Starting an irrigation maintenance company?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by BeautifulBlooms, Dec 4, 2007.

  1. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    I am wondering if there is much demand out there for irrigation maintenance,. I know it depends on the customer, but can I establish a maintenance company without having thousands and thousands of $ of equipment? I knwo I could rent a compressor once a year for winterizing. I know i can do most irrigaiton maintenance with a shovel some teflon tape, or pipe dope, and some plastic piping. What kind of maintenance is there on electrical systems and pumps? Someone want to give me some advice on starting this division up? I do not want to be an installer right now, but could always get into that if necessary. I am specifically looking to do maintenance. How do you guys price the maintenance, do you have a seasonal contract or do you just get called out if there is a problem?
     
  2. Wet_Boots

    Wet_Boots LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 48,041

    Price it by time and material, and you can easily get into four figures with an assortment of basic parts. Without experience, your time on servicing sprinkler systems will be worth....
     
  3. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    I spent 3 seasons managing an old block brass valve system on a golf course and 10 years total on a golf course got me into understanding irrigation systems, I do have some catchup having been out of it for 4-5 years but I am positive I can figure it out with research. I also have had minimal experience in the small residential stuff, so that will be a small learning curve I hope.

    Time and materials is fine but I also dont want to take advantage of my customers as this will only be a service I offer to existing customers, I will not be throwing out advertising to get irrigation maintenance jobs right away. I will advertise I offer it as a service but I cant see getting many contracts without getting complete lawn and landscape contracts also.

    P.S. I didnt say I am already an established lawn and landscape maintenance company. So I am not offer irrigation maintenance as a stand alone service.
     
  4. If you have enough accounts and know what you are doing I suspect it might be worth your while. Do a search on BLOWOUTS or WINTERIZING on this forum and I assure you that you will get more info than you care to read. Do the math and don't be a low baller.
     
  5. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    Remember to price out your repairs at a higher rate then your LCO rate. The bad thing about not doing a lot of service is you might have to stock a decent variety and amount of parts in hopes you will use them over the summer unless you plan on driving to the supply shop on a regular basis. Then make sure to cover that overhead too.
     
  6. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I hope you're kidding here. Your truck needs to be stocked with a few thousand dollars of stuff. Valves, heads, backflows, pipe - poply, PVC, copper- (all diff. sizes, schedules and such), fittings - PVC and poly, and ranging from 1/2" to at least 1" for resi and higher for comm. If that is all you think you need to repair and maintain systems, you've got a big shock coming.

    As far as pricing, that is your gig. You need to know what you need to make a profit and be happy. Could range from $30 to $100+ per hour. I do not give service contracts. Others here do. People call, we do the work, they pay us. My company is strictly maintenance, repair, service, winterizing. Yes you can make it without doing installs.
     
  7. BeautifulBlooms

    BeautifulBlooms LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 613

    I was somewhat kidding. I know it takes more than what i said, but I also know I dont absolutely have to go out and spend $2000 just to buy all the parts that exist, I could get buy making a run to the store for the first year as I may only have a few customers.
    I can rent the compressor for the fall season rather than purchase immediately.
     
  8. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

  9. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 13,156

    I rented for many years. The best reason for owning is you can extend your season. In the past we would rent for 4 weeks. Then maybe one or two days later on for stragglers. Now we start late Sept. and just did a few on Dec. 3rd. Make sure to reserve one early - like July or August from the rental shop. They tend to run out early.
     

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