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BradLewisLawnCare
07-09-2012, 10:13 AM
So have any of you built steps for a hot tub? Pictures? Here is my best attempt.

DVS Hardscaper
07-09-2012, 01:14 PM
not bad.

but the top landing should have been wider.

See, when one is climbing out, if the top is wider - they can climb out without having to look at their footing. With the narriow 12-inch tread - they must look down at what they're doing.


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BradLewisLawnCare
07-09-2012, 07:30 PM
I'm working w a hot tub salesman on making "Kits". Why dp you think the market is for this. A 30" wide plastic 2 step 12" depth is $240 and comes with storage. I'm like $200 materials, 3 hour set up from leaving shop to getting home if it's a 30 min drive. Question is where to place glue and what to make permanent or quasi permanent or just make it all permanent.
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jbailey52
07-09-2012, 07:57 PM
I feel like only yoda can understand what you are saying

BradLewisLawnCare
07-09-2012, 09:41 PM
Crazy I am. What do you think customers would pay for these stairs. 3 hours one guy $200 materials?
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DVS Hardscaper
07-09-2012, 10:31 PM
Crazy I am. What do you think customers would pay for these stairs. 3 hours one guy $200 materials?
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There are already plastic steps on the market. Mass produced in the factory. No labor. Just order, pay, ship, set next to the tub.

"3 hours"?? Is that 3 hrs onsite or 3 hrs that includes loading the truck, mobilizing, setting up shop, building steps, cleaning up, driving back, unloading scraps, etc.

Back in 2001 I paid an industry consultant to come sit down with me and help set me straight. First thing he said to me when we sat down "there is no such thing of 1/2 a day of work". And he's right. BY the time you factor in the loading, driving, unloading, cleaning up, loading scraps, tools, etc, driving back, unloading - that 3 hr job is now a 6.5 hr job.

Maybe you're aware of this. Maybe not. I dunno. Jus food for thought incase you're not as smart as me :dancing: :dancing:


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BradLewisLawnCare
07-09-2012, 10:37 PM
I'm thinking $750. I am keen tO the Half day rule. Its funny to tell customers that. Once in at there house it's very hard to set up and be somewhere else. But always things to have the guys
Do around the shop. One guy 3 hours, $50 bucks for hot
Tub sales guy and $500 for me. Price tag is going right at showroom so
I'm just feeling for what other people think. The plastic ones are less than special. That's the problem.
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BradLewisLawnCare
07-09-2012, 10:39 PM
3 hours from shop to store to house to shop within 25 miles. $1/mile after that.
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alldayrj
07-09-2012, 11:31 PM
790 if it truly is a kit with no cutting, no base prep, no hauling/demo/removal. just sit on a slab and glue and go

PaperCutter
07-10-2012, 03:28 PM
Agree w/ DVS on the narrow top step. Same issue, what's the deal with the return on the top step? Why not have the bottom step full width as well?

I've gone the package model on hardscapes in the past. To keep it profitable you need to limit material choice, so I assume you're limiting it to that block in that color? How many sets of steps can you get per pallet of block and caps? How many do you need to sell to make it make sense? What do you do if someone wants a different style (say, to match their existing patio) or they want another step? What I did was the package is what it is, any changes are a $75 change fee plus the additional costs.

Where I struggle is I don't see the market for this. As a foot in the door upsell opportunity for more work (I do like that aspect), I think it has potential IF you can get someone interested. Here's my inner sales manager talking: What's your pitch going to be to convince someone to go with this over a prefab step? I'll be your customer: "ok, so this is twice as expensive as the plastic step? And I can't store anything in these steps? And you're going to glue them to my patio? I don't get it." How will you overcome those objections?

xtreem3d
07-10-2012, 03:36 PM
There are already plastic steps on the market. Mass produced in the factory. No labor. Just order, pay, ship, set next to the tub.

"3 hours"?? Is that 3 hrs onsite or 3 hrs that includes loading the truck, mobilizing, setting up shop, building steps, cleaning up, driving back, unloading scraps, etc.

Back in 2001 I paid an industry consultant to come sit down with me and help set me straight. First thing he said to me when we sat down "there is no such thing of 1/2 a day of work". And he's right. BY the time you factor in the loading, driving, unloading, cleaning up, loading scraps, tools, etc, driving back, unloading - that 3 hr job is now a 6.5 hr job.

Maybe you're aware of this. Maybe not. I dunno. Jus food for thought incase you're not as smart as me :dancing: :dancing:


.

