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How would you quote this yard?

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  • How would you quote this yard?

    OK guys, this is my first big yard and I need help on how to quote it. The lawn and trim isn't the problem, it's the 400 plus small plants, shubs, bushes and small trees on the property. I tried to per bush quote according to size but the customer seems to be having a problem comprehending the concept it seems. I tried to explain that they don't need to be hedged or pruned every week and not all at the same time. The bushes are all around the house, up and down the long driveway and there are multi-level beds in the backyard from the house down to the pool that have either hedges or seperate shrubs. Bushes anywhere from 1' tall to 15' tall. And with all of the beds, there will be weeds that need to kept up with too.

    Just a few pics of some of the landscaping.







    And they want this ornimental grass cut short, what is the best way to tackle that, hedger?


    How would you Quote all this in the way the customer can understand?


    Oh and the lawns add up to 9000 sq ft with 986' of trim but that was the easy part.

    Thanks for the help and input.
    Attached Files

  • #2
    From what I see, it looks like a big job. The kind of job one could get themselves into trouble with pretty quickly if they underbid.

    Have you considered coming up with how much the customer would pay per week for property maintenance and then just divide that by your hourly rate and just work there X amount of hours maximum per week.

    It seems like it will be an ongoing battle maintaining this property.

    Then at least you can start figuring out how much time it would really take and if you get any properties like this in the future, you would then be better experienced to bid them.

    What's your view on that?
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    • #3
      Is there 400 for sure, or are you just guessing? If so I wouldnt touch it for less than $400 per month. Maybe more. I have had properties like this before and you end up spending tons of time there. DO NOT UNDERBID. Overbid if you have to. You may get lucky and get it anyway. Have you asked them why they are hiring someone knew to do the landscape?

      And yes hedge the ornamental grass.
      Northern California

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      • #4
        Is there 400 for sure, or are you just guessing? If so I wouldnt touch it for less than $400 per month. Maybe more. I have had properties like this before and you end up spending tons of time there. DO NOT UNDERBID. Overbid if you have to. You may get lucky and get it anyway. Have you asked them why they are hiring someone knew to do the landscape?

        And yes hedge the ornamental grass.
        The count is a guestimate but there is allot that I didn't show in pictures.

        They're looking for help, he's is getting too old to keep up with it anymore.

        Your $400 a month is including the grass too or just keeping up with the bushes?

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        • #5
          Like I said, maybe more. I overlooked the lawn part. It is definitely something I would have to look at in person to get an idea how long it would take.
          Northern California

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          • #6
            WOW!!! I really thought I would get more ideas or opinions than this!

            Maybe everyone is just too busy cutting grass or hedging or something....

            Steve, I have asked what the customer thinks they would spend a week but I have gotten no answer. And I'm afraid that $4800 a year just for bushes may scare them away but I was hoping to hear more from others on this board that may have experienced properties like this one.

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            • #7
              Here is an idea.

              Pay yourself $40/hr

              Estimate how long it will take you to do ONE bush, then multiply that by the amount of bushes they have (give or take on the sizes)

              Lets say you can do 3 in one hour, you made $40.00

              Now you have 3 bushes left to cut, 2 of them are the same size as the previous bushes you cut, the other 1 bush is double the size.

              average bush = 20 mins
              average bush = 20 mins
              big bush (double the size of the average bush): 40 mins

              adds up to 80 mins, PLUS the bushes you already cut

              80 + 60 mins = 140 minutes

              140 minutes divided by 1 hour = 2.33

              2.33 multiplied by $40.00 = 93.33

              93.33 is funny money, no one likes to break a bill or look for change, so now you can round up the total to $100.00



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              • #8
                Here is an idea.

                Pay yourself $40/hr

                Estimate how long it will take you to do ONE bush, then multiply that by the amount of bushes they have (give or take on the sizes)

                Lets say you can do 3 in one hour, you made $40.00

                Now you have 3 bushes left to cut, 2 of them are the same size as the previous bushes you cut, the other 1 bush is double the size.

                average bush = 20 mins
                average bush = 20 mins
                big bush (double the size of the average bush): 40 mins

                adds up to 80 mins, PLUS the bushes you already cut

                80 + 60 mins = 140 minutes

                140 minutes divided by 1 hour = 2.33

                2.33 multiplied by $40.00 = 93.33

                93.33 is funny money, no one likes to break a bill or look for change, so now you can round up the total to $100.00



                Was this helpful?
                That sounds good, thanks, so how would you quote them monthly or annually?

                They are looking for annual contract quote for lawn & bush grooming and weed care in planters. Mulching, fertilizing etc will not be included in the annual quote, will be charged as needed.

                Would you have a blanket price in the contract or a statement how the bush grooming will be charged out? I have tried the statement thing but that was hard for them to understand for some reason, my guess is that they have a quote from someone else that has a blanket price for bush grooming.

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                • #9
                  They are looking for annual contract quote for lawn & bush grooming and weed care in planters. Mulching, fertilizing etc will not be included in the annual quote, will be charged as needed.
                  I would be very concerned about giving them an annual contract quote until I actually serviced the property a few times and covered everything to see how long it really took me.

                  But that's just my view.
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                  • #10
                    I agree, I have already gotten myself into trouble this year servicing a property like this. I ended up with a second property like it, and decided to go the hourly rate. After careful calculation on the first property I figure I'm lucky to be walking away with 40-50 bucks after the extensive work. A whole lot different when I quoted hourly. I went high and was surprised that they jumped at 40 per hour on the new location. After this year prices will be going up on the first one, and if I don't get the job, HONESTLY NO LOSS.

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                    • #11
                      I agree, I have already gotten myself into trouble this year servicing a property like this.
                      Can you give us a little insight as to what happened? Also how has this effected what you do when bidding on future properties?
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                      • #12
                        I would bid the lawncare seperate and offer a weeding,pruning,trimming, service 1 time a month for an x fee.Do you think spending 1 full day a month there would maintain the bushes etc?.I think by seperating the lawncare and plant care will let the customer know "just how much more work it is to service this property"

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