Design issues?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by jimmyburg, Nov 12, 2007.

  1. jimmyburg

    jimmyburg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 701

    Went out this weekend to do a small repair job. customer asked me if i could give her a design of her system. I told her i did not install the system but could provide a head and valve location. so I turned on the system did the head placement and broke out the 521 and found the valves, I had drawn down the everything and had given her the design, she looked at me and said "where are all the pipes" i looked at her and said "there's know way i can trace the the laterals unless i dig up the whole yard". I asked here to contact the company for the asbuilt and she told me they are no longer in business. then she told of how great of a price they had gotten on the system. the contractor told them to pull a homeowner permit and the would install the system for less. after hearing that, I told her, well the only way to get all the lines in the drawing is to replace the whole system, she looked at me like i was stupid and and said the system is only one year old, I then told her that while doing the repair i encountered a lot of sch40 pipe. and showed her the flaws in her system of not performing correctly. I normally do not criticize someones system in front of the customer, but she asked for my opioion. what would have ya'll have done?
     
  2. hoskm01

    hoskm01 LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,690

    She asked, tell her like it is. Theyre not in business anymore anyway, if the system aint performin, you should have some fix-it-up work comin at ya. Why didnt you just get out your pipe locator and find every freakin lateral in the yard?;)
     
  3. CAPT Stream Rotar

    CAPT Stream Rotar LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,906

    always tell the truth.
     
  4. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 47,324

    You can always 'color the truth' in a way that doesn't place blame on a customer for being an idiot for selecting the wrong contractor. You might be surprised what the customer response can be, when the obvious "What a mess!" is replaced by something less critical, and this gentler approach doesn't prevent a repairman from recommending improvements.
     
  5. jimmyburg

    jimmyburg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 701

    I charge $80.00 per hour, and i was there 4 hours she was already made about the bill but she new in advance about my prices.
     
  6. jimmyburg

    jimmyburg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 701

    your right, i just didnt start bad mouthing the contractor and the system, i was gentle about the whole thing. she called me back today and asked for a quote today, i already now she cant afford one of my systems, but told her i would come by tomorrow and we'll talk about it.
     
  7. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    Don't have a problem criticizing other peoples work in front of clients. I try to do it in a kind way, but crap work is crap work, and should be pointed out. Sometimes ignorance is not bliss.
     
  8. I start off with the sentence " I don't know the factors involved in ending with this system, but for what you are trying to do it's going to need some major modifications." I don't spend a lot of time criticizing just go straight to the point of what i'm going to do with it. By the way I discourage customers from trying to get me to draw them an as built since the pipe runs can't really be determined. I tell them their irrigation service dollars can be better spent.
     
  9. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 18,308

    My "as built" comes in the form of pictures. :clapping:
     
  10. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    My only 2c is that just because there was SCH 40 pipe in the system, does not mean it is a crappy system.

    Up north here, most people use SCH 40 because plowing class pipe in the rocks causes too many hairline fractures. You just need to size it right.
     

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