Pricing Question

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JB1LNDSCPR, Mar 20, 2004.


    JB1LNDSCPR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    I need some ideas. I am bidding on a lawn maitenance contract for a local gas station and they want a price in the bid for two beds of patunia's.

    The one bed is going to take 350 Putunias @ $.37 a piece (my cost) and the second is 140 @ same price. So total is 500 Flowers

    I have to re-mulch 5 pines trees also

    Mulch is 4 yard @ 30.00 a yard my cost

    what kind of price do you recomend to do this work? All your help will be helpful.
  2. grasssin

    grasssin LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 361

    Good luck getting these guys to help you pricing, I posted a question two days ago with one response.

    Amazing ask someone on this site about a mower and you get all the info you want, ask a "newbie landscaper" question and you are on your own.

    Sorry I cannot help though, I am in the same boat.

    LAWNPRO2 LawnSite Member
    from PA
    Messages: 65

    Hi jb1lndscpr
    How big is the pines trees bed how many yard's are you
    going to need to do the 5 pinetrees.
    I would get about 4 yard's of mulch and i get it for $ 20.00
    a yard so i would charge them $ 30.00 a yard so that is $ 120.00
    for the mulch. & $ 185 for the putunias that would be $ 305.00.
    for the materials. Plus what you would charge per hour to do the is $45.00 a hour so that job would be about 6 hours to do . and truck cost so it $650.00 to do all the work...
  4. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    ANywhere from the $475 range to $550 range for the Putunias. And find cheaper mulch man. But at 30 bucks a yard I'd charge em $200 for it. But find cheaper mulch.
  5. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116

    List prices for me:

    Mulch (premium shredded Cypress mulch - only kind I carry): $3.00 per cuibic foot installed - $324.00 plus extra $$$ if the beds must be cleaned/de-weeded

    Petunias: $28.97 per flat (18 four inch pots per flat) = $811.16

    If the customer wants me to guarantee the petunias to their satisfaction, they must buy my soil ammendment (if needed) and maintenance plan. Bed weed control plan too. Soil ammendment is $8.97 per cubic foot that I bring in. Maintenance plan would be about $60 per month on 500 petunias.

    You need to study up on petunias. They're not easy. If you charge what you need to as a professional and they don't look good, your customer will likely refuse payment or request a refund. Make sure you know what you're doing with petunias. They like a slightly acidic soil, and the soil composition must be perfect. Make sure you state in your contract that the customer is responsible for watering the petunias. They aren't very drought tolerant. And build up the bed for good drainage. Petunias won't tolerate wet feet either. They're closely related to pansies, and there's a reason they call whimpy people pansies. With any annual flowering plant, they look good or they look bad. Not much in between. If they look bad, bare soil looks better, in my opinion.

    Good luck.

    DFW Area Landscaper
  6. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    My fees would be more in the range of what DFW said above. He also gave you very good advice on being careful to install them properly. 'Tunias are one of the hardiest annuals you can put in...BUT...they must be installed with a little tlc. I see it too often that flower displays dont look as good as they could because guys just throw them in the ground and never come back to care for them.

    I would never install this many flowers unless the customer agreed to a biweekly flower fert program. We do a fair amount of flower displays and every commercial customer we have agrees to the flower fert program. And the displays are frankly awesome every year. You can use a back pack sprayer to feed them by simply watering their leaves...very quick that way.

    If these are going in areas where there has been no mulch or soil b4, you need to at least mini till the area and add some soil improvements if the ground is el crappo.

    If I were the customer who spent $600 TO $1000 for a flower display, I would expect nothing less than they look great all the way into late fall...and if you plant them properly and fert them, they will. Also remember to loosen the roots of each plant when you take them out of the flats. Use a liquid/water starter fert for them the same day you put them in the ground.

    good luck...and remember, that flower installs, if done right, take more time than you may think.

    forgot one thing..think about using a small auger to drill the holes. THere are different sizes that will fit an electric drill. THe rechargeable drills don't have enough power to make the holes. We cut our install time by 40% by using a drill auger. HD and and most garden centers sell these drill augers.

    JB1LNDSCPR LawnSite Member
    Messages: 87

    Thank You very much guys
  8. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    DFW.....just a ?
    Your mulch install price is within the ranges in my area, but your flower install rate seems low, but maybe I;m missing something. I dont know your hourly rate and I dont want to know as thats your business. But, you are showing about $300 to install 500 plants. For example sake lets assume your flower install labor charge is $40/hour. $300 laobr charge divided by $40/hr = 7.5 hours divided by 500 plants = 54 seconds per plant to install. Now I will admit I'm slower than most because I do fuss with plants but on a good day, from taking the flats off the truck, preping the plants, installing them, cleanup and fert, I could not match your productivity. Am I missing something? thanks dfw
  9. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 822

    are the flowers in flats?I charge 15 dollars aflat installed my cost being $5 and mulch charge 4 yards plus 4 hours labor at most.

  10. DFW Area Landscaper

    DFW Area Landscaper LawnSite Silver Member
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 2,116


    ++++But, you are showing about $300 to install 500 plants++++

    My list price is $28.97 per flat. My cost on 500 4" petunias would be $215.00. That would leave me with $596 to deliver the petunias (no small task) and get them in the ground. Then, I'd also spend another $50 or so on Merit. If I can get $546 worth of gross margin per day on a two man crew (10 hours or less), I'm reasonably happy.

    By the way, once the soil is properly tilled and ammended, I have no use for a bulb auger or even a spade. When I ammend the soil, which is all hard clay around here, I bring in a lot of organic matter and lava sand. I just make a little hole with my hand, pop in an annual and move on to the next. I can easily install a flat in under 18 minutes. Probably somewhere around 3 to 5 minutes. Never timed it though.

    Once I get just a little more experience with seasonal color, my prices will be going up from $28.97 per flat to probably $32.97 per flat or more. I studied flowering annuals a lot this winter and got some really good hands-on experience with pansies, but I still need more. You can read all you can get your hands on, but at the end of the day, there's just no substitute for experience.

    DFW Area Landscaper

Share This Page