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Landscape Install question with photos

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by o-so-n-so, Nov 26, 2003.

  1. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    Look at these photos


    This person called from a paper add I'm currently running.
    Wants landscape around the house to the back deck (#6 photo)

    1-Install edging 2-prepare beds 3-install plants 4-apply pre em
    5-mulch 6-1 year care w/ replace warranty.

    I am at $4472.00 with a plant cost budget at $1500.00.

    mulch cost...195.00.....10yds
    chemical pre em...20.00
    soil prep...300.00
    install mulch...350.00
    edging install...300.00
    apply chem...10.00

    Installs of this size are new to me. I have basiclly maintained landscapes for years and just this year became state certified to do installs.

    My Question is: I'm close on price? To high? To low? Whats off the mark?
  2. NCSULandscaper

    NCSULandscaper Banned
    Messages: 1,557

    Couple questions before i calculate what i would charge..............

    Why are you insalling edging? was it to the customers request? For edging all i ever do is a natural edging by trenching out bewteen mulch beds and grass.

    2. Looks to me that the grade of the land is pretty good, i doubt i would add any topsoil unless there are uneveness that i cannot see. Just amend the soil in the hole for the plant is all you really need.

    3. Is the $1500 plant budget your cost of the plants or the final cost of plants including markup?

    What i do see now is your mulch install cost is a little low from what i would charge. Mulch itself would be $250 and installation would be $400 for 10 yrds.
  3. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    The edging is to help the owner maintain the bed easier.
    This is a single woman in her 50's.

    The "plants" budget is my cost. No mark up. I was going to get the best bang for my buck at $1500.00.

    I can buy any pine product (nuggets large or small, shredded bark) for 17.50 a yard. Retail cost is 19.50 per yard and thats what I'm charging the customer. It comes out to be $54.50 per yard including mulch cost. Can easily access all bed area with my loader bucket.

    The pictures represent it pretty well. I, at first, was not going to add the top soil but thought it would give a little better look if the bed was raised slightly tapered to the edging.

    I agree that the border less edge is more attractive and easier for us to maintain but in this situation it seem appropriate.
  4. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Hwy NCSULandscaper,
    Looks like his customer has a bermuda lawn.Down here,there's no way we could keep the growth out the beds without edging.Even with edging,bermuda always seems to find a way in.
    Don't forget to figure in cleanup costs on that job.Looks like it already needs a leaf removal.Send me a private message and let me know where you're at.If your close,I'll come by and help ya.We'll do a design and then the customer will see what it will look like.Cost won't be much of an issue after that :)
    If you're too far away,I'll draw up a 3D design for ya(In my spare time) and send it to you,so you can present it to them.Just draw up a rough draft for me,so I'll know where you want your plants.
    Take care
  5. capital

    capital LawnSite Member
    Messages: 118

    I think you need to re think a few things.........if your plant cost is $1500.00 and somthing dies you are going to be losing money right off the bat. Also if you are installing any perennials this late in the year you should figure on the rabbits having a field day since your plants are still green and thriving. If the rabbits leave them alone this fall we have found that perennials put in late fall are the first to come out in the spring ahead of the established perennials and the same thing happens. I think you are going about it right but need to figure out higher percentages for you mark up on mulch and plants. What you charge is based on your overhead and cost. Not what the wholesalers tell you to charge. $19.50 which is a markup of only around 11%. On plants in the residential market we go for 125% and over 60% on material cost.
  6. o-so-n-so

    o-so-n-so LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,218

    What about the labor charges? I thought they may be a little low in comparison to what the market should bring.

    I have gone through 3 estimate forms so far. I'm gonna wait for a few more replies before making out a new one.

    I started at 2500.00 then went to 4472.00 and now I must re-think my material mark-up. At this point, I know I will not get this job. I will use this as experience in selling my business. I will take note of any factors that you established companies can share with me.

    We have people in this area that will do this job for about half of what it should bring. I don't want to be one of those companies. I do have lots of overhead and to spend time on a job that I can't profit from hurts me more than not doing the job at all.

    I really would like a little more input from the established companies. Remember, you had to start somewhere and without this site and you guys I never would have even attempted the "Install" part of my business.

    Thanks to all that reply to help me get a firm grip on pricing.

    NickN....I'm in Hanceville. The job is between your location and mine. Blount county in the Bangor area. You are in Hayden, right.
  7. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    Sent you a private message O-so-n-so.

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