Do You Know Your Costs? Really?

To reach the best, most competitive estimate you need to determine your costs to perform the work. After you have determined the hours and materials needed to perform the work – in accordance with the job specifications and the customer’s expectations – you need to determine the cost of labor and materials.

The more accurate your cost estimates are, the more accurate your pricing will be.

Click below and watch our 2-minute video to learn these key take-aways:

  • A clear understanding of ALL the costs needed to perform an accurate estimate
  • Knowing your cost structure – including labor and materials

Know Your Costs!

Action Steps:

There are basically two primary costs associated with the estimating process: Labor and Materials.

#1: Labor Costs: Know your HAWs: Hourly Average Wage

Hourly average wage plus burden:

  • Payroll taxes
  • Social Security
  • Worker compensation insurance

Determine HAWs for the foremen through gardener levels for each department as they may be different:

  • Maintenance
  • Enhancement
  • Irrigation
  • Tree Care
  • Snow
  • Installation

Note: On large jobs, use exact wages not company averages.

#2: Material Costs: Know application rates and frequency

  • Fertilizer
  • Pre-emergent weed control
  • Mulch
  • PGR: Plant Growth Regulators
  • Post-emergent weed control: broadleaf, spot spray
  • Minor irrigation parts
  • Trash bags

Even with thorough preparation, some costs may be forgotten. Some common examples include:

  • Travel time
  • Material pick-ups
  • Loading and unloading in the yard and job site
  • Special equipment or tools needed

Ed Laflamme LIC

started his own business from scratch, built it up, sold it and then wrote a book about how he did it. So, he’s been there. He understands your frustrations, worries and concerns. Some of you may want to buy companies, while others may want to sell the one you own. You need expert assessment and guidance before you can move forward. Ed has experience in this area. He is recognized as a CLP: Certified Landscape Professional. Read Ed's full bio.