Broken Fixture: Who to Bill for it?

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by Chris J, Jul 25, 2007.

  1. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,837

    I'm finishing up a job on a house that we did while the house was under construction. I hate trying to put in lights during construction because of damage, congestion of people etc... Anyway, when we went back today to finish up the job, another fixture was broken and I have no idea which of the numerous construction people on site is responsible for the damage as no body would take responsibility. In a situation like this, does anyone have any suggestions as to who I should charge for this damaged fixture? I can't see billing the homeowner because it was of no fault of theirs. I am also having a hard time with the idea of billing the builder because he will have no idea of who to charge it off to (he doesn't know who broke it either). It looks like I'm going to just have to suck it up and eat the loss which is really aggravating! This is the second broken fixture on this job and the job is not completed. There is no telling how many other fixtures will be broken by the time this is over with!
     
  2. NiteTymeIlluminations

    NiteTymeIlluminations LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 367

    kichler rma material it sounds to me...weak weld spot...yup yup yup
     
  3. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,837

    Actually, it did break in a very strange place. It was a 15385AZT and it broke above the knuckle (the knuckle actually stayed in tact, and the shroud broke).
    But that would be cheating I think.....naaa, I can't do that.
     
  4. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 848

    Chris, I gotta ask ya....why are you installing before house is done? I know you told whoever hired ya that things get broke when scaffolds and ladders and equipment are still being moved around right? And what was the response from them? And not one but two fixtures? That sucks because I agree you will probably have to take care of it.
     
  5. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    I'm betting that your distributor would take care of it for you. I agree with klkanders also. If they insist that you install before the project is ready, they pay for breakage.
     
  6. NightLightingFX

    NightLightingFX LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 581

    Chris
    If it were me I would probably suck-up the first broken fixture. However after the second broken fixture I would consult with your client explaining the problem and that it isn't fair/right for you to continue to absorb the cost of broken fixtures. Some one has to pay for the fixtures and it shouldn't be you. Another thought, do you have to have your fixtures out while the construction is going on. What if you just laid out all your wires etc and when the construction is finished connect your fixtures to the bare leads?
    ~Ned
     
  7. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,837

    This was a tough one. The client was moving in from Texas (Texas people are so hard to deal with Paul!), and was pressuring the builder to have everything done 4 months ahead of schedule so they could move in. It is probably partly my fault because I didn't put my foot down. It was a very large job, and I really wanted it not only for the financial opportunity but also to showcase my skills for this custom builder. This is the job I talked about in another post where we put in every type of light imaginable (downlights, uplights, sconces, water feature, core drilled paver MR16 well lights, etc....) I did charge accordingly for the project because I knew things like this were going to happen. As I said, I don't like doing new construction projects and I will avoid it like the plague unless I absolutely have to do it during construction.
    I just got back home about 30 minutes ago from doing my night-time adjustments and final walk through. I have to say that this turned out to be probably one of the finest installations that I have ever done. Somehow, these two fixtures don't even matter to me anymore. When I got there, the homeowners were beside themselves staring at their back yard and pool area. This is the stuff I live for! Man! How good it feels to get this kind of reaction from a customer. Before I left, the man told me to feel free to add him to my list of references. The feeling I have right now is well worth little bit of extra money in replacement fixtures.
    I would also say that his feelings of me are somewhat extraordinary right now. I doubt that he would have exactly that same feeling of me if I told him to cough up another couple hundred to pay for something that no one knows who's to blame for.
     
  8. klkanders

    klkanders LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 848

    You are so right. Hey this project sounds like something I wanna see. Can you get some pics posted here so I can drool over them? Congrats!
     
  9. NightScenes

    NightScenes LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,209

    I guess you could just take the cost out of your advertising budget.
     
  10. Chris J

    Chris J LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,837

    They are still working on the pool and a few finishing touches on the house. Once this is done, I'm bringing my photographer out of retirement for some shots. It's a shame that I quit doing photo contests. This one would be a real contender.

    Paul, if you can afford to install entire lighting systems for free, I think I can spare a couple fixtures.
     

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