A well crafted landscape design proposal is essential for clarifying all the details of a project and winning clients. It serves multiple purposes:
- Assuring prospective clients you’re able to deliver the landscaping services they want
- Explaining exactly how their project will be completed
- Setting out the schedule for the landscaping process
- Explaining your payment terms
The outline of a landscape proposal
If you’re not writing professional proposals, other landscape designers are and it’s likely you’re losing work to another landscape company. Fortunately, a landscape design proposal follows a simple format. It’s possible to write one that you can adapt for reuse on future landscape projects. Each landscape design proposal template should include the following:
Your proposal needs to open with a one-page letter introducing you and your landscaping services to the prospective client. You should address the project you’re bidding for, outline the landscape design for the property and answer any questions posed by the client.
This part of the proposal outlines the design in specific terms. The theme is discussed along with the elements that will be used in the landscape you are designing. The objective gives an overview of the project while showing the client how you plan to solve their problem.
The scope section of the proposal identifies the specifications and deliverables for the job. Write down all the details of the project's tasks and how you intend to go about them, including the kinds of plants to be used, space between, how many, and when they will be planted.
Information about materials needed, fertilizers, irrigation, tools and special instructions for plant care can also be given here. It is best to go into detail to avoid misunderstanding and clarify all deliverables.
The landscape design project needs a set timeline for the important parts to be finished as well as stating when the entire job will be complete. Determine realistic working schedules by breaking down each task into days and hours. Make sure you allow extra time for complications or unforeseen occurrences during the work.
The entire cost of the project should be broken down to include all materials, equipment, overhead costs, your service charge, and any other cost that is vital to the project. Make sure you specify if tax is inclusive or not. Consistent and reasonable pricing methods can help win the client and assist you with your budget once the project starts.
Terms of Payment
Payment terms are one of the last things to include in your proposal before leading to the approval page. Payment terms vary from company to company, but 50% payment upon contract signing and the remaining 50% paid on project completion is not uncommon.
Payment terms should also include details of your preferred mode of payment (cash, bank transfer, or any other means) and how late payments will be managed.
How to make your own sample landscaping proposal template
When writing a landscaping proposal, starting with the objective and the scope of work is often easiest. Many landscape proposal templates start with the cover letter and move through each section in order, but there’s no need to write them this way when making your own proposal.
An effective proposal is one that wins you the work. This is best done by showing a thorough understanding of the landscaping project, the property, and emphasising your ability to carry out the job. Starting with the landscape design objective and scope of work lets you explore exactly what’s needed.
Information will change with each project, but the proposal structure will remain the same. Other elements can be written and reused to create your own proposal template.
Writing your landscape proposal objective
A site visit is often needed to determine the services and details of the landscaping work. If needed, ensure this takes place before sitting down to write your proposal.
Beginning your landscaping proposal with the objective lets you frame the problem and the solution you wish to deliver. Start with a description of the property and the land that is to be improved with your services.
This part of your document provides a high level overview of the landscaping design and is solution focused. Any issues that need to be addressed to achieve the vision of your customer should also be noted along with how these will be overcome.
The landscape design scope of work
The scope of work (SOW) is the most important part of the landscape design proposal and will make up the bulk of the document. It gives complete information on how the work will be completed and often includes drawings.
Drawings are an excellent addition as they help your customer see the vision you are creating for the landscape project in the proposal. By visualising the final outcome of the work, customers can emotionally connect with the proposal, increasing your chances of winning the contract.
After drawing the landscape design, list everything about the job. Include the plants you intend to use and when they will be installed, the equipment you will need to shape the land, all materials for constructing elements within the design, each of the services that will be delivered, and any systems you intend to install to assist with the maintenance of the final design on the property.
Group each of these items into jobs within the project and order them by stage. This will make it easier for the potential client to understand the extent of the landscape design and for you to provide a schedule for the work. It will also help you create a checklist that you can work from when you win the contract for your services.
