Im designing a front yard Come Quick

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Slcareco, Dec 3, 2004.

  1. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Ok I just got asked to design a freinds front yard and I was wondering how to go about pricing it? Now the materials that will be involved is mulch,flowers,plants, shurbs, trees, edging material (plastic or cement),rock/pebbles:

    Now i heard the going rate for mulch is 65 /yard but should i just include that with the 60 an hour for labor im charging?

    Plus delivery or trees, shrubs, etc and dumping

    Need some feed back thanks!
  2. stxkyboy

    stxkyboy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 222

    Heres some feedback: details?
  3. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,778

    The "going rate" of $65 includes mulch and spreading it, at least where I am.

    There are many ways to come up with prices. You can charge a rate for your labor and mark up material by a percentage. That is hard for your customers because they want to know how much the job will cost and, let's face it, slower people should not make the job more expensive.

    Most guys have calculations set up for pricing tasks including labor and material, like the "mulch rate" or $x per SF of sod, bluestone, face foot of wall,... All of these have some flex depending on conditions, but is an efficient way at arriving at prices rather than trying to calculate how many man hours a particular patio will run up to. Most guys arrive at these prices by keeping good records of how many hours are spent doing individual pieces of landscape jobs over time. If you do not keep records like that, then you are going by feel and guestimating rather than calculating.

    The only thing "going rates" are good for is knowing whether you are competitive or not. If you think about it, a well established well run company is going to have higher demand, more experience to get jobs done quickly, and often better quality control that a new company that is learning as it goes. Why would a homeowner want to pay the "going rate" for the new company? Well, they don't. You might get a job or two, but it will not grow you into an install business very quickly.

    You need to know what it will cost you to do a job and then add on profit, just like the other guys. You have one advantage over the big well established company. Your overhead is lower. You don't have sales people, secretaries, big buildings and land, expensive ad campaigns, big benefit packages for your employess, ..... You can beat them on price.
  4. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    So basically you are in business, but don't know what you're doing. So you really aren't a business.
    Yeah, why don't I just figure it all out for you and then you can make the profit.
  5. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Thanks AGLA and randy scott im 18 and just starting thanks for your wise ass comment
  6. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    $65 a yard for the mulch is in the ballpark here as well and includes mulch and labor. You need to figure out your other costs for materials (mark up, if any), overhead and labor. Is $60 and hour for labor competetive in your area?
  7. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,915

    I could give a rats azz how old you are. Figure it out. You throw out a stupid general question with no effort put into the specifics of the job. How many plants? What size? What equipment will you be using? Do you have help? Which is it, plastic or cement? How much stone? What kind? Is there access to the job-site?

    Amazingly enough, this all plays a role in the bidding process. I highly doubt you'll get $60 an hour labor for this work anyways. When the ten other companies more capable of doing this most likely have their labor in the $40 an hour range.

    So next time you want help, first YOU put some effort into the question, then someone might be able to help you along. Give you pointers, not do all the figuring for you.
  8. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Randy, I don't think he was asking anyone to give him a price for the job. Rather, i took his plea for help as asking for help on how to arrive at a price for the job.
  9. SodKing

    SodKing LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,641

    $12,000 I know its general but so was the question.

    There are several ways to figure out a moderately competitive bid

    1)Add up all the cost of the materials and multiply by 3. This should place you in the ball park

    2)Add up all the cost of materials, add the anticipated labor charge, add the profit margin

    3)Break everything down into units and assign each different product and task a unit value. Add up the units and multiply by the unit cost and theres your price.
  10. Slcareco

    Slcareco LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 682

    Thank you mbella, randy just has a rake up his ass typical know it all landscaper who rather criticize with his foot in mouth before helping or even asking for more of a descriptive question and thanks sod king .... for number one tho whats the number 3 represent? and how do i come up with a profit margin by being reasonable?

    I figure get the total for material, charge her for delivery of supplies, im using basic equipment (shovel, rakes nothing with a rent charge) I'm working alone on this as well and I dont have much overhead so yes it will be mor eprofit but I dont wanna cheat a friend you know? Just asking for advise thats all not criticism or a complaint bout my curiousity jeez...

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