Landscape plans & clients

Dee67March 1, 2013

Just curious how you handle your landscaping plans with perspective clients? I design, & install.When I first got in the biz, I would manually lay out plans, meet with the client to explain them, the give them a copy to decide, then after not hearing from them, even with a follow-up call, would do a driveby & to my dismay would see MY plans installed or being installed by another landscaper. It didn't take me long to nip this in the bud, so to speak.Now, when I meet with the client & they want a copy, I only oblige when a deposit is paid.If they decide not to use me, then I don't care, I have been paid for my time & expertise.If they do decide to go with me I then deduct the deposit they gave me off the total cost of the job. How does everyone else handle this? Just curious...

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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

Yep, I'd charge a pretty penny for the design, then use it as a portion of the down payment if they use you for the installation. BTW, if a client pays for the design, I'd keep the copy, but give them the original.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 4:48PM
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Dee67

Thanks rhizo_1 for your input. I do charge to make it worth my while & if they use me, I do give them the original.It's bigger. The "working" copy I keep always gets dirt on it anyway. Half the time I don't even use it since it's in my head. I was always a "nice girl" back in the day but it got me nowhere. Then I grew a backbone. I actually had another landscaper wanna be come up to me at a nursery, with plans I had done a year or 2 before. He was young, not real knowledgeable. He asked me a few questions about what the letters stood for on the plans, denoting plants.....Yea, I was a bi&^H & told him, "I'm sorry, I can't help you", & didn't feel bad about that.

    Bookmark   March 4, 2013 at 6:07PM
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rhizo_1 (North AL) zone 7

This has nothing to do with "nice " or "not nice ". It's simply business.

By the way, it's not a bad thing to reach out to the younger and less experienced in ones' field. Just my opinion.

Just a thought, if the clients pay for and now own the plan, do you turn it over to them with a complete legend...one that they and/or the landscaper can read?

This post was edited by rhizo_1 on Tue, Mar 5, 13 at 15:06

    Bookmark   March 5, 2013 at 2:58PM
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Dee67

Sorry if I sounded a bit harsh. I called him a "wanna be" because he was the clients neighbor kid. I have helped real newbies, I don't have a problem with doing that if they are serious about busting into the business.
The clients had the legend (key). I don't know why he didn't have it. Everything is spelled out in black & white. Sorry, forgot to mention that.

    Bookmark   March 6, 2013 at 11:25AM
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gardengal48

I agree with Dorie - this is a business and you should be paid appropriately for your time and skill whether you do the installation or not.

I do design work only. Sometimes for DIY'ers but just as frequently for those hiring the work out. No printed copy of the design leaves my hands until I've been paid. We meet several times during the design process so when I am ready to turn over the printed plans, I am sure they are happy with the final product. Plans come with sufficient supporting data (plant schedule, construction specifications, construction layout and planting plans) so that anyone involved can install, professional or nonprofessional alike.

Unlike Dorie, I always keep the orginal drawings and provide printed copies (like architects do)........you never know when a client will come back several years later and want to make additions to the original design or revamp areas and its a huge convenience NOT to have to reinvent the wheel :-)

As a matter of fact, I am redoing a portion of a design done two years ago........the client, who has a tiny townhouse garden, wants even less lawn than he currently has. The existing plantings will remain unchanged so amending the original drawings to add new planting areas is a piece of cake. Saves me time and saves him money!!

    Bookmark   March 12, 2013 at 3:58PM
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