guarantees on lawns

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by lawnboy82, May 7, 2001.

  1. hey guys. i have noticed something this year. we have not been getting rain around where i live lately. havent gotten anything good now in 3 weeks i hear. so here is the thing. i am doing right now a good amount of seeding. most of the jobs i have done so far are real small. but i am working on one right now that the guy is going to withhold some money until the grass comes up. if it were a small area i wouldnt have a problem. however if the stuff doesnt come up then i have to pay for a 50 lb bag of seed 2 times. and at least 6 bags of straw 2 times. plus 2 guys for a day plus what they are doing now. so what do i tell the guy? because i dont want it to be where this guy doesnt water the seed and then has me replant in september. i just want to know if i should guarantee any plantings when we are in a drought. because i have another guy too who wants the guarantee. this is with plants though. and i am just worried that with this drought everything is gonna die and i am out a good amount of money. help please!
     
  2. MOW ED

    MOW ED LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,028

    There are other members here that have lots more experience than I on this one but I have done some reseeding in the past.
    There is no way in the world I would even consider any type of guarantee for a lawn to germinate. I guarantee the customer that I know what I am doing, I guarantee that I am using top of the line - professional products but I can not guarantee that Mother Nature will come thru and water this for the homeowner.
    Unless you have a tanker truck and want to come by twice a day to water or you know a good cloud seeder, don't ever consider a guarantee, even if the homeowner promises to water it.
    This kind of thing should be made crystal clear prior to any work being done. I know some guys use a contract and some have a 1 page list of what the homeowner can expect and how they can help the success but no guarantees on a lawn.

    I know of some that guarantee new plantings if they sell them and plant them. I know one company that gives a 3 year guarantee on larger trees and shrubs ,they will fertilize and water if necessary but they also get a higher price on the initial sale. Good Luck, let us know what happens.
     
  3. KD'sLawns

    KD'sLawns LawnSite Member
    Posts: 160

    Tell the guy that the only way you can guarantee the grass will come up is for you to be the one to water it. Tell him that you have a busy schedule so it would cost him 25 bucks a day for you to go out of your way and take time to water the lawn. See if he wants to pay $175.00 a week for 3-6 weeks until the grass has come up.
    You need to explain to him that mother nature has no guarantee, or you would be getting rain right now instead of a drought. Get your money from him as soon as you can.
    As for the other customer asking. Explain it to him before you take the job. Good Luck!
     
  4. awm

    awm LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,354

    if customer wants guarantee he pay for mother natures fickle service.in other words a lot more w escape clause.
    im just jealous of anybody that can be planting grass this time of yr.
     
  5. KirbysLawn

    KirbysLawn Millenium Member
    Posts: 3,486

    I would guarantee, that upon job completion the soil will be prepaired and seed will be spread in a manner that gives the lawn the best chance to grow plush and thick, everything else is out of your hands.

    I avoid spring seedings at all cost and rarely do them. I did one this year and would only agree if it was irrigated, he put a sprinkler system in and we aeravated it and it's done nicely so far.

     
  6. geogunn

    geogunn LawnSite Gold Member
    from TN
    Posts: 3,010

    LB 82--no way should you be involved in any kind of guarantee. PERIOD! and you shouldn't be involved with anybody that expects it as a condition of doing business.

    grass grows by the grace of God. no one else can make it happen.

    the only exception that I can think of is that if you purchase something like shrubs or trees that have a guarantee (usually 1 year)from your vendor then fine. but you must explain that only applies to the tree. labor costs are not covered.

    given the above consideration, then you have the option to re-set anything that dies with or without a labor charge. often time, a quick reset without a labor charge will get you a good name in the business.

    good luck

    GEO
     
  7. smburgess

    smburgess LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 469

    LOL! It's the wrong time of year to overseeding non-irrigated turf first of all, and second if your not doing the complete package; fert, weed control, etc., I would be telling the people they are pretty much wasting their money right up front.
     
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    well, guess im the blacksheep once again, but.......alot of customers ive spoken with are very cautious about paying for seading cus "those other guys" charged them an arm and a leg, and grew no grass, and were no where to be found when the cust called them. i do give a written guarantee on seeding. however if i feel there is going to be a problem(bad soil, etc) i wont guarentee it. if the area is workable, or i use topsoil, i guarentee it, and it is written like this: we guarentee OBVIOUSE AND NOTICABLE IMPROVEMENT. and then a list of things they must do to keep up thier end of the deal(water, do not fertilize themselves, etc.) i can tell if they r watering or not. the guarentee states that we will overseed 2 more times if the first is not succesful. we charge alot of money for arrangements like this, and we usually get the job, they dont seem to mind paying if its guarenteed. we also provide references , and, offer to show them some lawns that we seeded(of course only the ones in the best shape) have not had a problem yet.
     
  9. Lawn DOG

    Lawn DOG LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 276

    It is the wrong time to be seeding. You might get some blade growth but no root growth to help it survive. Show your customers your knowledge by explaining how it would be a waste of money and wait till fall. You should have enough work this time of year not to have to waste your time and their time with things that are not going to succeed. You are just asking for trouble if you put your professional name and guarantee on it. Be careful. Your customers will respect you for telling them it is not a good idea to do it now. Save them money and you the embarrassment of problems sure to come.
     
  10. Holloway Lawns

    Holloway Lawns LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 253

    Another NO WAY and he should not be holding your money he should pay you for your services I get half up front then the other half when completed and get a contract stating such.
     

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