now I know why I'm higher priced

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by LB1234, Jun 29, 2008.

  1. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    Get a call a few weeks back from a real close friend of the family. Wanted to know if I was interested in installing a patio/walkway for him. I said I'd do it. I was going to give him a deal and basically give him all the materials at cost and not charge for my labor (We are owner/operated). Anyhow, it was going to come out to be something between 16-18 p/sqft for me to do it. However, long story short I couldn't get it done in time for his sons graduation party.

    He went out and got three quotes, two companies of which I heard of & one I never heard of. Go prices from $10 a square to $13.50 a square installed. The first thing I thought was that three companies were simply charging by the square foot. He said two of them simply wrote the square foot price on a piece of there company letterhead and said it doesn't matter what the patio size was. The were the ones under 13 per square.

    So I start telling him that I think that is really low and seems as if they are going to skip things or are only putting in a two inch base, etc...So he asked company ABC some of the questions I told him to ask and sure enough everything was what it should be. So he decides to go with company ABC.

    I get to the party yesterday afternoon and my first impression when walking into the back yard was wow, looks really nice. Nice smooth turns, bordering soldier course, straight lines on the pattern, etc. Company ABC used Techo's classique 6x9 in a herringbone pattern. As I start walking further down the path that leads to the patio and get into the turn I realize how he can charge a few bucks less. Instead of cutting the soldier course of 6x9's to match the curve he just gapped them for outside curves and cut them in half and gapped them for inside curves. Some of the gaps where as much as an inch. AWFUL!! At least he filled them with polymetric sand so it will last a few more months before they start rocking in there.:hammerhead:
     
  2. PatriotLandscape

    PatriotLandscape LawnSite Bronze Member
    from MA
    Posts: 1,209

    I'm going to start laying my pavers in poly sand it seems to fix everyone elses problems. :D
     
  3. Paver Gangster

    Paver Gangster LawnSite Member
    Posts: 145

    Customers who insist on having a hardscaping job completed in time for a party scare the bejeezus outta me. I tell them, your yard might be dug up for a weekend, but you gotta look at the pavement for as long as you own your home.

    I also dont do work for friends, relatives or neighbours, The old saying "dont (nasty word for defecate) where you eat" goes a long way!
     
  4. allinearth

    allinearth LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 609

    Stick to your guns and do quality work. It will pay off in the long run. There will always be price shoppers but there are also people who will seek you out for quality and not be as worried about price.
     
  5. JohnnyRoyale

    JohnnyRoyale LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 616

    An excert from the book of JohnnyRoyale,

    "The snowball effect of one quality job and the right price outweighs the net returns of numerous crappy jobs at cheap prices."
     
  6. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    I'm not complaining about my pricing. Thankfully I'm very busy and have been able to turn some jobs away. I'm not complaining about the pricing either. People can charge whatever they want, but I seem to know why he can charge a little less...he skipped a half days worth of cuts. I told my buddy to call up the installer and get him back there to make the proper cuts.

    I have to take some pictures...the gaps are downright lousy!!
     
  7. GSPHUNTER

    GSPHUNTER LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 310

    My parents had a patio installed a few years back before I got into doing pavers. They were elated with how it turned out, but the soldiered bordered is exactly like you described. I think many homeowners really don't know about fine details so it doesn't bother most of them.
     
  8. amazingscapes

    amazingscapes LawnSite Member
    from England
    Posts: 4

    It's the same deal over here in the UK. We have firms that undercut you then do a shoddy job and make their money back by cutting corners. People with sense go for the quality job that will last.
     
  9. Markf

    Markf LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 407

    We have a client that my son has cut for years. We also do their mulch and plantings. The husband asked us for a quote for pavers from back slider to driveway. We give him a price of about $15/ft2. Next thing we know, our layout/design is being used by another company. And as what was written earlier, NO cuts in the soldier course and 1 1/2 years later the soldier course has migrated outwards quite a distance. NO EDGING.
     
  10. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210


    I love the phone calls..."Can you come out and give me a price on fixing the our paver walkway" I simply say they only way I "fix" the walkway is to completely reinstall it. I then usually get something along the lines of "I'm gonna talk to my husband and get back to you"
     

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