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Advice - First Major Landscape Install

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by APLUS LAWN CARE, May 14, 2013.


    APLUS LAWN CARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from North Missouri
    Messages: 587

    I am in the process of bidding my first major landscape installation. The client isn't getting any other estimates so I think as long as my estimate is priced right I should get the job. I have done a ton of studying and preparing for landscape installs so I feel pretty confident in my abilities. The job will consist of renovating the current beds and installing new beds. The beds total around 1,100 S.F.

    I am just seeing if anyone has any advise, tips, dos, don't dos, etc. that would be helpful to me as I embark on this new adventure in my business. Thanks!
    Posted via Mobile Device
  2. Stillwater

    Stillwater LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,889

    Ensure you surpas Customer satisfaction.....
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  3. bill1500

    bill1500 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 45

    I agree. Take your time with it to make sure you get it right.

    APLUS LAWN CARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from North Missouri
    Messages: 587

  5. Drakeslayer

    Drakeslayer LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    I looked at the rough draft and it is rough to say the least. :confused:
  6. Colonel Forbin

    Colonel Forbin LawnSite Member
    Messages: 92

    I'm completely redoing my home and just got down with a design. I don't know the first thing about landscaping and mine is above and beyond yours. Go back the the drawing board.
  7. SoCalLandscapeMgmt

    SoCalLandscapeMgmt LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    Your plan definitely needs a lot of work. I don't see container sizes noted on the plant materials, no scale, no site orientation etc.

    You need to bid this project for what it will take for you to make a profit, don't fall into the trap of bidding it for what you think it will need to be priced at just to get the job. If you can't make money on the project then there is no point in doing the work.

    Make sure that you take everything into account in terms of materials. Remember to add the cost of not only the plant materials but any soil amendments, fertilizer, plant tabs etc.

    Make sure that you realistically approach the estimating of your labor. It's very easy to look at it on paper and say to yourself "I can plant this in a couple of hours" or "I can plant this in a day". In reality the soil and or other site conditions could make it into a 2 or 3 day project.

    Be sure to take into account the labor and disposal costs for prepping the site.
    I don't care how careful you are but you will have a couple of plants die and you will be expected to replace them. Be sure to have a little extra in your estimate to cover this contingency.

    Your plan does not show or reference any irrigation. If there is existing irrigation then you need to be prepared to make sure that it all operates perfectly. Make sure that you have money in there for irrigation repairs or modifications too if needed.

    Other than that take your time and make sure that when you give the client the proposal you spell it all out clearly. Be sure to specify quantities and names of plants and all of the other required materials. This way everybody knows exactly what they are getting and what to expect. Make sure you have a contract too that spells out everything from quantities of plants and materials to payment schedule, warranty on the work, make sure you have a clause in there about irrigating (if there is no irrigation on the site).

    APLUS LAWN CARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from North Missouri
    Messages: 587

    Thanks for the advice everyone. Here is the finalized plan that will be submitted to the client. It may not be perfect...but I am an amateur.

    Attached Files:

    • IMG.pdf
      File size:
      1,003.4 KB

    APLUS LAWN CARE LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from North Missouri
    Messages: 587

    Well, I made the proposal and and I got the job! I am pretty excited. Now it's time to deliver. Will keep everyone posted when the project begins in May. Also, I priced the job at around $7,000 which allows me quite a bit of padding for anything that comes up.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  10. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,996

    Congrats on selling... what you sold. You have a learning opportunity here. When the job is completed, stand back and look at what you've installed. Then take a look at photos of awesome landscapes. Try to start figuring out what those folks did differently, and start applying that to your work. If you're determined to learn on your own, that's your best shot at getting better.

    Nope. You can take that attitude if you're helping your neighbor in exchange for a few beers. If money's changing hands because you've sold yourself as a professional, you need to drop the "I'm an amateur" thing.

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