LETS HEAR IT how much is everyone charging per hour for planting?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by BillyRgn, Apr 29, 2008.

  1. BillyRgn

    BillyRgn LawnSite Member
    Messages: 248

    i have been doing a lot of planting jobs lately, however alot of the jobs i am pricing are going to other LCO's that are working by the hour for the customer for $25 - $30 bucks an hour and are giving them there landscaper discount on material. Never do i tell a customer i will work for them by the hour like hired help, nor would i ever price a planting job at an hourly rate that low. i also never would tell them about the material discount that i get. It's driving me nuts, there is no way there paying taxes or insurance at rates like that.i wouldn't even think of doing a planting job for less than $45.00 per man hour and i always mark up the material, there is no other way to make good money in this business without doing this. I don't have a problem with people starting out in business and cutting some corners to get established, we were all there at one point, but don't sell your self for nothing, all that does is lower the market value of our services, and before you know it we will be paying the customer to plant there trees and besides they will never be established if they don't carge a legitimate enough rate, because they will never make enough to run legitimately. So with all this said, am i totally out of this world with my hourly figure? what are you real LCO's charging per man hour for planting services, and do all of you guys actually give the customer the plant or tree for the price you get it at ?? (around here the LCO's get about 10% off at Nursery's so my mark up on the material is usually at least that)
  2. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    I am strictly a landscaper (no mowing) and my rate has been $65/hr this year- and I might adjust it a hair higer as I see how my costs are running as the summer goes on... That's for install work, maintenance work, all labor.... mulch install is the only thing I run as a combined price. As far as plants go, I try and keep up with retail numbers and price JUST below that per item. My mark-up usually looks like 80%-ish
  3. A-Land

    A-Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 856

    Planting jobs don't take much.... and are really not very dangerous when compared to thousand dollar equipment used for mowing. For us to get them - us that charge more - we have to do a better job, that's all. There are plenty of people who will give the work to the $25 an hour guy, and you really can't blame them if they do the same job as you. That's the whole entire commercial aspect of the business - we are supposed to do a good job! If you do a good job, certain people will hire you even if you charge more (You just have to find these people).
  4. RedMax Man

    RedMax Man LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,051

    I get a 25% landscaper's discount from my Nursery. I don't pass that on so i keep it and add a 20% markup to all plants and materials purchased. Sometimes i will not tack on the 20% markup in special rare situations but otherwise thats my policy. I plan on charging $40 min for average potted plantings of shrubs etc. this season. No plantings yet since i'm in the N.E. Plants that can be easily placed and managed by one person (not burlaped [sp.] trees).
  5. jaybird24

    jaybird24 LawnSite Senior Member
    from midwest
    Messages: 623

    Let those guys go broke. We only work by bid for the most part and try to get $60hr. If they really want an hourly price I'll tell them high school kids work by the hr. We put a 1 year guarantee on plants as long as they use our service for a year, and we price accordingly in case we have to replace some. Everyone knows we get a discount, but I don't pass them on to the customer, if they don't like it they can go pay retail, haul it to their house and plant it themselves. They are hiring me to provide a service, not to get them cheap plantings. I had a new boiler put in my house last winter, They didn't give me a discount on the unit. I probably could have found one somewhere for cheap, but then I would have needed someone to put it in on the side with no warranty and such, and probably not installed correctly.
  6. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,464

  7. PerfectEarth

    PerfectEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,734

    Not sure what you mean by that, but I strongly disagree. You got to determine the site conditions, exposures, customer's ideas, plant types, design work, measurements... take into account soil prep, plant selection (nursery time), time and logistics to move larger material, post-install care, clean-up.... If you do a job right, it takes very much!!! About 100x more difficult and time consuming than pulling up to the curb and mowing grass for 25 minutes IMO....unless, of course, you're lining up 8 hollys in front of Mrs. Smith's garage foundation. Sorry for getting a bit off topic.
  8. CALandscapes

    CALandscapes LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 946

    I buy our plants wholesale, at about 30-50% of the retail cost, and mark them back up to around retail. Also, I mark up all other materials to market value (I have wholesale suppliers for basically everything; from soil to sand to sprinkler heads, you name it).

    That being said, I charge roughly $30/man-hour. Giving that, I run a 4-5 man installation crew, and don't typically take anything under a 1-day job. Also, I won't do "hourly" jobs, everything we do is strictly by hard-money bid.

    Keep in mind that, when planting, for the most part you aren't running high dollar equipment, burning gas, etc. A lot of what goes in to planting is grunt labor.

    I am pretty "in the know" on labor rates in my area, and our rates are competitive with most of the higher-end landscape construction co's around here..
  9. Lawnworks

    Lawnworks LawnSite Fanatic
    from usa
    Messages: 5,407

    I agree. Never tell anyone your hourly rates. Your hourly rate sound a bit like mine. I try to get $35-45 a man hour. That is what it takes to be competive... $75 a man hour is great... but if you are not booked up, you are kind of screwing yourself. I guess it is all about supply and demand... if your booked up... the price goes up... if not it goes down(at least to a certain point.)

    I guess planting doesn't take high dollar equipment if you aren't grading yards, irrigating for the plant material, or installing large plants.:confused: Landscaping has much more of learning curve and estimating curve than maintenance will ever have. Also you have to have extensive plant knowledge to even sell a small project.
  10. A-Land

    A-Land LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 856

    You're talking about landscape design...... I mean just real grunt work. Customer wants x plants in y location, the end. Yea for landscape design? and to do it right? I don't do it but it has to be difficult.

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