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Quoting a job charge for design?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Hardscaping, Aug 22, 2008.

  1. Hardscaping

    Hardscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 359

    Ok i am going tomorrow to look at an area and talk to a homeowner building their own house, about doing the landscaping for the house!

    The house is in a very very high end of the city and the house is a high end house.

    When i go down there i want to do a design but i am thinking the likely hood of me taking about 8 to 10 hours easily to make the design will happen!

    What i am asking is Should i put some kind of charge on the design and then make the design with a 3d design software like realtime landscape architect! give him a 3d video and tons of pictures of it, or should i just create a basic idea and give it to him for free.

    I would like to be able to take the oppourtunity to show the work i can do by making the install on this house!

    Or should i just ask him want he wants and give him a price and no design?
  2. zedosix

    zedosix LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,665

    Start basic and get a feel for what the man really wants. Don't waste all that time on something that is not even built yet. I am in the same situation now, with a home that is currently being built, beautiful home on a riverfront property. High end of town, but this doesn't always mean they have a ton of money to spend. Trust me they get rich for a reason and typically it isn't by spending money. I've wasted countless hours, sometimes days on plans that go no further than a "sorry its more than we wanted to spend". My time is more valulable than that. If you want to do a nice plan put a price and quote it first, see where it goes. If he doesn't want to spend money on a design, walk away.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,601

    Zedo summed it up.

    I always try to find out their budget. HOWEVER....just cause they spit out a budget.....doesn't mean they're not gettin quotes from OTHER contractors!

    Usually, for high end jobs - I have a licensed, competent architect do the design.

    I go meet with the prospective client. Find out all their goals, etc. Then next day I call architect and go over everything and get a price from him. I then call the prospective client and I say "ok, the design work is gonna cost $xxxx.xx, what are your thoughts?".

    Then if they don't wanna spend the dinero, I don't go any further and I move on to the next prospective job.
  4. atasteofnature

    atasteofnature LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 405

    I usually say there will be a charge for a design unless you do choose me then it will be factored into the price. Who says they won't take that design idea and ethier A. try to do it themselves or B. find someone else to do it for less.
  5. Hardscaping

    Hardscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 359

    thank you for the help i am going there right now and going to try to feel the budget and see if they would be serious in what i would say! i mean when you say to someone that their driveway will cost $30000 for interlock they usually will **** them selves!
  6. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Messages: 1,209

    how did it work out?
  7. Hardscaping

    Hardscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 359

    well the guy just told me what he wanted and there is really no reason for me to make a 3d design for it.

    This is the job that i am talking about in the other thread, also he wants me to do that sod for his house too. i tried to see if he would get some design hardscaping done but there was a no go. i don't think they have the budget with having a 45000 dollar driveway.

    They are going to go with basic landscaping for now and then next year go with a more complex design.
  8. Ajax

    Ajax LawnSite Member
    Messages: 31

    I agree. If your going to put more than an hour in to a design get paid for it, and if they sign an installation contract, refund the design cost. I've had my designs stolen and installed by low ballers, and if you collected a few hundred dollars for the design, it doesn't sting as bad.

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