Budgeting lighting as a percentage of landscaping

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by pete scalia, Oct 21, 2007.

  1. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    When budgeting a design/build landscape project I like to budget from 10-20 percent (varies depending on client and site requirements)to landscape lighting.
    What percentage of a design/build are you setting aside for lighting?

    If you are lighting only what percentage of the overall budget does your lighting generally consume?
  2. JoeyD

    JoeyD LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,933

  3. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Yes agreed
  4. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    I been thinking about this. You can't base it off a percentage unless your doing tract homes. 10% min but I find a lot of 50k landscapes round here need more like 20 to 30% in lighting on top of that 50k.

    I don't think you can put a percentage on it. What if most of the yard is natural landscape with mature trees and just some small ornamental beds around the house they spent 5k to have tossed in?

    We did one like this and our lighting came out to be 150% of the landscape install.

    The job should be based on the unique (no pun intended) needs of the property and the desires of the owners with the designers input. Nothing else matters.
  5. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,843

    The other thing that matters is the perceived value and worth to the client. If it is something the client desires and wants, it really doesn't matter what they paid for their home. Consider the person who lives in a 200k home, yet drives a Mercedes Benz that costs roughly 50% of their home's value. If it is worth it to him or her, and they want it bad enough, they will own it.
    The same applies to beautiful, functional lighting designs. If he/she wants that for their home, there is no reason why they can't find a way to have what the wealthy have. Granted, the finer things in life are typically enjoyed by the larger income earners, but where there is a will there is a way. As professional landscape lighting becomes more popular, you will see homeowners of every income level finding ways to own the same type of lighting designs that are normally found in the upscale communities. I believe the reason it is not as popular yet is because most lighting companies don't advertise to anyone except high income families. Somebody's got to break this cycle, and let the little guy in on the big secret.
  6. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    I'm talking about a percentage of the budget of a total new landscape build out. Not just a few flowers or plants installed. Either new construction or a total remodel, removal of old and replacement with new.
  7. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    im talking about that too... you cant set a percentage on it. We have done 20k landscape renovations where
    I seriously doubt 2k in lighting will be suffeciant for a home that will need 20k in landscape installed.

    I have yet to see a project where 10% would be close to suffecient for a quality lighting system unless your going for SERIOUSLY soft and understated.

    maybe when you get up into the 100k and 200k landscapes its a bit different but not many people spend that kinda coin on landscapes here.
  8. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    That's your opinion. But You have to start with a figure somewhere. Averages are calculating the total dollar sum and dividing it by the number of events. Let's say you've done 5 jobs costing out like this
    total landscape/cost of lighting

    Total amount of all projects- $265K
    Total amount of landscape lighting- $54K
    Divide the 54 by 265 and

    In this case the average cost of landscape lighting is around 20% of the total cost of your projects. Does this make sense?
  9. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,180

    not really because I cannot base my projects on a percentage. Whats a percentage matter ? it should be based on the clients desires... good design and a quality job.

    I am working on a project now where they got alot of landscape going in but its all rather inexpensive plant material... lots of jasmine... azaleas.... plenty of existing trees... landscape should run 20k installed (not by us) and lighting will run nearly 100% that cost due to long wire runs... the layout of the home being spread out... lot of tree lighting.

    Now on the contrary we did a small 4k system on a home with 100k in retaining walls... 3 story deck built on terrace rows...

    I think it needs to be based on a per project basis not a generic percentage. I dont see a problem with that.
  10. pete scalia

    pete scalia LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 960

    Nevermind. I'm out of energy.

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