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alexschultz1
08-05-2011, 08:59 PM
just got done walking through a newly built house ($1.5 million+) and they want me to design and build the entire landscape. 200+ feet of boulder retaining walls 4 feet high, fountains, a court yard, over 400 plants, 8 trees, lighting, flagstone walkway, 500 sq feet of pavers, and a full irrigation system. the design process starts in a couple of days and construction starts within the month. Finally all my years of hard work are coming together. thank you god...!!! celebration beer anyone? :drinkup:

markcp
08-05-2011, 09:10 PM
Congratulations, sounds like you will be busy for some time?

Golfpro21
08-05-2011, 09:25 PM
congrats.....hope you make good coin and all goes well

alexschultz1
08-05-2011, 09:25 PM
with my crew probably a week. maybe more depending on the grading

nepatsfan
08-05-2011, 09:30 PM
with my crew probably a week. maybe more depending on the grading

How many guys on your crew

alexschultz1
08-05-2011, 09:54 PM
4 workers and me on a bobcat / excavator

LegendaryLawns
08-05-2011, 09:56 PM
congrats! Hope all goes well!

nepatsfan
08-05-2011, 09:57 PM
You think you and 4 guys can plant 400 plants, 8 trees, do a walkway, an irrigation system, a 500 square foot patio, and I would assume install a lawn plus fountains and whatever else in a week?

MOW ED
08-05-2011, 10:01 PM
Congrats, at least someone is spending money and you are making it.

alexschultz1
08-05-2011, 10:02 PM
maybe, retaining wall should be 2 days, patio 1 day, plants/fountain 2 days, irrigation/lighting 1 day, and then final grading and sod install 1 day. that is if all goes well, which it never does lol

Tofutti
08-05-2011, 10:03 PM
... celebration beer anyone? :drinkup:

Way ahead of you man!
Well done on the landing, hopefully the installs go well! Good luck!

BrandonV
08-05-2011, 10:11 PM
I'm sure things are different in ATL (i know it's sandier than here) but you're sounding a bit optimistic on the time front. I'd plan on being there 2 weeks, if this is you first higher end project you need to go in understanding that the quality must be much higher than what you see done on strip developments. I'm not knocking you in any way just looking out for ya.

alexschultz1
08-05-2011, 10:18 PM
this aint my first rodeo :)

ed2hess
08-05-2011, 11:07 PM
So what convinced them to go with you? You haven't showed them a plan or priced it right? We have had people take a plan we put together and go get bids and knock us out.

cpllawncare
08-05-2011, 11:26 PM
So what convinced them to go with you? You haven't showed them a plan or priced it right? We have had people take a plan we put together and go get bids and knock us out.


Ouch! that would suck! I think I would get something in writing before I presented or even drew up a plan?

ALC-GregH
08-05-2011, 11:34 PM
Ouch! that would suck! I think I would get something in writing before I presented or even drew up a plan?

What if they want you to do it then when you price it out, they feel it's more then what they want to spend? How would you get them to sign something when they haven't been given a price? How would you word it? I can't see anyone signing a contract that was one sided and forces them to have the work done regardless of price.

Hoy landscaping
08-05-2011, 11:38 PM
cant wait to see pics!

nepatsfan
08-06-2011, 08:23 AM
Ouch! that would suck! I think I would get something in writing before I presented or even drew up a plan?

I charge $100 for a plan and deduct it off the price of the job if they go with me. I used to do them for nothing but I would not get the job fairly frequently when I gave them the price, they would shop my plan to other landscapers who wouldn't have a clue otherwise. I would drive by peoples houses and see my design being installed by another company.:cry::cry::hammerhead:

nepatsfan
08-06-2011, 08:29 AM
So what convinced them to go with you? You haven't showed them a plan or priced it right? We have had people take a plan we put together and go get bids and knock us out.

I thought the same thing but it sounds like he knows what is going in there though. For instance he knows 400 plants 8 trees the size of the patio, probably the size of the walkway. Might all just need to be put on paper for something to go by on the install and for the homeowners but with the information he has he could probably give a price...not sure it's a guess because I was thinking the same thing as you. Kind of backwards but I have done it this way before. One reason is to give them the option of colors on the patio.....I will put in a few colors that they have it narrowed down to so they can choose and what not.

cpllawncare
08-06-2011, 09:08 AM
I charge $100 for a plan and deduct it off the price of the job if they go with me. I used to do them for nothing but I would not get the job fairly frequently when I gave them the price, they would shop my plan to other landscapers who wouldn't have a clue otherwise. I would drive by peoples houses and see my design being installed by another company.:cry::cry::hammerhead:

Yea, That's something You could do, and if you present the plan say on the computer, that way they wouldn't have a hard copy of your plan to shop with. The only way they get a hard copy is if they go with you. Just give then a very generic plan in the beginning then when they sign the contract you can do a detailed final version.

JimLewis
08-06-2011, 08:02 PM
Man, I would love to celebrate with you, but in all honesty, it sounds like you're in over your head. I know you said it aint your first rodeo but several other things you said really make it sound like you aren't prepared for doing this big of a job.

First, you mention that it's your biggest job ever. And I know it's easy to get excited when you get a big job like that. But anyone who has actually experienced doing a lot of big jobs like that will usually tell you that they are often the most problematic....the ones where you have more potential for things to go wrong.... the ones you will get the most call-backs for. Having done quite a lot of jobs like that I will tell you that I still get excited when I land them, but honestly, I'd rather get 5 smaller $10K jobs than one big $50K jobs any day. On the big ones, you own them. Anything that ever goes wrong; settles, dies, quits watering, stops working (lighting), you're going to be getting a call on your cell phone to come over and fix it ASAP. And if you think you're so good that nothing's going to go wrong, well then I guess I should just stop writing. I'm totally wasting my time then......

Second, $100 for a design? What kind of design is that? Who is the designer? Is this person really trained landscape designer or landscape architect? I've contracted out for literally HUNDREDS of designs over the years. And I've never had a good quality design by a professional well trained designer or L.A. cost less than $500-$600. And usually it's more than that! You're seriously going to do some cheap $100 design for a house that is $1.5 Mil? Honestly, I think it's the homeowners you're working with who are the ignorant ones here. Just the fact that they think they could get a really well done design for $100 is laughable. That would usually scare away most of my clients if I told them our designs were that cheap.

Third, you mention you're wanting to do all this in 1 week? 5 days? That concerns me in many different ways. It concerns me because if you're really going to get all that done in 5 days that means you take some serious short cuts. Or the other option is that you've drastically under-estimated how long this project is going to take you and therefore probably aren't charging enough and going to loose your a$$ on the job. I guess maybe you're 4 guys are faster than the rest of us or something. And I haven't seen the design. But in general, here are some production times for a job like you're doing:

200+ feet of boulder retaining walls 4 feet high
4 Days. For an couple really experienced guys and a big track hoe and loader.

Fountains
I don't know how many fountains and what kind or style. But even a modest rock bubbler fountain will take us most of a day to install. And you said plural fountains? So let's say 2 Days.

A court yard
Not sure what that means. To me, that means an area with some nice seat walls around where people are going to spend some time. But whatever it is, figure at least 1-2 Days

Over 400 plants, 8 Trees
That would take us a good Day and a half with 4 guys. Unless they're all 1 gallon plants. And if they are all 1 gallon plants, that's not going to be a very impressive job.....

Lighting
If you're planning to do even a half-way decent lighting job - on a $1.5 Mil house - that's something that's going to take a good day or more to do. If you're doing it quicker than that, either you're really not installing very many light fixtures (which again, won't be very impressive) or you're just going at it half-a$$ed and slamming stuff in the ground without much care. Go to the lighting forum and ask the guys there if you think I don't know what I'm talking about. Ask them if they think you can do a nice quality lighting install in just a few hours on a $1.5 Mil. home. You'll get laughed out of the forum.

