Have you had to fix other company's screw-ups? List the worst case.

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by TooMuchClay, Apr 5, 2012.

  1. TooMuchClay

    TooMuchClay LawnSite Member
    from DE
    Messages: 80

    I see this all the time around here. I just had to re-do a stump grinding job last week, after the previous contractor left about 30% of the stump and roots above ground, buried under all the wood chips they left behind.

    In fact, this happens around here at least 50% of the time that people pay to have a stump removed. They dont actually finish the job. Then they leave all that useless debris behind for the homeowner to figure out what to do with it.

    But the biggest screw-up I had to fix happened a year ago, when I was hired to figure out why a drain was not working.

    A customer of mine had been at home on a day it was raining, when this guy knocked on is door and advertised his work. He then noticed that water was pooling where the driveway met the garage, and was puddling in the garage.

    So this guy basically pushed my client into hiring him to do dig a trench through a corner of the driveway, drop in a drain, and run a pipe under the drive and into the yard, then over to the small hill and out.

    Unfortunately, my client didnt pay attention to the work, and the guy ripped him off and screwed up the job royally.

    First of all, the guy would stop by about 2 days a week to work, then disappear. Every time he was there, he asked for yet another check for several hundred dollars, which totaled $2300.

    He installed the drain, then didnt dig the trench anywhere near deep enough, and he didnt install a corner connector from the drain to the pipe, used a 2" drain pipe, when he was supposed to use a 4" pipe to connect to the drain, then he didnt connect the 2" pipe to the corrugated 4" pipe leading out into the yard, where the trench was too shallow.

    But then, he simply poured asphalt into the driveway trench, over the undersized, unconnected pipes, which werent deep enough by 6" anyway! Then, he buried the corrugated plastic pipe in the yard, with no drain slots in it, with no sleeve/sock over it, and buried it into pure clay and backfilled with clay, with no stone! It ran to nowhere!

    What was worse at first, was that the asphalt didnt set and harden after 6 months, which ended up being a godsend, because I was able to dig it all back out with a shovel before using a jackhammer to bust through and deepen the trench, before connecting the correct 4" pipes.

    Then I re-dug the yard trench and deepened it, before using this new all-in-one drain pipe system that is wrapped with a sock and surrounded with foam like pieces to allow the water to drain through

    The whole drain was only about 25' long, and only went under about 9' of driveway corner.

    I encouraged the client to call the guy and get his money back, and I even called the guy myself, but his son(who helped him with the job) claimed he was sick and had moved to Florida(BS)......

    So my client swallowed the loss, as most people probably do.

    I re-did the entire job for $600, even though the other guy charged $2300! It only took me about 8 hours, and I had to rent the jackhammer and buy all new piping. I took pictures of the old job as I dug it up for posterity.

    Whats the worst you've seen?
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2012
  2. NYLawns

    NYLawns LawnSite Member
    Messages: 38

    Wow, great job. That's nice of you.
  3. Dr.NewEarth

    Dr.NewEarth LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,476

    Mostly we end up fixing bad tree and shrub pruning jobs.
    Last edited: Apr 6, 2012
  4. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    I've fixed tons of stuff.

    Plastic edging not installed correctly.

    Wrong plants in the wrong areas of houses.

    Soil amending is the biggest thing. Nobody seems to want to actually do it.

    Biggest thing I've fixed is a retaining wall and landscape installation last year. Wall was not a few inches over the property line, but more like 2.5 feet over the property line.

  5. willshome

    willshome LawnSite Member
    Messages: 19

    I had to paint a house. My lawn customer hired someone to paint her house he "started" with out scraping or power washing. He painted for one day (1/5 of the house) got a check for $150 and never showed up again. I power washed away his "painting" and did 2 coats of all in one premium paint.
  6. TooMuchClay

    TooMuchClay LawnSite Member
    from DE
    Messages: 80

    Yeah, you'd be surprised at how many fly-by-night workers pop up and do a lousy job, then get the check and use it for drug money! Thats probably what was going on in the OP story, but that guy just kept asking for one check after another, and getting them! Once he talked my customer(a cancer patient) out of the first check even though he wasnt anywhere near finishing the job, he figured he'd keep milking the job over a few weeks, and keep asking for more checks every time he showed up!
  7. Patriot Services

    Patriot Services LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 14,506

    Around here its the sealcoating and roofing gypsies you always hear about. Plenty of lawn hacks too with Home Depot salespaper designs.
    Posted via Mobile Device
  8. Brown & Co.

    Brown & Co. LawnSite Member
    Messages: 134

    Repaired fence posts...overgrowth on plants not maintained...new sod for chemically burned lawn...numberous irrigation jerry rigs...etc. it never fails.
  9. Utah Lawn Care

    Utah Lawn Care LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,560

    I got a new client and half of their back yard was dead. I think the previous company sprayed it with roundup before realizing it wasn't for broadleaf.

    I received a new client where 2-10 inches around nearly all the edges were dirt. The kid that did it before me trimmed the edges into oblivion to the point it wasn't necessary to even trim in a lot of places.
  10. Ben Bowen

    Ben Bowen LawnSite Bronze Member
    from PNW
    Messages: 1,182

    A nice older guy paid an internationally known Japanese landscape designer to do his smallish backyard. The designer used to operate in our area, but is now in Florida. He stopped by when he was in town, sketched a simple design, and threw out a huge price. The guy said ok, trusting the reputation. The job was then subcontracted to some very subpar guys.

    $80K later the old guy calls in another Japanese landscape architect. Asks "Does this look Japanese to you?" He really didn't know...

    He ended paying for a new design. We then ripped out the water feature and stone work the other company had done. $40K later we had given him what he wanted in the first place.

    It was sad to see someone so trusting, so taken advantage of.
    Posted via Mobile Device

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