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  #11  
Old 08-28-2008, 10:24 AM
Ramairfreak98ss Ramairfreak98ss is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Burlington County, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markam70 View Post
its taken you since march to complete that? no wonder the customer is unhappy. i agree with matt (as much as it hurts to say that,lol) take what they're offering to pay and walk away
No, it started the first week of march, the actual construction. The patio was done within about 3 weeks later even given some rain out days. The fence was installed about two weeks later, the railing was installed within a week after that. This all has been done since the 3rd week of May, yet we've been back several times for every issue from a 1" scratch on a railing post, to rebuilding the steps, fence issues, a nut broke off one hinge that adjusts gate position and a post shifted after we left doing the fence for the gate section in the cement, always fun digging those out.

I've also mentioned, his back irrigation line runs the entire property, i marked all of the rotors and yet they were in a "T" system so the actual line was about 16"+ behind the sprinklers. So when we drilled the post holes along the back of the property, guess what? We his the line 90% of the time. We went and fixed every connection in mud, because we had a lot of heavy rains that week, this area is 100% hard compacted clay and will not drain. We pumped out the water from each hole and cleaned each line prior to repairing the connection. Was this our fault because the customer can't give us accurate information where the line is? We cant move the fence once its in place.
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  #12  
Old 08-28-2008, 10:33 AM
Ramairfreak98ss Ramairfreak98ss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markam70 View Post
note to hardscaping... see how this is going, perhaps this is a sign of things to come on your driveway project......http://www.lawnsite.com/showthread.php?t=243564
Yeah ive seen that thread, that job is no joke. You'd need some heavy equipment, a lot of supplies, a lot of good well planned management for ALL of the supplies, a lot of labor and you know the customer is going to want a 1 week turn around time or less since theyre driveway would be out of commission while the work is being done. People are always inpatient. What happens when you get half way done, think your making good progress and the customer is already bitching? With this job, time was never an issue that i knew of until closer to the end when he seemed to keep rushing everything.

This job was also supposed to start March 1st, when we had no other work lined up. Instead, he didnt have proper permits and requirements approved until around March 23rd or 24th, which we were already busy with a couple other jobs until the end of March. April comes along and we already have other jobs scheduled as well. Since we reduced the labor cost for this job to get it for March, we did it in our busiest month of the year for less than we should have done it on any month other than winter.

For those that suggested to take the 4k, the 4k is what he still owes for the fence alone, which he has no complaints about, but im sure he can find some. We did not charge extra labor here, there is nothing i can slim down on profits, the $3300 is a direct amount -10% for supplies, which covers our travel,time to pick up and deliver etc. Its 2-3x less than our average job supplies markup.
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  #13  
Old 08-28-2008, 10:35 AM
Ramairfreak98ss Ramairfreak98ss is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mrusk View Post
Collect the 4k and call it even, then go cut your lawns. I remember this thread. You should be happy the customer is offering to give you that 4k. You need to gain more experience before you practice hardscapes at customers homes.

Consider it a learning lesson.
What lawns are you talking about? We hardly cut any lawns this year, see our other threads about residential lawn accounts lol. Kootomoto, how many times have you been in a court in your life? I'm sure im not 100% dead on that i'll flat out win a case here but I would surely get more than 4k.
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  #14  
Old 08-28-2008, 10:49 AM
markam70 markam70 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramairfreak98ss View Post
What lawns are you talking about? We hardly cut any lawns this year, see our other threads about residential lawn accounts lol. Kootomoto, how many times have you been in a court in your life? I'm sure im not 100% dead on that i'll flat out win a case here but I would surely get more than 4k.
maybe 4k before you pay your attorney
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  #15  
Old 08-28-2008, 11:00 AM
markam70 markam70 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ramairfreak98ss View Post
No, it started the first week of march, the actual construction. The patio was done within about 3 weeks later even given some rain out days....
QUOTE=Ramairfreak98ss;2487791]...This job was also supposed to start March 1st, when we had no other work lined up. Instead, he didnt have proper permits and requirements approved until around March 23rd or 24th, which we were already busy with a couple other jobs until the end of March. April comes along and we already have other jobs scheduled as well. Since we reduced the labor cost for this job to get it for March, we did it in our busiest month of the year for less than we should have done it on any month other than winter....[/QUOTE]

so it was supposed to start or started the first week of march and was done 3 weeks later or in April? was a projected completion date given?

i hope you can provide a more definitive timeline for a judge
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  #16  
Old 08-28-2008, 11:15 AM
forestfireguy forestfireguy is offline
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Ram Air,

Having been down a similar road early in my business life I have a question for you, do/did you have a contract ? and written/signed change/add work orders very specifically listing prices ? if so thats great, and good business. If not at least in NJ you will fight a major uphill battle. We have a law on the books here called the consumer fraud protection act, and basically you/we as contractors can't do anything without all of it being in writing. And according to the way I read it when it was an issue for me you could face fines up to 1.5 times the total amount of the work performed "illegally" meaning if you had a contract for the original work and didn't cover all the changes you could still be in a pickle. The law does leave the option for you to bring in an independent expert to testify that your pricing and quality of work are in line with local industry standards, obviously having not seen it I couldn't tell you my opinion. Little background, I got burned by an attorney for the tune of bout 5 grand, managed to recover other portions in the form of a lein. It is a road I'll never travel again. I was young and not aware of the law, thought he was a "good guy"....we've all been there, some hurt worse than others.

