Originally Posted by shovelracer
So they started the new paver drive for this other client. Add that the ground here is completely saturated from rain. They are using the cheapest paver available, fine whatever. They scrapped the old pavers, did nothing to the old contaminated stone dust, yes stone dust base, and simply added more stone dust, bucket leveled and started laying stone at the top of the hill. 4 guys laying, 2 hauling. The process, lay stone hit with orange mallet, lay stone hit with orange mallet. So I'm willing to bet failure within 6 months if not 6 weeks as the propane and UPS guys love to pull up the driveway every time. The client is so thrilled with her new, what I presume by now is a finished driveway and walkways. They couldn't afford 30K for a proper replacement of the drive, but 15k for a new paver drive and walkways totaling 2500sqft. Well that kind of deal is almost too hard to pass up.
So why am I writing this? The point is that the industry is totally messed up and more and more people are unknowingly willing to hire bad contractors based purely on price. The guys that are out there are willing to cut corners or knowingly do things incorrectly, or even worse are not aware and are taking up a decent share of the market with their friendly sales pitch of super low rates. Are quality jobs still out there, well sure they are. It's just that between media marketing and false impressions the market has changed. This is why more and more guys are moving back to other areas of the industry were at least even if your overhead is the same you can pay labor less because of lower skill required. I love hardscaping, but like some of the others around here have no desire to jump at every call that leaves a message,"We are calling to see if your company is interesting in placing a bid for our hardscape project, and we'd also like the lawn cut as well as edging and blowing." For those that did not pick up on it a good maintenance service would not do any less. We are full service, and our workload is 6-8 weeks for most items. "Bid" your non permit, underpriced, poorly thought out hardscape and be able to start next week, no thanks.
All I can say is - we ain't touched a paver since March! We start our jobs on Mondays, and finish on Thursdays. Fridays around lunch time we're off to race mx. oh the life!
But I did a follow up call yesterday for a job I priced last week. The lady says "you're a little higher than the other estimate I got". I say "ok, well did you compare their proposal to mine and make sure they're proposing to do this and do that, etc"? She says "no, they haven't sent me a proposal yet, he gave me a price verbally, he was going to check on the cost of the permit before he sent me a proposal".
ok - well, in that county the permits are $125.00 If the guy doesn't know how much the permit costs.........then to me that's a red flag.
My proposal is very detailed. And the e-mail gets into detail of what we're proposing, AND I EVEN INCLUDE PICTURES! Basically, I'm backing up my claims. I'm going over some things to be aware of, things that I addressed in my e-mail, and this lady acted as if it was the 1st time she heard this stuff. That's all she did, she opened my proposal and she only looked at the price, nothing else.