How to Make a Landscaping Estimate

creating landscaping estimates

In 2020, the landscaping industry lost a lot of money – $1.84 trillion – due to wrong data. This fact shows how crucial it is to make accurate landscaping estimates. Doing so can make your business more profitable and successful.

This guide will show you the important steps to take. You’ll learn how to create a great landscaping estimate. This includes figuring out the project’s scope and what the client needs. You’ll also learn how to calculate costs like materials, labor, and more.

Key Takeaways

  • Accurate landscaping estimates are crucial for maintaining a profitable business, as the industry lost $1.84 trillion globally in 2020 due to bad data.
  • Understanding the project scope and client requirements is the foundation for creating a comprehensive landscaping estimate.
  • Calculating overhead, material, subcontractor, and labor costs are essential components of a detailed landscaping estimate.
  • Utilizing landscaping cost calculators, estimate templates, and industry data can help streamline the estimating process.
  • Continuously refining the estimating process based on past project analysis can lead to improved accuracy and profitability.

Establish a Project Plan

Before you estimate a landscaping project, make sure you know what your client wants. Talk to them about the style they’re looking for and the features they need. Also, find out about their budget.

Determine Project Scope and Client Requirements

Ask your client questions to understand their vision for their landscape. Know what look they want, what is essential, and any extra wishes. This discussion will set the project’s scope and inform your estimate.

Visit the Job Site and Take Measurements

It’s critical to visit the project site. Measure the area, noting its features and any challenges. This data is crucial for your project plan and cost calculation.

Develop a Comprehensive Plan

Now, with the client’s needs and the site’s details, create a plan. List all needed materials and costs for labor, like plants, patios, and water systems. A detailed plan ensures your estimate covers everything.

Successful landscaping estimates require deep client understanding, thorough site assessment, and a complete plan. Take all necessary steps for a detailed and accurate landscaping estimate that satisfies your client.

landscaping cost calculators

Calculate Project Costs

To make a profitable landscaping estimate, you need to start with the project costs. Besides material prices, consider overhead costs that make up 20% or more of your earnings. Look at these expenses, like rent and salaries, to figure out the big picture.

Don’t forget the materials needed, such as plants and mulch. Get quotes from subcontractors for their services. Include the time and effort you’ll put in and the wages of local landscaping workers.

Estimate Overhead Costs

Expenses like insurance and rent add up. When making your estimate, set aside at least 20% of your earnings for these costs.

Determine Material Costs

Plants, mulch, and more will make up a big part of your costs. Think about exactly what you need and look up current prices. This will help you find out the total cost for materials.

Calculate Subcontractor Costs

For tasks like electric work, you’ll likely need to hire experts. Ask your reliable subcontractors for quotes. Include any extra charges you’ll need for managing their work.

Estimate Time and Labor Costs

Plan out how much time and work you’ll need. Think about your pay and what other workers make around you. Consider the project’s complexity and if you need to work extra hours to finish on time.

Landscaping Element Price Range
Professional Landscape Architectural Design $0 – $1,250, $1,250 – $2,250, $2,250 – $5,000
Planting $0 – $6,000, $6,000 – $15,000, $15,000 – $40,000
Water Feature $0 – $3,000, $3,000 – $10,000, $10,000 – $40,000
Retainment Walls $0 – $2,000, $2,000 – $7,000, $7,000 – $14,000
New Lawn $0 – $5,000, $5,000 – $9,500, $9,500 – $16,000
Hardscape $0 – $7,500, $7,500 – $15,000, $15,000 – $25,000
Outdoor Kitchen $0 – $12,500, $12,500 – $18,000, $18,000 – $35,000
Outdoor Fire Feature $0 – $9,000, $9,000 – $12,500, $12,500 – $16,000
Outdoor Fireplace $0 – $25,000, $25,000 – $30,000, $30,000 – $35,000
Low Voltage Lighting $0 – $6,000, $6,000 – $8,500, $8,500 – $12,500
Pavilions $0 – $25,000, $25,000 – $55,000
Pergolas $0 – $12,500, $12,500 – $55,000

Include all these factors for a solid landscaping estimate. Doing so will put your business on a clear path to success.

landscaping cost calculator

creating landscaping estimates

If you work in landscaping, getting estimates right is key. This applies to all jobs, big or small. Good estimates help you manage costs, meet client expectations, and ensure your project is a success.

Choosing the right markup is important. For jobs at people’s homes, a 15-20% markup is often recommended. For bigger commercial jobs, aim for a 10-15% markup. This way, you stay profitable and offer fair prices.

Being up-to-date with local pricing is crucial for staying competitive. This includes using landscaping cost calculators and checking landscape design pricing in your area. Proper research helps you offer honest, standard pricing.

Include sales tax in your estimate. It shows the full cost to your client upfront, avoiding surprises later on.

Using a landscaping estimate template can make your job easier. It helps you keep track of costs, such as labor and materials, and make sure nothing is missed. This shows your professionalism and expertise.

A detailed estimate wins you projects and sets you up for success. Carefully Reviewing project details, calculating costs, and presenting an impressive estimate makes your Local Landscaping Pros business look good.

“Underestimating time and labor is a common mistake in landscaping job estimation. Conducting a thorough evaluation of the project is necessary to avoid errors in landscaping job estimation.” – Fred Haskett, Industry Expert with 43+ Years of Experience

To improve your estimates, follow these tips:

  • Use landscaping cost calculators and yard maintenance quote templates to simplify things
  • Look at landscape contractor bids and garden service estimates in your area for fair pricing
  • Factor in any hidden costs like fixing equipment or buying more materials
  • Use outdoor project quote tools to clearly show what the project includes
  • Consult hardscaping price guides to figure out the cost of things like pavers or walls
  • Keep current with the industry, including sod installation costs, to make accurate estimates

Following these practices will help you give great value to your clients. It will also help your Local Landscaping Pros business grow and succeed.


Getting landscaping projects right is key for your business success. This guide will help you make detailed and profitable estimates. This will impress clients and keep your business strong. Always look for ways to make your estimating better by using the right tools and data.

Take your company to the next level by making the most of the landscaping industry. Use ready-made templates to save time and make your work look professional. Think about the environment, what the clients like, and design styles. This way, you can create plans that not only meet but go beyond what clients expect.

Keep an eye on what’s new in the industry to make sure your estimates are on point and stand out. Use technology and templates to make your job easier. This will help your business grow and be successful in the landscaping market.


What are the essential steps to create an effective landscaping estimate?

The key steps for a good landscaping estimate are simple. First, know what the client wants and the project’s scale. Then, visit the site for measurements. Next, create a detailed plan. Calculate all costs like materials and labor. Finally, add a markup to make a profit.

Why is it crucial to have a conversation with the client before starting the estimate?

It’s very important to talk with the client first. This step helps you really understand what they need. It allows you to make a solid plan and provide an accurate cost forecast.

How can accurately calculating project costs help ensure a profitable landscaping business?

Getting the project costs right is key for your business to make money. If you don’t, you could lose cash. By being precise, your business can stay in the green. This is crucial for success.

What is the recommended markup for landscaping projects?

For residential jobs, a 15-20% markup is standard. For commercial work, shoot for a 10-15% markup. These marks keep you competitive and profitable. Remember, the goal is to make a fair profit while staying attractive to clients.

Why is it important to research your competitors’ pricing?

Knowing what your competitors charge is vital. It helps you set prices that are competitive while covering your costs. In the end, this keeps your clients happy and your business thriving.

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