Flagstone walkway
Now again, it doesn't say how big. But we've done a lot of those and I haven't done many that took less than a day. Many took 2-3 days to do.

500 sq feet of pavers
This is the part that really baffles me. We do a LOT of paver jobs. And unless this is a boring rectangle shaped patio with no curves or cuts on it (which again is pretty freakin' boring and not very impressive) then it would generally take at least 3 Days to do a nice 500 sq. ft. paver patio. If it is a pathway, those take even longer, usually, because of the curves and all the extra cuts

And a full irrigation system
There aren't a whole lot of guys on Lawnsite who have installed more irrigation systems than we have. This is something I do have quite a bit of expertise in. I was a speaker at the 2010 Rain Bird select contractor conference. I was selected to represent the NW region as one of 15 members of the Rain Bird Contractor Advisory Council. I know irrigation pretty well. So unless you guys do it a lot different than most of the rest of us do, a full irrigation install on a good sized property will usually take a good 5 days just by itself.

So that's about 19 days, by my count. Again, this is without seeing any of the details. But how do you expect to get something like this done in 5 days? Am I missing something? Maybe this is the smallest irrigation system ever or maybe you're just installing 4 spot lights and that's what you're considering a lighting system. Otherwise, I don't get it.

I hate to rain on your parade, buddy. I'd love to help you celebrate. But it just seems like you're ill prepared to do a job like this and aren't working in reality.

If I'm way off on my production times, post a reply with how long you think each of these projects are going to take.

Fordsuvparts
08-06-2011, 08:14 PM
Man, I would love to celebrate with you, but in all honesty, it sounds like you're in over your head. I know you said it aint your first rodeo but several other things you said really make it sound like you aren't prepared for doing this big of a job.

First, you mention that it's your biggest job ever. And I know it's easy to get excited when you get a big job like that. But anyone who has actually experienced doing a lot of big jobs like that will usually tell you that they are often the most problematic....the ones where you have more potential for things to go wrong.... the ones you will get the most call-backs for. Having done quite a lot of jobs like that I will tell you that I still get excited when I land them, but honestly, I'd rather get 5 smaller $10K jobs than one big $50K jobs any day. On the big ones, you own them. Anything that ever goes wrong; settles, dies, quits watering, stops working (lighting), you're going to be getting a call on your cell phone to come over and fix it ASAP. And if you think you're so good that nothing's going to go wrong, well then I guess I should just stop writing. I'm totally wasting my time then......

Second, $100 for a design? What kind of design is that? Who is the designer? Is this person really trained landscape designer or landscape architect? I've contracted out for literally HUNDREDS of designs over the years. And I've never had a good quality design by a professional well trained designer or L.A. cost less than $500-$600. And usually it's more than that! You're seriously going to do some cheap $100 design for a house that is $1.5 Mil? Honestly, I think it's the homeowners you're working with who are the ignorant ones here. Just the fact that they think they could get a really well done design for $100 is laughable. That would usually scare away most of my clients if I told them our designs were that cheap.

Third, you mention you're wanting to do all this in 1 week? 5 days? That concerns me in many different ways. It concerns me because if you're really going to get all that done in 5 days that means you take some serious short cuts. Or the other option is that you've drastically under-estimated how long this project is going to take you and therefore probably aren't charging enough and going to loose your a$$ on the job. I guess maybe you're 4 guys are faster than the rest of us or something. And I haven't seen the design. But in general, here are some production times for a job like you're doing:

200+ feet of boulder retaining walls 4 feet high
4 Days. For an couple really experienced guys and a big track hoe and loader.

Fountains
I don't know how many fountains and what kind or style. But even a modest rock bubbler fountain will take us most of a day to install. And you said plural fountains? So let's say 2 Days.

A court yard
Not sure what that means. To me, that means an area with some nice seat walls around where people are going to spend some time. But whatever it is, figure at least 1-2 Days

Over 400 plants, 8 Trees
That would take us a good Day and a half with 4 guys. Unless they're all 1 gallon plants. And if they are all 1 gallon plants, that's not going to be a very impressive job.....

Lighting
If you're planning to do even a half-way decent lighting job - on a $1.5 Mil house - that's something that's going to take a good day or more to do. If you're doing it quicker than that, either you're really not installing very many light fixtures (which again, won't be very impressive) or you're just going at it half-a$$ed and slamming stuff in the ground without much care. Go to the lighting forum and ask the guys there if you think I don't know what I'm talking about. Ask them if they think you can do a nice quality lighting install in just a few hours on a $1.5 Mil. home. You'll get laughed out of the forum.

Flagstone walkway
Now again, it doesn't say how big. But we've done a lot of those and I haven't done many that took less than a day. Many took 2-3 days to do.

500 sq feet of pavers
This is the part that really baffles me. We do a LOT of paver jobs. And unless this is a boring rectangle shaped patio with no curves or cuts on it (which again is pretty freakin' boring and not very impressive) then it would generally take at least 3 Days to do a nice 500 sq. ft. paver patio. If it is a pathway, those take even longer, usually, because of the curves and all the extra cuts

And a full irrigation system
There aren't a whole lot of guys on Lawnsite who have installed more irrigation systems than we have. This is something I do have quite a bit of expertise in. I was a speaker at the 2010 Rain Bird select contractor conference. I was selected to represent the NW region as one of 15 members of the Rain Bird Contractor Advisory Council. I know irrigation pretty well. So unless you guys do it a lot different than most of the rest of us do, a full irrigation install on a good sized property will usually take a good 5 days just by itself.

So that's about 19 days, by my count. Again, this is without seeing any of the details. But how do you expect to get something like this done in 5 days? Am I missing something? Maybe this is the smallest irrigation system ever or maybe you're just installing 4 spot lights and that's what you're considering a lighting system. Otherwise, I don't get it.

I hate to rain on your parade, buddy. I'd love to help you celebrate. But it just seems like you're ill prepared to do a job like this and aren't working in reality.

If I'm way off on my production times, post a reply with how long you think each of these projects are going to take.

I couldn't agree with you more, I would love to see an honest day by day break down of this job, and how much was done each day. I remember 10 years ago when we landed our first really big job and spent more time planning what we would spend the money on, than actually realizing how over our head we were. What we thought we would do in 10 days took almost 4 weeks because of inexperience and utility relocates that we had not planned on.
I hope you do get this job done quickly and make a lot of money, but in the real world that rarely happens, plan for the worst, hope for the best, and remember CYA!!!!

IES
08-06-2011, 09:38 PM
Always wait till the end of a job(and getting paid) before celebrating.
Posted via Mobile Device

nepatsfan
08-06-2011, 11:11 PM
Man, I would love to celebrate with you, but in all honesty, it sounds like you're in over your head. I know you said it aint your first rodeo but several other things you said really make it sound like you aren't prepared for doing this big of a job.

First, you mention that it's your biggest job ever. And I know it's easy to get excited when you get a big job like that. But anyone who has actually experienced doing a lot of big jobs like that will usually tell you that they are often the most problematic....the ones where you have more potential for things to go wrong.... the ones you will get the most call-backs for. Having done quite a lot of jobs like that I will tell you that I still get excited when I land them, but honestly, I'd rather get 5 smaller $10K jobs than one big $50K jobs any day. On the big ones, you own them. Anything that ever goes wrong; settles, dies, quits watering, stops working (lighting), you're going to be getting a call on your cell phone to come over and fix it ASAP. And if you think you're so good that nothing's going to go wrong, well then I guess I should just stop writing. I'm totally wasting my time then......

