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View Full Version : You've got to be kidding me


Twitchy
10-16-2009, 02:35 PM
Quick story, last yr about this time I went to this existing customer's (about 8 yrs) house for a new hardscape project around their pool. The project consisted of a new patio (1500sqft) random design, two 4' sheer descents, piers, sitting walls and fire pit. Gave them stone samples, a color design and a price of $32,000. Removal of the old 4'' concrete patio and other structures were included in that price. Apparently that was expensive because two weeks later there were trucks at the house laying out my design to the tee. When approached about the situation, the customer said a friend came in $6,000 less on my drawing. I was F'ING PISSED, not because i lost the job but because my design was STOLEN!!! Well i got a call in the spring to come back to this job for a planting est. and this what i saw. I laughed my a$$ of when i got back in my truck. Pay cheap, get cheap!

Twitchy
10-16-2009, 03:13 PM
The biggest problem was the sheer descent wall on the pool coping (basically no footing). That wall had a pier on both sides and was finished off w/ sitting walls 24'' in height. The problem was that everything was built separately!!!(like legos) Nothing was tied together. No geogrid or any type of structural support. The customer wanted me to raise the soil level to the height of the wall for plants, i told her it could not be done unless she wanted to swim w/ this wall.

DUSTYCEDAR
10-16-2009, 03:33 PM
Hahahahahha they got it good and cheep

teejet
10-16-2009, 05:34 PM
It looks kinda shody, if I do say so.:nono:

Twitchy
10-16-2009, 05:46 PM
It looks kinda shody, if I do say so.:nono:
My favorite part of this pile of crap is the stacked seams on the fire pit. It's a FREAKING kit!!! My 17 month old son can put one of them together.

punt66
10-16-2009, 05:50 PM
Thats really bad!

shovelracer
10-16-2009, 07:13 PM
I'm sure they are overly excited about it though. Probably even have given the name out a few times. Now on the other hand they probably arent real happy with you for not placing the soil where they want. This should be tied in with the design thread.

mdlwn1
10-16-2009, 07:23 PM
I'm sure they are overly excited about it though. Probably even have given the name out a few times. Now on the other hand they probably arent real happy with you for not placing the soil where they want. This should be tied in with the design thread.

Yep.........

punt66
10-16-2009, 07:26 PM
I'm sure they are overly excited about it though. Probably even have given the name out a few times. Now on the other hand they probably arent real happy with you for not placing the soil where they want. This should be tied in with the design thread.

i wouldnt have put soil there as well without a properly built wall. If that wall froze in the winter and fell into the pool guess who they will go after. Smart move. I wouldnt touch it either.

paponte
10-16-2009, 08:35 PM
LMAO, That's great!! I am guessing by the looks of it that the patio is pitched right into that seat wall by the sand in front of it. Love the weep holes! :clapping:

kootoomootoo
10-16-2009, 10:29 PM
Hey its custom.

oakhillslandscaping
10-17-2009, 12:41 AM
thats why i make people pay for my design work wether i do the work or not. but dang thats some terrible work

Lite4
10-17-2009, 08:54 AM
Never leave your design with a client who has not signed a contract with you. If they want to hang onto the design, I always made them pay a deposit fee for the design if they wanted to study it (meaning put it out for bid to others). If they went with me I would refund the deposit fee, if they did what this fellow did. You still get paid for your design and creative ideas. Don't give it away!

LB1234
10-17-2009, 01:13 PM
I don't see the problem/s:confused:


We had a similar thing a few years ago with a walkway. Didn't want to use us cause we were significantly higher....bottom line they used stone dust for both bedding AND base...and yes they pre-compacted the bedding material. Troweled about an inch of concrete on the outsides of the walk for the edge restraint. Not six months into it there was a 1-2 inch "hole" on the walkway and edging starting to blow out. Two or three years later (forget when it was put in exactly) we have counted three or four areas of signficant settling. just awful.

best part about it, the customer called me to tell me he learned his lesson. if he could just see the crap eatin grin on my face on the other end of that phone call...

PlatinumLandCon
10-17-2009, 02:38 PM
My favorite part of this pile of crap is the stacked seams on the fire pit. It's a FREAKING kit!!! My 17 month old son can put one of them together.

Yeah i'm lovin' that part....

