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Working on a landscape job in high end neighborhood

Discussion in 'Bidding, Estimating and Pricing' started by Hotty Toddy, Oct 27, 2019.

  1. Hotty Toddy

    Hotty Toddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    Good afternoon. I am working on a landscape job in a very nice neighborhood. The homeowner has been in the house just since April. He wants the front landscape completely renovated. That is, everything removed and replaced with more mature size plantings. I've put in 5 hours to date on designing the project which included a 2 hour consultation with him at the nursery where I get my plants.

    Plants to be removed -- two 7' Emerald Green arborvitae, 4 azaleas, 10 Knockout roses, 4 boxwoods, 2 4'x4' evergreen bushes (not sure of the species), a dozen or so liriopes.

    Estimated 4 yards of soil to be brought in to fill the expanded beds (bed expansion is not part of my bid; he did this part himself). Will also add a ~400 lb natural boulder into the landscape.

    Plants to be installed with prices --


    I am solo. I'm trying to estimate how long it will take me to do the removal and disposal and then the installation. I've never subcontracted out and part of a job before, but I know I will need help putting in the 30 gallon hollies and positioning the 400 pound boulder. I know people in the industry who would be willing to give me a hand on those items. I've just never had to do it before. I can handle the rest of the installation.

    All plants and the boulder will be delivered to the site. They will unload the boulder in the location where it will stay, but the positioning might need tweaking as the plantings come together.

    Is this the type of job one would say, "I'd like to profit $5K on this job" and quote accordingly?

    What would you want to profit on such a job?
  2. windflower

    windflower LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,416

    I'd do it retail price + labor including time spent so far. On flat ground with good access I think less than 2 days. Any mulch?
    You can roll the hollies on their sides or use a cart to move them without help. Just make sure the hole is the right size. Would be a pain to get out if needed.
  3. OP
    Hotty Toddy

    Hotty Toddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    I think at least two days, if not more.

    I think the POA will mulch, unless he doesn’t trust them to do it.
  4. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,137

    Installs are not out bread and butter. But we do them usually for existing customers. Just finished an around the pool install of 5 Hicks yews, 2 rosemary, double layer of commercial fabric, 3 tons of Base rock and 3 tons (aprox it was 3 pallets) of decorative river rock (2 at 1 to 3" and one small under 1" to fill in. All of this in a 425 sq ft area and end capped it with metal edging. Seems simple right? Took 35 man hours. $3000 was the price I bid and got. Only monkey wrench was I went to pick up the 15 gal yews and they had sold out. Had to wait 2 weeks for another shipment. We had only 3' clearance between the pool and fence. Tight work.
    Doc8406 likes this.
  5. OP
    Hotty Toddy

    Hotty Toddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    What was your profit?
  6. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,137

    I'm very happy. Customers very happy. PM me.
    hort101 likes this.
  7. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,137

  8. TPendagast

    TPendagast LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 17,238

    You don’t have any labor on that quote
    You’ve just got material markup

    a bench Mark is materials times 2.5 to 3

    so if you had 2 grand in materials
    Job should be 5 to 6 grand installed - price to end user.

    you should always have a 20% mark up (or more on material)
    Make sure you are charging for expediting and procurement (shopping, delivery, storage and maintenance of materials before installation )
    Make sure your labor for each item is sufficient
    Make sure you add in a percentage for warranty (10-30% depending on how perishable/susceptible material is ... boulders don’t need warranty... paver walks only need 10%... hollys in a breeze way 30%)
    Also don’t forget labor and dump fees for demo and preparation.
    Materials like soil, mulch/ground cover and fertilizer tabs or duckbills/tree staking)

    20-25% is a good goal for profit
    So if it’s a $6000 job, your profit will be $2000-$1800.00

    with only $2000 in materials, this isn’t a Jon where you are going to pocket $5000
  9. kemco

    kemco LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,137

    We charge retail. We buy wholesale. I charge for my time to and from nursery as well as time to get them load and unload. Do the same it's your billable hours.
    Jeff@diyokc likes this.
  10. OP
    Hotty Toddy

    Hotty Toddy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 335

    Do you mean 2.5-3x wholesale or retail?

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