Second, $100 for a design? What kind of design is that? Who is the designer? Is this person really trained landscape designer or landscape architect? I've contracted out for literally HUNDREDS of designs over the years. And I've never had a good quality design by a professional well trained designer or L.A. cost less than $500-$600. And usually it's more than that! You're seriously going to do some cheap $100 design for a house that is $1.5 Mil? Honestly, I think it's the homeowners you're working with who are the ignorant ones here. Just the fact that they think they could get a really well done design for $100 is laughable. That would usually scare away most of my clients if I told them our designs were that cheap.

Third, you mention you're wanting to do all this in 1 week? 5 days? That concerns me in many different ways. It concerns me because if you're really going to get all that done in 5 days that means you take some serious short cuts. Or the other option is that you've drastically under-estimated how long this project is going to take you and therefore probably aren't charging enough and going to loose your a$$ on the job. I guess maybe you're 4 guys are faster than the rest of us or something. And I haven't seen the design. But in general, here are some production times for a job like you're doing:

200+ feet of boulder retaining walls 4 feet high
4 Days. For an couple really experienced guys and a big track hoe and loader.

Fountains
I don't know how many fountains and what kind or style. But even a modest rock bubbler fountain will take us most of a day to install. And you said plural fountains? So let's say 2 Days.

A court yard
Not sure what that means. To me, that means an area with some nice seat walls around where people are going to spend some time. But whatever it is, figure at least 1-2 Days

Over 400 plants, 8 Trees
That would take us a good Day and a half with 4 guys. Unless they're all 1 gallon plants. And if they are all 1 gallon plants, that's not going to be a very impressive job.....

Lighting
If you're planning to do even a half-way decent lighting job - on a $1.5 Mil house - that's something that's going to take a good day or more to do. If you're doing it quicker than that, either you're really not installing very many light fixtures (which again, won't be very impressive) or you're just going at it half-a$$ed and slamming stuff in the ground without much care. Go to the lighting forum and ask the guys there if you think I don't know what I'm talking about. Ask them if they think you can do a nice quality lighting install in just a few hours on a $1.5 Mil. home. You'll get laughed out of the forum.

Flagstone walkway
Now again, it doesn't say how big. But we've done a lot of those and I haven't done many that took less than a day. Many took 2-3 days to do.

500 sq feet of pavers
This is the part that really baffles me. We do a LOT of paver jobs. And unless this is a boring rectangle shaped patio with no curves or cuts on it (which again is pretty freakin' boring and not very impressive) then it would generally take at least 3 Days to do a nice 500 sq. ft. paver patio. If it is a pathway, those take even longer, usually, because of the curves and all the extra cuts

And a full irrigation system
There aren't a whole lot of guys on Lawnsite who have installed more irrigation systems than we have. This is something I do have quite a bit of expertise in. I was a speaker at the 2010 Rain Bird select contractor conference. I was selected to represent the NW region as one of 15 members of the Rain Bird Contractor Advisory Council. I know irrigation pretty well. So unless you guys do it a lot different than most of the rest of us do, a full irrigation install on a good sized property will usually take a good 5 days just by itself.

So that's about 19 days, by my count. Again, this is without seeing any of the details. But how do you expect to get something like this done in 5 days? Am I missing something? Maybe this is the smallest irrigation system ever or maybe you're just installing 4 spot lights and that's what you're considering a lighting system. Otherwise, I don't get it.

I hate to rain on your parade, buddy. I'd love to help you celebrate. But it just seems like you're ill prepared to do a job like this and aren't working in reality.

If I'm way off on my production times, post a reply with how long you think each of these projects are going to take.

I said $100 for a design. I take a picture, put in the patio or put in new shrubs in the front of the house or whatever...walkway, walls. It doesn't take very long...maybe 3 hours all together but I do it to get the job not to make money off the plan. I have done work off LA's plans and half the time I am not impressed with all the money they spend. I used to do it for nothing, to scale on graph paper and everyone likes these computer pictures better. I sell way more jobs with it.

I used to do them for nothing. I do agree about he timeline...that is why I questioned it..no way will this job be completed correctly in 7 days with 5 guys I.M.O.

JimLewis
08-07-2011, 01:42 AM
I said $100 for a design....

Oh, My bad. I thought that was Alex who said that.

And I'm sorry, but I disagree. You can't do a really nice well thought out design in just a couple hours. Not for a full property. No way. Doing a major landscape job without getting it professionally designed by someone who at least has had some major schooling in the art of design is like letting your painting contractor choose your paint, rather than hiring an interior designer. Sure, the painting guy might have a few ideas of what looks okay - but his recommendations aren't going to compare with someone whose been through interior design school. It's just not that simple. The painting job picked out by the painting contract will probably look pretty nice. But if you had hired a really good interior designer, the same job would have turned out 2x as nice. Same thing with landscaping. If you really want it to turn out amazing, you really need to have it designed by someone with an eye for creativity and specialty training in landscape design.

If you weren't impressed with the L.A.'s design in the past, then maybe use a different L.A. Take a look at some of their past work first. Because there are some weird quirky ones out there and there are some who just plain rock! The best jobs I've done (including the one where we were featured on the cover of a major landscaping magazine) were all done by a landscape designer with a degree in landscape design or a L.A.

White Gardens
08-07-2011, 01:46 AM
Good posts Jim!

I'd say 2-3 weeks to complete it, minimum.


...

nepatsfan
08-07-2011, 08:08 AM
Oh, My bad. I thought that was Alex who said that.

And I'm sorry, but I disagree. You can't do a really nice well thought out design in just a couple hours. Not for a full property. No way. Doing a major landscape job without getting it professionally designed by someone who at least has had some major schooling in the art of design is like letting your painting contractor choose your paint, rather than hiring an interior designer. Sure, the painting guy might have a few ideas of what looks okay - but his recommendations aren't going to compare with someone whose been through interior design school. It's just not that simple. The painting job picked out by the painting contract will probably look pretty nice. But if you had hired a really good interior designer, the same job would have turned out 2x as nice. Same thing with landscaping. If you really want it to turn out amazing, you really need to have it designed by someone with an eye for creativity and specialty training in landscape design.

If you weren't impressed with the L.A.'s design in the past, then maybe use a different L.A. Take a look at some of their past work first. Because there are some weird quirky ones out there and there are some who just plain rock! The best jobs I've done (including the one where we were featured on the cover of a major landscaping magazine) were all done by a landscape designer with a degree in landscape design or a L.A.

The jobs we do are not really this big. Not that we couldn't.....but it isn't every day people call for this kind of job(at least not me). So when I say I design them it is typically like we want a patio out back with a walkway and we want to rip out the shrubs in the front and re-do the front of the house....or just a walkway or a patio. I am not doing a real complex plan for them. On a job like the O.P. is talking about I would not attempt to design it. I do the patios on the computer because a lot of times they have trouble picking colors so I show them a few samples of their patio against their house with a couple different colors. I usually show them a contrasting soldier course because a lot of times people cant grasp that when I suggest it. Once you draw up the patio changing colors is the click of a mouse. Believe it or not people seem more impressed with this than plans because they can visualize it.

JimLewis
08-07-2011, 06:36 PM
Ok. I gotcha. If it's not a full landscape install where you're designing the entire yard, then yah. I could see that. Just for patios and smaller planting areas. Makes sense.

KrayzKajun
08-07-2011, 07:14 PM
I think Jim pretty much summed it up for all of us!

