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Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by IRRITECH, Nov 10, 2006.


    IRRITECH LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 931

    Landscape contractor we work for picked up the landscape installs on a 600 lot subdivision. 1/4 acre track homes in the $175K. Developer says he will pay for irrigation if I provide a minimum of 3 zones and keep the price to $1800/house.


    1. Would you toss your principles out the window for a shot @ $1M worth of work over the next couple of years?

    2. How do you design a system like that?

    I guess 4 rotors in the frot, 4 in the back and 3 sprays on each side. I don't know if I can live w/ that.

    Labor and Materials approx $1250/ house. 2 houses minimum/day.
  2. If you have the balls to do it....it could make or break you.

    I went through this in Arizona...I did 750 trac homes....they needed timer/breaker/1 valve in front for drip/1 valve in front for 500 square foot of grass.

    I hired 3 guys....I had one guy hang all the timers/breakers....I had the other two guys trenching and installing...all day every day 6 days per week for quite awhile...

    Keep in mind..this was way before the insurance companies started hammering the subs on these jobs....some folks premiums put them out of business...

    Also...be ready to wait for your money....I had a HUGE credit line that kept me afloat.....but 90 days was a long time to wait for cash.

    It was fun...would I do it again? Probably not...but I am different now with different goals for business and life.

    Good luck to you.....

    Cheap backflows in bulk....cheap Hunter timers.....valves by the pallet....you'd be suprised how cheap you can do these...

    IRRITECH LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 931

    Dual Check Backflows (by code)
    Yeah, Src Timers
    4-strand wire
    6" valve Boxes (no Manifolds)
    pipe by the pallet
    Whoevers valve I can get the best deal on

    Credit line not a problem on materials
    Labor could be an issue but w/ a signed contract I can get short term money.

    But can I live w/ it. Sell you soul for a $?
  4. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,799

    No, the poor reputation will last longer than the money you made.

    We have builders out here that try to get 3-4 zone systems put in for $1k.

    Its nuts, we don't even bother. Let the bottom feeders fight over them while your reputation keeps getting you $15k jobs.
  5. You can do a system that is functional...it may not be a Mercedes....but Hyundais will get you to work.

    Look at your hard costs....how much more the insurance will cost you.....you know what to look at.

    you will be suprised at how much more efficient this will force you to become and that will carry over into the rest of your business.....

    Ultimately you have to decide if you want to do this sort of huge volume w/ low margins or not.....
  6. kozmo

    kozmo LawnSite Member
    Posts: 70

    If the builder has a good record with payment then i would do it. that kind of system you should be able to do min 3 per day if not more. the service generated would be incredible and as far as reputation any customer has a complaint its the builder s system and sell up grades after the fact. i think the more important issues is that no other phase of your business suffers that is were the money is not worth it and your rep gets ruined. that i see often good luck and make a money grab.
  7. Flow Control

    Flow Control LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,267

    Sounds decent to me, not sure how much you pay for material and labor but I would guess you could get your cost between 800-1000 per unit. Like kozmo said service could be huge. Price out a few normally for parts and price out a few if you used mp's and see if they would help out.
  8. DeepRoots

    DeepRoots LawnSite Member
    Posts: 37

    sell my soul for a $
    I'd do it.... tho I'd do it in atlanta, and keep my high end customers down here.
  9. Hank Reardon

    Hank Reardon LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 599

    This is one of those times when you may want to add a DBA on your business license and run all the "B Team" work through it. :)

    Like Kozmo said, you'd generate a lot of service work repairing inferior systems (all the way from controller to nozzle) and forced to tell the client there isn't any wire or main line to fix it correctly.

    I went on a call this summer at a subdivision like what you are speaking. From a service standpoint, train wreck. For myself, I wouldn't go down that road.

    Can you deal with the builder and off upgrades to the buyers? They do it with carpet, appliances, etc. Why not landscape? Honestly though, how much would the extra wire and valve (or two) impact the cost of a house to be done right?
  10. BSME

    BSME LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Posts: 829

    I liked Hanks points of running the JV squad and giving the homeowner the chance to upgrade for things like shrub zones and such

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