Twitchy
10-17-2009, 02:54 PM
I'm sure they are overly excited about it though. Probably even have given the name out a few times. Now on the other hand they probably arent real happy with you for not placing the soil where they want. This should be tied in with the design thread.
They weren't to excited after i told them about the problems with the hardscape. To resolve the wall issue without demoing everything, i built an other wall out of 6'' RR ties w/ deadmen about 6'' off the srw. Boxed out the plumbing for the descents so they have access if any problems should come about. Raised the maple and acuba, added more shrubs, perennials and mulch. Handed them the bill w/ no question asked. NOW they were excited!!! They even signed for a sm walkway on the side of the property later this month.

Twitchy
10-17-2009, 02:57 PM
LMAO, That's great!! I am guessing by the looks of it that the patio is pitched right into that seat wall by the sand in front of it. Love the weep holes! :clapping:
They did pitch the patio into the sitting wall but cut weep hollows in the wrong locations. My design had drainage in two ares of the patio. But hey, drainage isn't important right...

Twitchy
10-17-2009, 03:03 PM
99% of the time i will not leave the design, but in this case i thought the job was a lock. We did the front yard about 6yrs ago and had no issues. We even maintain the property on a weekly basis.

STRINGALATION
10-17-2009, 04:41 PM
So the other side of the wall in front of the jap. Map. Is straight down into the water. Ergo "sheer"

Twitchy
10-17-2009, 10:12 PM
So the other side of the wall in front of the jap. Map. Is straight down into the water. Ergo "sheer"
Not in the water, it rests on the pool's coping that is connected to the pool's frame. Its a steel wall pool maybe 15yrs old. Most new pools around here now have cement walls like a gunite pool.

Isobel
10-18-2009, 01:54 AM
my favorite part of that is the beer bottle in the last picture.

on a side note, something I put in with all of my designs and estimates is a little blurb saying that this design remains our property until it is purchased at $xx. and that unauthorized use will be prosecuted.

some ppl ask me about that, and after a simple explanation they understand.

STRINGALATION
10-18-2009, 11:51 AM
sorry not to sound dumb but to re word it . the wall is on top of curbing????? how is that stable???

STRINGALATION
10-18-2009, 12:38 PM
my favorite part of that is the beer bottle in the last picture.

on a side note, something I put in with all of my designs and estimates is a little blurb saying that this design remains our property until it is purchased at $xx. and that unauthorized use will be prosecuted.

some ppl ask me about that, and after a simple explanation they understand.

hey sorry but that is officialy going in the records for my to do-list

Twitchy
10-18-2009, 02:42 PM
STRINGALATION here's the front of the wall. It's not stable and that's the problem. That coping is only about 6-8'' and the blocks are 10''. The footing is inadequate for the wall installation.

Twitchy
10-18-2009, 02:47 PM
Forgot to post the pic. DUH

brucec32
10-18-2009, 05:10 PM
Gotta ask. Why would you agree to give a quote to someone who had previously stolen your landscape design? Wouldn't they just get your ideas on that and go with the cheapos again?

Bru75
10-18-2009, 05:40 PM
I can't believe that you are even speaking to these people, much less still trying to work with them.

greatinmulchbeds
10-19-2009, 01:45 AM
that fire pit is just great :laugh:

ChampionLS
10-19-2009, 02:16 AM
Did anybody notice the existing Pond behind the wall? Whoaa what a stinking mess, especially when all that dirt and backfill eventually finds its way through the blocks and into the pool.

NNJLandman
10-19-2009, 07:16 PM
Wow, i can't believe how that wall with the waterfalls into the pool was built...id be scared to swim next to it, and the fire pit and other work isn't up to par.

I had a design stolen from me a few years ago. There was a new development going in the next town over and I got a call from one of the homeowners to come over and give them a design and install it. Just the front yard and eventually there would be more work. Gave them my presentation, wow this is great etc etc. We are going to talk it over and give you a call tomarrow. At this point I knew I had a 50/50 chance. Most people will sign right there, but considering it was a larger job hence more money I figured okay maybe they need to move some money around. NOPE, 2 weeks later my design was installed to the tee. Needless to say I was pissed but wat are ya gonna do. I have customers who hire me to do everything but the lawn and have some other LCO do the lawn and vice versa...its annoying but I rather get some money then none at all.

Like this week, I have a very good weekly customer, we have a good relationship always chat, do extras here and there. Lawns slowed down so I only cut lawns on a bi-weekly basis during fall time. Skip one week and when I got there today, new paver sidewalk, new SRW, steps, and driveway preped for pavement. I'm like WTF, but again...wat are ya gonna do. Sorry for the rant.

pitrack
10-20-2009, 01:04 AM
Gotta ask. Why would you agree to give a quote to someone who had previously stolen your landscape design? Wouldn't they just get your ideas on that and go with the cheapos again?

