estimates & quotes or the cost of a garden

on tv for the right reasons

on tv for the right reasons

You want your garden and your contractor to be on television for the right reason.

Before you start anything, develop a very general idea of what you want and how much you wish to spend. Select your company carefully and do please ensure with your choice of company that their staff/ horticulturist is qualified and experienced. A good standing in the industry is very important so please, please [that’s twice!] ensure the company is registered, fully insured and is a member of a recognised repuatable association [eg. the landscape contractors association of Ireland]. You do not want an estimate or a prediction and you certainly need some assurance of standards.

Similar to most horticultural tasks, there is no golden rule that suits all when it comes to doing a garden because no plant, garden or lawn [for the purpose of this analagy/ example] will ever be the same in height, age or appearance. Pricing and the calculation of that time will therefore follow a similar route.

If you were to cut your lawn, how long would it take you? Now muliply this by a rate per hour and you should have a cost. The second point is that anybody can cut grass, the question is how well do you want it done and do you want to supervise or will you have confidence in walking away knowing respect for your property and a quality finish will be given at all times.

With regard to landscaping another famous analagy is required. Assume you’re in a supemarket, you have fifty euro and you wish to cook a meal for ten people. Is it possible? and what standard of meal do you want to serve? If you buy two sausages [at 50 cent each] and it takes one hour [at 5 euro per hour] to purchase and cook them – then thats your equation and your garden will cost 6 euro – simple. For your garden, if you choose to get fifty plants and the labour will take two days then the only variance should be the standard of labour and the plants selected. One should understand that plants are sold by pot size, height and how difficult they are to propagate, therefore there is always a ‘cheaper’ price possible when you wish ‘to get some plants’. You must decide the standard you want at more than one level and with that if it suits your budget.

My article, the three quotes rule will also prove very useful here. Whatever you decide, as always, remember you only want to do this once and cheaper can more often be more tearful than cheerful. My advice, if you don’t [and be honest] know what you’re looking for and/ or how it works, then employ a horticultural consultant and pay for the advice. It might be sixty five euro – but it could save you a lot more.

Whatever you decide love your garden and as always – enjoy!

the three quotes rule – [how] does it work?

it's no laughing matter

it's no laughing matter

If I asked three people to price for the supply of a motor vehicle or to be more specific, three people to price for the supply of a citroen car would I get the same price?

It cannot be until I say I want a ’03 Citroen C5 HDi, Diesel, Red in colour, 78,235 km with full service history, including exact tyre, upholstery, electrical specifications etc will the pricing system be truly fair to the three tenders and most importantly, to you the client. It is ONLY in this situation will a three quotes rule work. The same theory applies to gardens.

As with everything, there is always a lesser quality product/ service available and therefore naturally a cheaper price. The less time one plant must spend in one place whilst being maintained – the less it should cost, the smaller it is and naturally the cheaper it is. But ‘the’ plant is still being supplied?

So many times people ask me ‘to quote for doing the garden’. That is partly why I [peter donegan] charge for a call out, nee consultation with domestic clients of new. Because unless, as analagised earlier, one can tell me over the by email, phone or any other means exactly what is to be costed – only a cost to landscaping of your grounds should exist, NOT an estimate or quote.

I can price but, again to be fair to you the customer, exactly for what should be preferrable. Are the three prices for your garden singing from the same hymn sheet for exactly the same amount,quality and standard of product and finish? To ensure there is equality within pricing it is important to ensure some form of works specification is in place or/ and at least a design concept or drawing. From logic, most good practices will advise their clients to accept the better contractor whilst considering the ‘costs’ submitted.

You do get what you pay for and if you are unsure of what exactly you want don’t be afraid to pay for a professional consultation. As I’ve always said cheaper can often be more tearful than cheerful and be it garden or not, if the time is put into the preparation of your project, it will work out to be no laughing matter.



ps. my article, never had your garden designed before may prove of benefit here.

national award for donegan landscaping

Noel Smith, Peter Donegan & Aidan Cotter

Noel Smith, Peter Donegan & Aidan Cotter

February 2006 saw Peter Donegan Landscaping Ltd receive a national award in recognition of standards achieved under the Landscape Quality Programme.

This the Donegan Landscapings second National award since October 2006 and the Donegan Landscaping team are one of only ten landscape & design companies in Ireland to have achieved the award.

The Award of Merit was presented to Peter Donegan MD of Donegan Landscaping Ltd by Mr Brendan Smith, Minister for Horticulture and Food and Aidan Cotter CEO Bord Bia on Friday 2nd February at Citywest Hotel.

The award is the result of more than four years of hard work through a stringently audited programme that was designed to raise standards within the landscape industry and increase customer confidence by rewarding companies who operate an awarded quality system through best practice and at the highest standards possible to this sector of the horticultural industry.

On winning the award Peter Donegan said: “We as a team are delighted to win this award, Donegan Landscaping has been in business six years and having won a national award for our landscape and design in October ’06 this now is recognition that a quality system is in place behind the scenes as well and now recognises the staff who work so hard to make each and every design and landscape project possible. ”

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