• How has the weather been in your neck of the woods?
    We are looking for feedback from our membership to see how/what the weather has been like in your area. Please Click here to take our Winter Weather Survey, we would appreciate it.

Anyone ever done work outside their home state?

Green Gopher

LawnSite Member
I have been asked to give a bid on a large water feature project that is about 1,500 miles away in a different state. The job site is very rural and the contractor is going to have to hire out of state help anyway. He knows this project is going to be big money and said he has budgeted it that way.

I will be flying in to do the pre-bid work up on the site, and am still considering the pros vs cons.

pros: 1) possible large profit job.
2) This is the first of four phases that require water features. A very good chance I could land all of those as well.
3) A close friend is the managing sales broker for the development and will give me a place stay. ( also I may get inside bidding info.)

Cons: 1) trusting a helper to maintain current accounts for four- six weeks. (huge problem)
2) logistics, all supplies and equipment have to be shipped across multiple states to the site.
3) Trusting a contractor to pay me this year for my work.
4) I know nothing about licensing requirements for out of state companies doing business in other states.
5) I haven't heard back from my insurance company, I don't know if they will even cover me if working in another state.

If any of you have experience with this please help me continue my pros and cons list to help make this decision.

Thank you,


LawnSite Silver Member
S.E. Michigan
One "con" you forgot. How are you going to honor a warranty 1,500 miles away? Personally, I find enough work within 15 minutes of my house to bother with the headaches of traveling that distance. Someone couldn't pay me enough to do it.


LawnSite Senior Member
Brookings SD
I've been down that road more than once in the last 30+ years. Very seldom is that once in a lifetime job, really what you think it will be. There are all the warrantty issues, the neglect of your steady customers. inefficeincies of working in a unfamiliar location and on and on.

We recently declined to bid on the new super Walmart here in town. It would have meant dedicating a disproportionate amount of resources to a job for an out of state general contractor, who we would likely never work for again. While we would have been doing that, we would not have been able to adequately service the other half dozen or so general contractors that provide us with work year in and year out.

I would approach this very cautiously.

Austreim Landscaping

Critical Care

LawnSite Bronze Member
Central Oregon
States are different, but I’d surely want to check the reciprocal license issue between Washington and the state where the work is. If you can’t legally do the work, then I’d say don’t even think about it. And you could be going to an area where there’s another landscape company somewhere in the area, and they may not look too keenly upon you coming in from the clear blue and doing work on their turf. You’d surely have to be fully legal to operate in that state, and you’d want to know the state’s requirements on contract requirements, permits, fees, legalities, and so forth. I knew a guy that got hit hard with a $1000 fine… all because another company was a bit jealous.

Green Gopher

LawnSite Member
I am definitely still looking at this through a skeptics eyes.

I am doing the research on the legal issues as well, the real estate broker claims there is no landscape contractor licensing Colorado. I find that hard to believe, so I still need to call that state. I know they have a state tax and I don't in my home state, so I would need to know how that effects me.

As for other landscapers and work close to home, the contractor building these homes is bringing in landscapers from two additional states for bids, because no one builds water features in that part of Colorado (Also hard to believe). I don't have a steady demand for ponds or water features here so I would consider the travel if it didn't effect my current clients.

The warranty stuff is a big problem especially with water features.

thanks again for the help.

D Felix

LawnSite Bronze Member
Contact me direct at dfelix22000us@yahoo.com, and I'll pass along the email of a buddy of mine near Vail. He's been out there long enough that he should know what you need to know, and if not, he can probably tell you who to talk too. It may take me a couple of days to get back to you though....

Another thing about CO that you probably haven't thought about, is that much of the state is probably going to be under another strict water usage ordinance/ban this again this year. Kinda hard to build a water feature if you can't use the water.....