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Old 05-18-2013, 02:01 PM
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BrandonV BrandonV is online now
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why paver driveway prices vary so much

Thought you guys would appreciate this. Here is NC you have a few really good contractors that care about what they do and then you have this. We're doing a driveway in the same neighborhood and this just goes to show you why I'm so "expensive." If you can't tell from the photo the base prep of this new drive has consisted of ripping up the old concrete driveway and screeding out with rakes some screening and then tamping the screenings with a 200lb tamp.

Its just makes me sick to my stomach to see people be swindled like this. None of us are infallible but in this day and age I don't know how a contractor could think this is a good idea
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Old 05-18-2013, 07:49 PM
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Man i couldnt stand having all that stuff on my dash
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:19 PM
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My dash looks the same way lol.
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Old 05-18-2013, 09:47 PM
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I'm more bothered by all the crap on the dashboard
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:25 PM
GrassGuerilla GrassGuerilla is offline
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Lol. The dash stole the thread.

"Contractors" doing work as described are your best sales tool. Take pics of his progress and finished product (preferably without him in them). Keep it in your sales kit for your "can you beat this bid"? When someone try's to beat your price up, ask them: which steps do you want me to skip?

P.S. I couldn't drive with all that on the dash.
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Old 05-18-2013, 10:37 PM
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BrandonV BrandonV is online now
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Haha not my truck... Well it's my service guy. The rest of the truck is packed too. One problem about where we work is there is no supply house for at least 1.5 hours so we carry everything... The tools tend to migrate into the cab since the service body is stacked. I have nothing on my dash if it helps my case that this driveway is doomed.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:06 AM
shovelracer shovelracer is offline
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We have become a society that places price before quality. It used to be that people would expect discounts and generally would get more for less. They would compare offers and generally seek the the best value even if it was not he cheapest. A lot of those guys lasted while they could and are now under. The new group is finding ways to operate with this expected new normal by providing less service. There are still people out there that appreciate the quality aspect, but more and more are finding it hard to resist the value pricing of the rest. Like I said you used to be able to get both, but since expenses have not dropped society has resorted to dealing with a cheaper product, and the new crews are more than willing to help. I see it time and time again. The new customer is so focused on being cheap that they are willing to allow bad service to get it.

The reason for this is not an economic issue as many may think. This is a generational issue. The 55+ crowd is the quality group for the most part. They grew up with families that had to earn something if they wanted it. Many grew up in small houses, in poor neighborhoods, and today have much more because of their hard work. The new generation, my generation does not have an appreciation for this. They generally grew up in nicer environments, and have not had to sacrifice much in their lives. For the most part they have no appreciation for quality of hard work because they have never had to do such a thing. Instead it has always been an issue of someone else will do it or take care of it. Now look at the upcoming generation being raised by my generation. We are totally F'ed. This generation will have no life skills that their grandparents had. They will not know how to make a phone call or have a conversation. Courtesy and manners are out the window. They will have next to no skills pertaining to physical labor and they will not be able to problem solve real world situations. In a way as advanced as the world is, it is digressing at the same time.
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Old 05-19-2013, 08:11 AM
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We have a driveway or two that we used a small 1550 compactor on. No problems what's for ever. Simply compact in small lifts.

Heck I could compact by stomping a masonry wall block over the aggregate if I wanted. Compaction dates back to the cave days. They didn't have machinery then
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Old 05-19-2013, 10:36 AM
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alldayrj alldayrj is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by shovelracer View Post
We have become a society that places price before quality. It used to be that people would expect discounts and generally would get more for less. They would compare offers and generally seek the the best value even if it was not he cheapest. A lot of those guys lasted while they could and are now under. The new group is finding ways to operate with this expected new normal by providing less service. There are still people out there that appreciate the quality aspect, but more and more are finding it hard to resist the value pricing of the rest. Like I said you used to be able to get both, but since expenses have not dropped society has resorted to dealing with a cheaper product, and the new crews are more than willing to help. I see it time and time again. The new customer is so focused on being cheap that they are willing to allow bad service to get it.

The reason for this is not an economic issue as many may think. This is a generational issue. The 55+ crowd is the quality group for the most part. They grew up with families that had to earn something if they wanted it. Many grew up in small houses, in poor neighborhoods, and today have much more because of their hard work. The new generation, my generation does not have an appreciation for this. They generally grew up in nicer environments, and have not had to sacrifice much in their lives. For the most part they have no appreciation for quality of hard work because they have never had to do such a thing. Instead it has always been an issue of someone else will do it or take care of it. Now look at the upcoming generation being raised by my generation. We are totally F'ed. This generation will have no life skills that their grandparents had. They will not know how to make a phone call or have a conversation. Courtesy and manners are out the window. They will have next to no skills pertaining to physical labor and they will not be able to problem solve real world situations. In a way as advanced as the world is, it is digressing at the same time.
Poetry

My friend teaches middle school and tells me what some of the kids are doing and saying and we didn't have those issues in high school or college. I say it every day, were screwed! Back to work....
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Old 06-12-2013, 10:48 PM
shovelracer shovelracer is offline
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So this week I stop by a maintenance client of ours. They have a paver driveway that has been rutted, sunken and settled for more than 10 years. The worst was the utility trench from the house construction that was literally 12" below were it started. Previous homeowner had us price the driveway, no go. New owners keep us on maintenance and again ask for a price. This time I recommend they just black top it since they have budget concerns. Mrusk has seen the drive and we spent some time talking about it as well. Not sure if he priced it when he was working the neighbor a mutual client of ours.

The lady came out and I noticed they had a few pavers pulled up so I asked about it. She tells me that it's getting redone. We talk a little and she tells me that the guy is super cheap and can do it real fast. She tells me who it is and I just shake my head and remind her to get a written warranty and take photos. She says not to worry he came highly recommended. Now I know this guy he underbid my driveway paver by 50% last year on a customers job. Left all the contaminated gravel on site, bucket leveled the clay subgrade in the pouring rain and immediately applied 2" gravel and 2" topcoat and cut the wiring to a street lamp which they repaired with duct tape. The driveway failed within 2 months rutting and cracking. They had to pay us to haul the spoils and and electrician to fix the wiring that magically stopped working 2 weeks after the paving. In the end they spent a little more and still have a 1 year old driveway that is cracked and has 4" ruts.

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.
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