUT says he and his wife were coincidentally looking for someone ELSE to come by once a week for a couple of hours and do more detailed work. (i.e. pruning, planting etc etc)

    They have a front and backyard with all sorts of different plants, shrubs, flowers, small trees.

    This being my 1st exterior client, I am somewhat unsure what to charge them. They have been very loyal to me for over a year working with the interior, and seem to like my work.

    If you were me, would you charge them hourly? Or monthly? If hourly, any idea on a number? Because it is obviously more work than interior, I need to charge more for the service. I was thinking something like $35/hr. Too much? Too little? Last thing I want is for them to feel like I am ripping them off, yet at the same time I don't want to end up regretting what I charge 6 months from now.

    If monthly? What would a ballpark figure be? Remember this is JUST maintenance. If they need new plants, or supplies etc etc...that would be seperate.

    Thank you for any advice, this is somewhat new to me

  2. Jdmtnbikr

    Jdmtnbikr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    Hmmm looking at the other forums now, I am thinking maybe I posted this in the wrong place.

    Hopefully, I'll get some answers. Or the post moved, one of the two :)
  3. cantoo

    cantoo LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,910

    I don't know much about this service but it sounds to me like maybe you could list the work you would do and just list a price to cover it all off. We do this when we think the customer may be shocked at our per hour price.
    For example,
    Service and maintain the existing interior house plants (quanity listed)
    Prune the seven exterior shrubs as required ( two times per year)
    Trim low hanging branches as needed for lawn service
    Remove any dead or dying plants
    Total $150.00 per month

    Any planting of new plants or shrubs would be priced separately

    We find that this works well for us as long as both sides know any changes to the amount of plants, shrubs or work required and the amount changes.
  4. Dreams To Designs

    Dreams To Designs LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,406

    Josh, over here on the right coast, we call that a professional gardener. The best way is to charge by the hour, to be fair to you and your client. Figure out all your costs, your overhead and what amount of profit you wish to make to arrive at an hourly charge. Remember to include, more books, schooling and any specialized equipment you may need in the future as part of your costs.

  5. The Cowboy

    The Cowboy LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 617

    You might be called a horticulturalist. I would charge by the hour if I thought there were going to be enough to make it worth the trip. You need a minimum price to cover that. Like 35 dollars minimum, and anything over an hour will be 35 per hour. That way if it takes you 30 minutes youve paid for the trip.
    My prices are just examples. Find out what you are worth. regional markets help determine that.
  6. Jdmtnbikr

    Jdmtnbikr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    wow, I had given up on this post :)

    thanks guys, good info.
  7. LLandscaping

    LLandscaping LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,016

    We have a friend that does gardening for some of our clients. She charges $35 per hour and the only equipment she uses is a pair of hand pruners, loppers and a shovel. I think the best way to price the type service you are providing is by the hour. Pricing by the hour gives you time to make sure the job is done perfect and you don't have to worry about under estimating your time.
  8. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    The thing is you need to know what the heck you are doing before charging a price as professional would charge.You need to know which plants are which,how they are taken care of and how and when to prune them,you also need knowledge of soils and what types grow what and how to properly maintain a healthy soil.You need hands on before you can ethically charge those 35 an hour rates.But hey if those clients are stupid enough to pay you 25.00 for watering 4 plants...do what you will to them..they deserve it.
  9. Jdmtnbikr

    Jdmtnbikr LawnSite Member
    Posts: 63

    Nevermind, edited. Im not gonna get into a war of words with some chick on the internet. Thanks for the great advice, duly noted.
  10. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,112

    OH your no fun!No fun at all!

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