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tricky mulch job

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by bobbygedd, Mar 26, 2002.

  1. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    ok, this is the first time ive encountered this problem. new client wanted est on mulch. he has lots of beds, loaded with ground cover(pacasandra, myrtle, ivy, blue rug juniper) so to accurately estimate it was imposible for me. he said do it, and i did, only problem is i used one and a half more yds of mulch than i estimated. and it was a royal pain putting in the mulch around the groundcover. i wont charge him extra for the additional labor of mulching around all the cover, but i think it only right that i charge him for the extra yd and a half of mulch, what do u think? one thing i learned, in the future charge more per yd when all that ground cover is present. thanx for any help
  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Posts: 1,625

    Remember you did the estimate! We all have to live with the numbers we give. If he gave you the numbers then you would have something to go back on. Honnor your price and chalk it up to experance.
  3. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    might just do that, but while we were talking, i told him "about" 2 yds. i hate to "eat it", only cus it was such a pain putting it in
  4. diginahole

    diginahole LawnSite Member
    Posts: 249

    I have got to agree with paul. Eat it this time and chalk one up for experience. Leaving a bad taste in the customers mouth will come back to bite you many more times than the few bucks for a yard and a half of mulch. Keep your promises and exceed the expectations of your clients, it makes good business sense.
  5. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    I'm on board with Digin and Paul...

    You can't expect a customer to have to pay for your mistake. I'm sure that if I was keeping track of my mistakes in a book, it'd be several inches thick by now. You just have to suck it up and learn from the mistake.
  6. rodfather

    rodfather LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 9,501

    I would charge him for the material. If you want to eat the labor, then fine. You gave him an "estimate". Estimates are not carved in stone. BTW, how much of a difference is 1.5 yards of mulch going to cost him? It's not like you're ripping him off or something.

    Just my 2 cents.
  7. mdb landscaping

    mdb landscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Posts: 2,205

    I agree. I think you have to eat your labor cost, but the cost for 1.5 yards of mulch should be charged to him. Unless you are giving a bid like on a commercial, and estimate is an estimate. I know when i mulch, i approximate how much mulch i think it will take and tell the customer my going rate. Most of the time im right on, but every once in awhile ill miscalculate, and they dont mind. It all depends on how you worded it to the customer though.
  8. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    my mulch cost me $7 per yd. the labor is what sucked. it is very time consuming hand mulching all the little area between the ground cover. ok, u think i should charge an extra few bucks for material, should i enclose a note in the bill that in the future he will need 3.5 yds? so i dont do this again?usually my stone and mulch measurments are right on the money, this time was way off
  9. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Posts: 1,579

    your mulch cost you 7 dollars a yard ...so this post is about a 10 dollar bill ?????
  10. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 1,277

    Knowing that your mulch only cost $7 per yard, now I really think you should eat it. But you need to find the silver lining in this.

    In your invoice to this customer explain to them that you used 1.5 yards more mulch than estimated, at a value of $X, and that you aren't charging them this additional amount, because they are such good customers.

    You may end up getting thou$and$ in referrals for a small, kind act like that.

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