Landscape bids

Discussion in 'Starting a Lawn Care Business' started by JConner, Feb 21, 2009.

  1. JConner

    JConner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    I was wondering if any of you guys could help me with bidding landscaping jobs. Do you just go out and look at the job first and then make a design something and bring that back and a price or do you give them a rough price while you are there ? i just got a call this morning i don't know what it is i will be looking at the job today between 3-5 and i will post pictures when i go out and find out what he wants. I am not very good at designing yet but i found a design software i will get if needed thanks for any help
  2. JConner

    JConner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    no help from anyone ?
  3. lawn crafters

    lawn crafters LawnSite Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 440

    ok my advice is this
    first you get what is called inventory( which is what is there NOW) you alo would measure.
    second you analysis the area (ask the client basically what they want) example.. i say to the client "what do you want to see when you pull up to your house?" also when analysis you find slopes and things like that.

    third is a brainstorm of ideas. what you should do is pick 3-5 different options (drawings) then..

    fourth form the brainstorms into a design

    fifth show the client the design and see what they say( if they like it then that is the design. if they dont like it then they will make corrections) after that you redesign the original design to make a final copy.

    after this you now make a plant list. this has the quanity also. then you go to a nursery and get prices. you add up the prices of plants + loam if needed + mulch +labor + a SMALL design fee ( only if you want to). then you give them a price.

    if you have any questions just ask me
  4. burge19

    burge19 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 124

    I was kinda wondering the same thing....what design software you guys are using out there?
  5. lawn crafters

    lawn crafters LawnSite Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 440

    well i took a landscape design course, and i just free hand draw. howevere i use rulers and a compass and all that kind of drawing tools.
    landscape designing is more of problem solving.
    there is a software that this site is sponsered by, its called pro landscape or something like that
  6. BlackDog3

    BlackDog3 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 155

    I do something similar. I usually design it to the specs that they ask me, and give them a price. If they don't like it i usually ask where the changes need to be re design it and give them another price. The only thing i found to be annoying is if you do all that work and you dont get the job! I been there twice with a commercial place. I also draw my designs but my girlfriend is starting to show me Coral Draw.

  7. lawn crafters

    lawn crafters LawnSite Senior Member
    from RI
    Messages: 440

    yeah that is the worst thing but what i do to prevent that is i charge a $85 dollar counsilation fee but give free estimate, and if they have me do the design and plant it and what not the i credit the $85 doallars back to them
  8. JConner

    JConner LawnSite Member
    Messages: 174

    This is very helpful I appreciate all of the input. Thanks much Lawn crafters
  9. Fert33

    Fert33 LawnSite Member
    Male, from Central Pa
    Messages: 133

    Why not work with a designer that does that sort of thing every day. You sell the jobs, and let the designer come up with the ideas. I find that once the season starts, how much time do you really have to sit down and draw up a real good design? Let the customer know that there will be a fee for the design, that way the designer get's his or her money.
  10. openbook

    openbook LawnSite Member
    Messages: 215

    That is a pretty good idea. It seems to me though when I worked for a major landscape company most of the designs were pretty similar. I feel like I could just do the same.

    Sometimes the designers would do stuff that wouldn't work like planting hydrangeas on top of a burm in full sun. Then I look bad or I make someone else look bad because I told the customer that they will need to be watered daily and the designer told them they don't have to water them much.

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