What did the consult cost you if don't mind answering? and did it pan out? ie:was his help worthwhile?
Pm me if you want privacy,
Steve

BradLewisLawnCare
07-10-2012, 03:44 PM
Agree w/ DVS on the narrow top step. Same issue, what's the deal with the return on the top step? Why not have the bottom step full width as well?

I've gone the package model on hardscapes in the past. To keep it profitable you need to limit material choice, so I assume you're limiting it to that block in that color? How many sets of steps can you get per pallet of block and caps? How many do you need to sell to make it make sense? What do you do if someone wants a different style (say, to match their existing patio) or they want another step? What I did was the package is what it is, any changes are a $75 change fee plus the additional costs.

Where I struggle is I don't see the market for this. As a foot in the door upsell opportunity for more work (I do like that aspect), I think it has potential IF you can get someone interested. Here's my inner sales manager talking: What's your pitch going to be to convince someone to go with this over a prefab step? I'll be your customer: "ok, so this is twice as expensive as the plastic step? And I can't store anything in these steps? And you're going to glue them to my patio? I don't get it." How will you overcome those objections?

Good points. This block can be bought by the block. There are 5 different colors that you can choose from. So matching can be close. The supplier is interested in putting my "kit" order on a pallet so when I say give me the block in this color they'll just put the pallet in the truck for ease.

I don't know that people are going to want to go with block over prefab. Drylaid it's pretty sturdy... At my house. Want to use as a leader to Niger better projects. Hot tub guy wants to sell concrete slabs for me also to help his customers in getting a slab for their tubs. It might not work, that's why I'm posting it.


As for return, makes 2 more 16" seats on either en on the patio. Could be done either way but makes it harder for the drylaid first step from slipping over...
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BradLewisLawnCare
07-10-2012, 11:27 PM
Good points. This block can be bought by the block. There are 5 different colors that you can choose from. So matching can be close. The supplier is interested in putting my "kit" order on a pallet so when I say give me the block in this color they'll just put the pallet in the truck for ease.

I don't know that people are going to want to go with block over prefab. Drylaid it's pretty sturdy... At my house. Want to use as a leader to Niger better projects. Hot tub guy wants to sell concrete slabs for me also to help his customers in getting a slab for their tubs. It might not work, that's why I'm posting it.


As for return, makes 2 more 16" seats on either en on the patio. Could be done either way but makes it harder for the drylaid first step from slipping over...
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Niger= bigger not my attempt at racism. Sorry if that bothered anyone. It was not intentional. Damn spellcheck

DVS Hardscaper
07-11-2012, 12:02 AM
Niger= bigger not my attempt at racism. Sorry if that bothered anyone. It was not intentional. Damn spellcheck


LOL - i read it 3 times! that was funny!

DVS Hardscaper
07-11-2012, 12:15 AM
What did the consult cost you if don't mind answering? and did it pan out? ie:was his help worthwhile?
Pm me if you want privacy,
Steve

This was back in 2001. So that was, hmmmm.......let me see........24,987 Beers ago!

I dont remember the exact cost. The guy that I used was somewhat local (from the same state). He used to be a manager for a huge landscape operation in MD and VA, a company that last I knew ranked around #10 in the country (according to Lawn & Landscape). I wanna say it was around $2200.00, but but for certain on that number.

The consultant basically helped me with overhead recovery, using the same system that his former employer used. He helped me come up with the number that I need to make per hour per employee to pay the bill in the night and make a profit.

Yeah, it was worthwhile. Anytime you can learn anything it's always worthwhile.

This guy spent about 15 minutes yelling at me when I told him we did not charge for travel time. He got his point across loud and clear because the next day I started factoring in travel time for all our jobs - to and from - per employee. That eye opener right there - was worth paying 2 grand.

This consultant also opened my eyes that planting 2 trees in a backyard with a challanging slope will cost more than planting the same 2 trees in the front with easy, level access.

This consultant also opened my eyes that you can not mark up materials a flat percentage across the board. A high dollar tree costs the same to install as a low dollar tree of equivilant size. Same goes for pavers - lower priced pavers install the same as higher priced pavers. You make money off of labor - not materials. Contractors on the internet hate when I say that, but it's true.

This guy is no longer consulting (as far as I know), probably not enough of a market in the area.

SO I took what he showed me, I took what I learned from Vanderkoi seminars, and I took what I discovered on my own - and combined everything together.


