I am about to express myself in terms of the rising costs of gardening in New Jersey. In doing so, perhaps some of my readers will understand why pricing is what it has become. Since hopefully this article reaches beyond the limits of New Jersey borders, I am sure that readers in the NY metropolitan area, and beyond will be advised as to some of the viewpoints of this article.
A recent call from an interiorscape account’s insurance department informed me that my company’s per-incident coverage had to be twice the current coverage amount. Boom. Guess who is going to get a rate increase?
I do not like raising rates any more than I like to be raised, but more and more regulations, laws, and requirements in the name of “Risk” and who knows what else, have seemingly only enabled our lawsuit mentality society.
When people ask me why my rates are what they are (according to my business advisor, standard labor rates), I ask them how much they pay a 22 year old mechanic at Mercedes Benz. $95.00 per hour is a base rate for a local mechanic, and luxury car dealers command some pretty hefty fees. Tree Care Industry laborers get $125.00 per hour. Insurance premiums dictate that industry’s rates. Parts and labor for my trucks are quite steep in my opinion, and it is often that Landscape Contractors hold onto their trucks for more than 200,000 miles.
Then there is Holiday Decorating. It is a tough one. Lots of time is spent shopping for materials, and designing many times has to be done on the fly, according to what your floral supply houses have on hand. After shopping, many hours of labor are spent assembling, creating and installing a finished design product. This is not “monkey work”. Skilled design professionals pour their creative talents and techniques into their displays. It is a form of art.
In conclusion, do your research when choosing a landscaping company. Compare rates, and see which are being reasonable, over-charging, or under-charging. Ask yourself and your company of choice why those prices are what they are.
Take care and happy gardening.
Written By: Everett Fink
Everett Fink is a Certified Rutgers Master Gardener, Certified Pesticide applicator, and N.J. State licensed Home Improvement Contractor. Everett was designated Top Tier Designer at Sponzilli Landscape, and currently Owns Property Details LLC, in New Jersey.