GroundOneMN
08-08-2011, 03:05 PM
The jobs we do are not really this big. Not that we couldn't.....but it isn't every day people call for this kind of job(at least not me). So when I say I design them it is typically like we want a patio out back with a walkway and we want to rip out the shrubs in the front and re-do the front of the house....or just a walkway or a patio. I am not doing a real complex plan for them. On a job like the O.P. is talking about I would not attempt to design it. I do the patios on the computer because a lot of times they have trouble picking colors so I show them a few samples of their patio against their house with a couple different colors. I usually show them a contrasting soldier course because a lot of times people cant grasp that when I suggest it. Once you draw up the patio changing colors is the click of a mouse. Believe it or not people seem more impressed with this than plans because they can visualize it.

Not to be that guy, but I will disagree and suggest you look for the right landscape arch or designer. You will find your sales are easier and the construction of those projects are more presise and more profitable. Building off a "picture" leaves alot of room for interpetation and confusion among homeowner and builder. With a set of plans, there is no confusion or lack of information that can be required when building a landscape.

meets1
08-09-2011, 11:18 PM
I think were good but in 5 days that is a tough call!

Glenn Lawn Care
08-15-2011, 02:56 PM
with my crew probably a week. maybe more depending on the grading

It will prolly take you the better part of a month guy!

GroundOneMN
08-15-2011, 02:59 PM
I want to see these pics when your done....

Puddle of Oil
08-15-2011, 03:39 PM
I want to see these pics when your done....

x2

Id be very interested to see how this project turned out in 5 days.

nepatsfan
08-15-2011, 03:51 PM
Not to be that guy, but I will disagree and suggest you look for the right landscape arch or designer. You will find your sales are easier and the construction of those projects are more presise and more profitable. Building off a "picture" leaves alot of room for interpetation and confusion among homeowner and builder. With a set of plans, there is no confusion or lack of information that can be required when building a landscape.

Maybe so but it works fine for me. I give the dimensions in the contract. I dont need a LA to do a patio or a walkway or re design the plantings in someones front yard. If you need the help then go for it.

nepatsfan
08-15-2011, 03:53 PM
Seems like the OP is now ignoring his own thread.

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
08-15-2011, 06:50 PM
Seems like the OP is now ignoring his own thread.

He either didn't like the answers he got or he is just now realizing that he is a$$ deep in a project that is going to cost him a ton of money to finish and wishing that he had listened to everybody here!

OrganicsMaine
08-15-2011, 10:50 PM
I think he is out working a second job to help pay for his bid on this job.....no way does a quality job of this magnitude get done in 5 days. A quality boulder wall @400' is 2-3 days alone. The patio, in ideal conditions, no hiccups, 2-3 days....again, this is assuming quality work.

I hope he pulls all of this off in 5 days, and I will be first in line for his book signing....at least I hope he writes one on how to be the most efficient contractor in the world!

Pics would be great to see on this one!

indplstim
08-16-2011, 01:09 AM
Lol I wouldn't come back to this thread either, who wants to sit around and listen to a bunch of people pissing on his parade! I swear the posters on this site are some of the most negative people I've ever seen. I guess its too much for all u guys to say congrats , good luck and move on, Hell, throw in a good "I hope you arnt under-estimating you labor hours on such a big job, but I hope it all turns out well" No, u have to go on a two page diatribe about how in only five days, your end result MUST be shitty! Some people......
Posted via Mobile Device

nepatsfan
08-16-2011, 07:53 AM
Lol I wouldn't come back to this thread either, who wants to sit around and listen to a bunch of people pissing on his parade! I swear the posters on this site are some of the most negative people I've ever seen. I guess its too much for all u guys to say congrats , good luck and move on, Hell, throw in a good "I hope you arnt under-estimating you labor hours on such a big job, but I hope it all turns out well" No, u have to go on a two page diatribe about how in only five days, your end result MUST be shitty! Some people......
Posted via Mobile Device

And every kid deserves a trophy and there should be no honor roll because it makes the kids feel bad who don't get on it. No keeping score anymore everything is for fun.

OrganicsMaine
08-16-2011, 08:13 AM
And every kid deserves a trophy and there should be no honor roll because it makes the kids feel bad who don't get on it. No keeping score anymore everything is for fun.

Amen to that sarcasm!

indplstim
08-16-2011, 08:19 AM
Yea, good one
Posted via Mobile Device

JimLewis
08-16-2011, 05:40 PM
Lol I wouldn't come back to this thread either, who wants to sit around and listen to a bunch of people pissing on his parade! I swear the posters on this site are some of the most negative people I've ever seen. I guess its too much for all u guys to say congrats , good luck and move on, Hell, throw in a good "I hope you arnt under-estimating you labor hours on such a big job, but I hope it all turns out well" No, u have to go on a two page diatribe about how in only five days, your end result MUST be shitty! Some people......
Posted via Mobile Device

What you (and probably the OP too) don't realize is we ARE helping this guy. Help doesn't always come in the form of "Oh, that sounds great. Best luck to you." In fact, that's not help at all. If you see a guy who is gleefully ignorant that he is about to step in a big pile of crap and twist their ankle in the same spot you just stepped in a few months ago do you just tell him, "Awesome, glad you're happy!" No!!! Not unless you're a total JackA$$. If you have a heart or soul, you WARN THE GUY. You, having gone down that same path many times before - WARN HIM. It's just the right thing to do.

Here we have a guy who ADMITS he hasn't ever done a job this big before. And then you have a bunch of us who HAVE done LOTS of jobs that big before giving him careful warnings. Guess what? Maybe it's time to listen up! Otherwise, why the heck would you come to a forum like this. Just to brag? You don't want to hear opinions from people who have done it before? You don't want to learn from the experience of others who gone where you're going? I'm sorry to tell you - but this forum is not just for the rest of us to cheer you on and never give any advice or opinions. If you thought that's what Lawnsite was, you're sorely mistaken. It's a place where you can share ideas, ask questions, and most of all learn from others who have done it before.

I agree we all should keep our comments positive. But that doesn't mean we just totally ignore it when we see a fellow member walking into danger. I didn't see anyone in this thread being rude or extremely negative. It's our duty to help other contractors here on Lawnsite see what maybe they aren't seeing. Since we have a little more clarity from many years of experience. That's how we raise the standard of our industry. If you're not on board with that concept, and just want some Namby-Pamby-Phoney-Baloney-Plastic-Banana-Good-Time-Rock-and-Rollers, then maybe this just isn't the place for you guys. Because here on Lawnsite, we call it like we see it. We're honest. Sometimes that comes off as being brutally honest. But it's better than not saying anything and letting you step in a pile of crap.

OrganicsMaine
08-16-2011, 05:47 PM
Yes!!!!:clapping::clapping::clapping:

tadpole
08-16-2011, 05:48 PM
What you (and probably the OP too) don't realize is we ARE helping this guy. Help doesn't always come in the form of "Oh, that sounds great. Best luck to you." In fact, that's not help at all. If you see a guy who is gleefully ignorant that he is about to step in a big pile of crap and twist their ankle in the same spot you just stepped in a few months ago do you just tell him, "Awesome, glad you're happy!" No!!! Not unless you're a total JackA$$. If you have a heart or soul, you WARN THE GUY. You, having gone down that same path many times before - WARN HIM. It's just the right thing to do.

Here we have a guy who ADMITS he hasn't ever done a job this big before. And then you have a bunch of us who HAVE done LOTS of jobs that big before giving him careful warnings. Guess what? Maybe it's time to listen up! Otherwise, why the heck would you come to a forum like this. Just to brag? You don't want to hear opinions from people who have done it before? You don't want to learn from the experience of others who gone where you're going? I'm sorry to tell you - but this forum is not just for the rest of us to cheer you on and never give any advise or opinions. If you thought that's what Lawnsite was, you're sorely mistaken. It's a place where you can share ideas, ask questions, and most of all learn from others who have done it before.

