Complete landscaping on a new house, too big of a job

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by dlandscaping, Apr 19, 2004.

  1. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 835

    I was asked if I wanted to design and put in landscaping at a new house about 30 min away. It is probably atleast a half an acre lot, and needs grading, irrigation, possible lighting, lawn install, patios and walkways, mulch and plants. Is this too big of a job for my company, we are just starting to get into the construction part of the career. I have good friends that own a concrete business, and am also good friends with a local nursery. Would you say this is too big of a job and also on average, how much do you make after just paying costs, not including labor. Its about a 350-400k house.
  2. DowntoEarthLLC

    DowntoEarthLLC LawnSite Member
    from VA
    Messages: 121

    Bid it right, make sure you plan everything right, get everything done and make it work and look right. And you can make alot O money.

    Subcontracting is great.
    Think positive daniel son.

    try to work with the guys. learn something.

  3. meets1

    meets1 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,857

    I would bid the job - let your friends be subs, work it all together. Your in the door, you have an idea of what to do next time. Just make sure you keep your contacts (friends) there more valuable than the job will ever be!
  4. blafleur

    blafleur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    I am just starting my first job of that size myself. I am doing what I know I can accomplish in a reasonable time and am subbing the rest out. Pretty big load off actually. Use subs that will make you look good, bid enough to make cover their cost and make money for you, an add a slush amount for unknowns.

    Good luck,
  5. D Felix

    D Felix LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,898

    We have been marking up sub-work about 10-15%, just FYI. That should cover your costs associated with working with them, plus hopefully get you a little bit of profit.

    One thing to keep in mind: You probably need to have a certificate of insurance on file from them before they start work. Check with your agent, they should know. You are acting as the "prime" for all intents and purposes.

    One more thing. Get a contract with them. DO NOT pay them in full until the work has been inspected and approved of. We have been burned on this in the past.

    HTH, and good luck!

  6. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    Yes, I would say it is too big of a job for you. If you are asking, then it is. A friend doing concrete and a friend working at a nursery doesn't qualify YOU to be a landscaper. There are so many variables in a project of that magnitude, that you will most likely be overwhelmed with what needs to be done, proper bidding will be key. Taking on a project this size can be just as devastating to your credibility as some think it would be to helping your credibility as a landscape company. Start with small to medium projects. Odds are, you'd lose your shirt on the work. Hiring subs to do the work and getting the final outcome correct will only work as well as what you know about the work. How do you know if the subs bid the work correct if YOU don't know how? I would just pass on the job with your limited experience of large projects. After doing this work for awhile now, I can drive down the street and tell who knew what they were doing at a home and who doesn't.
  7. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,794

    you say its a 350 to 400K house on a half acre lot. Ok , is that expensive in your area? or big? Thats a 2 bedroom in a fair to good neighborhood where I am sitting. I would have to agree with Randy , if you have to ask, its too big. Remember big jobs are great you can make big money , just as fast as you can lose big money
  8. Evan528

    Evan528 LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,144

    Ditto here...... a $350,000 house isnt a very big house in this kneck of the woods. Relandscaping a home like that here would wouldnt be a giant job. Your area might be very diffrent though so it might involve alot more work.
  9. dlandscaping

    dlandscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from mass
    Messages: 835

    Here it is a big house, its in a town not a city, and they are putting up new developements all around Worcester. Im not taking the job, dont want to get in over my head.

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