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How to Price Landscaping Job in 6-Easy Steps
How to Price Landscaping Job in 6-Easy Steps
How to Price Landscaping Job in 6-Easy Steps

How to Price Landscaping Job in 6-Easy Steps


Published on October 12, 2023

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Landscape jobs can be difficult to price due to their unique and variable nature. Unlike certain service industries, landscaping projects exhibit a wide range of pricing factors, which include property type, materials, workforce size, specific client requests, and the ever-evolving market dynamics.

Furthermore, these projects often tend to grow in complexity, leading to unexpected cost escalations that can erode your profit margins.

The good news is that it's entirely possible to master the art of accurately pricing and quoting landscape jobs to ensure that you not only cover your costs but also generate a healthy profit. This resource is here to guide you through this process.

Are you ready to begin? Let's dive in.

Also read: how to get started with the landscaping business 

  1. Crafting a project blueprint

The initial step in the pricing and estimation process is to engage with the client effectively. Open a dialogue and gather essential information. Among the crucial inquiries you should pose, the client's budget stands out, as it serves as a pivotal determinant of project feasibility and the subsequent allocation of estimation resources.

To gain a thorough understanding of the project, it's imperative to personally inspect the job site. Measuring the area provides valuable insights into the space you'll be working with and enables you to identify potential challenges or opportunities for additional services that could be presented to the client.

Formulating a comprehensive plan for project execution is vital. This plan should encompass considerations such as the selection of materials, the involvement of subcontractors, and any additional labor requirements. It's important to acknowledge that hardscape elements, such as walls, pathways, and architectural structures, tend to be costlier.

Factors to take into account and their impact on the client's budget include:

  • The client's desired landscaping style or design (e.g., Japanese, modern, tropical)

  • Specific features were requested, such as a stone pathway.

  • The types of plants and materials necessary

  • The project's location (e.g., remote areas may require additional logistics)

  • Soil quality and whether soil removal or addition is necessary.

  • The choice between sod installation and seeding

  • The need for land grading or re-sloping.

  • The current condition of the yard

  1. Calculate Your Labor Costs

To gauge the project's expected duration. Multiply this timeframe by the number of team members assigned to the job to arrive at the total labor hours needed. For instance, if six team members spend 40 hours on the project, this would amount to 240 labor hours.

Pro Tip: If you're new to the business or have a newly formed team, consider employing time-tracking software to meticulously record the time each crew member devotes to individual tasks. This data can serve as a valuable reference for estimating the duration of upcoming landscaping projects

  1. Calculating material costs

With a project plan established in the initial step, determining the material costs becomes a straightforward task. You should already have a clear inventory of the materials to be used in the project. However, it's essential to inquire whether the client intends to supply any materials themselves, allowing you to exclude them from your estimate.

Ensure that you account for various material expenses, such as:

  • Lawn seed

  • Mulch

  • Floodlights

  • Lawnmowers

  • Trees, plants, and other vegetation

  • CementPatio pavers

  • Lawn treatments

  • Compost

  • Hoses

  • Gravel and boulders

  • Equipment rentals

Calculate the required quantities based on your site measurements. This will provide you with the total material cost, which should be added to the overall project expenses.

  1. Breakdown your overhead expenses 

Overhead expenses encompass a wide range of operational costs for your landscaping business, including office rent, advertising, legal fees, telephone and internet bills, utilities, insurance, and accountant fees. These costs are not directly tied to a specific job but are crucial for the smooth functioning of your business. It is vital to account for these overhead expenses in each project's pricing to ensure sustained profitability.

Follow these four steps to calculate the portion of overhead costs to be allocated to each job:

  • Calculate your weekly overhead expenses (let's assume it's $1,000).

  • Determine the total weekly labor hours worked, for example, 100 hours.

  • Divide the weekly overhead cost by the hours worked to derive an hourly overhead cost ($1,000/100 = $10). 

  • This figure signifies that for each labor hour, you need to charge $10 to cover your overhead expenses.

  • Multiply the hourly overhead cost by the total man-hours required for the job ($10 * 240 hours = $2,400). This amount should be incorporated into the project's pricing to recover your overhead costs.

