The dreaded Landscape Architects

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by SprinklerGuy, Jan 1, 2002.

  1. Well, I played golf with another landscape contractor yesterday and My Hunter Irrigation Products Sales rep. I am mostly an irrigation contractor/repair company who kinda wants to do landscaping but not if I have to do designs etc. Because I am kinda a hands off type I'm not real excited to hire a designer etc. But.......he said he is on 'bid lists' of various architects and some of them even refer him as the best guy in town!! This way he is bidding against noone on some jobs just because of a recommendation!!! My question is this, I should have asked him right?

    How does a person go about getting on these architects bid lists? Do you cold call them and convince them of your abilities? Do you write letters and solicit? Any ideas?
     
  2. Atlantic Lawn

    Atlantic Lawn LawnSite Senior Member
    Male, from Outer Banks NC
    Posts: 940

    Chamber of Commerce mixers. Networking. Take the guy out for lunch a few times per month as well as the golf course. Always pick up the tab.Your good name will get around.
     
  3. SCL

    SCL LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 543

    Call em up and arrange an appointment. Then go put your best foot forward. If they recommend you, your reputation is their reputation. Any chance to get your service out is a good one, mixers and such are great. Good luck!
     
  4. steveair

    steveair LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,073

    hello,

    Like any other business, the idea of 'its all about who you know' prevails in our industry.

    steve
     
  5. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    It's not so much as who you know but who you are!
    There are lots of Landscapers that do the work that we do but few carry the reputation that we have.
     
  6. greens1

    greens1 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 352

    It's been my experience that most LA's are looking for someone big enough to do large jobs, $ 100,000 easy as well as carry a bond.

    I have worked with more Architechs than Landscape Architechs. I am just not a big enough company to satisfy most of the LA's requirements, but I like things the way they are.

    In all honesty I have had better experiences with regular architechs than LA's.

    Jim L
     
  7. HBFOXJr

    HBFOXJr LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,712

    Now here is a group that my experience shows me is stuck up, impractical and not at the top of their game.

    They use landscape specifications and methods that are many decades old and have been proven to be less than satisfactory.

    Their irrigation knowledge frequently borders on dangerous and can range from overkill to under done or just not mechanically right.

    They can create jobs that difficult and expensive to maintain with out thought one about it.

    More people should use them because they have real value and way more knowledge than a ton of homeowners and property developers put together. It is a shame that the knowledge is not not well tempered with reality and practicality. Frequently, there is a God like attitude that goes with the title.

    I T'd off on this because I've worked on and have bid on a bunch of plans over the years besides seeing the results of their plans executed. They should have to be a business owner doing maintenance, construction and irigation for 10 years before they can be an architect. Then we'd have some real workable stuff with style and grace.

    So in closing, I would check their work as hard they may want to scrutinize yours before geting into bed with them. that way you can pick just a few that you can agree with and the road will be smoother.

    Also they may be a good source of just irrigation work on their projects.
     
  8. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    Good post Harold,

    It's the kind of things I was looking to see in the design/build post.

    I have seen lots of field promblems with LA's ...drawings for show but aren't practical to build.
     
  9. Turfdude

    Turfdude LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,900

    Agreed. A lot of the L.A.'s don't deal w/ the practical. They like to be overly creative at times, but don't see the overcrowded jungles they create 5 years (or less) down the road, nor the labor involved in trying to maintain an overkilled landscape. I currently work w/ only one architect. a lot of research at the site and time w/ the clients to understand their needs and wants. Then he applies a practical plan using materials indigenous to our hardiness zone and practical for the location. He also has extensive knowledge re: what species compliment one another and has some foresight as to future upkeep and maintenance of his designs.
     
  10. Planter

    Planter LawnSite Member
    from Utah
    Posts: 214

    Harold,

    I think everyone sees that a lot. Nice job on paper, looks great. I have yet to see one the spells the botanical names correctly. Most jobs are done for the look they give the first through third year and then they get overgrown.

    My kid (15 years old) wants to be one. He's on the shovel digging irrigation trenchs for me now and working at my friend's nursery watering. He'll probably do well because he has a practical knowledge.

    Now if I could just get him to send me some business in ten years...:)
     

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