DVS (your idea?)

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by GroundScapesIncorporated, Feb 14, 2007.

  1. GroundScapesIncorporated

    GroundScapesIncorporated LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 386


    I am in the process of having my website completely redone, (it should be done by the weekend). Anyway, I really liked the page on your site that describes "the process". I think you make some very good points there about giving info to the contractor on an ideal price to make the process go smoother. Anyway I made a page on my site called "getting started" that the idea of come from your site, I would like for you to take a look at it, and just confirm to me that it doesnt sound alot like yours, Im not one to copy, but that page really makes sense to have. I get tired of (some) clients expecting us to be brain readers.
    Take a look and tell me what you think?


    STONE SCAPES LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Groundscapesinc nice site. I love the getting stared page good idea DVS.
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    You're on the right track.

    Couple of things -

    I hate "Free Estimates". I believe a contractor should charge a consultation charge ($35-$80) just to go meet with the people. This weeds out the tire kickers and frees you up from wasting YOUR time. With that said, I have a hard time charging consultation fees because we are flooded with start up competition that chases ever phone call they get!

    So.....I refrain from mentioning "Free Estimates", as I hate free estimates, yet I do free estimates! If I detect that I am not interested in the work, or if I detect that they are price shoppers, I'll say "ok, we do have a $50 consultation fee which is refundable if you have us do the work".

    Also, if an architect is involved, they must do a design before you can do an estimate. Thus - in essence - it's a $400 - $1600 estimate (typical residential design fees).

    Just something for you to think about :)

    Also, I am not comfortable with the way you mention architects and engineers. Many home owners do not realize that such services are required to obtain their dream-scape. I kinda feel that by mentioning so, it may intimidate them. Many home owners are clueless. Someone may want a simple lead walk put in, and if they see "engineer", they'll think "Engineer! We just want a fricken walk from the drive to the front do, we don't need an engineer, screw this company, we'll call that guy that Helen from our church used for her walk, he didn't use no engineer!"

    My suggestion is to at least remove the word "engineer". If you look at a job and you determine the services of an engineer are necessary, then verbally inform them, which at this time you can explain why.

    In all reality - the best analogy is my real estate analogy. WOMEN and men CAN relate to this analogy, every time, guaranted! And you're welcome to use my analogy.
  4. GroundScapesIncorporated

    GroundScapesIncorporated LawnSite Senior Member
    from VA
    Posts: 386

    Thanks DVS and Stone Scapes.

    I agree with you on the consultation thing, but I also know that all the competition around doesnt charge for a consultation. And something else Ive noticed is that alot of times potential clients may need a hardscape and not even know it. I went and looked at a job in the spring last year where the client wanted just a few thousand dollars worth of landscaping and a simple
    6x6 set of steps done, after telling her some possibilities, she ended up having a large paver walkway, two sets of steps and a wall done. If I had charged her for a consultation, she would have possibly never had me on her property.
    I feel as though any opprutunity to meet with someone to discuss possibilities and even just meet a new person and get your name out is a good opprutunity.

    As bad as I hate driving around and wasting a few hour sometimes, I will possibly continue to do it. I just feel as though, its the smartest decision right know for me.

    I mean in any buisness, we are always looking for ways to meet new people and get our name out there, what better way to do it, than a one on one consultation. I guess what I am saying is that even if they arent going to get the work done and are going to waste my time, I still feel as though it is worth it most of the time.

    now after the consultation, how much work is put into a proposal, I believe should be accounted for.

    After re-reading what I have about engineers and architects, I do think your right about that. I will possibly take that whole sentence out. I had never thought of it that way, But what you say makes good sense.

    And your idea of the real estate thing is very understandable, and I do like the idea. But I dont want to copy. I just liked the idea of that page and used the idea. As good as the real estate thing sounds, I wont use it.

    Thanks for the advice.
  5. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,417

    As Tony Bass, owner of Bass Custom Landscapes, and owner of Super Lawn Trucks once said at a seminar in 2005 - "some of the best ideas are stolen".

    STONE SCAPES LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Yeah Look At Bill Gates!

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