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New plant installation

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by bjlawnman, Sep 19, 2009.

  1. bjlawnman

    bjlawnman LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    I'm still trying to figure out exactly the best way to price new plant material that I install. I recieve a 35% contractor discount at the nursery I buy from however; there is no guarantee on the plant. If a customer wants a tree planted and the price I buy the tree for is $300.00 would you charge $750.00 installed to the customer? I am just trying to figure out the best way to charge for plant installation if I am not getting a guarantee on the plant. Any help would be appreciated!
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,776

    You need to decide if you are going to warranty plants you install or not. Then you need to specify a length of time and criteria for replacement should a plant die. An unrestricted 1 year replacement warranty is not a good idea because it puts no responsibility on the propery owner.

    I see several landscapers in my area guaranty the plant to be the variety and size specified and to be pest free and healthy upon installation. Many will warranty plants if they control the irrigation and have a maintenance contract.

    Another thing you could do rather than a warranty is to monitor the plants on a regular basis (ie, every two weeks) and give the client a report on actions that should be taken (ie, more watering). You could attach a warranty contingent upon them taking proper action on your recommendations. I don't know anyone who does this, but if I ever get back into contracting, it will be the route that I take.

    I review bids on planting (and other) projects from time to time and analyze the pricing to help me do estimates on future projects. I have found that most good reputable contractors in my area charge between 3 and 4 times the wholesale price of the areas largest wholesale distributing nursery or roughly twice retail for plants installed. Your example of $750 for a plant that retails at about $400 would probably fall into that range if you were buying it from a large regional plant distribution nursery at a wholesale price (probably about $200 for the plant rather than $300).

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