How to price hardscapes by the sq ft.

After a while of running your lawn care business, you may be interested in expanding to offer landscape and hardscape services. Pricing such jobs can be challenging especially when you have no previous work experience. That is the situation one lawn care business owner ran into when he post his hardscape bidding question on the Gopher Lawn Care Business Forum.

He wrote “I’m just getting started in offering hardscape services. I have a good group of guys that know what there doing for the most part. I have been doing landscaping for many years and just wanted to add this to my list of things. Is there such a thing as a going rate for hardscapes per sqft? I’d like to specifically focus on building patios and walkways.”

One landscaping business owner shared his advice and wrote “On average in my state and this may differ from yours but the price range is between $17.00 -$22.00 per square foot. If you are using some of the thicker pavers, you will have to adjust your price to accommodate the added expense. Also consider getting certified through the Interlocking Concrete Pavement Institute. It will help a lot. It’s a 2 day class with a test at the end. And it is certainly not an easy test. You really have to put the time in and study for it. One of the many benefits of this course is once you pass, they will list your company’s name on their website and customers can actually go to the site and see how a patio is suppose to be done.

One thing you have to keep in mind is when the economy slows, it changes the way contractors have to price jobs. People will shop the work around more and have the upper edge. They will get 6-8 estimates and play your price against others. There are many great ICPI certified hardscape companies out there with expensive equipment that are just not working. So if you want to compete with them you will probably have to do hardscape work at a lower price per square foot than the industry has been used to.

Another thing you need to keep in mind is people would rather deal with one company that can handle all their property care needs. I feel by offering more services than the other guy, it will keep you in the top three of the customer’s choice. Beyond that though it’s anybody’s guess as to who the customer will ultimately go with.

I have also found on on large jobs, customers become weirder. You wouldn’t believe how they will jump ship in order to save a small amount of money. So far, my formula for success has been great work, at an affordable price and make sure the customers on the street know your logo.”

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