• Landscape

    Terms for Understanding a Landscaper Bid

    Are you worried about making that first call to a landscaper? Will you understand the process or hiring someone for a larger project and will you understand the bids, the lingo, and the process? A contractor bid details how the landscaper will deliver what you asked for. A bid is not a contract but is a stepping stone towards a contract. Reading and understanding a landscaper bid doesn’t need to be hard. With the following tips, you will be able to understand a bid with ease!


    This is the method of allocating funds for the items that have not yet been fully specified with particular estimates at the time of bidding. It is a practical way of allowing for work that has an indefinite scope or where quality has not yet been determined. This is for items that have not yet been selected, maybe because there is a new model coming out or the owner has not decided what furnishings they want in their backyard e.g what type of fountain an owner wants, type of stone for the patio etc. If the types of materials you want are of high quality, then the landscaper will put an allowance in line with the type of product you want. If the materials are under budget then you will be credited or charged less than your bid amount.


    Specifics will become part of the contract once the bid has been approved. The purpose of a specification is to describe the requirements of materials to be used, installation process to be followed and quality of the work. Specifications come in different categories;

    • Performance specifications– specify the practical requirements of materials to be installed and how they are expected to function.
    • General specifications– refer to the standards that the work will have to meet both in products that will be used and quality control.
    • Proprietary specifications– are those that require the installation of an approved product. This is used when materials to be installed are highly complex in nature and only a specific type of equipment can be used.

    Furnish and install

    To furnish means to supply the item needed and to install means to fix the item for use. Furnish and install in the bid means that the landscaper will acquire and install the items. If the bid specifies install only, it means the landscaper’s job is to install the item needed and not to supply it.


    A fixture is an item that is installed during a remodel or new construction. Fixtures in landscaping are mostly lighting fixtures e.g path lights, deck lights, spot lights. An owner can specify what kind of fixtures they want to beautify their outdoor space.


    Millworks are any wood-mill produced building construction components. They can also be made from glass or synthetic. They are ready made carpentry components installed during construction. In landscaping, millwork components may include benches, stone pavers, gates and privacy screens.

    Understanding terms used in your contractor’s bid is very important, but not hard once you know a few key terms. Now when you hire your next landscaper, do so with confidence!

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