Once you begin taking maintenance bids for your commercial property, one thing will become clear: nothing costs the same. Why would one company’s landscape maintenance costs be cheaper than another if they’re providing the same services? The answer is experienced personnel, their expertise and the equipment they use. Retaining crews with well-trained, dependable people costs money, as does keeping equipment up-to-date and properly maintained.
If you receive a bid for landscape maintenance costs that is suspiciously low, beware. That landscaper may be trying to undercut the other bids to get the contract, and it will be your landscape that pays the consequences. We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again: You get what you pay for. Everything has a cost―dependable crews, equipment upkeep and upgrades, and supplies like mulch and fertilizer―and we all buy from the same suppliers for the same price. So it’s easy to see that a landscaper with a low bid for landscaping costs is going to have to cut corners somewhere. What if that corner was insurance? If something gets damaged or someone gets hurt, if it’s on your property and they don’t have insurance, you’ll be liable.
A good landscape company will understand that you have a budget for landscaping costs and should be able to work with you to find a solution to help you stay within that budget. Of course, this won’t mean he’ll be cut his prices. Your landscaper has a business to run. What it will mean is there will be a scaleback of services. Maybe you’ll cut back on flowers or perhaps you’ll schedule less frequent mowings. As long as you both come up with realistic expectations for landscaping costs, you’ll both be satisfied.
What kinds of things affect your landscaping costs?
The size of your property. If there’s more to maintain, there’s a higher cost.
Mowings. The more you mow, the more you pay.
Pruning. Pruning is a vital part of keeping your plants healthy and keeping them from becoming overgrown and unsightly, but it may cost more during the dormancy season.
Cleanups. In the fall, some businesses will want one clean up of leaves while another may want to keep the leaves off their turf all season long, which will add to mowing costs.
Lawn care. Taking care of your lawns means more than mowing them. Fertilization, pest control, weed control, and fuel all affect landscaping costs.
Plantings. Flowers that are annuals will drive up costs so you may want to consider perennials, especially native ones because they require less maintenance and use few resources. You may want to consider spacing them further apart which will use fewer plants and will take less time to install.
Irrigation. Irrigation systems should be checked regularly and drained and blown out before each winter. It’s also worth noting that a lawn that receives frequent waterings grows faster and will require more frequent mowings and add to your landscape cost.
Landscaping materials. The prices for different types of mulch can vary depending on what material you use. Some is more expensive but won’t need yearly replacement.
Weather. If nice weather extends the growing season and things don’t begin to cool off when they should, your grass will want to stay at the party and will put off dormancy. You’ll need more mowings than expected.
Repairs. Extras like repairs will cost more. If you’re looking for a new landscaper because yours was doing a crappy job, you should expect to pay more to bring it up to par, as well as to maintain it to meet your expectations.
Desired Customer Service. If you require more visits from your account manager, this could increase the cost some. In order to maintain properties, we perform regular inspections but the occurrences are related to the size of the contract. If you have a small location but want to see your account manager 2 times a week, this would be considered a special request.
Comparing bids for landscaping costs is like comparing apples and…more expensive apples. The typical difference between bids could vary as much as 20%. It’s important that the bids you receive are specific. The number of mows, costs for materials used, all plantings, and seasonal cleanups. Everything you want to be done should be included so you can compare pricing equally. If you and your landscape representative have a clear and detailed contract that includes all services to be performed so that all expectations are met.
A landscaper is not just a mowing company. If you want a beautiful and professional landscape, you have to hire a contractor that can do it all. At Bluegrass, we know that good communication is the key to a trusting and productive relationship with our clients. Each of our clients has their own dedicated account manager to help devise a clear and detailed bid of landscape cost for a maintenance program catered to your property’s needs and work with you to stay within your budget. If issues arise, your account manager is merely a phone call away to handle things quickly and efficiently. Call Bluegrass today at (314) 770-2828.