I agree we all should keep our comments positive. But that doesn't mean we just totally ignore it when we see a fellow member walking into danger. I didn't see anyone in this thread being rude or extremely negative. It's our duty to help other contractors here on Lawnsite see what maybe they aren't seeing. Since we have a little more clarity from many years of experience. That's how we raise the standard of our industry. If you're not on board with that concept, and just want some Namby-Pamby-Phoney-Baloney-Plastic-Banana-Good-Time-Rock-and-Rollers, then maybe this just isn't the place for you guys. Because here on Lawnsite, we call it like we see it. We're honest. Sometimes that comes off as being brutally honest. But it's better than not saying anything and letting you step in a pile of crap.


BRAVO!:clapping::clapping::clapping:

indplstim
08-16-2011, 06:08 PM
Calling the op ignorant, implying his standards must be crap in order to meet his own time expectations isn't being negative? Telling me to find another forum isn't negative? Have you seen the jobsite in question? Have u seen how well this man and his crew work? Honesty is great and this forum is awesome with the info avaliable, in my time here(3 years reading, 1 year posting) I have noticed a lot of negativity and infighting on this board. Go re-read this thread, does it sound negative to you? Your post especially! Sure from the outside looking in, it may appear that all he listed seems unreasonable in a 5 day work week. Why jump down the guys ass about it, I'd abandon the tread too. Its not helping, if no one asks for your help!
Posted via Mobile Device

indplstim
08-16-2011, 06:10 PM
Too much more of this and the mods will be "helping" this thread!
Posted via Mobile Device

nepatsfan
08-16-2011, 06:22 PM
Calling the op ignorant, implying his standards must be crap in order to meet his own time expectations isn't being negative? Telling me to find another forum isn't negative? Have you seen the jobsite in question? Have u seen how well this man and his crew work? Honesty is great and this forum is awesome with the info avaliable, in my time here(3 years reading, 1 year posting) I have noticed a lot of negativity and infighting on this board. Go re-read this thread, does it sound negative to you? Your post especially! Sure from the outside looking in, it may appear that all he listed seems unreasonable in a 5 day work week. Why jump down the guys ass about it, I'd abandon the tread too. Its not helping, if no one asks for your help!
Posted via Mobile Device

Good luck to him but his timeline is impossible......Thats all.

JimLewis
08-16-2011, 07:01 PM
Calling the op ignorant

Well, first of all, I don't think I called him ignorant. If I did, go back and show me where I did. Because I can't find it.

Although I would concur with that assessment. According to the dictionary, the word 'Ignorant' means, "1. Lacking education or knowledge. 2. Showing or arising from a lack of education or knowledge 3. Unaware or Uninformed." It's not like you're calling someone a bad name. You're just saying the person isn't that knowledgeable about a certain subject. I would say that just for the fact that the OP said he'd never landed a job like this before that - by definition - means he's a little ignorant in terms of doing jobs this big.

, implying his standards must be crap in order to meet his own time expectations isn't being negative?

Again, I think you're mis-characterizing what I said a little. But I didn't say that. He said he landed this huge job on a $1.5Mil. property (which we have to assume is a pretty big place) and listed a LOT of different projects he was going to do on said property and then mentioned he thought it would be done in a week. So either this is a REALLY TINY $1.5Mil property or he is just 10x faster than the rest of us are. Because those estimates don't add up at all in the real world. Anyone who's done jobs like this would tell you - and a bunch of us HAVE told him - that it is going to take way longer than that. There are just way too many things going on. Unless it's a 3-sprinkler-head sprinkler system and a 50 sq. ft. flagstone pathway and a 100 sq. ft. sod lawn, and (15) 1 gal. plants, and a tiny little rock wall and on and on and on..... I'm sorry. There's just no way that's going to happen. Even if you're hella fast and taking every short cut possible you still can't fully landscape and hardscape and irrigate a property like that in 5 days. Just doesn't happen. That's all any of us are saying.


Telling me to find another forum isn't negative?

No. I said if you're expecting this place to be all bubbles and flowers and nice happy comments where nobody ever gives you any real honest advice - than you should probably go elsewhere. Because this forum will NEVER BE LIKE THAT. Hate to break it to ya.

Have you seen the jobsite in question?

Nope. But he gave a pretty decent description. $1.5 Mil property, just North of Atlanta, GA. According to Zillow, homes in that area that are in the $1.5 Mil. price range are all around 44,000 sq. ft. or 1 acre. So until the OP clarifies how big of a property he's referring to exactly, the rest of us can only conclude it's about the same size as most of the rest of the $1.5Mil homes in that area. I can't imagine it's a huge $1.5 Mil home on a 5000 sq. ft. lot. That seems very unlikely. But even if that was true, then I guess this job isn't anything to really be very excited about then because then it would be a super small project.

He did say that there would be a 200'x4' retaining wall. So that tells me right there it's a pretty decent size property. He also said 400 plants. So again, that can't be a small lot. Talked about a lot of sq. footage in hardscape. So yah, I think we got the idea how big of a property this is. But since he's not been responding to anyone's questions then we can't really know for sure. All we can go off is his initial postings.

Have u seen how well this man and his crew work?

No. But it doesn't matter, really. I have crews that are some of the better install crews in my state. Most of them been with me a good 7-8 years now and are about as fast and good quality as you can get. And there's no way even my experienced guys could ever touch a job that big in just 5 days. Even if we took short cuts. It just isn't possible. No matter how good you are.

Honesty is great and this forum is awesome with the info avaliable, in my time here(3 years reading, 1 year posting) I have noticed a lot of negativity and infighting on this board. Go re-read this thread, does it sound negative to you? Your post especially!

I think some of you guys are just a little too sensitive and don't like it when people tell you the cold hard truth. You'd rather people be all nice and bubbly and always saying nice positive things to you all the time than tell you the cold hard truth.

I do understand what you're saying, though - in general. You might be surprised to hear that. That's one of the reasons I don't post a lot of jobs on Lawnsite anymore. We do a lot of nice work but I don't post our jobs as much here anymore because I don't always care to listen to how some guy in another state half way across the country would have used a different paver or done the water feature a little differently or would have used a different kind of step. That gets old, I agree. Sometimes you just want people to say nice things and not get any criticism at all - even if it is meant as constructive criticism. I get that.

But the reality is that every time I've posted something on Lawnsite and didn't always like all the replies I got, I almost always learned something. And on many many occasions, the comments I got on a project that I thought turned out amazing really made me think hard about how I might do it differently next time. And so I learned something. And my work improved! As difficult as it was to hear, the criticism helped! That's the thing you gotta learn about Lawnsite. Most people are trying to help. Not everyone. There are some trolls here who just like to pick apart people's work but never post any of their own work. And, honestly, those guys are the ones who keep me from posting more often. But most of the rest of the people who post comments really aren't intending to be negative. They are trying to help you see that there are other, better, ways of doing it. Or help you see that you're really underestimating yourself. Or help you see that you're in over your head. And it's never fun to hear that but that doesn't mean it's not true. You have to take a step back sometimes and realize that sometimes these are guys who have done what you're just starting to do. And maybe they've done it hundreds of times. And maybe you ought to listen up!

Sure from the outside looking in, it may appear that all he listed seems unreasonable in a 5 day work week. Why jump down the guys ass about it, I'd abandon the tread too.

I don't think anyone jumped down his a$$ about it. We were just laying out the cold hard truth. It would be like someone going into the lawn care forum and saying, "Yes! Just landed my biggest mowing account ever! It's 3 acres and they want me to start right away. I figure it will take me about 15 minutes a week on my ZTR to mow it all down. I'm gonna make bank on this one!" ............ No.....no....no. You're not. What the heck are you thinking? I don't care what kind of mower you have. That is totally unreasonable and you need to wake up to reality, kid!

