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Basic bed installation pricing?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by LawnMowerMan2003, May 14, 2014.

  1. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 768

    I got a call yesterday from a real estate agent who got one of my flyers. He had 2 houses in the neighborhood I advertised, and I mowed them both. He told me they buy houses and remodel them to resale. He asked me to look at some small beds as an example and give him an estimate of what I would charge to install them.

    When he first asked me, I said I would look at it, but I may not have all the equipment for landscaping jobs (maybe I shouldn't tell people that). He said they
    aren't looking to do extensive landscaping on these homes. "Put some edging in, and weed matt, and throw some mulch on top". So it sounds like he's trying to get the cost as low as possible. I want the work, but I don't want to underbid it.

    One thing I have to clarify. Both of the houses had small beds (with no plants in them). I noticed the mulch looked different, and I mentioned it to him. He said that they would do materials separately, just give him the labor estimate. I was thinking about that, but I need to know if he's going to buy the materials, is he going to deliver them? If not, I have to charge to pick them up.

    But maybe I could come up with a price per square foot. If I'm not planting anything do I still need to dig out the grass? I could give him an estimate just for labor, and then if he's not delivering materials I can give him a separate charge to pick them up.

    I didn't measure the beds, but I tried to walk off a rough estimate. I think they were less than 60 square feet. If I charge him by the square foot, I need to have a minimum also.

    THIESSENS TLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    Yes you need to remove the sod, go down about 6-8"....
    Posted via Mobile Device
  3. DiSantolandscaping

    DiSantolandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Maine
    Messages: 345

    i would go and ask him what he wants you to do and what to charge for then i would see how long it will take you roughly to do the work and just throw a number at him… if its to high he will dicker with you if its to low then you will no next time you need to charge more for that kind of work.. its a tough thing but thats pretty much how it works in this game
  4. Laurel Leaf

    Laurel Leaf LawnSite Member
    Messages: 33

    Sounds like he is just looking for the cheapest way to get some curb appeal. I don't see why you would have to remove the sod and dig down... That doesn't sound like what he wanted..

    THIESSENS TLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 813

    Well you don't want grass coming through the mulch...
    Posted via Mobile Device
  6. LawnMowerMan2003

    LawnMowerMan2003 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 768

    Well, I didn't want to underbid it, and I think the correct way is to remove the sod. I called him and got his voicemail and I told him around $100 labor, but I needed to know if I was picking up the materials or not. He hasn't called me back yet. Maybe it was too high, but I estimated the best I could without actually doing one. Well, I have installed a bed before, but we were putting jasmine in it, and we had to put topsoil in too. That one took all day with 2 people.

    If I don't have to dig anything maybe $100 is too high. I need the work, but I've gone down the underbidding road enough times before already. :)

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