How would you charge?

Discussion in 'Landscape Maintenance' started by johnnybow, Feb 17, 2011.

  1. johnnybow

    johnnybow LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    I have a client that wants a river rock bed installed on a existing mulch bed with shrubs and trees. It needs new weedmat, border and inch and half river rock installed. It measures 125 ' by 25'. Would you charge by the hour to get a pofit? or would you charge a third material, a third labor and a third profit? Im legit but i am retively new working for myself. Im not a lowballer. Im not sure which way to go. thanks
  2. MarkintheGarden

    MarkintheGarden LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,133

    First, you should know and advise your client that many plants do not survive in a bed of weedmat covered with gravel or river rock. One thing you can do is be sure not to cover the base of the plants with the weedmat, so that the plants have a better chance of survival.

    To price the job, calculate the time required including pick up and delivery of materials, and installation. Your profit should be built in to the labor rate, so your estimate can show labor, materials, and total.

    There are several acceptable ways to prepare an estimate, above is one of them. You can use different estimate formulas appropriate to various projects. Always allow for a variable of ten to twenty percent when preparing an estimate.

    I would never show the profit amount on an estimate or invoice. There are a few exceptions and some contractors do list the profit on an estimate, but most do not, and I would strongly suggest that you do not.

    If you do not feel that there are any variables and that you can predict the exact cost, then you are providing a quote, and the price will be exactly what you quoted.

    Whatever you do, make sure your client understands the costs and whether this is an exact quote or an estimate.

    Keep the estimate or quote simple, and be detailed when you describe the materials and labor involved! Put the focus on what the client gets, and be straightforward and simple about what you get.

    Good luck, let us know how it goes.

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