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View Full Version : Am I asking for too much here!!!???


Etlawn
05-08-2007, 11:43 AM
I am looking to have some mulch beds defined in my front and new ones installled in the back around the patio. I also want to have someone design a nice layout of annuals,perennials and shrubs for the front and back.
Yesterday I called 16 companies from the phone book and so far have recieved 2 phone calls back out of the messages and 1 blown off appointment. Do most companies only want big jobs?...I mean I would think a 500-1000 maybe more jog that can be knocked out in a day would be nice but I guess im wrong. I cant believe I am having such a hard time getting this work done....Sorry for the rant just looking for some opinions. I used to mow on the side and worked for a big fertilizing company for 8 years but I want someone that knows how to design a nice landscape to do this.

PS..if anyone has a business near Plainfield,IL you got the job.....lol
Thanks

Classified
05-08-2007, 12:17 PM
I would take the job but im nowhere close to plainfield.

I do know someone that would likely take the job. he is out of naperville and called Elite Midwest Landscaping. He posts in the plowsite forum alot. his phone # is 630-750-2333.

If that doesnt work try signing up with servicemagic.com, its free for you and you should definately get a contractor out of that.

Good luck!

topsites
05-08-2007, 12:26 PM
I think your problem could be in one or both of the following areas:

1) Shopping around... IF you are letting any of these companies know that you've called / r calling other folks, you can expect resistance as this is not only a common bargaining tactic but also a way to let them know that IF they get the job then it's only because they bid it the cheapest (and their incentive just walked out the door). If that is not what you had in mind, it is however, the message it sends.
> If you wish to shop around with any degree of success, I recommend doing so with total discretion and let each company bid independent of the other, this not only prevents this from becoming a dirty you-guys-fight-it-out trick, but in turn allows for healthy competition.
>> You may wish to call 1 maybe two companies per day, no more, this will help prevent two of them showing up at the same time, thou there's not much you can do beyond that if it happens. Be it known thou, just FIY, if I go out to give an estimate and another Lco is already there, I also keep right on driving, if for no other reason than you've already found your man and my assistance is not needed here. Once again, if that is not what you had in mind, this is nevertheless the result.

2) You've already set your price, perhaps this turns off any potential bidders, after all, what is there to bid when the price-range has been set.
> Keeping an open mind towards the final estimate might be a better approach, free yourself of this 500-1000 mindset, if you still can.

That's all I can think of, I had other pointers but I'm not so sure if they're on track.

nobagger
05-08-2007, 12:59 PM
I am looking to have some mulch beds defined in my front and new ones installled in the back around the patio. I also want to have someone design a nice layout of annuals,perennials and shrubs for the front and back.
Yesterday I called 16 companies from the phone book and so far have recieved 2 phone calls back out of the messages and 1 blown off appointment. Do most companies only want big jobs?...I mean I would think a 500-1000 maybe more jog that can be knocked out in a day would be nice but I guess im wrong. I cant believe I am having such a hard time getting this work done....Sorry for the rant just looking for some opinions. I used to mow on the side and worked for a big fertilizing company for 8 years but I want someone that knows how to design a nice landscape to do this.

PS..if anyone has a business near Plainfield,IL you got the job.....lol
Thanks

Good luck this time of year! Guys are playing catch up around here from weeks and weeks ago due to terrible weather we had. 500-1000 isnt going to get you much IMO. Just edging alone is going for around $1.00/ft. This is what happens...people call to get prices and NO ONE calls back, we have to try and fill a schedule so we can eat...then the "people" call back and wonder why we cant get there at the drop of a dime. If people wouldnt price shop with 16 company's maybe just a few and get back to us in a reasonable time frame (1-3 days) we might be able to do the job in a reasonable time frame.

bullethead
05-08-2007, 09:13 PM
I am looking to have some mulch beds defined in my front and new ones installled in the back around the patio. I also want to have someone design a nice layout of annuals,perennials and shrubs for the front and back.
Yesterday I called 16 companies from the phone book and so far have recieved 2 phone calls back out of the messages and 1 blown off appointment. Do most companies only want big jobs?...I mean I would think a 500-1000 maybe more jog that can be knocked out in a day would be nice but I guess im wrong. I cant believe I am having such a hard time getting this work done....Sorry for the rant just looking for some opinions. I used to mow on the side and worked for a big fertilizing company for 8 years but I want someone that knows how to design a nice landscape to do this.

