About the Landscape Juice Network

Founded in 2008. The Landscape Juice Network (LJN) is the largest and fastest growing professional landscaping and horticultural association in the United Kingdom.

LJN's professional business forum is unrivalled and open to anyone within within the UK landscape industry

LJN's Business Objectives Group (BOG) is for any Pro serious about building their business.

For the researching visitor there's a wealth of landscaping ideas, garden design ideas, lawn advice tips and advice about garden maintenance.

Help with quote commercial gardening

Hi everyone I have been given the opportunity to give a quote for my first ever commercial job. I can do the job no problem but pricing is a big issue as I usually price up small jobs local gardens etc.

If you can give me a guide on what you would charge that will help massively to see if it's near my number I have in my head. I'm looking at a yearly cost really.


He is going to tender so I don't want to go in way high or way too low also I don't add VAT if that helps cheers 


You need to be a member of Landscape Juice Network to add comments!

Join Landscape Juice Network

Email me when people reply –


  • PRO

    Nobody can tell you what you SHOULD charge. You need to work out what it will cost you to do the work, then how much profit you want to make out if the job. Some will charge more or less than others, I know of companies that charge an extremely low rate on such works, then again I know companies that charge much more than mine! Depends on area, spec and so often on such things whether it is 90 days for payment or payment in arrears.

    • Out of curiosity what would you charge per year if you was to price it. The payments are monthly as one twelfth of the annual quote .

  • PRO

    Calculate your internal charging rate ( see Featured Business Articals in LJN Footer below).

    Decide if your rate includes your Profit element niw, and add to rate (or apply as markup at end)

    Break down the Tender into manageable chunks, measure areas etc and assign your estimated effort for that task * number of events * your charging rate 

    Do the above in a Spreadsheet until you have covered off ALL items.

    Ensure you have mobilisation costs, fuel costs, machinery fuel costs, supplies ( tree straps for instance, green waste costs etc )

    Sum up all items ( add profit if doing it at the end ).

    = Your Price 

    Sit back & tweet & review several times (hence why using Excel or similar is useful.


    Read between the lines in case you’re just being used to ‘price check’ the incumbent contractor 

    Poor tender; suspect inherited by someone that wants a tick list approach rather than doing what’s best for site.

    Make sure your PLI is suitable 

    RAMS documentation if needed ( or at least have to hand to offer)




    The job looks to be quite small actually. There seems to be very little grass to mow for example. It should therefore be quite easy to price. What I would do first is measure the grassed areas. Once you know how many square metres you can easily compare the size to existing jobs you already have. I use this tool for area measurement. Link – https://www.freemaptools.com/area-calculator.htm

     It is very accurate. You can measure this and measure existing work for a comparison.

    The rest is just a case of breaking it all down. You know already what you charge to cut certain hedges you do. Therefore it’s just a case of precedent, or comparison to existing work. If the laurel hedge here is twice as long but the same height as another one you do then it should be twice the price, adjusted of course if you feel you are undercharging the existing one. There is always an opportunity with new work to get the prices right when compared to a similar job where you feel you have undercharged.

    These kinds of contracts always look complicated because everything it itemised, whereas in the real world for example we would never usually separate out strimming from mowing on any given job as we just see it as ‘grass cutting’ and price it as one thing.

    Each itemised job is in itself quite straight forward.

    One other thing to look at is this, many companies, and councils in particular, publish their accounts. Have a look online and see if they have listed the existing contract costs. These can either be listed as the total cost in the annual accounts, or as monthly payments to various contractors.

    Remember that a commercial job like this is no different to a smaller domestic one. It’s just more of the same thing. If you can quote for smaller work than the same principles apply. Also remember that as they want a yearly total price this makes it easier as what you may possibly lose on one thing is easily made up on another.

    Weekly mowing is a good thing as in reality, in low growth times, you can stretch the cuts out a little. You could do them every 9 days at these times and therefore end up doing maybe two or three less cuts over the year. This is when one way to increase profits. Adding a couple of days onto the frequency should have no visible effects at all on weekly cuts in low growth periods.

    Area Calculator Using Maps
    Find an enclosed area using a polyline on a map
    • Thank you for the advice I'm looking at giving them a quote for £8500 

  • PRO

    Can I suggest you pay the money to join the BOG, you would do a lot better posting stuff like this in there.


  • I started a grounds maintenance business some 40 years ago, initially for domestic customers soon realising that there was little money to be made from customers requesting an hourly rate. We now maintain primarily commercial sites of up to 30 acres where a price for 12 months is quoted with payments being made in 12 equal monthly instalments and have used this payment basis for many years, suits us - cash flow all year and suits client who can put the costs in their budgets for 12 months in advance.

    As to pricing your first commercial job - the system we have used for the last 40 years which is obviously successfull and we still use, is ALWAYS visit the site twice as it's possible to miss things on the first visit, try to engage with residents on a site which is residential - invaluable information can often be gained, look at the previous maintenance standards - are the residents happy or do they wish for improvement ? This can often give you the edge over competitors, try to add value at no extra cost to the client but at little cost to yourself EG Top up bark on borders, treat moss on hard surfaces as free extras if they choose you - its not all about price !

    As to the price itself - we calculate the number of hours it will take over the contract period and the mutiply this by what we want to earn per hour, this is simple and on a site of this size be relatively easy to calculate the time it's going to take, don't forget to add anyother costs like bedding plants etc along with the costs of the time taken to collect these from the nursery and the time taken to plant.Try not to get tied up in calculating price per sq metre etc for mowing etc it won't help you !

    Once you have got a commercial site it's easier to get others as it can be used as an example of what you can do. Anything I can help with please reply to this. Good luck. Peter

    Remember there is a contractor already in place - why are they requesting quotes? 



    • thank you for the advice 

  •  8500 seems way too high to me and i do contracts were i there all day long. I would say it could even be under half that price.  

  •  I'll say that I've done sites much bigger than that for under £8000 and still made very good money from them. I'd suggest another site visit or two and take your time walking around imagining the tasks.

This reply was deleted.

Industry Jobs

Head Gardener for Private Estate

The role of the head gardener is the overall maintenance of the gardens, lawns and grounds. When the opportunity arises, parts of the gardens might be redesigned and replanted. The gardens form an essential and much loved part of a private estate. Main Responsibilities: Full management of 2 part-time assistants, including day-to-day supervision and working

Self Employed Gardeners

Grasstex are currently seeking to engage the services of local (West Sussex / South Surrey) gardeners. If you are a new start up looking for more work, or an existing business with the odd spare day to fill, we may have something for you. We have various types of work available to match your skills.


Gardener required I run an established garden maintenance and soft landscaping business based in North London. I have a record of working in the industry and now work with fellow colleagues on domestic gardens. I’ve spent many years studying and training at Capel Manor. I’m looking to grow my business by taking on additional help

female landscaper/project manager – physic garden

Physic Garden – Project Manager / Landscaper Dec 19 – April 20 – part time – project based Freelance fee £8,000 Location – Nelson Lancashire Expressions of interest should include a letter, outline of relevant experience/CV and reference contact details by email to info@idlewomen.org by 20 Dec 2019   Idle Women the arts and social

Trade green waste centres

LJN Sponsor