Commercial Work

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Stonehenge, Mar 29, 2001.

  1. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Okay, so I'm slowly dipping my toes into the commercial work waters. I've spent parts of the last two days in a plan room, looking over some plans and spec books. In so doing, I've come up with a few things I have questions for - can someone take a crack at some answers?

    Grass seed mixes - How ardently do they stick to what they want - some I've seen have specific varieties they're looking for. I've never asked a seed supplier for special mixes - is this a big deal to get done, and get all the docs for the GC and Arch?

    Maintenance of plant material until completion of project - how many of you do this? Do you sub this out, send a guy to water everything, or just bid spec'ing that out of your bid?

    Topsoil specs (for plantings)- some of these seemed particularly onerous. How closely is this measured by the GC, or engineer, or Arch?

    Plant material - what if you win the bid, but can't find the plants? Or can't find them in the spec'd size? Then what - send proposed new selections or what?

    Thanks in advance.
  2. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    OK Stonehenge,
    Grass seed: mixes are easy just copy the mix and give it to your seed guy they can make them up easy.

    Maintance: You are usally the last guy on the job so how long you goning to have to maintain, two weeks three weeks? You are going to have to water sod and maybe seed but it not much time.

    Topsoil: most times you just use what is on site unless it calls for a mixed soil aka (mushroom compost mixed in 3" deep) bid the work that you need to do!

    Plant material: If you can't find the size or the plants you can substitute like plants with the OK of the LA or Owner as lang as you can show him like value.
  3. Stonehenge

    Stonehenge LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Midwest
    Messages: 1,276

    Thanks Paul. One more question about maintenance -

    I'm not wild about the idea of sending one of my guys 2 hours in one direction just to water, even if it is for 2-3 weeks. Do you ever have the latitude to sub out the watering to a local company?

    Or do you just add in the cost of one man's wages for 2-3 weeks?
  4. paul

    paul Lawnsite Addict
    Messages: 1,625

    We send a guy out so, even if we give just a car to do it, yes figure it your bid. most times it's easier to do it yourself or your going to have to check it yourself.
  5. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    Regarding the watering issues: Sometimes the best way to bring water to the site is to use a hydrant meter. The local water authority will probably sell you one and bill you for the water that you use. We use both the meter and a water truck and charge by the hour for the service. Some of our clients don't include the watering in the bid, but figure on adding it on at the end. Either way, just figure your time expended.
    For the plant material, yes substitutions may be needed or just a more diligent search.
    Seed mixes: Often there are several popular mixes that are widely used in an area. If it doesn't conform to one of those, call your seed supplier.
    And finally, relax. Commercial bids lack the high emotion often attached to residential projects. Everyone is just there to do their job and they aren't worried about impressing the relatives.
  6. EarthWorks

    EarthWorks LawnSite Member
    Messages: 135

    I have fairly limited commercial experience but I have found that most times those specs are relaxed. I think they are there to keep you honest and have something to fall back on if they are not happy with your end product. Most times I have found that once you demonstrate that you are there to do a good quality job and care about the work you are doing they won't bother you much. The LAs that I have dealt with were mostly ok with substitutions of like materials as long as quality was good or better. I recently ran into a seed mix that I thought was inadequate for this area and i recomended a change which was OK'd. It just better work though.
  7. jkinchla

    jkinchla LawnSite Member
    from MA
    Messages: 74

    Regarding the watering issue, it is best to put an exclusion in your proposal that requires the client to provide water through an active fire hydrant. Those water meters aren't too expensive (usually just a deposit) and then you have the quantity of water you need which is very important to efficiently water the area.

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