Landscaping contractors create and maintain outdoor spaces for clients in homes, offices, public buildings, parks and other public areas. They carry out a wide variety of tasks, including landscape design, planting, construction of walls and paths, drainage and irrigation, and maintenance of lawns, plants, shrubs and trees. Landscape may carry out design work themselves or work with a landscape architect on more complex projects.
Determine Client’s Needs
To provide an accurate quotation, obtain detailed requirements of the client’s needs. For simple projects, it may be possible to obtain a precise requirement, such as mowing a lawn every two weeks from March to October. If the client is looking for a less specific solution, such as a new look for the garden, spend time guiding the client through a number of options to ensure a firm basis for quoting.
Scope of the Work
When you have established the precise requirements, map out the scope of the work. Introducing a new planting scheme, for example, may involve clearing existing plants, digging the plot, selecting and collecting new plants, and watering and maintenance during the early stages of growth. If the project involves hard landscaping, such as paths or walls, you may have to level large areas, dig foundations, select materials, transport them to the site, hire cement mixers and tools, and carry out construction. Take accurate measurements of the site so you can order the right quantity of materials and allocate sufficient time to complete the project.
Selecting and Pricing Materials
To prepare an accurate quote, calculate the quantity of materials you need and check prices with suppliers. For commodity items such as plants, bricks or compost, look for competitive prices of quality products and ask the supplier for a trade discount. You then can include an accurate price that incorporates a profit margin for your business. Add any delivery charges that apply, particularly if you are ordering specialist products not available from local suppliers.
Labor and Equipment
To calculate the labor requirements, estimate the number of hours you expect to take to complete the job on-site, including a contingency for bad weather or unforeseen problems. Include the time needed to prepare plans and order materials before site work starts. If you are carrying out all the work yourself, base the time estimate on your own hourly rate. If you need to hire additional labor, or specialists such as bricklayers or landscape architects, ask for their hourly rates. List the equipment and tools you will need and add the cost of hiring or buying them.
Present the Quote
Set out all the costs in an itemized list, including any taxes that apply. By showing the scope of the work you are covering, you can avoid any problems that might occur if the client asks for additional tasks or changes the specification while the job is in progress. If the project is complex, include a sketch or design proposal showing the planned result. For larger projects, set out the stage payments you require