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Old 10-21-2012, 06:28 PM
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JimLewis JimLewis is offline
LawnSite Fanatic
Join Date: Dec 1999
Location: Beaverton, OR
Posts: 6,809
Originally Posted by mrusk View Post
what about the big drop off, from the patio to the lawn?!?!
The patio to the lawn? What lawn? There is no lawn. This back yard was nothing but a bunch of weeds on a 20° slope. The only thing usable was the deck before. Now we installed some nice pathways, a nice water feature and a small patio where the couple who lives here plan to put a small bistro table and have coffee in the morning. It's just the private little retreat they wanted. They worked with one of the better designers in our area to come up with something that was exactly what they wanted. Who are you to tell them that this landscape isn't right for them?

Had we pushed out the rock wall 3-4' more as you suggest, the wall would have easily been 5' tall, needing engineering and an even more severe drop off. They didn't want that. And they didn't want a planting bed next to their patio. They specifically wanted a nice patio that overlooked the forest / green space that their back yard opens up to.

Before they had no way of getting down to use any of their back yard. Now they have exactly what they wanted. When we left the job the clients couldn't have been happier. Who are you to tell them it should have been done your way?

I know landscapers that are like you in my area. They push THEIR ideas on every customer and what THEY think would be best for their yard. Sometimes people go for that. But a lot of people get turned off by that. It's pompous and arrogant to think that you know better what someone should do or have than they would. And a lot of people see it that way. We pick up a lot of jobs from snobby landscapers who turned off the customer by not really listening to their wants and creating a design that really wasn't at all what the customer wanted.

Our focus has always been to give our clients what THEY want, with a little of our own input or our designer's input. We try to steer them away from something that would be too outlandish and the designer we work with inserts her own creative flair into every project. But we work very closely with the customer through the design process, involving them in rough drafts, revisions, etc. until we come up with a plan that is exactly what they wanted. The end result may not always be exactly how I would have done it. But it always ends up being something the customer really wanted and loves. That's why we maintain an A+ rating at the BBB and A ratings in 12 different categories on Angie's list. And we consistently win more awards in more categories on Angie's list than any other landscape firm in the area, precisely because our focus is on customer service and getting the customer what they want.

You may have a different recipe. And I admire the fact that you are so much better than we are. I should start paying more attention to your amazing work. I could probably learn a lot. But so far, it's working pretty well for us. We grew by over $500,000 in sales the last two years, during a recession...will do over $2.5Mil this year in custom residential landscaping all the while constantly getting A reviews from our clients. I'd like to think all this didn't happen because we do B-grade work. But what do I know? I should probably watch you and learn....
Jim Lewis
Lewis Landscape Services - Oregon - Portland Oregon Landscaping Company

landscape design Portland Oregon

Last edited by JimLewis; 10-21-2012 at 06:36 PM.
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