I don't think they have stolen his design before, he said he did a job in the front yard and there were no issues. This is the first that they have stolen his design.

syzer
10-20-2009, 01:53 AM
STRINGALATION here's the front of the wall. It's not stable and that's the problem. That coping is only about 6-8'' and the blocks are 10''. The footing is inadequate for the wall installation.

Wow, that is a beat job, though I dont like anyone getting it like that it does bring a sense of satisfaction. Something similiar to this just happened to us on a nice drainage job.

Since I'm not a hardscaping guy, what would you do to the pool coping to make the footing for the wall more substantial? Would you frame/pour something behind it?

Twitchy
10-24-2009, 02:31 PM
Wow, that is a beat job, though I dont like anyone getting it like that it does bring a sense of satisfaction. Something similiar to this just happened to us on a nice drainage job.

Since I'm not a hardscaping guy, what would you do to the pool coping to make the footing for the wall more substantial? Would you frame/pour something behind it?
I would extend the pool's coping 8'' more w/ cement and rebar for the added weight of the wall. And laid the first coarse of block in mortar to set them level.

STRINGALATION
10-24-2009, 06:01 PM
turn the coping in to a footer gotcha

4 seasons lawn&land
10-24-2009, 06:19 PM
haha, wow. bet that made you happy to see that.

ford550
10-25-2009, 09:07 AM
All I can say is WOW :laugh::laugh:

and that's why we don't let people have our designs.

4 seasons lawn&land
10-25-2009, 12:00 PM
I found the explaination for this job

DVS Hardscaper
10-25-2009, 01:10 PM
Ok, guys, please allow me to get this straight for you:

#1. "Stealing" is when someone *TAKES* something that belongs to someone else WITHOUT permission.

#2. "GIVING" is when a person hands something to another person, or shares something with another person.


We contractors are guilty of "giving" designs to prospective clients. Then when they don't use us, we cry about it.

Well, HELLO! That's our STUPIDITY! We should have NEVER let them have the blasted design in the first place.

So, since the creator of this thread allowed the home owner to have the design - there was nothing "stolen".




In terms of writing "this design is property of ABC Contracting.....", I'm not so sure that would stand in court.

Yes, it may be a nice scare tactic, and probably is 85% effective. But to have a valid, winnable, court case it first boils down to one thing: and that's where you the plaintiff has to prove that you and the defendant established what they call 'Meeting of the Minds'. This is where your prove that both parties are/were in agreement to certain expressed Terms & Conditions.

Since a home owner never signed anything stating that they agreed and understood such Terms & Conditions - then there is NO "Meeting of the Minds", therefore a contractor would not have a valid case against a home owner that used their design.

When my home was built the builder had on the house plans "these plans are property of ABC Builders and may not be used by anyone else without permission, etc etc........" but.....I never signed anything acknowledging that I agreed to such, nor was there a line provided for me to sign my name to.

So, ok, if you wanna leave a design for a home owner to review, I suggest you have a rubber stamp made stating that the design belongs to you, and so forth. Then you have 2 signature lines for both spouses to sign agreeing to such. You take the rubber stamp and you stamp 2 copies of the design, 1 copy for you, 1 for the home owner.

Ok, sure your proposal may say "the design belongs to the contractor". But wait a minute! If they didn't *ACCEPT* the proposal.....then they did NOT accept the provision that that says they won't use your design!!!!


Mr. DVS Hardscape
Legal Expert




,

DVS Hardscaper
10-25-2009, 01:25 PM
P.S to my post above


I realize no one was mentioning suing anyone in this thread.

My point is if you're going to claim exclusive rights to your designs you need to have all your I's dotted and T's crossed, otherwise don't even bother.




,

brucec32
10-26-2009, 05:20 PM
Good point. He did give it away, I suppose. There used to be a time when reputations mattered and people just "understood" to do things with honor. But these days you probably do have to include some language to avoid having your designed used for nothing.

I'm sure charging for it would be difficult, as it would put them off. Maybe language saying that you reserve the rights to the design would be sufficient.

STRINGALATION
10-26-2009, 08:02 PM
i have learned not to talk too much, dont leave the plans and nothing is really happening without any money. i have learned to pr-qualify customers pretty good.