How do you handle this?


Millenium Member
Bidding on a large business property and have a question. The lawn and natural areas are in pretty bad shape, as it sits now it will need around 300 bails of pineneedles, aeration/aeravation, overseeding, and fertilizing (appx. 3-4 acres).

I have not finished the bid yet and was wondering, when any of you bid on a job that has this much "up front" work and expenses, do you give 2 seperate bids? One for the yearly maintenance and one for the initial work?


Hello KirbysLawn:

A long time ago there was this new Lady that came to town, she was a Landscaper & she was getting work left & right?

It took a while to find out how she did it. I found out that every job she bided on that she would give 3 estimates ofcourse she was asked there to do landscaping.

She would give them a bid to do the landscaping first. Then one on the maintenance & then one on doing both. If she got the bid doing both she guarenteed all her work for the first year.

Found out later that if she didn't get the bid on one, that she would get a bid on another. It really worked too! Just think it could probably more than double the chances of getting the job?

She did so well that later she built a plant nursery & now she is rolling in it. She had a very big crew last time I saw the nursery. She gets lots of jobs now from her reputation alone. The customers pay her dearly too.


LawnSite Senior Member
I have found in cases where the property needs to be brought up to standard it is better to separate the bids. One for the initial clean up and the other for yearly maintenance.


LawnSite Senior Member
I know that Im new but I think Seperate bids are the way to go. I would bid what it would take to straighten out,then bid for the yearly maintence.


LawnSite Silver Member
dirty jersey
RAY:a few years ago i bid on a warehouse that was a mess from the day one. before i bid on this property it was not kept up,it was not the last contractor doings it was the warehouse managment,they did not wont to spend any money,unless the had to.
well one day the big shot came down from the main office and went through the roof,end result the lawn maint. contractor got the boot.i got asked to bid on it,they had a list a mile long. i said to myself that there is no way that they are going to pay me to square this place away. so what i did was gave them and est. on what they wonted,and gave them alternatives on different items. what i wonted to do was not give them sticker shock,but give thim different ways things can be done at a much cheaper price. i know once i got my foot in the door,they would ok a lot of other work.
in tern they oked the"bandaids"just to get the place looking ok,and since then i was able to do i wright over time. and kept that job untill they moved 3 yr latter.


LawnSite Senior Member
NE Ohio

I would give 2 bids on this also. Just to show the customer that this isn't going to be in their yearly cost every year. You know customers, they see a big number and they freak. This allows them to digest it better and see more of an actual cost.


Ground Rules

LawnSite Member
Candia, NH
For some reason, probably becasue nobody else wanted the job, I attracted several residential accounts which were either rentals changing hands and/or secondary properties for the owners. I have always provided a bid for the initial clean-up as well as a bid for scheduled maintenance. I have done this on the small commercial accounts I have acquired this season as well. This has worked out very well in every case.


LawnSite Bronze Member
Somerset, NJ
Definitely separate. Here's another way to look at it. The maintenance contract is to maintain the property. The other problems you mentioned are results of incorrect, or lack of maintenance, so they are not part of maintaining the property under normal conditions. Make sure you tell the customer that (in writing) so that they understand the difference, and explain that your quality work will avoid this extra expense for them in the future. Good luck with it.