$10 / sf

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DVS Hardscaper, May 9, 2010.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Saw this truck a few weeks back.

    Nothin new for this industry here lately. But just wanted to create a topic to converse over.

    I truely believe the industry in our main service area is washed up.......

  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    What is your main service area DVS?
  3. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Frederick County Maryland is where we call home. Definitely a strong demand for hardscapes, no doubt about it. Just the money has dried up. And I attribute the dried up revenues not so much to what the market will bear, but to an influx of contractors and low ballers. At one time there were only 3 of us contractors to choose from. 3-4 years ago I was easily averaging $18 / SF for pavers, not including steps, walls, etc., no exageration, I have a file cabinet of signed contracts to back this up.

    Although for the last 2 years we have been venturing south into the D.C. area market. And even that area is tough, but the clientel are more willing to pay for quality. The people in the DC area are wealthier. And they all have wealthy co-workers! Ok wealthy people are usually known to be snobby. Funny thing is - most of the people we work for in the DC area are friendlier and more down to earth! I guess they're not pretending to be what they aren't.....


  4. Meezer

    Meezer LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 272

    $10/ sf any size patio???
  5. Bru75

    Bru75 LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 582

    Wow. Keep those guys up there, DVS.
    So far I haven't seen anything like that here, although there seem to be more "hardscapers" around lately.
    Hopefully, quality conscious people will be able to see these lowballers for what they are, especially with that crappy sign.
  6. Hardscaping

    Hardscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 359

    The thing is about that ad is it does not say it includes materials. But if it does there might be specific guidelines that they must follow, like basic pattern of hanson niagara that would only work out to be full stones, and only 4 inches of gravel ( lmao ) but it is completely possible to do pavers for the price including materials and still make money, for example, i just took up and relaid a 400 sq ft patio and put two days of labour into it to finish, for $2850 10 inches of gravel but re-use old interlock. that includes polymeric sand as well. my cost on that job was just over $600. That is not bad for a 400 sq ft patio.

    Granted if i could get $16 to $20 a foot i would be charging it. I just don't see that happening right now.

    I also just took up a 670 sq ft driveway and reinstalled with 24 inches of road gravel and re use interlock, i charged him lower end at $5300 because he is one of my snow clearing customers and i am doing other work on the property. The job is worth about $6500 though but i am trying to get a bigger job from the guy in the future.

    Granted though i am trying to raise the prices up to $10 a foot for 12 to 18 inches of gravel for a re - use of old materials.
  7. 4Russl5

    4Russl5 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 160

    I don't think that guy is competing with you for any of your clients.
    Greenscapes Unlimited is the company name.... just called. Just an answering machine.

    So I am tweaking my usual model for working with clients, but not much. I am sticking to my guns about quality and our warranty that goes with it.

    Those guys will be long gone when the customer realizes they have just been screwed with a crappy install.

    Would you really want those customers that are willing to gamble with the Lowest bidder for their project? Think how quick you would be out of business if you did work to barely brake even.

    The only jobs we have this year is what would have been filler jobs any other year. One week here, 3 days there, etc... Booked out for a whopping 6 weeks... in the middle of May! It is the recession baby.

    Is there an area of your business you could expand to meet the demand of existing clients for the dollars they are spending?
    Sooner or later you will have to replace those worn out Nikes that been on your feet for the last few years!LOL
  8. shooterm

    shooterm LawnSite Senior Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 463

    I just witnessed a 30 year landscape business across the street do a three sidewalk panels. I betting the local concrete guys feel bad for all the competition in the landscape department. Also I was replaced on scale floodworks jobs by landscapers. Didnt matter the wall bordered a 5mil road or that this was on a 1/2 mile stretch of gabions. They can build retaining walls right? Every faction of contract work is full of "lowballers" if you stop take a look from another angle you'll see this. It all corrects itself in a normal economy but this is far from normal.
  9. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,623

    Correct, that guy is not my competition, they're not from the area, they were there doing work for a tract builder.

    The problem with plastering a big sign that reads 10 bucks a square foot is everyone see's it. And they get that number in their head, thinking thats what it would cost.

    And same concept goes for these recession bustin prices. Contractors that normally would do a job for $12k are doing it for $9500. So the customer that they just done a $12K job for $9500 is going to work and telling everyone "yeah we just got a new patio for $9500 and they did a great job". What the client isn't aware is that we're starving and the contractor most likely did not tell the client "we're losing our tail". So now the client's co-workers are wantin a patio and they're calling out contractors for estimates thinkin $9500 is the correct price!

    vicious cycle.........
  10. greatinmulchbeds

    greatinmulchbeds LawnSite Member
    Messages: 136

    I know exactly what company that is, there actually a pretty big business and do good work...they have been around much longer than you (i believe you said 13 years?) there right down the road from me

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