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Estemate question

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by FL&G, Feb 16, 2006.

  1. FL&G

    FL&G LawnSite Member
    from R.I.
    Messages: 91

    I have a customer who wants me to quote the planting of 20, 8-10 ft. White Pines. He has agreed on the cost of the plant material, but is looking for a labor quote. I typically would do this job by the hour, I guess thats the easiest way of being sure your getting a a fair rate, 2 men $55.00 per hr. However I really need to learn how to estimate this type of work. How do you estimate for the unknowns? Example: The location where these are going is very boney. It may take me 45 mins. a hole or 3 hrs.
    Any feedback is appreciated. Thanks.
  2. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    Your first mistake, IMHO, was splitting it up between a material price and a labor price. I would just turn around and give him a price on the job. You may choose to guarantee your work or not.
  3. FL&G

    FL&G LawnSite Member
    from R.I.
    Messages: 91

    IMHO? I havent submitted any proposals yet. I Just quoted plant price on the phone. How is the rest of this statement suppposed to be helpful to me?
  4. palawnman

    palawnman LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 159

    Normally for any type of planting that I do, I triple the price of whatever I am planting. With that I give a one year guarantee. So take whatever you are getting the trees for multiply it by 3. With this method you are taking a chance that some trees may take longer than others, but I have found that overall it is a nice profit after is all said and done. It is hard to guesstimate how many hours something like that would take and usually I try not to charge hourly because people dont like seeing a high hourly rate. In my opinion flat rates look a little better. Hope this helps.

  5. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208

    I'm just suggesting not to split the materials cost and labor cost...which it seems you have already done. In My Honest Opinion (IMHO), it was a mistake to provide material (part) cost already.
  6. FL&G

    FL&G LawnSite Member
    from R.I.
    Messages: 91

    So what you are saying is that the complete bid would only have a number not a break down of costs?
  7. CutRight

    CutRight LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 257

    yea give him a price for the whole job, cause you want to mark up the cost of the materials so you can make a profit off of that also. I break down my billing sometimes on big jobs but i show the price after the materials have been marked up. anywhere from 100-200%. then add on my labor and delivery or whatever you need. figure you want to make at least profit $100 an hour while your their. so 50 for yourself and 50 for your co-worker. but you only really pay your co-worker whatever their wage is.

    to give you an idea i charged $1200 to plant 6 4-5' hemlocks. it was me and my father and my tractor to dig the holes for the trees. took around 3 hours. so you have some much bigger trees and a lot more of them.

    but it all depends on your costs to do work also.
  8. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,208


    However, with that said. After the intial cost of the job, feel free to add in extras. For instance, black dyed mulch will run you an additional $125, Additional work requiring the use of heavy machinery will be $250/hr minimum one hour, etc.
  9. cpel2004

    cpel2004 LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,415

    Typically I try to get 2.5 to 3 times mark up. I teamed up with a local LCO for a bid on a new construction for a gas station. Total bid we submitted was 107K for irrigation and plant install. The winning bidder was around 70k, we figured at least 25 to 30k in plants and material alone. I can't see how the winning bidder is going to make any money, unless he or she owned a nursery. Sorry for venting
  10. Green Fields

    Green Fields LawnSite Member
    Messages: 9

    i agree too. itemizing a bill for a homeowner will only get him to think he's getting robbed and can find a neighbors' kid, so to speak, to do the work for half. it also gives them the opportunity to cut you out in parts. If you give a price for trees, price for mulch, weed control, top soil etc then the homeowner can easily say to just plant the trees and get the mulch and weed ctrl by himself and therefore your out a $100-$200 just because you wanted a thorough itemized proposal. Usually I double the price of trees w/o guarantee. Homeowners tend to forget to water

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