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Consultation fee?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by DarkLotus, Apr 3, 2008.

  1. DarkLotus

    DarkLotus LawnSite Member
    from Florida
    Messages: 82

    Well, I'm currently unemployed and having a baby at the end of this month. There is a position that I am most likely to get with the county school board as an irrigation tech, but I need money now!

    Someone sent a homeowner to me and the homeowner is asking me for my help with his DIY project of designing his irrigation system. I will not be installing it, but helping him choose the right products and where they go. I also mentioned that I can help him with the price of materials if I were to go get them myself as opposed to him going directly.

    As for one who is highly against homeowners doing their own irrigation installs, I recommended a few contractors in his area for estimates. He felt he could do it for cheaper and as good. I really pushed him to call a contractor... really!

    The customer is not interested with the thought of a licensed irrigation contractor installing his sprinklers. I'm also not interested in struggling to feed my family...

    In the end, I have to offer the customer a rate for my services. Do I bother with this? And how much do I charge for my time? I have no idea... I'm not going to charge them service call pricing... I don't think...

    pm if needed
  2. JeffY

    JeffY LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 324

    We have done several systems of where I pull the pipe for the client and leave out all the parts that they would need to finish the system such as heads, controller, swing pipe, etc. I flag/layout the system, pull the pipe, and give them instructions on assembling if they ask for it. We charge for our labor to be there and a mark-up on the materials of our costs. Just so you know, we've done this about 5 times and for 3 of those times, we had to go back and finish installing the heads, valves, etc. We let them know that if we have to return to finish, the costs are going to be higher than if we were to have done it outright from the beginning.
  3. DanaMac

    DanaMac LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 13,186

    Heck yeah, charge service call pricing. Or close to it. It's your knowledge and experience you're selling.
  4. jerryrwm

    jerryrwm LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,274

    Charge him a fee - hourly or flat rate what ever you choose. And if you buy the materials for him sell them to him at a mark-up.

    If you give away your knowledge and expertise then you have just given him everything for nothing.
  5. Ferti-man

    Ferti-man LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 252

    All good points and advice, but should you not have discussed consulting fees at the beginning?
  6. Kiril

    Kiril LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 18,334

    $100 / hr consult fee.

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