Sometimes you gotta give someone a cold hard wake up call when they are posting stuff like that. That's all we did here.

Its not helping, if no one asks for your help!

And I'll have to call you out on that one too. It is helping if the person giving it out has specific experience doing exactly what you're talking about doing and offering some suggestions as to how you might be a little off track. You can chose to ignore that help. You can act like a baby and say, "I wasn't asking for your help! Go away!!!" But it's still help. It's just a matter of whether you choose to accept it or remain ignorant. You can do the latter and learn the hard way. That's how I learned most things I know. But I'll tell you from experience, it's not the best way to learn. Much better to learn from others who have done it than to just beat your head against the wall thinking you know everything. That's why these days if I run into a paver challenge that I haven't had before or a new lighting problem or an irrigation problem - I go to those forums and ask the pros who have had some serious experience. I do that first. Because it's a whole lot easier learning that way than how I used to learn for the first 5-10 years of my business.

SoCalLandscapeMgmt
08-16-2011, 07:09 PM
We do a lot of nice work but I don't post our jobs as much here anymore because I don't always care to listen to how some guy in another state half way across the country would have used a different paver or done the water feature a little differently or would have used a different kind of step.

Awww...c'mon.... It's just Andrew bein Andrew! :dancing:

But you're dead on with all of your posts on this thread. Not to be mean but guys like the OP in this thread are one of the biggest problem that we face in this industry. They deflate the value of the work because they simply lack the experience to price and manage the job correctly!

indplstim
08-16-2011, 07:16 PM
Lol whatever you say Mr. Jim, I guess you have the game on lock and everything figured out..... I'm not gonna bang my head on the wall either! Carry on brothers!
Posted via Mobile Device

cpllawncare
08-16-2011, 07:17 PM
And every kid deserves a trophy and there should be no honor roll because it makes the kids feel bad who don't get on it. No keeping score anymore everything is for fun.

My pastor gave a whole sermon on this very subject recently, how parents are doing such a disservice to their children by letting them believe there are no consequences for not working hard, and life is all about having fun all the time and everyone is always a winner no matter how hard you work. I think it's pathetic how some parents are raising their kids these days, and apparently I'm not the only one. Sorry for getting on the soap box.

indplstim
08-16-2011, 07:19 PM
JimLewis " If you see a guy who is gleefully ignorant that he is about to step in a big pile of crap and twist their ankle in the same spot you just stepped in a few months ago do you just tell him, "Awesome, glad you're happy!" No!!!". This is you calling the op ignorant, I'm not going to post on this topic anymore.
Posted via Mobile Device

JimLewis
08-16-2011, 07:23 PM
Come on..... You just started a great debate here. I defended myself and my position and now you're not even going to try to defend yours and provide any kind of response? You're just going to bow out now??? Why'd you come in here and start making all sorts of claims if you didn't want to have the nerve to stick around and have a real discussion about it? Were you just trying to stir up the pot a little?

PaperCutter
08-17-2011, 09:19 AM
Picking apart everyone's posts and saying "See? You were mean, right there!" is ridiculous. The fact is that everyone who has voiced concerns that five days is a little ambitious has been there and is getting that same feeling reading this. That memory of the knot in the stomach, being eight days into the job and nowhere near done, and trying to figure out a way - any way - to make it out of this job and at the very least break even, ideally without having to go to the homeowner and say "I screwed up, I need more money to finish."

Someone who has been down the road before and cares enough to stop someone from making the same mistakes he or she did is a mentor. Someone who just smiles, pats your head, and tells you everything you ever do will be AWESOME! because you're such a great kid... that's grandma.

cpllawncare
08-17-2011, 09:36 AM
^^^ so very true! I've had some guys help me out when they saw that I was going down a bad path and am very thankful for the mentoring it is how we should all be these days. Due to the economy, there are a lot of guys out there that are having to reinvent themselves and need a good mentor, instead of someone tearing them down. I know because I'm one myself. So far this site alone has been a tremendous help and have said it many times "Thank you"

Votum Gardens LLC
08-17-2011, 12:10 PM
Well, first of all, I don't think I called him ignorant. If I did, go back and show me where I did. Because I can't find it.

Although I would concur with that assessment. According to the dictionary, the word 'Ignorant' means, "1. Lacking education or knowledge. 2. Showing or arising from a lack of education or knowledge 3. Unaware or Uninformed." It's not like you're calling someone a bad name. You're just saying the person isn't that knowledgeable about a certain subject. I would say that just for the fact that the OP said he'd never landed a job like this before that - by definition - means he's a little ignorant in terms of doing jobs this big.



Again, I think you're mis-characterizing what I said a little. But I didn't say that. He said he landed this huge job on a $1.5Mil. property (which we have to assume is a pretty big place) and listed a LOT of different projects he was going to do on said property and then mentioned he thought it would be done in a week. So either this is a REALLY TINY $1.5Mil property or he is just 10x faster than the rest of us are. Because those estimates don't add up at all in the real world. Anyone who's done jobs like this would tell you - and a bunch of us HAVE told him - that it is going to take way longer than that. There are just way too many things going on. Unless it's a 3-sprinkler-head sprinkler system and a 50 sq. ft. flagstone pathway and a 100 sq. ft. sod lawn, and (15) 1 gal. plants, and a tiny little rock wall and on and on and on..... I'm sorry. There's just no way that's going to happen. Even if you're hella fast and taking every short cut possible you still can't fully landscape and hardscape and irrigate a property like that in 5 days. Just doesn't happen. That's all any of us are saying.




No. I said if you're expecting this place to be all bubbles and flowers and nice happy comments where nobody ever gives you any real honest advice - than you should probably go elsewhere. Because this forum will NEVER BE LIKE THAT. Hate to break it to ya.



Nope. But he gave a pretty decent description. $1.5 Mil property, just North of Atlanta, GA. According to Zillow, homes in that area that are in the $1.5 Mil. price range are all around 44,000 sq. ft. or 1 acre. So until the OP clarifies how big of a property he's referring to exactly, the rest of us can only conclude it's about the same size as most of the rest of the $1.5Mil homes in that area. I can't imagine it's a huge $1.5 Mil home on a 5000 sq. ft. lot. That seems very unlikely. But even if that was true, then I guess this job isn't anything to really be very excited about then because then it would be a super small project.

He did say that there would be a 200'x4' retaining wall. So that tells me right there it's a pretty decent size property. He also said 400 plants. So again, that can't be a small lot. Talked about a lot of sq. footage in hardscape. So yah, I think we got the idea how big of a property this is. But since he's not been responding to anyone's questions then we can't really know for sure. All we can go off is his initial postings.



No. But it doesn't matter, really. I have crews that are some of the better install crews in my state. Most of them been with me a good 7-8 years now and are about as fast and good quality as you can get. And there's no way even my experienced guys could ever touch a job that big in just 5 days. Even if we took short cuts. It just isn't possible. No matter how good you are.



I think some of you guys are just a little too sensitive and don't like it when people tell you the cold hard truth. You'd rather people be all nice and bubbly and always saying nice positive things to you all the time than tell you the cold hard truth.

I do understand what you're saying, though - in general. You might be surprised to hear that. That's one of the reasons I don't post a lot of jobs on Lawnsite anymore. We do a lot of nice work but I don't post our jobs as much here anymore because I don't always care to listen to how some guy in another state half way across the country would have used a different paver or done the water feature a little differently or would have used a different kind of step. That gets old, I agree. Sometimes you just want people to say nice things and not get any criticism at all - even if it is meant as constructive criticism. I get that.

