Maintenace Contracts

Discussion in 'Landscape Lighting' started by JimLewis, Jan 4, 2007.

  1. JimLewis

    JimLewis LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,841

    Wow. Just finished reading the 11/06 issue of Lawn & Landscape magazine. What a great edition! I haven't read a magazine with so many great articles all on one edition, I don't think ever! I think it must be a special edition because it's much larger than their usual monthly issue.

    Anyway, it had 3 great articles on outdoor lighting and one of them was in regards to the importance of having maintenance contracts. I had heard mention of lighting maintenance contracts before here and there but I never really believed they were all that important and I also never really believed I could sell the benefits of such a contract to my customers. That has definitely changed after reading this article.

    So now I am very interested in getting my lighting customers onto an annual or bi-annual service contract.

    I am curious who does this and how it works. What are the details of your contract? Is there an actual written contract? Or is it just an agreement from them to allow you to do regular maintenance? Do you have a set fee? Or do you have an hourly fee plus materials? How do you price / mark-up replacement bulbs? I am interested in learning about the details of your service and maintenance contracts.

    Also, do you give the first year maintenance free? The article suggested that was a fairly normal practice for many companies.
  2. Pro-Scapes

    Pro-Scapes LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,181

    Happy New Year Jim.

    We havent been doing lighting long but already have a few maint contracts in place. We include our first year of maint in our systems some guys include 3 years I think.

    Our frequency of visits depends on the applications. Some will be going 6mo and some 3 mo between visits. We clean all lenses.. Adjust as needed... Check tree lights and wire attachments for thoes. We check all terminal lugs at the trans to make sure they are tight and clean. We also do minor trimming to assure the lights perform as planned (im sure we have all had bushes grow over and block some lights)

    Lamps and other materials not covered under warranty are charged. Clients under maint with us get thier warranty extended as long as they are under contract with us on most items.

    We plan to relamp every 2 years. If a client is a pretty handy person we do leave a few spare bulbs with them sometimes and this has saved us a few service calls.
  3. eskerlite

    eskerlite LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    You should be in control of the lighting system. Dont leave anything for them. The Client will never admit to anything and then ***** at the fact you charge to much. I warranty lamps for the first year. Then its a minimum fee of 60.00 if local plus materials for one hr. After the 1st hr. then 60.00 each hr untill I get back to my shop or to another job. You should know what each bulb costs and how long it takes to clean and relamp all fixtures. Send out a contract to exsisting clients and tell them at least once a year lamps should be changed and fixtures cleaned. This includes checking wire fasteners on trees. It takes a couple of hours to figure out what to charge. Then send out contracts to clients.
    Sean C.
  4. Az Gardener

    Az Gardener LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,899

    We offer light maint as a line item for our regular maintenance clients. The guys have a silver briefcase with the typical bulbs,24-hr timers, photo cells, volt meter, screwdriver,pin tights and so on. They check lights about every other week along with everything else we do.

    We check the trees in the spring and move lights mounted in trees as needed. We also offer nighttime tune up adjustments as needed for clients at an extra cost. We find as many problems with 24 hour timers as we do with burnt out bulbs.

    One thing we do have problems with is cleaning the lenses. We have a lot of calcium in out water and the lenses get very cloudy from sprinkler over spray. I have soaked them in CLR which makes the film soft enough to chisel/scrape off with a lot of elbow grease. But I have to believe there is a better way.
  5. eskerlite

    eskerlite LawnSite Member
    Posts: 222

    Rain ex on the lenses. Try to find bulletts that have a convex lens so water doesnt build up on it.Cast has convex lenses.
    Sean C.

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