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Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by Right Touch, Nov 25, 2008.
Wow! Guess which manufacturer I wouldn't do business with.
There is a guy in myy area that works dirt cheap.
Many contractors hate him.
But........what many don't realize is that he comes from a family with alotta money. His hardscape business is more or less a hobby.
Business is business. If he offer a comparable product for 1/2 your price you are going to be out of business very soon. The only thing you can do is become alot more effecient while dropping your price to keep up. I would start with the suppliers. Are you buying from a wholesaler or a manufacturer? That could be your first disadvantage.
Also look at your installation costs as well. Maybe pay your guys per job not hourly. Provide them with better tools like pavers carts, skid loader, larger compactor, etc. Maybe you can even find an asphalt company who is slow to do your base for you and even have it tested. Another thing that can help you is to get a bigger saw with a 16" blade with at least 70cc motor on it. Sawing a mainbody for a soldier goes alot faster. Little thing like this can possibly double if not triple your production on driveway jobs at least. Pools, patios, etc. like DVS said are another story. We love driveways because they are a money run. I hope my suggestions help you out. Best of luck bro its tough out there.
sorry sunscaper, but after listening to your installation methods i find your above advise highly suspect...
sould me more like..
just tamp the sand, have two Argentinians eyeball the screed, and slap down the pavers.... that's how you compete...
after all were you not the one installing for about the same price that the guy is complaining about.
I gotta agree with ya Pro. Besides, how can you provide your men with better tools if you charge ridiculously low prices as quoted. Tells me the work is just as cheap as his price. Charge your price and ignore the hacks.
To be fair, Sunscaper is from Florida, totally different market than the rest of us.
Besides, he uses Brazilians, not Argentines.
Sorry that i could not help you. Ignorance will be your demise.
There is no way this guy could charge this and be making money and doing a quality job, unless he is making the pavers himself...even then, does he have $0 production cost? These prices just don't make sense. I ran a landscape construction business for years and even with volume pricing and super efficient methods, the very cheapest we could go was $12.50/sf. That was with non-tumbled Belgard pavers. It is a sign of the times when people will lose money on jobs. Trust me, they wont make it thru the recession. Think of it as the market weeding out the hacks. The strong will survive!
Hey Right Touch---any word on that driveway? Did your low baller get the job? Hopefully you're still in the game. Anyway, I just wanted to say that you should stay in touch with your client by checking in with them every few weeks. If they realize that it's going to cost $X to do it the right way and they just don't have the money right now (which could VERY well be the case)....stick with them. That's not a bad problem to have, as long as they realize your value.
I got a call from a client in one of our high end neighborhoods in my area a year and a half ago for a paver driveway....long story short, I stuck with them and got them excited about the project and now we're about to start the 6,000 sf project in January. I spent maybe an hour each month checking in with them and doing some medallion designs, etc.....no big deal...got their juices flowing.
So, as frustrating as it is, don't let them know you may be upset about the hack and rediculous pricing. Be indifferent, yet excited. Stick to your guns. By the way....$10/sf seemed pretty low to me....we're at about $16.50 for this job (including medallion inlay, border detail, etc.) Straight forward, $10 might be just right.
It's tough, especially now and having to deal with those desperate guys. But, like someone else said, this economy with purge those guys and we should have a fresh start when everything bounces back. Hang in there!