A good price to install plants.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by MJK, Oct 12, 2006.

  1. MJK

    MJK LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    Is this a good method to follow for installing plants. 2.5 times the cost of the plant? So it the plant cost 30 dollars then it would cost 75 installed. What do you guys think? Thanks a ton

  2. MJK

    MJK LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    I forgot to add that I will place a six month warranty on the plant. This seems like a good price? I’m not planting just one. Probably up to 10-15.
  3. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    Well, I can buy a #2 Emeral Gaiety Euonymus at a rewholesaler for $14.25 or at a much closer retailer for $29.99. If I went to the rewholesaler the planted price would be $35.63 and I'd gross $21.38 after paying for the plant. If I bought from the retailer the price would be $74.98 and I'd gross $49.98 for doing the same work and travelling less.

    The point is that you can pay a very wide range in prices for the same plant. Unless you use a specific nursery catalog as a base price, you have no standard pricing.

    At one end of this I might not make enough money and at the other end I might not find a client willing to pay my price.

    The bottom line is that you should charge as much as you can for your plants, but the price you pay for your plants has very little to do with what your clients will pay to have you plant them. Remember that speed, neatness, reputation, complexity of the job, quality, and craftsmanship are bigger variables to the client than what you paid for the plants.
  4. MJK

    MJK LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    Can i charge this if i give a warrenty on plants?
  5. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    You can charge whatever you want.

    Your customers can choose whether to accept your prices or not.

    You may find that you can charge 5x what you pay for plants. It depends on what you are paying for plants (low wholesale - high retail), who your customers are (cheap folks who want a lot for nothing - wealthy folks who will pay whatever it takes to get what they want), your added value (a new guy that digs holes and sticks plants in them - a well respected contractor with an eye for detail and expert plant cultural practices), and who else is bidding on the job.

    In other words: There is no "going rate" because there are so many variables.
  6. MJK

    MJK LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 356

    Thanks for the help. Now i feel confident when i do submit my proposal, i can explain these things you did.
  7. terrapro

    terrapro LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,234

    just another example i will not dig a hole for any less than $10 dollars. for common 1gal perrenials i charge an average of $18 per plant which includes the sale of the plant, soil ammendments, fert, and labor. the bigger the pot the bigger the hole the bigger the $$$. it varies alot per job also, i will charge more for rocky or root filled soil. i also charge access premiums. i do not get turned down either so i think i have very fair prices and make good profit...for a $4 pot add $1 for compost fert, $18-5=13 $13x1per5minaverage=$156perhr

    BUT that also includes the labor to pickout and pickup and gas/time to haul the product so in the big picture it equals out
  8. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,876


    As you get started in the planting arena, a formula like that will suffice for now. But eventually you're going to want to drop the formula method of bidding alltogether. As you get more experienced you'll want to bid planting jobs based on retail price + labor.

    I bid all of our jobs (and we do a lot of this) this way; I price the plants or trees at whatever the highest priced retail nursery in my area sells them for. That is, I price them for high-retail. But I buy them for anywhere from 50% to 75% of that price, depending on which wholesale nursery I purchase from. So the difference is my mark-up. If the customer ever balks at the high-end retail price I explain that this is the same price they'd pay at Al's Garden Center except that I am going to hand pick each plant myself, deliver them to their house myself, and put a 5 year warranty on it. That pretty much shuts them up. Now you don't have to do the 5 year warranty deal. That's pretty radical, and it's part of our unique marketing plan and works well for us. A 1 year warranty is more common. A 6 mo. warranty is decent.

    But my point is eventually you'll want to get away from formulas alltogether when giving bids and go to a straight materials + labor form of bidding. It's much more accurate for both you and your customer.

    FATWEASEL LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 326

    WOW! A 5 year warranty is pretty extreme. Got a few questions for you. How long have you been offering that? Is it optional? Any jobs you don't offer it on? Are you tracking how much it costs you vs. say a 1 year warranty?

    Also what you said about your costs being 50-75% less than what you charge seems to be what is reasonable and accepted in my area according to the limited research I did.

    I knew what my nursery costs was on certain stock so I called around to local landscapers for quotes. I didn't ask for any extras, just having the shrubs/trees planted, no mulch, nothing. I wanted to get the closest to apples to apples comparison that I could.

    For an install that would cost me $1200 in materials, I got quotes ranging from $2200 to $2600. The assumption there was that their plant costs were the same as mine which I know isn't necessarily true but I figured I was close enough for a baseline. On an install I just submitted, my prices were from 2.35 times my costs to 3.35 times my costs for stock. Soil amendments and mulch were figured in seperately.

    FATWEASEL LawnSite Senior Member
    from NC
    Messages: 326

    Btw, nice website! :drinkup:


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