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Will you also install these?

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Stinger, Jul 25, 2001.

  1. Stinger

    Stinger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Good high end residental job with hard and softscape installs. I have a landscape design drafted. But before she agrees to my proposal the lady wants to know if I can install her own plants that she purchased for her, not all just a few. Yeah I KNOW how this works. I give a little and she wants more, and more and more in return. We (landscapers) make money selling plants thats part of the gig. Like would someone take parts to a mechanic and expect him to fix your car for his time alone, I dont think so. What are some of your policies and/or responces to a client with a situation like this? :dizzy:
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    I don't run into that exact thing too often, so I don't have a hard and fast policy. But I'd give her a bid to plant them. Charge what you need to, and don't guarantee the plants. She bought 'em, you don't know their condition, whether they've been cooking in the sun for a week, etc.

    Just like transplanting existing plants. We'll do it, but we don't guarantee an outcome.
  3. CMerLand

    CMerLand LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 393

    Im exactly in this ladies position for a job at my house. I need to have my driveway repaved with asphalt. Have called a couple of companies for bids and asked for them two ways. One for total cost and one if we do the demolition and removal of the existing driveway.

    Why would I pay someone to remove and haul the existing when I have two dump trucks and a backhoe here??? On top of that work is slow right now due to the lack of rain. I need someone to approve the base and lay the backtop, and bill me for their work. Im not looking for cheaper work, just can perform this portion of it myself and demolition is something my guys have a knack for.

    I agree with stonehedges post. Give her a price on what it will cost, tell her to have the plants there the day you plant, make your money and be done with it. Just because you cant gouge her on markup is no reason not to give the customer what they want.

  4. kutnkru

    kutnkru LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,662

    As a matter of fact we do. :D

    In reference to your question I would do just as the others have suggested. Give her a price for the installation of her specimens above and beyond but guarantee nothing.

  5. Andrew Hardscape

    Andrew Hardscape LawnSite Member
    Messages: 37

    This industry is all about selling labor production hours. Don't worry if a client supplies this or that unless liability is a factor). All that matters is that we crank out the production hours required to recover all yearly operating costs plus make a net profit.

    Yes provide no warranty for "self supplied" plants, as well as transplanted plants.

    Many landscapers think they need to mark up materials some crazy percentages. We are not in the retail business. As I mentioned we are in the labor rental and equipment rental business, just many a folk do not realize this!

    As long as you get the hourly per man hour rate required to recover overhead, AFTER material, labor, and equipment expenses, you will be allright.

    I know this is slightly off subject! But it does tie into the question. You just need to have a budget and recovery system in place to make it all flow together.

    Remember...its all about selling production hours.
  6. Stinger

    Stinger LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    Thanks for the advice all! I was just going into this with a closed minded approach. We agreed on a price with no gurantee for the outcome of (her) plants to be installed and she signed my proposal to boot! Now I have another golden oppertunity to profit, thanks for the replies.
  7. gusbuster

    gusbuster LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,931

    charge her a per plant charge for gl or 5 gl or a per flat charge for other plants.Your in the business to make money. If this person has a problem with this, time for a new client.
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Messages: 10,178

    i try to stick to my guns on this type of negotiation. i think we do make money on materials, labor, and equipment. all of it. afterall, i have had a customer ask me how much to apply fert w/crabgrass, say 8,000 sq. ft. my cost for this product is about $11, i charge about $55-$65, and it takes about 10 min for the application. if i agreed to let her buy the product, could i really charge her around $50 for labor for the 10-15 min. it would seem outragous. when we do a job we do it all, we sell materials, labor, equipment, as well as knowledge and experience. i dont want to do a job then not guarentee it, it can only lead to problems if something dies. but, if u must work under her conditions, by all means guarentee nothing
  9. Bluegrass Group

    Bluegrass Group LawnSite Member
    Messages: 27

    I would figure my cost for the same plants and back that out and charge her the remaining for the install with no warranty. If she looks at the cost difference it should cost her more that way because you should get the plants cheaper than she does. Then it is her choice! I install for customers who have grandpas hydrangea or a plant someone gave her that we can fit into the design because they have to have it. In that case, no problem. Every now and then I run into someone whos' uncle has a nursery and can get plants cheap. They want to supply all the plants and pay me to plant them. I back the plant cost out of my normal install rate and charge them accordingly.
  10. lawnoasis

    lawnoasis LawnSite Member
    from Omaha
    Messages: 16


    We guarntee everything we plant for as long as WE take care of them. (Except for acts of God, or mischief) Just like an insurance policy. Pay your premiums for plant care and replace them should they go belly up.
    You should be able to tell if a plant is going to make it at the time you plant it. Be it soil or surrounding conditions or the condition of the plant.
    This doen't mean that I would automatically guarantee these plants, but the wholesale replacement and keeping a loyal client for referals would be well worth rethinking the idea.

    Lawn Oasis
    Lawn & Landscape, Inc.

    Omaha, NE
    where's the rain?

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