800 plants, How Much????

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by lamblawnscaping, Feb 19, 2002.

  1. lamblawnscaping

    lamblawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    I know that this should go in the Landscaping Forum, and I'm sure it will get moved there soon, but I need as many responses as possible, so for now here it is.

    I am pricing a seasonal color rotation for a builder that I am working with. The first planting will be begonias/marigolds (4.5 inch pots). I will be planting about 800 of them.

    The beds are already in place and landscaped with shrubs and perennials. I will simply remove mulch from areas to be planted, mix in leaf-gro and fertilizer, plant the annuals and remulch.

    My first question is in what order would you do the last two steps?
    I have seen crews spread the mulch and then install the flowers and this seemed to be much faster. Do any of you all have experience doing it this way and what are your thoughts on it.

    Second question, How much would you charge for this job? The plants come 15 to a flat, and I will be marking up the flats to $21 each. (55 flats) There are really no special circumstances everything is pretty open and not far from the truck.


    Chris Lamb
    Lamb Lawnscaping
  2. Ssouth

    Ssouth LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 436

    How much do the plants cost you.

    I usually estimate planting jobs two ways:
    1. -figure manhours needed and multiply by hourly rate
    -add cost of materials and time it takes to go get them
    2. -double cost of materials and add 20%

    believe it or not, but for me the total usually comes out close. I use #1 in most occasions. #2 comes in handy if your not sure how many manhours will be needed. The 20% may not hold true in your location, you may have to raise or lower it depending on your market
  3. lamblawnscaping

    lamblawnscaping LawnSite Member
    Messages: 165

    Of over 100 people who looked at this thread, only one response??
  4. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 404


    (55) flats = $690.00 w/ mark up = $1050.00 (1.5x)
    (1) day labor at (4) men = $1120.00 ($35.00/hr)

    TOTAL = $2175.00

    -Note: If the builders' smart and most are (penny pinchers)... he'll call you out on marking up those flats
  5. Tim Canavan

    Tim Canavan LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 218

    I don't know what the situation is with the builder, but the way I would charge is the cost of a flat times 3. That will cover any overhead. The last two steps I would plant and the mulch of course. I would do other things before though.
    Are you going to have to buy new mulch, or is the existing mulch o.k.?
  6. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    why bother to remove the existing mulch? why not just add your fertilizer mix, and/or any dirt/compost and till it in together. unless their is a huge base of mulch i dont see that as being necessary.

    yeah, the builder may call you on the markup of plants, but this is a business, and you have to take the time to find the plants, pick them up, and deliver them to the site.

    how much mulch are you estimating for this area. depending on that would help to decide whether to plant first, or mulch first. with that amount flats, i woud probalby mulch first, and then plant.

    also, is the area irrigated? and if not, will you be expected to water them? if so, you should include that in your bid as well. at our condo complex, we charge for perpetual care of plantings, including picking dead flower buds, watering, and occasionally feeding if necssary.
  7. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    You're working for a builder? Oh, snaps!

    Tell ya what; why don't you fly over to Oregon, pay me $500, I'll let you get all sweaty cleaning our barn all day, then I'll kick you in the nuts with my steel toed boots and we'll call it a day?

    Because this scenario will be a lot more enjoyable than your experience with builders will be.

    :D ;) :p :D ;) :p :D ;) :p :D ;) :p :D ;) :p :D ;) :p :D ;) :p :D ;) :p :D ;) :p :D ;) :p
  8. ohiolawnguy

    ohiolawnguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 397

    LOL jim. i see you havent had the most enjoyable experience with builders either.

    ive noticed that the landscaper is usually the last to get paid, and to boot, they expect us to clean up everyone elses messes that they leave behind.

    but, if you have gotten into a decent relationship with a builder over time, they can be beneficial too.

    some builders can be a pain, but, if you find the right one, you come out smelling like roses, and smiling all the way to the bank.
  9. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876

    Fortunately, I've never worked for a builder. But I have a lot of landscaper and contractor friends who have and all they tell me are horror stories. I am sure there are a few good apples out there. But from what I've gathered and seen, I wouldn't work for any of them.
  10. PAPS

    PAPS LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 404

    I have worked for (2) buliders in the past. The first one stiffed me for $2000 and went out of business... and the second one paid me a balance recently that he owed, but nickel and dimed me the whole way through the job...

    I find with some builders that they end up going over budget on certain projects and they try to cut back on the landscaping aspect. We finished a job back in NOV. and the new house is currently on the market for about $900,000, the builder only spent a measely $5500.00 on new lawn/landscaping with us. !!! How sad... we could have easily done around $50,000-60,000 at that house.

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