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Alpha01
03-30-2007, 12:17 AM
I would like to get in with a few builders in my work area, but I don't have a clue on how to approach and how to quote them for proposed work. I am sure that they expect a great deal, but I am not sure of the pricing, warranties, etc. that they expect. Any input would be appreciated.

ACutAbovesiny
03-30-2007, 01:12 AM
They usually want cheap work done. I would start by calling some real estate agents and ask them to put you in touch with a local builder.

godzilla
03-30-2007, 07:54 AM
I would advise AGAINST working for builders. To find a good one is rare. The vast majority of them don't want to pay, and are extremely cheap.

FINN
03-30-2007, 08:02 AM
My initial reaction to reading this post was "careful what you wish for"

I used to sell and rent construction equipment. Builders were the slowest pay and thier integrity was slim and none. I'm sure there are goods ones. I've met a dam few.

People should take a look at builders when they make fun of lawyers.

Just do your homework and ask a lot of questions.

F&SLawnCo
03-30-2007, 08:03 AM
I agree, to find a good, reputable builder that is willing to pay fair prices is rare to say the least. Also, be sure you want your name passed around by this guy. I had a bad experience with a builder, who was trying to get me some work, but he was not doing such a great job on his own work so the customers naturally assumed the same would be true of anyone he recommended.

JRSlawn
03-30-2007, 08:27 AM
I work with 4-5 builders and 1 developer it is kind of my niche and I allways am paid within 30 days ushally before the 30 days. I give my builders a better price then I would a home owner due to the work load they give us. If you find the right ones you can stay pretty busy

Duekster
03-30-2007, 08:50 AM
I bid for a few builders too. It is the worse of worse being cheap. Quality means little to nothing.


You can do it if you have a good crew and a place to buy in bulk and store materials.

mdmowerman
03-30-2007, 09:13 AM
send the person in charge of bidding and delegating jobs to the different compaines a portfolio of your biz, make sure ot include workers comp, insurance .... and when they ask you to deliver on short notice, you better damm deliver or else they wont waste their time with you...good luck

Greenguy1
03-31-2007, 09:21 AM
working with builders? I prefer to go solo, I have had mixed results with builders, they do often give me referrals to they're customers but I never work under them.

cutbetterthanyou
03-31-2007, 10:40 AM
I am w/ the rest I would go against it. I put a bid w/ one that I had become close w/ lower than I normal would and still couldn't get the job. At the price he said the others were doing it for I would be making $300 after cost on doing 1/4 acre lots, beds all around the house, all the plants and putting them in ,mulching and plastic bed edging, grading and rough grading of front and back yards, sodded front yards, and hydro seeded back. It just isn't worth it to me.
I also meet a guy that recently went out of business. He had the biggest business around.I asked him for advise on what to do and not to do. He told me that his biggest mistake was getting hooked up w/ developer that was one of the main things that put him out of business. He told me that developers start there developments under a inc or llc or something so when they sell the last house they claim bankruptcy and leave there bills unpaid,then start another one under a different name. The guy I was talking to was owed over 300k, sent a bill, the developer sent him 20k and told him, "that is all you are getting if you don't like it get in line." And there was nothing he could do because he had to attack a bankrupt company that no longer existed

Lawnworks
03-31-2007, 08:55 PM
I would never say never. There are good ones out there. I have good experiences so far, but I don't do a whole lot of them. The ones I have done were individuals doing 4-5 houses a year. The profit margin is lower, but efficiency is higher being on a job site for a week. The ones I have done, write the check the day after completion or the following friday.

I know of another company around here that works for a top quality developer... I think he must have one crew booked for 3 years.

Mike33
03-31-2007, 09:54 PM
I used to have my own body and paint shop. If you wanted to make less than any other shop but have steady work stay away from used car dealer work. The same applies here in this business, you might find a rare 1 but be careful i have 1 but he built my mothers house and currently building mine. What he uses me for at times is backfilling and carring gravel in side a garage or basement. I have another outfit in my area is large, they are cheap and if something would go wrong they will blame you real qiuck even though you did it at what they wanted to pay you.
Mike

JRSlawn
03-31-2007, 10:31 PM
I would stay away from large builder like ryan homes and such but some of these builders give us tons of work. I agree I have herd some horor stories of guys never getting paid paid let riped of but we have been extremly lucky I guess.

tthomass
04-01-2007, 12:25 AM
Its commercial work 40-60% vs 100%+ residential.........you make your $ getting in and killing the hours.

Just in case: 40-60% = $100 tree = $140-$160 installed commercial vs $200+ installed residential. Often included is staking, mulching and a 1yr warranty. You can't buy from a nursery and be competitive, you must go with a grower and eliminate the middle man or so my experience thus far.

mini14
04-02-2007, 07:22 PM
builders suck....they wont pay u for the slightest imperfection, if they pay they pay late, and try not to pay the full amount.....if u do work for one, havem sign a contract specifiying any complaints are to be in writing, payment terms, as well as who is responsible for what ie grading, soil, debris removal...and u better be licensed and insured.

