For starters, we never take for granted the special challenges you face when bidding on a landscape project. Your customers have high expectations of both you and the end result of the project.
So even the smallest detail can make the difference between a satisfied customer and a former client. Especially when it comes to providing an accurate estimate for the cost of plants.
Green light? Or red light for your project?Having design talent and comprehensive knowledge to recommend the right plant for the right place in a project is a great asset. But your customer wants to know the price of every plant before they commit to installing them.
As the Association of Professional Landscape Designers | APLD points out, accurate and clear project estimates are essential for advancing the landscape design profession and supporting professional practices throughout the industry.
To help you with the formidable task of estimating a project, we offer a few guidelines worth considering to improve the process.
Get clear on where you need to go.Asking specific questions about the project objectives, goals, and budgets with your client will help you determine what will be required from you and your suppliers.
The more detailed you make your inquiries, the more clearly you’ll define the scope of work and the amount of time and resources that will be required to successfully complete the project.
A proven roadmap to success.Putting together an accurate and clear project estimate or proposal is your roadmap to a successful outcome.
In addition to describing the specific services that you will be providing, a timeline and detailed materials breakdown in the estimate will help your customer understand the costs of the job and how each of the components in it adds up to meet the goals and vision of the project.
A plant material estimate as easy as 1-2-3.To help you prepare a professional estimate for the plant material that’s competitive and accurate, we make it easy with our Online Estimate Form. All that you have to do to take advantage of this free, valuable service is follow these simple steps.
1. | Make a complete listWe suggest that as soon as you have an accurate design plan in place, you should prepare a complete list of the plants that will be required for your project—including the exotic or special featured plants that will make your project extraordinary.
2. | Share all the detailsBe sure to include the following information on your list:
A. Plant botanical name — Genus and Species, with Variety and Form if applicable like these examples:
- Plumbago auriculata | Genus & Species
- Pittosporum undulatum Standard | Form
- Camellia sasanqua ‘Setsugekka’ | Variety
- Ligustrum japonicum ‘Texanum’ Cone | Variety & Form
B. Quantity and Size by container or by trunk caliper/tree height if applicable
- Typical container sizes: 1 gal., 2 gal., 5 gal., 15 gal., 24″ box, etc.
- Trunk caliper is measured in inches, tree height in feet
3. | Attach your plant list + submit it
When you have this list assembled in a digital format—like Microsoft Excel, Word or PDF—just attach it to our Online Estimate Form and submit it with your contact information.
Once we receive your request for a plant materials estimate, one of our customer service specialists will confirm receipt and follow up with you if there are any questions or details that need clarification. And as soon as we assemble the pricing for each item, we will send it back to you electronically.
Mitigate surprises + improve satisfaction.
The result of having this information in hand is that you will be able to provide your customer with accurate plant material costs and quantities for their landscape project. It will also help you uncover opportunities or challenges that need to be addressed in order to move the project forward and meet your client’s expectations.
Are you using our online estimate service?
How is the project estimating process working for you? Are you using our Online Estimate Form to assemble accurate costs for your customers? Please share your success or how we can make it even easier for you.
As President of Pacific Nurseries, Don Baldocchi gets satisfaction knowing the Bay Area is greener and more beautiful by helping landscape professionals succeed. Email Don or give him a call at 650.755.2330.