When do you talk about budget with potential landscape designers?
We’re starting a major landscaping project for our home. We plan in interview at least three candidates. Need some advice on when to reveal our budget to the candidates. They need enough information to focus the talk aboution on our needs, but I fear that revealing too much might encourage them to start pushing more on us than we desire.
in order to know what kind of plants etc they’ve to know the budget give them a number that is 15% below your final figure
Well look at it this way, They’re working for you, you tell them what you want, and see which bid is to your likeing.
Hello… I want the yard landscaped with mostly evergreen plants and a couple shade trees…. with a flagstone patio, and a bbq ‘kitchen area’ made of brick, a smallish pondless waterfall off the side of the patio and my budget is going to be CLOSE to 17,000…… what can you do for me??
There is nothing to be gained by playing money games with a designer or contractor. They probably know you will seek other bids and comprehend that if they provide less for the same amount bid by another contractor, then they won’t get the job. If they know your dollar amount it is in their best interest to give you the most value for that amount
Of course, any business person will try some up-selling – If you could spend a bit more, we could do this much more… They do this because they know from experience that many people are not honest in the amount they state. But that does not mean you have to go with it. If you have a hard budget number, let the contractor know that it must be no more than that and cut her off as soon as the numbers go higher. If she persists, then you know that is someone you don’t want to work with. Better to see sooner rather than later.
The downside of not giving a dollar limit is that you are very likely to get a proposal that is way more than you can afford. And that just wastes everyone’s time. Be up front and forthright.
After you have competing proposals is the time to go back to them and try to negotiate a better deal to get what you want at the best price.