  1. Determine your comprehensive project cost

Combine your labor, material, and overhead costs to ascertain the overall project expenditure:

  • Labor: $3,952.80

  • Materials: $3,500.00

  • Overhead: $2,400.00

  • Total project cost: $9,852.80

  1. Apply Your Markup

It's essential to remember that overhead costs should not be included in your markup. Instead, your markup should be added to the total cost of performing the job, ensuring that you consistently generate a profit.

For residential landscaping projects, it's recommended to apply a markup of at least 15% to 20%, while for commercial landscaping projects, a slightly lower markup of 10% to 15% is advisable. This distinction is due to the heightened competitiveness in the commercial sector, necessitating more competitive pricing to secure contracts.

In the case of maintenance landscaping, both residential and commercial work can accommodate a markup ranging from 10% to 12%.

If you have a track record of delivering exceptional results and have received favorable feedback from clients, you may consider increasing your profit margin to reflect the quality of your work. Naturally, it's vital to conduct a competitive analysis by comparing your costs to those of your closest competitors to maintain a competitive advantage.

Flat-Rate Pricing:

Simplified Pricing: Flat-rate pricing is a model that considers labor costs, materials, and overhead to establish a fixed price for a landscaping job. Customers pay this set rate regardless of the hours worked on the project.

Menu of Add-Ons: It allows you to offer customers a menu of add-ons and upgraded landscaping services. Clients can include these additional services with the original job, eliminating the need for creating new estimates and invoices for each project. This streamlines administrative tasks and saves valuable time.

Customer Peace of Mind: Flat-rate pricing provides customers with the assurance of knowing the total cost upfront. They can expect a set price for the completed job, which eliminates any uncertainties. For landscaping businesses, it also offers financial predictability.

Invest in Software: To enhance accuracy when using flat-rate pricing, investing in landscape estimating and invoicing software can be beneficial. This software aids in more precise cost estimation.

Preliminary Evaluation: A critical component of flat-rate pricing is conducting a thorough evaluation of the project upfront. A precise assessment of the job is necessary to ensure accurate pricing. Failing to do so could lead to working long hours without adequate compensation.

Applicability to Tree Services: Many tree service jobs also follow the flat-rate pricing model, where the cost is quoted as one flat rate for the entire service.

Consider Job Complexity: While flat-rate pricing works well for many projects, it's essential to understand the average time and materials required for each type of job. Complex projects with extensive labor, time, and material requirements may be more suited for a hybrid pricing model.

Hybrid Pricing:

Combine Hourly and Flat-Rate Models: Hybrid pricing involves a combination of hourly and flat-rate approaches for pricing landscaping jobs. This hybrid model aims to provide more accurate pricing without compromising profitability, helping you achieve your financial goals.

Tailored Approach: Some landscapers opt for an hourly rate model for large and complex jobs while using flat-rate pricing for smaller, simpler tasks such as lawn mowing, tree removal, and sprinkler maintenance. This tailored approach ensures that you charge appropriately for the nature of the work.

Preliminary Inspection: Regardless of the project's size, a preliminary inspection to evaluate the problem and determine the solution is crucial. Hybrid pricing allows you to charge an additional fee for the inspection, particularly for smaller jobs, while waiving it for more substantial projects.

Enhanced Focus on Quality: Hybrid pricing reduces the customer's inclination to watch the clock, giving you the space to focus on delivering high-quality work.

Your work truly commences once you've submitted your quote, but it doesn't conclude there. It's vital to follow up with the client, leaving a positive impression, staying at the forefront of their minds, and enhancing your chances of securing the deal.

This is why Cloodot provides quote follow-up features that enable you to automatically send emails and texts to potential clients who have not yet approved a quote. Cloodot offers a range of Software as a Service (SaaS) products that harness the power of AI and automation technologies, assisting businesses in streamlining and simplifying their customer experience management through reviews and messaging.

For more information about Cloodot, we invite you to engage in a conversation with our experts or sign up to explore our services and learn more. We are here to assist you in the way that suits you best

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An all-in-one reputation marketing software to automatically generate, monitor and market reviews for your businesses.

© Copyright 2023, All Rights Reserved by Cloodot

An all-in-one reputation marketing software to automatically generate, monitor and market reviews for your businesses.

© Copyright 2023, All Rights Reserved by Cloodot