But the reality is that every time I've posted something on Lawnsite and didn't always like all the replies I got, I almost always learned something. And on many many occasions, the comments I got on a project that I thought turned out amazing really made me think hard about how I might do it differently next time. And so I learned something. And my work improved! As difficult as it was to hear, the criticism helped! That's the thing you gotta learn about Lawnsite. Most people are trying to help. Not everyone. There are some trolls here who just like to pick apart people's work but never post any of their own work. And, honestly, those guys are the ones who keep me from posting more often. But most of the rest of the people who post comments really aren't intending to be negative. They are trying to help you see that there are other, better, ways of doing it. Or help you see that you're really underestimating yourself. Or help you see that you're in over your head. And it's never fun to hear that but that doesn't mean it's not true. You have to take a step back sometimes and realize that sometimes these are guys who have done what you're just starting to do. And maybe they've done it hundreds of times. And maybe you ought to listen up!



I don't think anyone jumped down his a$$ about it. We were just laying out the cold hard truth. It would be like someone going into the lawn care forum and saying, "Yes! Just landed my biggest mowing account ever! It's 3 acres and they want me to start right away. I figure it will take me about 15 minutes a week on my ZTR to mow it all down. I'm gonna make bank on this one!" ............ No.....no....no. You're not. What the heck are you thinking? I don't care what kind of mower you have. That is totally unreasonable and you need to wake up to reality, kid!

Sometimes you gotta give someone a cold hard wake up call when they are posting stuff like that. That's all we did here.



And I'll have to call you out on that one too. It is helping if the person giving it out has specific experience doing exactly what you're talking about doing and offering some suggestions as to how you might be a little off track. You can chose to ignore that help. You can act like a baby and say, "I wasn't asking for your help! Go away!!!" But it's still help. It's just a matter of whether you choose to accept it or remain ignorant. You can do the latter and learn the hard way. That's how I learned most things I know. But I'll tell you from experience, it's not the best way to learn. Much better to learn from others who have done it than to just beat your head against the wall thinking you know everything. That's why these days if I run into a paver challenge that I haven't had before or a new lighting problem or an irrigation problem - I go to those forums and ask the pros who have had some serious experience. I do that first. Because it's a whole lot easier learning that way than how I used to learn for the first 5-10 years of my business.

Very Well Said!!!

Mark Oomkes
08-17-2011, 01:01 PM
Calling the op ignorant, implying his standards must be crap in order to meet his own time expectations isn't being negative? Telling me to find another forum isn't negative? Have you seen the jobsite in question? Have u seen how well this man and his crew work? Honesty is great and this forum is awesome with the info avaliable, in my time here(3 years reading, 1 year posting) I have noticed a lot of negativity and infighting on this board. Go re-read this thread, does it sound negative to you? Your post especially! Sure from the outside looking in, it may appear that all he listed seems unreasonable in a 5 day work week. Why jump down the guys ass about it, I'd abandon the tread too. Its not helping, if no one asks for your help!
Posted via Mobile Device

I was going to reply to the ignorant thing, because I always get jumped on for calling peeps ignorant, but Jim did a fantastic job of answering so much more diplomatically than I would have.

Wouldn't you agree Chaz and MJD?

Anyways, Tim, you say that if someone doesn't ask for help, someone else shouldn't give it. So if someone is walking across a street and about to get hit by a semi, no one should warn the person of the approaching danger?

Well, first of all, I don't think I called him ignorant. If I did, go back and show me where I did. Because I can't find it.

Although I would concur with that assessment. According to the dictionary, the word 'Ignorant' means, "1. Lacking education or knowledge. 2. Showing or arising from a lack of education or knowledge 3. Unaware or Uninformed." It's not like you're calling someone a bad name. You're just saying the person isn't that knowledgeable about a certain subject. I would say that just for the fact that the OP said he'd never landed a job like this before that - by definition - means he's a little ignorant in terms of doing jobs this big.



Again, I think you're mis-characterizing what I said a little. But I didn't say that. He said he landed this huge job on a $1.5Mil. property (which we have to assume is a pretty big place) and listed a LOT of different projects he was going to do on said property and then mentioned he thought it would be done in a week. So either this is a REALLY TINY $1.5Mil property or he is just 10x faster than the rest of us are. Because those estimates don't add up at all in the real world. Anyone who's done jobs like this would tell you - and a bunch of us HAVE told him - that it is going to take way longer than that. There are just way too many things going on. Unless it's a 3-sprinkler-head sprinkler system and a 50 sq. ft. flagstone pathway and a 100 sq. ft. sod lawn, and (15) 1 gal. plants, and a tiny little rock wall and on and on and on..... I'm sorry. There's just no way that's going to happen. Even if you're hella fast and taking every short cut possible you still can't fully landscape and hardscape and irrigate a property like that in 5 days. Just doesn't happen. That's all any of us are saying.




No. I said if you're expecting this place to be all bubbles and flowers and nice happy comments where nobody ever gives you any real honest advice - than you should probably go elsewhere. Because this forum will NEVER BE LIKE THAT. Hate to break it to ya.



Nope. But he gave a pretty decent description. $1.5 Mil property, just North of Atlanta, GA. According to Zillow, homes in that area that are in the $1.5 Mil. price range are all around 44,000 sq. ft. or 1 acre. So until the OP clarifies how big of a property he's referring to exactly, the rest of us can only conclude it's about the same size as most of the rest of the $1.5Mil homes in that area. I can't imagine it's a huge $1.5 Mil home on a 5000 sq. ft. lot. That seems very unlikely. But even if that was true, then I guess this job isn't anything to really be very excited about then because then it would be a super small project.

He did say that there would be a 200'x4' retaining wall. So that tells me right there it's a pretty decent size property. He also said 400 plants. So again, that can't be a small lot. Talked about a lot of sq. footage in hardscape. So yah, I think we got the idea how big of a property this is. But since he's not been responding to anyone's questions then we can't really know for sure. All we can go off is his initial postings.



No. But it doesn't matter, really. I have crews that are some of the better install crews in my state. Most of them been with me a good 7-8 years now and are about as fast and good quality as you can get. And there's no way even my experienced guys could ever touch a job that big in just 5 days. Even if we took short cuts. It just isn't possible. No matter how good you are.



I think some of you guys are just a little too sensitive and don't like it when people tell you the cold hard truth. You'd rather people be all nice and bubbly and always saying nice positive things to you all the time than tell you the cold hard truth.

I do understand what you're saying, though - in general. You might be surprised to hear that. That's one of the reasons I don't post a lot of jobs on Lawnsite anymore. We do a lot of nice work but I don't post our jobs as much here anymore because I don't always care to listen to how some guy in another state half way across the country would have used a different paver or done the water feature a little differently or would have used a different kind of step. That gets old, I agree. Sometimes you just want people to say nice things and not get any criticism at all - even if it is meant as constructive criticism. I get that.

But the reality is that every time I've posted something on Lawnsite and didn't always like all the replies I got, I almost always learned something. And on many many occasions, the comments I got on a project that I thought turned out amazing really made me think hard about how I might do it differently next time. And so I learned something. And my work improved! As difficult as it was to hear, the criticism helped! That's the thing you gotta learn about Lawnsite. Most people are trying to help. Not everyone. There are some trolls here who just like to pick apart people's work but never post any of their own work. And, honestly, those guys are the ones who keep me from posting more often. But most of the rest of the people who post comments really aren't intending to be negative. They are trying to help you see that there are other, better, ways of doing it. Or help you see that you're really underestimating yourself. Or help you see that you're in over your head. And it's never fun to hear that but that doesn't mean it's not true. You have to take a step back sometimes and realize that sometimes these are guys who have done what you're just starting to do. And maybe they've done it hundreds of times. And maybe you ought to listen up!