DBL
04-02-2007, 08:27 PM
i must have got lucky i work with 2 great builders one we do everything for even demo buildings and another where on the last complete package (create beds,plants,and sod a half acre) he had in the budget $700 more for landscaping so he told us to raise the price....you cant beat that

JT1304
04-02-2007, 09:44 PM
Cold call local builders. Use the "Home builder's Association" in your area. I've done it. It may not work the first 100 times, but that 101st time could be the one. I took over a builders landscaping this year from a guy who does tons of new homes in the area. I was able to deliver a quality product when this builder needed it. He pays on regular basis. I really can't complain. Yes he builds for quantity, but thats fine by me. Each home is basically the same. I can plan out what I need ahead of time and get it done in a day. GOOD LUCK

gammon landscaping
04-02-2007, 10:28 PM
builders are my main customers. it is a toss up. builders typically don't complain to much and mine pay with in a week of competion or i don't work for them agian. with a builder you have to make sure you get paid fast. don't take any sh*t from them. tell them when you get done you have to get paid now. don't be afraid to tell them to make the painters wait on there money you want yours now. now if you are like me and a small company with one employee. you will have better luck. if they think you have money they won't pay you on time or well. it is backwards of home owners that want the succsessful landscaper with the big crews and nice trucks, the builders want you to be barly scraping by, they think that they must be getting a better deal. so i go along with this and keep the truck dirty and fuss about all my suppliers raising there rates. now i have a hard time dealing with home owners sometimes but they give me one yard every 10 years vs. the builders give me 10-15 a year. i make maybe 100 bucks less for the builders but i can get out without getting nit picked about hand raking a ditch line ....

ccash
04-02-2007, 10:30 PM
take them to lunch and offer them something per job they give you...

AintNoFun
04-02-2007, 11:12 PM
we have done some hydroseeding and what not for builders some small some of the top 10 in the country.. some paid well others were a nightmere. as you can see by all the posts about people wanting to work for builders you can see your easily replaced. if you dont want to do it at there price someone else will. but as for dealing with builders as opposed with homeowners id probably take dealing with the builders. its true about somoone said about a builder starting a new llc or corp with every development this way its harder to get anything from them.. last summer one of the largest builders in NJ just went outta biz overnight and left people outta hundreds of millions.. some landscapers were owed 300k+ so i would never let a builder get to far ahead of you!!

forestfireguy
04-03-2007, 02:21 AM
I hate bidding work for builders. They are the cheapest of cheapskates, without question. We have one guy we do work for pretty regularly, he is the granddaddy of the cheapos, however he comes to us first and we get the pick of his work. If we're slow or need to keep guys busy between jobs it's a good relationship to have, however he makes certain the margins are tight, very tight in fact. Sometimes he's total A$$, we bid a 3 home rockhound and seed job for him last season, gave him an attracive price and were ready to start, it would have kept a machine,operator and one laborer busy for 3 days but he stuck it to us the morning we were to roll out to the first one, found some guy with a york rake on a tractor to do it for half of our number, hey surprise those properties still don't have a lawn....I guess he forgot the seed part. cubetterthanyou, shame on your buddy for getting in so deep, 30k puts the writing on the wall,loud and clear , 300k well you gotta deaf,dumb and blind to be into ANYONE that deep.

ccash
04-03-2007, 01:45 PM
a little kick back now and then

cutbetterthanyou
04-03-2007, 09:13 PM
I hate bidding work for builders. They are the cheapest of cheapskates, without question. We have one guy we do work for pretty regularly, he is the granddaddy of the cheapos, however he comes to us first and we get the pick of his work. If we're slow or need to keep guys busy between jobs it's a good relationship to have, however he makes certain the margins are tight, very tight in fact. Sometimes he's total A$$, we bid a 3 home rockhound and seed job for him last season, gave him an attracive price and were ready to start, it would have kept a machine,operator and one laborer busy for 3 days but he stuck it to us the morning we were to roll out to the first one, found some guy with a york rake on a tractor to do it for half of our number, hey surprise those properties still don't have a lawn....I guess he forgot the seed part. cubetterthanyou, shame on your buddy for getting in so deep, 30k puts the writing on the wall,loud and clear , 300k well you gotta deaf,dumb and blind to be into ANYONE that deep.

From what the guy told me that was 1 months work. I don't know about you, but me and everyone I know only bill once a month. You are probally right not letting it get that far, but I can see how it could easily happen also. Most of my clients I don't get anything up front. I do the work then bill. They expect it and don't want the hassle of writing a bunch of checks or the risk of us running of w/ there $.

PrairiesEdge
04-05-2007, 10:07 PM
We work with 4 builders in town and they CAN be very profitable. The money is with custom builders not spec home builders. The specs are small jobs, and they usually want them done yesterday. That said, alot of times we are able to up sell the homeowner once they are actually in the home. The reason these builders are so cheap is because the landscaping is the very last thing in their budget and they are usually stretched thin by the time they are ready for the landscaping. Customs can bring in anywhere from 5,000 to 40,000 dollars. I say go for it, it is not for everyone but can be good work for the right company.

WigginsLandscaping
04-15-2007, 01:14 AM
I agree totally with PrairiesEdge. When looking at builders drive around and look at existing homes that they have built. This will give you an idea of what you are looking at when dealing with these guys. Small plants generally mean small draw. In my case I deal with a few local builders. Some small some big. We turn in for the draws on Wednesday and get paid that friday. This seems to be the norm here. If they make you go longer than 30 days drop them. Cold calling was how we got IN with them. Just try it and see. The first one was the hardest to get. After that one they started to call me.