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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by drsogr, Sep 29, 2004.

  1. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    I tell you, I am not even that far into the business and I hate sub-contracting. It is a bit** to find someone that is worth a darn! I called this guy up that my parents knew, had him come out and look at it. I gave him directions the 1st time, and then gave him directions 2 more times after he got lost! He got there, I didn't really feel too good about the guy, but I thought I would give him a try. He says hey, I will be there at 4:00 on Wednesday, I say meet ya there. I get there at 4:00, no dirt guy, I sit there until 4:20 thinking maybe he is late. Call him at 4:20 say hey, where ya at. I am waiting for ya, he tells me oh I am still at home, it will be about 15 minutes. I tell him whatever, I get on the phone call another dirt guy, and line him up for tomorrow. Call the first guy back and say don't worry about it, I found someone else. He tells me "thats a pretty arseholeish thing to do", and I tell him being 35 minutes late is a pretty arseholeish thing to do and he hangs up on me. Doesn't this guy realize time is money? Sorry guys just had to vent. I am hoping things get easier with subcontractors, we will wait and see.
  2. Groundcover Solutions

    Groundcover Solutions LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,254

    best way to find a good sub, is through other companies in your industry. Sub contracting work is much different than the average Joe blow company will do. The sub needs to understand that it is not just there butt that is on the line it is the person's that hired them to do the work. We make sure our work exceeds the standards of the contractor we are working for. We set our bar high that is the only way to do it. Just ask around you will find good contractors that are not just in it for the money, they will take pride in there work. But there are always the good ones and the bad, more bad than not, just keep looking. You will find one that works for you and when you do stick with them. Then recommend them to other contractors. Just my 2 cents.
  3. plunklandscape

    plunklandscape LawnSite Member
    Posts: 4

    It takes awhile to find good subs. The first few that I used were not very good because I was going for cheap. If you are willing to pay someone what you would want to make, you can usually find someone that will do you right. Remember, sometimes you are subbing simply because you don't have time to do it yourself. Sometimes peace of mind is as good as a big payday if you didn't have time to do it anyway.
  4. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    Well I hired a guy today to prepare a yard for sod. He is charging me $70 an hour, 2 hour min. He went around and broke up the dirt, but didn't bother leveling it. He was there for less than an hour. I left and came back an hour later, he was already gone! Now I have a yard with broke up soil that is more uneven than when he started, I am pissed. I don't know what to do about the situation, I am going to rake the yard out by hand tomorrow. I am not for sure if I should pay the subcontractor for only doing half the job. Pay him for half the job, or not pay him at all. I told him specifically, that I wanted this yard torn up and smoothed out for sod. It looks horrible.
  5. i_plant_art

    i_plant_art LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 558

    drsogr --- did you have a written agreement between the two of you. i dotn ever do any sub work for anyone or have subs work for me unless there is a contract in site that specifically lists what is to be expected of them/me. if u dont then it might be hard for him to collect from you since there was no "legal" agreement even though word of mouth is legal in some states. call him up and give him the bennifit of the doubt at least play like it and see how he goes with it...let him know u did come back to check up ask why he wasnt there he be tryin to pull a fast one on you by workin one hour and chargin u for 2 or 3 hrs. also renegotiate ur $ since he worked less than 1 hour and its looks like ****,......maybe he needs to put in an extra hour for free. .... another thing is never sub to someone who charges by the hour... just b/c you might bust ur ass getting stuff done efficiently doesnt mean they will and it could lead up to a huge bill at the end that you werent expecting to get. im not trying to bust on your hump man but the things that i mentioned i had to learn the hard way...... if i would have know then i would have done it different hope this helps ya out some.
  6. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    Those are good tips. Unfornutately being new, I am learning things the hard way! I talked to the guy and he said to send him whatever I think he earned. I spend 15 man hours raking the heck out of this yard, since I didn't want to get burned by another dirt guy. I am going to send him a letter explaining that I had to put 12 man hours into this job to get it to where he should have had it. We shouldn't have to do more than 3 man hours at the most to get the yard in the condition it needs to be in to lay sod. I will send him a check for his gas, but thats about it. I am upset at how bad it looked. If you can't do the job right, why do it? Just say you can't do it! Do what you are capable of, not what you think you can do. From now on sub-contractors will have to earn my trust. I will not just leave them to do their work, until I can trust them.

    Tomorrow I am going to start the search for a new dirt work sub-contractor, I am going to ask for some yards that he has worked on, and what he charged the customer. You have to learn these mistakes somehow, I am glad I am learning them now, while I am not depending on them for a full-time source of income.
  7. drsogr

    drsogr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,275

    By the way the above guy was recommended by a guy that I have worked with in the past that used the same equipment but does better work. He was the 3rd person I had to call for this job.

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