PS..if anyone has a business near Plainfield,IL you got the job.....lol
Thanks

Honestly, a "good" company, this time of year, probably will not even take the time to call you back if they know your project is in that price range. Best bet is to find a smaller company that would want to take this work on as a "filler" or Saturday project. Good luck with it.

chris638
05-08-2007, 10:15 PM
I don't think the size of the job is the problem. Money is money. It's just that all landscape companies are extremely (should be) busy right now. And no offense, but calling 16 companies is ridicilous. If I knew you called 15 other companies, I wouldn't even return your call. Calling that many companies means that you are looking for the cheapest price and most people who do that are not at all happy when the job is done. That is one of my huge pet peaves. 3 bids should be sufficient on any job.

HOOLIE
05-08-2007, 11:52 PM
A lot of companies are really bad at returning calls. Between that, and it being spring, it can be hard to get a callback.

Look for a company that does ONLY landscaping, companies that do a lot of mowing may have trouble squeezing in other jobs.

Etlawn
05-09-2007, 02:37 AM
Ok....Let me clarify a few things here.....
1. I used "500-1000" as an example. I have not given any indication to anyone what im looking to spend. I dont really have a budget per say in mind for this. If someone lays out a plan I like I will pay for it. I am looking for quality. I do care how my property looks and Im willing to pay for it.

2. the only reason I called 16 companies is because I have not talked to anyone to begin with to get an estimate! The one company that answered the phone was suppose to come by today and he blew it off. SO...what should I do call a few places and then when they dont call move on....at that rate Ill be waiting forever. AGAIN...I have given no inidication to any company that I am shopping around but I would think it would be common sense.

3. I am not necessarily looking for the lowest bidder. I am looking for someone to come out and take the time to give me a fair assessment of what I need and what they want to do the job.

Like I said.......most places I called either didnt answer,didnt return calls,or blew off the appt. So I still dont even have one estimate for this job. I just want the work done!....sorry if I came off wrong from the post but I am not a penny pincher by any means...I just want a quality job and soeone to keep their word for the work. I think as a customer I can expect that

Greenguy1
05-09-2007, 06:33 AM
I think it is the fact that it's spring and you have a small job, the best time for this kind of work is mid-summer, contractors are looking for the big jobs right now, they are the ones that really pay bills, it is so easy to lose money on jobs less than $2500. In a perfect world you can expect to make 30% but if things go wrong and they often do, your profit can soon be 10% or less, on a bigger job you can make adjustments, mostly labor adjustments, to reach the profit you need, and no contractor wants to start out losing money, they can't afford it!! does any of this make sense?

Etlawn
05-09-2007, 11:52 AM
Greenguy,
That does make sense to me. I guess my main concern was getting th new plants into the ground early so I can get them established. I have a guy who came this morning that seems like he had some decent ideas so hopefully it will work out. Im looking forward to geting it done because the stuff the builder put in I cant stand!....thanks for the input

ED'S LAWNCARE
05-09-2007, 04:42 PM
Same thing here. I have recieved alot of mulch work because other companies did not return the call or show up.

Over the last few years I have had a few things needed to be done construction wise and litterally went thru 3 dozen contractors before someone would show up to give a bid. A lot of it I think is bad work ethic. Scrambling to get the big jobs "put food on the table" is not an reason not to get back to a potential client, it's an excuse for piss poor work ethic. Actually these so called contractors are doing you a favor if this is how they run their business then I would hate to but a check for shoddy work.

tinkerlawn
05-09-2007, 08:27 PM
This just goes to show you that it is true " Half the battle is showing up". If one of those companies would have shown up (with good ideas) they probably would have the job.

Greenguy1
05-09-2007, 08:46 PM
ED, it all takes time and money, and when you are not interested in a job that is not for sure, why would you bother returning a call? yes it may be the most ethical thing to do but we can get 20 of these a day, I try to call back callers but after a while it is just too much!!! I'm sorry, we do the best we can.

Etlawn
05-10-2007, 01:42 AM
I may be off base here but is ANY job for sure??? Unless it is a client you deal with on a regular basis.But at the same time that is how you build customer base. I understand there are alot of people out there calling around penny pinching the lowest bid. I just thought a quick easy job like this where you made a fast buck and are in and out would be a good thing. I mean there is always the oppertunity to upsell once you get the customer.....This simple mulch job might turn into a patio install for 5-10g who knows.......you ever know what might come from a job that is "not a sure thing" if you blow it off!