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xtreem3d
07-11-2012, 12:30 AM
O.K. Thanks.....I asked because there is a guy in st. louis that i had heard (don't know for sure yet) did the same thing years ago while experiencing issues and now is probably in the top 12 companies around here I am guessing and I have been intrigued about it ever since I heard that back then.
Steve

alexschultz1
07-11-2012, 12:30 AM
dvs did the consultant not tell you to focus your intentions on what you do best instead of wondering off into dumb ideas like "hot tub steps"

listen dude, this idea for making a quick buck will quickly turn into something that eats away WAY to much of your time. you need to walk on a straighten arrow and do what you do best! which for the majority of us is multiple smaller landscape jobs which can be finished in under 1 week. Sure there are people like dvs who can entertain a bid for a $300,000 job, but for us, we need to stick to the basics and plant our feet on solid ground. Now drink a couple beers, maybe smoke a joint, get your head clear, then get your arse back to work. :hammerhead:

BradLewisLawnCare
07-11-2012, 07:34 AM
dvs did the consultant not tell you to focus your intentions on what you do best instead of wondering off into dumb ideas like "hot tub steps"

listen dude, this idea for making a quick buck will quickly turn into something that eats away WAY to much of your time. you need to walk on a straighten arrow and do what you do best! which for the majority of us is multiple smaller landscape jobs which can be finished in under 1 week. Sure there are people like dvs who can entertain a bid for a $300,000 job, but for us, we need to stick to the basics and plant our feet on solid ground. Now drink a couple beers, maybe smoke a joint, get your head clear, then get your arse back to work. :hammerhead:

All this time I thought it was my job to train employees, come up with better operating procedures, meet with customers, market my product and analyze financial information...this is product development. I can have one of my guys take a truck and go do this and be back to the shop. Even if it takes him all day and depreciate the truck $100 I still have operating profit of $200-$300. The spa salesman sells 200 spas a year. If I land half, that's $20000 profit!? It might not sell, but after writing up a required material list and instructions sheet, I just have to put one in the showroom and allow the salesguy to sell my product.

Don't worry, I did not stop doing small landscape job and retire on $20k
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DVS Hardscaper
07-11-2012, 09:40 AM
I'm just wondering how one can merely pull someone from a crew and send them to build steps. If they're not really needed that they're so easily disposable - then you're employing dead weight.

Also, who want to be sent off to work solo in 96-degree heat for the day? And have to hump a wheel-Barr up a steep hill leading to the backyard with no one there to help?

Me, I'd I just bought a 10k hot tub, my mind is on Gettin the girls over and Gettin nekid, not on fancy high dollar steps. I can see the steps when I'm in the tub. Sell me the cheapest you got. I got ladies to entertain.
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BradLewisLawnCare
07-11-2012, 02:16 PM
I'm just wondering how one can merely pull someone from a crew and send them to build steps. If they're not really needed that they're so easily disposable - then you're employing dead weight.

Also, who want to be sent off to work solo in 96-degree heat for the day? And have to hump a wheel-Barr up a steep hill leading to the backyard with no one there to help?

Me, I'd I just bought a 10k hot tub, my mind is on Gettin the girls over and Gettin nekid, not on fancy high dollar steps. I can see the steps when I'm in the tub. Sell me the cheapest you got. I got ladies to entertain.
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You yourself do a lot of high dollar things. You know that these people want custom special original wow pieces. That being said, if you do sell a set of hot tub steps one day, maybe you can thank me. If not everyone is right. I will tread lightly and not spend too much time on it. If i start selling them, i'll post the pics on this page for you to enjoy ;).

Birchwood
07-11-2012, 08:41 PM
You yourself do a lot of high dollar things. You know that these people want custom special original wow pieces. That being said, if you do sell a set of hot tub steps one day, maybe you can thank me. If not everyone is right. I will tread lightly and not spend too much time on it. If i start selling them, i'll post the pics on this page for you to enjoy ;).

I think it is a great idea, i was thinking of doing something similar with a fire pit. Pre cut pieces in the off season so we can mass sell them more as a door opener to a patio or additional work.

alldayrj
07-11-2012, 11:42 PM
I think it is a great idea, i was thinking of doing something similar with a fire pit. Pre cut pieces in the off season so we can mass sell them more as a door opener to a patio or additional work.

they already sell them in kits...?

Birchwood
07-12-2012, 08:01 AM
they already sell them in kits...?

I have a pit we do that is a bit more customized.