What would you do with this situation? Overestimated price.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by QualityLawnCare4u, Apr 3, 2005.

  1. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    I went to a clients house today to give a ext. on installing rocks and border around the front of her house. The area is 18 inches(1.5 ft.) by 51 ft. When I punched it in my calculator I put in 18 x 51 instead of 1.5 x 51. The rocks that she had picked out were 3$ a bag and I figured it would take 100 bags. She approved it (surprised at the price) and when I left it suddenly hit me what I had done. Should only take about 12 bags(Im saying 20 to be on the safe side). I have never messed up that bad before, Im usually good at underestimating. Should I tell her it will be cheaper or just take it in case there is something I might have missed figured. My actual cost in material is only about 176 instead of the 400 plus I had figured. Will probably take me about 4-5 hours to do, give or take a little. I take great pride in my honesty just hate to call her back and make me look stupid. On the other hand if it takes me longer than I estimated in time will come out ok. Just wanted to ask you guys who have done a lot more landscaping than me your thoughts. I have not done a whole lot of this kind of work, mostly just regular yard maintinance and did not want to loose my butt till I get better at figuring this kind of work. The lady has been a real PITA though for a new client. I quoted her around 650 for the job. I usually figure my labor around 30-35 per hour for this kind of work. I know, I know about the dollar a minute but it will not flush in my area.
  2. grass_cuttin_fool

    grass_cuttin_fool LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,526

    I would try to figure a happy medium and leave yourself a cushion in case something happens and return the rest. Just tell her after double checking the figures in the office you found a mistake
  3. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    WEll 12 bags is a whole lot different than 100 bags.You say you take pride in your honesty,if you do then you would not even concider keeping the extra money.That's just like stealing from her PITA or not there are alot of PITAS out there and what a PITA is to me may not be to you and visaversa.
    Now say you do steal the money from this pita and don't call her and tell her you made a mistake and it's going to be a whole lot less than you told her...Then you show up on the job with 12 bags and not 100??Don't you think she's gonna notice??Do you think she's stupid enough to not know the difference bettween you applying 12 bags and 100 bags?And not know you are cheating and lieing to her?Don't worry about looking stupid,you will be a diamond in her eyes if you call her and tell her the honest real price.
    This is another example of giving a price when you are in front of the client....ALWAYS GO HOME OR GET IN YOUR TRUCK AND drive away someplace where you can think it out and add it up a few times to come up with a est.Never give a price and add stuff up with the client standing there,it's not only unprofessional it's just bad practice.
  4. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Sheshovel, I just called the lady back and explained to her that I dont usually give extimates without double checking first. I dropped the price down quite a bit and feel better about it.
  5. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    How did she feel about it?You still kept a bit more to cover did you not?I'm glad you did what you did that's real honesty.
  6. QualityLawnCare4u

    QualityLawnCare4u LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,758

    Sheshovel, she just called me back and basically called me a crook. She said the price I gave her few weeks back was only 300-350. I reminded her that was for mulch, not decorative rocks! I reminded her that she also added several things to it like differnet border, mulch around trees in front yard. I think Im going to pass on this one, I dont like my integrity questioned. Oh, to answer your question about how she liked me going down, did not faze her a bit, acted like I was cheating her. I explained to her that is why I like to set down and go over everything first before giving a quote. Will never quote no one again without studying it real good first. I did tell her that before my price was final wanted to go over it will good and I EMPHASIZED before I left that it was only a rough estimate. Wont do that again (like above poster said)
  7. PTP

    PTP LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Tulsa
    Messages: 1,398

    We often like to think that those that do the right thing are rewarded in some ways but the truth is that there is often a personal cost. You did the right thing. It is better to be a hardworking-poorman with integrity than someone who has a little extra but yet is a thief.

    HOOLIE LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,981

    I don't do a whole lot of landscaping either, aside from mulch. I probably would have done the job, see how long it took, then give her a break on the price accordingly. Normally I enjoy making as much profit as I can, but if it's a case of miscalculating to the extreme, I would refund a portion of it.

    Like you said, you quoted her a price for the entire job, not per bag of rocks, so I'd do the job first and see how it goes.
  9. neversatisfiedj

    neversatisfiedj LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    Make it up to her - you will get it back in the end.
  10. Coffeecraver

    Coffeecraver LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA.
    Messages: 793

    You know what you have to do !


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