Begginer Help! Please!

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by PRECISION LC, Dec 12, 2002.

  1. PRECISION LC

    PRECISION LC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    I WAS TALKING TO A CUSTOMER THE OTHER DAY, THERE ARE GOING TO MOVE INTO A NEW HOME WITH 40 ACRES. ALL BUFFALO AND NATIVE GRASSES, AND MINIMAL LANDSCPING. I HAVE NOT DONE MUCH LANDSCAPING, BUT A COUPLE SODDING JOBS. THEY WANT ME TO DO IT ALL, TAKE OUT OLD AND PUT IN NEW. BASICALLY LANDSCAPING, SODDING, SPRNKLER, ROCK PATTIO, AND A NEW ENTRANCE WITH A IRON GATE. WONDERING IF IT WILL WORTH IT. I FIGURE IT WOULD BE WORTH IT BUT I DONT HAVE MUCH EXPERIENCE OR HEAVY DUTY EQUIPTMENT. I CAN SUB OUT THE SRINKLER WORK AND HAVE SOME PLANS DRAWN UP BY SOMEONE ELSE. SO WHAT EVER ADVICE YOU HAVE WOULD BE APPRICIATED.
    THANKS
    KYLE
     
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    If you haven't installed stone patios, and haven't installed fences or gates, or done much landscaping before, this may be outside the scope of your abilities right now.

    If it were one new thing you were being asked to do among a list of other things you were very good at, then sure. But it sounds like you'd be a fish out of water for most of this project.

    You might want to tackle smaller projects and build up to something like this. Get this one wrong (and if you've never done most of this, the odds are on the higher side that you would), and you may find yourself being sued out of existence.

    BTW, please refrain from using all caps.
     
  3. devildog

    devildog LawnSite Senior Member
    from sc
    Posts: 270

    Take the job, work on your numbers. Get quotes from respected subs compare their numbers with yours. Design/construction work is profitable, if you know the numbers: cost of sales+ expenses+profit = job costs. With regards... devildog
     
  4. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,740

    Too much too fast.

    Why does the homeowner want YOU to do the job? If they know that you do not have the experience then they must be looking for bargain rates. If they do not understand the difference between laying sod and doing stonework - you both will be in for a surprise. Perhaps they like you and want to help you get started in gaining experience and building your business.

    If the latter of the three possibilities above is true, you would serve yourself well to be prepared to not get rich on this. Make sure the client knows that it is going to take longer and you will have to deal with some obstacles and if they can deal with that you should make it worth it to them as well.

    Someone said to get your numbers straight. The fact is that you neither have the experience to estimate the time it will take YOU and may run into needing materials that you do not yet know about. Even if you do estimate your time correctly, you will not be working at near the efficiency of an experienced person and would not be worth their rate of pay.

    Somehow you have to work out a way for the client not to get screwed and at the same time for you not to get screwed. This is an education for you not a business deal. You can't expect to make the same money a highly skilled experienced person would on this job. By the same token, you can not expect the homeowner to pay the same for a job that WILL take longer and might not be quite as well done if it were done by an experienced company.

    I think that you should put your cards on the table and go for it if the homeowner will.
     
  5. stslawncare

    stslawncare LawnSite Bronze Member
    from DE
    Posts: 1,484

    if im reading this correctly they want u to sod 40 acres???!!!!!!!! i would sub almost the enitre job out. way to big of a jump, when doing jobs this large you wanna have some experience under your belt, sub it out and still make a little bit of money. might even wanna watch them do it so you can learn????
     
  6. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Get a design first. This won't be cheap if they are looking at 40 acres. Even if it is just around the immediate house it is going to cost them/you. Don't go cheap on this stage. Get a LA to do it.

    I agree with Agla ..be upfront about the whole thing.
     
  7. SystemXpert

    SystemXpert LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    You might consider subbing out some of this work and act as a project manager. You could gain some good experience from a job like this that has so many different parts. I can tell you from experience, that putting up iron gates is not easy. Do they want them to be motorized ? What do you know about linear worm drives ? Something to consider.
     
  8. PRECISION LC

    PRECISION LC LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    THANKS FOR ALL SUPPORT. THEY BASICALLY TOLD ME A LITTLE ABOUT THE PROJECT. I DONT THINK THEY WANT ALL 40 ACRES SODDED. JUST ENOUGH AROUND THE HOUSE. I FIGURED THAT IF I GOT A GOOD PLAN AND PRESENTED TO THEM, TELLING THEM WHO WAS GIOING TO DO WHAT, AND BE UP FRONT WITH THEM, LIKE YOU ALL SAID, I FIGRED IT WOULD BE OK. I HAVE A CONTACT WHO CAN DO THE FENCING AND THE STONE WORK, AND ANOTHER WHO CAN DO THE SPRINKLER WORK. I FIGURED I WOULD JUST TAKE THE LANDSCAPE PLANS AND BUY THE NECCESARY MATERIALS AND PLANT THEM. THEN LAY THE SOD.
    WHAT DO YOU ALL THINK, GOOD OR BAD I THANK YOU FOR ALL YOUR ADVICE.
    KYLE
     
  9. Randy Scott

    Randy Scott LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,915

    You don't have the experience to be the general on a project like this. Let it go. No offense but it isn't going to happen.

    Also, posting in all capital letters is yelling and harder to read.
     
  10. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Precision - you have 114 posts - that should be enough to know DO NOT USE ALL CAPS.

    STOP IT.


    Thank you.
     

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