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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JML, Feb 9, 2001.
how much do you charge for your landscape design services, just the actual design. thanks
Give us some specifics and we'll try to help.
What is your goal: To get paid for your time or to make sure that the client is serious or to sell an install job? These varying goals will affect the way you should price the design. If you know that all the client is going to buy is the design, then charge based on time that will be spent doing the design or a % of the projected install price. Otherwise you may wish to charge somewhat less, so that the client is not putting a major portion of their budget into the design, or rebate the fee with signed install. Oh, its difficult to give you a set $$ due to unknown factors--how quick you are, how big the design will be, economics of your area, your perceived worth, client expectations.
We generally don't charge for design work. If the bid is complex and a lot of time will go into it we will charge a flat rate or an hourly rate. I hate to put 10 hours into a design and bid only to have a potential customer say, "I always wondered what it would've cost to do that. Thanks for the information."
Also by charging for design work it lets the customer know that you are confident in your work and its quality.
We have only charged for a design once. Most of the designs we do we get the install also. We do not surrender the drawing with the bid, only the plant list. We will meet with the customer to go over the design and only surrender the drawing after the bid is signed IF THEY ASK FOR IT. I like to keep them on file for reference. We did charge last year for full color plan view and front elevation. We put a lot of time into that design and the customer kept saying "I know you will want paid for the design just let me know." Well, after meeting with them several times we surrendered the print and billed them for it, $250. They loved our design and the plant selection (because we listened to what they wanted). They paid the bill and went with a competitors design that included all the plants they said they didn't like. Go figure.
Most LA's here charge 10%-25% of the job cost( which they cost out) Back in the old days when we did home owners we would charge them $250 for the design, if they went with us doing the install we would deduct that fee off the invoice.
We charge for designs by how many hours it will take us. Our landscape architect decides his hourly rate. We charge for design mainly because a lot of homeowners want to do the actual work themselves, and just want an idea of what to do. Also, a lot of clients seem to just want free advice, and a design quote weeds these people out. Usually, we go by the attitude that if someone is not willing to shell out a couple of hundred dollars for a unique and well planned design, they are never going to go for the cost of actually installing it! On the other hand though, I do see the good points to not charging if they do decide to go with you for the installation work. On average, we go for $55 an hour to do a design, but I guess that should really depend on how talented and experienced you are at design work, and how much time explaining and hand-holding you are willing to put in.
I asked this question last yr and got the same answers. Its a tough call. For me I really hold the hand of the customer to make sure all the bases are covered so I would charge a fee. However NO OTHER co. here charges so I'm all alone with this.
Ocutter - You're the ONLY one who charges for a design? good for you! I'll bet the others have burned a lot of hours drawing up plans for "clients" who aren't ready or serious.
I would imagine you get a majority of the jobs you design, too. I met with a couple last week, the other "quote" they got was from a guy who walked around the yard dragging his foot in the dirt "the seat wall will go here... etc". Our number was $15.000 higher, but we're still in the game (will be working on revidsions this weekend) - they paid $500 for their design - they get a $500 credit towards the job.