I don't think anyone jumped down his a$$ about it. We were just laying out the cold hard truth. It would be like someone going into the lawn care forum and saying, "Yes! Just landed my biggest mowing account ever! It's 3 acres and they want me to start right away. I figure it will take me about 15 minutes a week on my ZTR to mow it all down. I'm gonna make bank on this one!" ............ No.....no....no. You're not. What the heck are you thinking? I don't care what kind of mower you have. That is totally unreasonable and you need to wake up to reality, kid!

Sometimes you gotta give someone a cold hard wake up call when they are posting stuff like that. That's all we did here.



And I'll have to call you out on that one too. It is helping if the person giving it out has specific experience doing exactly what you're talking about doing and offering some suggestions as to how you might be a little off track. You can chose to ignore that help. You can act like a baby and say, "I wasn't asking for your help! Go away!!!" But it's still help. It's just a matter of whether you choose to accept it or remain ignorant. You can do the latter and learn the hard way. That's how I learned most things I know. But I'll tell you from experience, it's not the best way to learn. Much better to learn from others who have done it than to just beat your head against the wall thinking you know everything. That's why these days if I run into a paver challenge that I haven't had before or a new lighting problem or an irrigation problem - I go to those forums and ask the pros who have had some serious experience. I do that first. Because it's a whole lot easier learning that way than how I used to learn for the first 5-10 years of my business.

I'm betting if I was nice like you I'd probably still be on PS.

Nicely done Jim.

JimLewis " If you see a guy who is gleefully ignorant that he is about to step in a big pile of crap and twist their ankle in the same spot you just stepped in a few months ago do you just tell him, "Awesome, glad you're happy!" No!!!". This is you calling the op ignorant, I'm not going to post on this topic anymore.
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Ignorance is not necessarily a negative thing. Everyone is ignorant. Are you a neurologist? Then you're ignorant regarding the brain. Nuclear fission? Once again you're ignorant. So am I. No one knows everything, which by definition makes us all ignorant of one thing or another.

Attempting to help someone who is ignorant on his time estimates is not negative or bashing. It is just that: help. It's up to the OP to accept the help or not.

alexschultz1
08-17-2011, 05:41 PM
ok, so heres an update. As everyone predicted i was in over my head, so i subbed out the retaining walls/grading/irrigation/lighting/ with a mark up and i will be overseeing the entire project. after all the hardscaping is done i will come in with my crew and finish off the plants and sod. ill post some pics of the design

alexschultz1
08-17-2011, 05:50 PM
i dont have enough patience to upload everything soo here ya go

http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o311/alexschultz1/3dinpaint-1.png

greatinmulchbeds
08-19-2011, 08:17 PM
400 plants? that design is not half of that? wheres the 200ft x 4ft retaining wall and the rest of the hardscape?

4 seasons lawn&land
08-20-2011, 04:09 PM
i dont have enough patience to upload everything soo here ya go

http://i123.photobucket.com/albums/o311/alexschultz1/3dinpaint-1.png


Thats probably a good call. Did they need it done, all in a month or couldnt you have taken it and priced it one job at a time? Thats what Ive done a couple times. Price one area, do job, little low on price, lose a half day maybe, then try to work in a couple extra dollars on the next spot. Then you can feel out the people to. The 1.5 mil crowd can be tough to please. If they point out the stupidest little stuff on the first job then thats great info to have when you either price the 2nd job or bow out.

alexschultz1
08-22-2011, 12:03 AM
400 plants? that design is not half of that? wheres the 200ft x 4ft retaining wall and the rest of the hardscape?

zoomed out it doesnt show all the plants and you cant see a lot of the property. thanks for trying to down talk me on my own project though...

thanks for everyones help, we start tomorrow.

OrganicsMaine
08-22-2011, 12:22 AM
Good Luck! Keep us posted on the total MHRs for this job.

greatinmulchbeds
08-22-2011, 05:34 PM
I'm not trying to down talk your project, but nothing makes sense about it

GroundOneMN
08-22-2011, 05:39 PM
I keep going back and looking at this 3-d rendering. It looks way out of wack to me. But what do I know.

SPEEDSKI
08-22-2011, 11:43 PM
The question I have is who would hire someone that literally had the entire project figured wrong in every way? He is basically subbing everything out; which will have plenty of issues to deal with, and now he is the General Contractor from the Hardscapes and Landscapes?

Since they will be paying you and then you will be paying the subs, you will be the guy that gets the calls if ANYTHING you have been paid for goes wrong. You will not be able to say, "here is my irrigation guys number, sorry your tap leaked and you have a $2000.00 water bill". If you are making money marking up all the subs, then you are liable for everything anyone of your subs do.

The fact is, you are still way over your head. Just wait until your accountant ask's you for copies of all your new subs 1099's and Insurance Certs. Then wait until your next Work Comp Audit and they go "Wow, you have had a big increase in sales, but you only stated X amount of dollars which increases your liability and Comp premiums. You now owe us X more dollars.

Homeowners and Contractors put guys like you out of business everyday. Your subs will expect to be paid, even if you do not get paid. Have you ever asked yourself why did you all of a sudden get this large project? I mean you have 4 guys?

Maybe some have been hard on you for a reason. I have watched this happen for 15 years now and it is the same story over and over. Everyone thinks that they are the going to be the exception to the rule.

The only reason some including me have doubted your ability is all based on basically all of your own words. Anyone that celebrates getting a job like you did, has not been in this business long to know better.....hence all the "words of wisdom".

I know it is a kick in the nuts to hear all of this, but please take some of this and do some research. At least start getting prepared and make some phone calls etc. I hope the job goes well and you can put some money in your pocket. Good Luck

alexschultz1
08-25-2011, 10:19 PM
what i did was introduce the contractor to another company that specializes in major designs like this one. I am going to be working with the company as part of the agreement in the contract so that i can get hands on experience with jobs of this size. The company is going to be paying me a salary of $15 per hour, i will be a laborer and not be liable for any thing. as for the plants i have a separate contract signed and i will be doing that through certified lawn pros. Ive learned a lot during this entire process and have made a ton of connections, even though im not making much money at all i still feel like my time and efforts put into the job will pay off in the near future.

JimLewis
08-25-2011, 11:13 PM
That's very smart! I'm glad you came to that conclusion. That's real similar to how I started in the landscaping design / build part of the business. I had been doing lawn mowing, maintenance, clean-ups, light enhancements, and very small installations for years. But then I partnered with a landscaper who knew landscaping, lighting, hardscapes, and irrigation really well. He had been doing it a good 30 years or more. So I'd do some of the work (planting, sod) while he would do all the rest of the work (hardscapes, walls, lighting, irrigation). I learned a TON during that year or so that I was working with him. And over time - after watching him for several jobs - we figured we could do just as good of a job or better than he was. Then the relationship ended for other reasons about that time anyway (partnerships never last) and so we started doing it on our own.

I always started small and worked my way up to larger jobs. First irrigation job we did was a fairly small system. Went well and I learned a little bit. Next one I took on was a little bigger, and so on. Same with pavers. First paver patio I installed was 10' x 12'. Then the next one was larger. And so on. Over time we eventually got to the point where we could do very large projects and had the confidence and experience to take on very large projects and know that we'd for-sure be doing a good job. Also, just having the experience to know how to bid a larger job without losing your a$$ is key too.

It won't be too long you'll be able to take on stuff like this all on your own. But I think it's very smart for you to watch and learn on some of the larger ones for now. It will pay off in the long run, I guarantee you.

Post photos for us to see!