Depending on the nature of the landscape project and the services you provide, you may also include maintenance details here. Additional details such as lawn care, fertilizer needed for plants, weeding or any other additional services your business provides can show the client you are capable of maintaining the design you’ve proposed.
Landscape proposal schedule
Once the objective and SOW have been completed, the rest of your landscape design proposal becomes a little easier to write. To clarify a schedule, return to the notes you made for the SOW section you created earlier.
Review each of the jobs you listed within the SOW and estimate how many hours or days each will take. Note all of the smaller tasks in the schedule along with the estimated time plus additional time should unexpected hurdles appear when completing that task.
Finally, add up all of the tasks in your schedule to provide a schedule for smaller tasks and an estimate of when all works will be complete. Of all the elements in your landscaping design proposal, time and cost are two of the most important.
Landscaping proposal costs estimate
The cost of each element within the landscape design needs to be itemized to provide the client with the full cost for your services. Looking back at the notes made for the SOW will ensure nothing is forgotten and all pricing is in keeping with the work you have detailed.
Clear, detailed pricing will provide transparency for your work and make it easy for the client to understand exactly what they are paying for.
Terms of payment
The terms of payment should note any percentage deposit required for work to commence, your preferred method of payment and how long the customer has until their bill is due. How late payments will be handled should also be included along with the information needed for customers to pay your invoice.
This section won’t change often, so you can save this to form part of your own landscaping proposal template.
Your company information
Giving potential clients a little bit of background about your landscaping company is a section that can be written and saved to create a bespoke landscape design proposal template for you to use again.
Provide information about your company, website address, your team, the business’ history and any awards for landscaping services. This is part of your proposal to summarise other successful projects and big clients you have worked with. Review this section and update it with new awards, prestigious projects and changes to your team when needed.
Landscape proposal introductory letter
Although this is the first thing your potential client will see, it often pays to write it last. By now you will have an intimate understanding of your landscape design and what it will take to turn your customer’s dream into a reality.
Your opening letter creates your first impression. It should be personalized, thank the potential client for the opportunity to place a proposal for their landscape design project and briefly explain why your company is the best choice for the work, including a link to your website portfolio if you have one. It should be no more than a single page.
Landscaping services approval
After reading through the landscape design proposal, it helps the client if the approval process is seamless. If it is difficult to sign a contract, it can result in losing out to a competitor. With all the extra effort that goes into writing professional proposals, it’s important you can clinch the deal with an easy to sign independent contractor agreement that covers you and your work.
Google docs can facilitate electronic signatures as can Adobe PDFs.
After writing your landscaping proposal, have someone read it through to check for mistakes. Make sure company colors are used and you have left space for signatures. Save the elements that can be reused in future to create your own landscape design proposal template.
Creating a landscape design proposal template is simple with Bonsai
Writing landscape design proposals can be time consuming and it’s easy to miss essential elements. Bonsai’s landscape design proposal template cuts the time it takes to put a landscape proposal together and ensures you’ll never miss an important section.
Save time and Sign up to Bonsai to edit and download your free landscape design proposal template now!
The smooth transition from proposal to approval with e-sign allows clients to swiftly move their project forward without unnecessary delay, and stops you losing out to competitors. All our templates ensure you are able to present a professional landscape proposal and can seamlessly link to a legally binding landscape design contract, should your client approve your designs.
Landscape design proposal template FAQs
1. Are landscaping businesses profitable?
Growing by 4.6% each year since 2014, landscaping can be a profitable business. Independent contractor jobs provide freedom and flexibility to your work day, but managing the admin can be difficult. Landscape proposal templates and invoice templates for services such as lawn maintenance can help.
2. What’s the difference between landscaping and gardening?
The line between gardening and landscaping is blurry, but gardening focusses on plants while landscaping involves structures and shaping the land too. Because of this, landscaping work allows for different tax deductions to gardening work.