New Contruction / Advise??

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by LawnMedic904, Sep 12, 2007.

  1. LawnMedic904

    LawnMedic904 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    I have been approached to do an install for a new construction and would like any advise from the guru's. I'm still fairly new to this and have never done a new construction. I have put in a few "dinky systems" and a few repairs this season (my first) and feel pretty comfrotable with it. However, this system will be for someone I work with and I'm a little concerned. First, this guy is somewhat of a tighta$$, when he showed me some hand drawings of the site and asked for a quote I told him I need more info for any type of estimate. He presested so I gave. Just looking at the drawing, i GUSSED (which is never a good idea) that he would need 2-3 rotar zones, 2-3 sprays 2 maybe 3 drip zones. Brining the total to possible 9 zones.

    The going rate for this area is $650/zone plus parts. I also told him that I have a rock clause in the contract that he would be resonsible for. There is NO way to pull poly in my neck of the woods. Because I know him I quoted 3-4k but without all the data i could not be sure. I know this is WELL below the going rate. I don't like to think of this as low-balling, as he is in a new neighborhood and I'm trying to drum up more business. Anyhoo, he looked at me like I slapped him. After a bite he said OK, nothing final yet.

    He asked me if i needed anything spec'd in to help with installation. As stated above, i've never done NEW so what might be some things I could ask for (ie sleeves under drive, wire routing, etc). And what are some things that might come back to haught me??

    I appriciate any advise, and thanks in advance.
     
  2. LawnMedic904

    LawnMedic904 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    Also, I don't plan on cheating him, I plan on giving him a quality system, so please don't ripe me too hard.
     
  3. jimmyburg

    jimmyburg LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 701

    I did installs for builders and they want the cheapest they can get and your the last one to get paid. I qouted prices like you and contract sign and they find ways to not pay. They will back charge you for anything, like not cleaning the worksite, damaged down spout gutters that the grader did, Etc... if you take the work get everythiong in writting and take pics. and dont install or flag untill the fence gets posted and the grade is finaled.:hammerhead: :dizzy:
     
  4. LawnMedic904

    LawnMedic904 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    thanks Jimmy,
    I have heard this from others as well. If i have it my way I will be working for the buyer and not the builder, but know that you mention that I will make for dang sure I am.
     
  5. paolaken

    paolaken LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 699

    most of my work is for builders, new construction. i have about 8 builders who don't complain about price and pay well. whenever a new builder calls, i do ask around first. weed out the bad ones. i have to have invoices in by the first and checks are isued the 10th.
     
  6. paolaken

    paolaken LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 699

    most of my work is for builders, new construction. i have about 8 builders who don't complain about price and pay well. whenever a new builder calls, i do ask around first. weed out the bad ones. i have to have invoices in by the first and checks are isued the 10th. we do no cleanup on the job site. dig, backfill and go.
     
  7. Good luck. I hope the experience doesn't leave a bad taste in your mouth. If nothing else document your material cost to the penny and your labor cost to the penny and your time to the minute. I think you will be stunned at how little you make for the time and headache invested. The time you spend talking to him and answering questions and visiting the site and driving to the supply house etc etc is part of your cost. That is time you are not making money else where or chasing potential business. Get him to put sleeves in under every concrete pour that you can. Minimum of 3" in size. Preferably sch 40 and make sure he documents where they are. You can spend A LOT of time hunting sleeves down. Also see if they will set up a ball valve off the house water line for an easier tie in.
     
  8. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 5,496

    Lest casual readers mistake the issue... there is a difference many times on new construction installations. Some general contractors build individual homes and are looking for good qauality landscaping and irrigation for their customers while other GCs are looking for the cheapest "cookie cutter" systems because they're building an entire tract of homes. Some want corners cut while others want it done right. Some pay on time while others string their subs along. Contractor beware.
     
  9. paolaken

    paolaken LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 699

    yep, the same can be true with home owners as well.
     
  10. LawnMedic904

    LawnMedic904 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 14

    thanks for the input,

    I have a meeting with the owner today.

    Thanks again
     

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