Need a little help with a church proposal

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JohnsonLawn, Jun 17, 2006.

  1. JohnsonLawn

    JohnsonLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    You guys have always steered me in the right direction, so I am gonna pick your brains once again. The pastor from our church came to me and asked to help the building and grounds department out with a project he felt was over their heads. Currently they have a 60' long privet hedge that stands 6' high in front of the church. Behind the privet is lawn area, flower beds and stone work which can no longer be seen from the road (they want more visibility). They wanted this cut down to 2' high, but I did not feel this was a good plan as the lower areas of the hedge are very sparse and the feeder branches are about 1-3' in diameter. We decided to pull out the privet and replace them with either boxwood's or japanese hollies spaced every 2'. This should create a nice low formal bed that can be maintained as needed. My first question is: Do you think I made the right choice to pull out the privet hedge to recapture this area ? Second, how hard is it going to be the get the privet out at the roots? And last, how would you go about bidding this job? I can get either the boxwood's or the hollies in a 7 gallon for $34.00 each. I am not looking to get rich off the church, but I can't work for free. Plus it could be great advertising. Thanks for your help guys, both past and present. Mike
  2. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 497

    Work done for charitable foundation which a religious institution would be the same can be deducted from income. You need a letter from the church acknowledging the work and talk to your accountant. This could benefit you as well as the church.
  3. JohnsonLawn

    JohnsonLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    They are willing to pay, but was thinking of donating labor and just charging for materials. Feel kind of funny about billing the church. Do you think the install I describe will work out. Thanks
  4. Raven386

    Raven386 LawnSite Silver Member
    from CT
    Messages: 2,169

    it is. ive gotten quite a few jobs from people seeing us at our church account. and i believe you can write off the labor donated to a charitable foundation. then get some of the church members to help ya out. just have your pastor mention something to get some volunteers to dig some holes or move the plants etc. just my thoughts.
  5. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    I do not think Labor can be written off. If you donate the materials, that can be written off.. but I think the labor portion is a little iffy.
  6. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 497

    If you give up time in your schedule that is in fact lost income which can be charged as a donation. If you have a good accountant he will tag it correctly. This is a complex issue and I would not write it off without talking with a CPA. If your CPA doesn't know how to do it then you need a second opinion.
  7. WPLE

    WPLE LawnSite Member
    Messages: 157

    Hope it works out better for you that it did me. I renevated the landscaping at my church. Things were not made clear evidentally because the deacons got pissed off cause they had a $1200 bill from me for plant material. They thought I was going to donate my time, employees, and plant material. About $4000, I do not think so.

    It really ruined alot of relationships and I hate it but I am only 22, just married and do not have that kind of dow laying around. So I gave them a copy of the sales reciept for the plants and I now treat my home church as any other of the churches I maintain. Just make sure everything is in discussed.
  8. JohnsonLawn

    JohnsonLawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 400

    Thanks for the heads up. The pastor told me he expects to pay the going rate for my services, as he knows he would be paying if another contractor was doing the work. He says "there is money in the building and grounds accounts for this type of work, so charge accordingly". I will still go kind of easy on them though. Anyone want to chime in on what I should charge for this job as I have described it. I really appreciate the input, so keep it com'in. Thanks
  9. start2finish

    start2finish LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 497

    that's a great approach to the job, I would suggest adding a few extras since it is the chuch you attend.
  10. crab

    crab LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 633

    jesus loves a mark up.turning water to wine is not cheap.

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