What is the total he owes you(on paper), gotta think about how much a fight over this will cost you in the long run. Attorneys, time away from work, possibly your reputation, fees for a witness, and still the chance to lose more than you will if you take his 4 gs. Ill say this much if you are well established and have an image to maintain get out now, and since you feel he owes you considerably more you should try to get him sign a non disclosure, so he can't legally discuss terms of this settlement or any details of the job. Its not a gauantee but if you find he badmouthed you at least you'll have some recourse.

Lastly I'm not judging, but seems either you took on a job that was a little bit beyond you or you had a run of really crappy luck. Any expert you or your client get will note that and every nitpicky little issue with the job, in the end I think you'll end up worse off than 4 gs in your wallet. Now that said, even if you did have every step in writing, you still have to worry about if the work was performed to industry standards, fence, pavers, walls, drainage everything.... If your client wants to push it and prove your wotk wasnt adequate and goes out and finds an expert(PROBABLY YOUR COMPETITION) they will hear and see all the issues your client has had, then they'll start looking for structural issues, like the Pillar, and anything else thats not quite right.

Not bashing you here, not at all, just hope you look at the big picture and try to be forward thinking........everybody learns the hard way sometimes, maybe this is your time. Whatever you do.....GOOD LUCK !!!!!!
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  #17  
Old 08-28-2008, 02:23 PM
Ramairfreak98ss Ramairfreak98ss is offline
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Location: Burlington County, NJ
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Quote:
Originally Posted by markam70 View Post
QUOTE=Ramairfreak98ss;2487791]...This job was also supposed to start March 1st, when we had no other work lined up. Instead, he didnt have proper permits and requirements approved until around March 23rd or 24th, which we were already busy with a couple other jobs until the end of March. April comes along and we already have other jobs scheduled as well. Since we reduced the labor cost for this job to get it for March, we did it in our busiest month of the year for less than we should have done it on any month other than winter....
so it was supposed to start or started the first week of march and was done 3 weeks later or in April? was a projected completion date given?

i hope you can provide a more definitive timeline for a judge[/QUOTE]

Because of the permit time issue, the job "Couldnt" start until April, we didnt do anything there in March 2008, this had nothing to do with us or delays caused by us. The project completion date was 17 days, which is about a month given weekends and a handful of days it rained all day. Sure we could work in the rain but there was no need to, no one was pressed for time during this job until nearing the end.
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  #18  
Old 08-28-2008, 02:55 PM
Ramairfreak98ss Ramairfreak98ss is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2005
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Forestfire, thanks for the information. I have weighed some of the good and bad points of pursing the other amount of money.

One thing that bothers me the most is how we've been strung along by the "non payment" of this job to fix/repair/complete and do other misc. work for this client and here in the end, he now changes his mind from working out an amount to not paying one dime. He also most likely will drop us for his lawn service next season, which we've had him for the last 3 seasons now. We will already loose his landscape management/cleanups/repairs and any other future work.

We are going to be doing the fence install right behind his house, a friendly neighbor in which she has been given the bad shoulder from this client already. She had mailed him a letter requesting his opinion on fence options, showing the most utter respect for her surrounding neighbors.. and never got back to her. He also has told me about how his rear fenceline is 6" on his side of the property border, which when we started this whole job, he could not say WHERE the line was without a survey, because his original house blue prints from 2003 gave no indication in the exact location of where the property divides, i knew it was close enough because of the electrical box on his side of the property, on his plan and about 2-3' behind it was his.

We now will have to install the neighbors fence along his existing fence, having two 80' long fences side by side with 6" in the middle The neighbor will now have to pay a lot more for her fence, and it will look "like crap" for both in the end.

We did take on more than we could handle in April, I assumed gaining this job that being done in March 2008, i could be on site every moment, which in April was impossible. None of my guys are as skilled of a hardscape person as i am myself, and even with that said, there are surely guys on here that have been doing this for many years and do it all month long and can do a much better job, yet they probably wouldnt charge as little as i have for this project. Granted its not perfect in appearance, but the list of problems we have addressed are just absurd and still there are more complaints now.

One problem is that some of the changes are not in a change order format, and he did not sign anything stating that he wants to expand the patio 2'. If this was any other customer, i would assume that we messed up somewhere and didnt properly document something along the way. Because he is an attorney, he has used us the entire time from the time we first came out to the site and started making the patio larger. Actually the patio is only allowed to be a maximum of 20' wide by their HOA rules, he decided he could press that rule and since we were putting up the fence, build the patio 2' wider than the back of the house, which is in another violation. It sure is a learning experience dealing with a legal critique client of this nature. A lot of these problems originated because of the last minute changes and requests that were not originally specified for the blue print plan for this patio.
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  #19  
Old 08-28-2008, 03:31 PM
Hardscaping Hardscaping is offline
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Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: southern ontario
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put a lein on his property for the work rendered and not payed. Then still take him to court for it as well. If you never get to court and he goes to sell the property then you will be payed for the amount of the lein before he is payed for the house!
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  #20  
Old 08-28-2008, 03:34 PM
Hardscaping Hardscaping is offline
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Location: southern ontario
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oh yeah For the fence just build the neighbours right up to his and then leave his back fence as her back fence, will save her some money. or you could just moved his to the propertyline and then charge her a bit for saving her the money from having to put in a back fence.

Leaving the back space there between the two fences will cause alot of problems with weeds and such growning up through there and will be ugly.
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