Return to the Professional Gardener Forum | Post a Follow-Up

help with commercial pricing???

Posted by dcdesign new york (My Page) on
Wed, Apr 25, 07 at 16:16

I am a landscape designer, residential.. but have just been landed this huge job..

i have been asked to design the communal spaces for a new condo of 100 apartments ..

i have no idea what to charge for concept /design.. can anyone help?


Follow-Up Postings:

RE: help with commercial pricing???

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Wed, Apr 25, 07 at 19:36

Well, have they defined the scope of the work, or is that up to you?
It should not be a mystery if you know what the work entails. If you don't know what the work entails you should define it and price out what you have defined for the scope of work.

What about it leaves you feeling like you don't know what to charge?

RE: help with commercial pricing???

I usually charge a flat fee for my residential designs...commercial is sometimes more difficult to estimate. Are you and your clients comfortable with quoting an hourly rate and "guesstimate" of the time it may take for a concept? That way you have a bit of a "fudge" factor if it takes more or less time than you thought.

RE: help with commercial pricing???

Who would charge an hourly rate for a design project? Can't imagine that.

Just make sure that you know FOR CERTAIN what your fee covers. Some clients think that they will be entitled to twenty complete changes, lol! (Commercial clients can be especially difficult, sometimes.)

RE: help with commercial pricing???

  • Posted by laag z6CapeCod (My Page) on
    Sat, Apr 28, 07 at 7:59

"make sure that you know FOR CERTAIN what your fee covers"

The best way to do that is to write the contract yourself. This is one of those things that separates someone who can do good design work from someone who is a professional designer. Designing is only a part of the business.

On the Design Forum it has been asked several times "what do I get from a professional designer?". The amazing thing is that a lot of people respond with a list of what they think is some standard things that are to be received from each and every landscape designer on each and every landscape design.

It is a good practice to prewrite several hypothetic contracts and reread and rewrite them looking for holes in them and look for things that make a client feel uncertain. The best contract is one where both parties can clearly see the limitations and responsibilities of the other.

I like to define the job in terms of specific areas on the property, a generalization of what the design will include, how many meetings, how many revisions, what sheets will be included in the set of plans, and hourly rates for things that are not covered in the contract.

If you don't do these things in a contract and you include a patio, are you then required to draw up a cross section detail and specifications for that? Maybe you don't think so, but maybe your client does. You spend three weeks designing a landscape and then the home owner sees something on HGTV and has to have it, but you have to redesign half the project to make it work. How do you cover it in a contract? You have to think about these things.

Who owns the plans when complete? How many sets of plans do they get? What happens when the architect changes the building half way through your design because the planning board did not accept the original? .... Do you have to go to the regulatory boards and present your plans?

If the other party has a contract for you to sign, you have to watch out that things are not too general. "Meet with the general contractor to discuss revisions" might make you think that means one time, but it does not. You might go to ten meetings. Revise the plan - how many times and to what level of satisfaction?

It is not easy, but designing a contract is like designing a landscape. You assess the situation, the people's needs, what you can do to make it sell, what you can do to make it work well for you, and put it all together.

 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!

Return to the Professional Gardener Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.

Learn more about in-text links on this page here