How to price commercial installs???

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by New2TheGreenIndustry, Mar 3, 2014.

  1. wildstarblazer

    wildstarblazer LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,046

    I don't think it matters how many plants you are using for a project, residential, commercial shouldn't matter. Most nurseries won't give a discount if you buy one or one thousand plants. Everybody has a different way to mark up their plants. Like said above. Price so you make money and not so much that you won't get the job.

    There are so many variables that go into pricing landscape jobs that no one on here can accurately tell you what you should charge. But there are some good threads that will give you an idea of how you should charge. Good luck.
  2. New2TheGreenIndustry

    New2TheGreenIndustry LawnSite Senior Member
    from GA
    Messages: 907

    Yes. I was around 95k. We'll see...
  3. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    If you buy your stuff wholesale it be 4-5 for #3 pot That's key on winning a bid
  4. TwoBrosLawn

    TwoBrosLawn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 48

    I've heard a rule of thumb is materials x 3. Does anyone else do that.
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  5. ReddensLawnCare

    ReddensLawnCare LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,651

    Not around here. I buy everything wholesale. About the cheapest you will find any plant is 3 gallon for 10 and that is at Baucums Nursery. They sell to Home Depot and other home centers. They are the absolute cheapest on container plants that I have come across
  6. Snyder's Lawn Inc

    Snyder's Lawn Inc LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,530

    Not always true all depends on the size of the job
  7. nolimits76

    nolimits76 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 32

    I can see how bidding 3x cost of plants might work for small residential jobs, but on larger commercial jobs I would want something more specific.

    I have the disadvantage of not being a landscape contractor. The advantage is I have been in heavy commercial and heavy civil construction my entire career. A good majority was spent estimating projects. That being said, if this were my job, I would do the following:

    - Talk to your nursery and advise them of the order size you will be placing if you get the job. They will likely offer you a discount for a larger order. If not, I'd talk with some alternate nurseries that want to play ball.

    - Calculate up your labor, equipment and fuel costs. Don't forget to include workmen's comp, benefits, etc. Be creative when figuring your costs to help you keep this as low as possible. Be realistic about what your guys can do for that specific job under those specific conditions.

    - Consider how you want to handle your overhead. There are about a zillion different ways to do this. Working in construction, we used to figure costs for insurance, bonuses, equipment purchases/maintenance, etc that was job related and make an educated guess how much volume we would do in a year. This gave us a percentage to tack onto our bids. Obviously we could adjust that number up/down as needed.

    - Lastly, once all hard costs are known, then you can pick and choose the amount of profit you want to make for a given project. Again, there are different philosophies on this as well. Some companies like to make $X per day for their crew. Others look strictly at percentages. However you analyze, you should take into account the length of time your crews will be tied up, how that works with your other ongoing projects, if this will be an "anchor job" for the company, how difficult/risky the project is, etc. Profit is tricky. Finding the balance between greed and the sweet spot for risk/reward can be hard. Losing a $100k or $1 million dollar project by a few thousand will make you understand this lesson pretty well.

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