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can somebody please help me

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by bobbygedd, Sep 26, 2001.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    hi all. im doing a small installation for a friend. i know, tough to do business with friends, but im trying. i told him im giving him a huge break, he still seems the price is high, would some of u please give me yur price for the following job: about 6 hours labor to cut/prep beds. i am installing 32 foundation size plants, my cost is about $15 per plant. also a weeping white pine@$110, a weeping cherry @$70, and a thundercloud plum @$75. also 2 ton of deleware stone(inch and a half), 3 yds mulch, preen and weed block(a 3x100ft roll should do) also we removed and disposed a 10 foot oak tree, and trimmed and transplanted a 6 ft emerald green arb. remember 3 different types of material means 3 different trips (stone, mulch, topsoil) oh yea, and dont forget 3 yds of top soil. between picking up and delivering all the planting material and stone etc, thats about 6 hrs right there in pickup and delivery alone. please give me some prices. i told him im already slitting my wrist on this job, he seems to think hes getting robbed. i have one helper who will assist on instalation, im doing prep by myself. thanks
  2. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    We don't have 'Delaware Stone' here, so I don't know it's price; I'll assume $30/ton.

    When you say cut/prep beds, I will assume this means shovel edge, strip and dispose of sod.

    With those assumptions, I'd be at $2300-2600, a one day job for 2 men. If I knew in advance that he'd squawk about it, I'd add another $200-300 onto that.

    As a side note, I try really hard not to work for friends or neighbors - when I'm home from work I like to be home from work. I don't want neighbors coming over or calling asking me questions about this or that. I put in enough hours.

    I'll give them the names of companies I respect and would hire, and help them in evaluating bids/designs, and even lend them tools if they want to DIY, but otherwise, I want to keep business out of the relationship.

    The funny thing is, I have a neighbor who has volunteered to be a reference for us, even though they hired someone else to do their landscaping! I politely declined, however.

    HOWARD JONES LawnSite Member
    Posts: 233

    Once you show him your cost for all materials, it will be a matter of how much you are charging per hour for labor - if you didn't agree on a total bid or an hourly rate up front, I would probably do the job for a friend at a pretty low hourly rate. He still won't like it, but try to keep the friend. I still have bad memories of doing business for friends from many years ago, yet some guys have no problem with it; only you can say whether you should do business with friends from this point on.
  4. John DiMartino

    John DiMartino LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,555

    Do not do the install,you will lose a friend over it,and your even going to make any money on top of that.He'll think your reaming him,you feel cheated,and unapreciated,Ive been there,and it never works out.If he had been receptive to your quote,and realized you were saving him money,or not moaned about the price,I'd do it then,but you can tell already,its not going to work out.Recommend someone else,and fill your schedule with profitable work,friends and business,or family and business do not mix from my experiences.
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    John - my thoughts too, but worded much more appropriately.
  6. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    boy o boy, u guys were right. b t w, i quoted him a price of, get this, $1900! i drew up the plans, he agreed, and handed me $800 deposit. i went and started the job, spent 3 hrs cutting beds, and prepping area, and wrestling with this oak tree. then....my "friend" comes to me and says id like to talk to you about the price, my wife just bought a $3000 grandfather clock, and ill be picking up my brand new truck tommorow, and we also had new floors put in for thousands of dollars(he just inherited over $100, 000 ) he says if we eliminate some of the plants, can we get this thing down under $1500? i almost swallowed my toungh out of pure anger, and explained to him that the fewer items we install, the more$$ per item it will cost him, it turns into a big argument, and he asks for his deposit back. i said no way, we do not refund deposits after the job starts. i knew he was cheaper than hell , but never thought hed have his hands in MY pocket like that. oh well, should have gotten your advice a week ago. thanks alot guys. btw, would u refund his deposit?
  7. Guido

    Guido LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,085

    Give it back...whatever is left of it after you take your NORMAL hourly rate out of it for the time you already put into it.

    Walk away now before it gets worse (if it can get worse)

    You probobly lost a friend, so settle for that and walk away fast before you loose a lot of money on this job.
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    the friendship was not a great one to begin with. and i feel that he backed out on his end of the deal, not me. i think i should be compensated for my work, time spent planning, thinking about, and discussing his job. i also feel i should be compensated for for having to move my schedule around to fit him in. about $800 should do it! i will not refund one penny. this has only happened once before, in that case i had recieved a $400 deposit on a $1400 job. the lady (after i put in 3 yds of topsoil) tried to pull the same crap, i said u will give me $1000 when im done here, correct? she said no, only $750, i said goodbye, packed up and left and never returned her deposit. anybody agree with me?
  9. KerryB

    KerryB LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 661

    On this one I say run. Everytime I tried to do the "right" thing and help someone out on price I got burned. Its the ones you make lots of money on that become your best customers.
  10. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Bobby -

    This is one of the reasons that on the day I start I have 70% of the money for the project already in my possession. That way, if things go completely into the toilet, I still don't lose money. It also helps to gauge how serious they are. If they balk at giving you the money now, they'll likely balk at giving you the money later, too.

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