How to be a good customer?

Discussion in 'General Industry Discussions' started by srgraves, Aug 23, 2011.

  1. srgraves

    srgraves LawnSite Member
    Messages: 1

    I haven’t seen this subject addressed before so I would like input from homeowners and professionals.

    Quick background: Bought a new home on a ¼ acre empty dirt lot. We paid a landscape designer to prepare a blueprint of the hardscape/softscape. The plans include specific materials and products (pavers, light fixtures, plants etc.) Moving on to the next stage we will be requesting bids for the entire build from 3 different contractors.

    I do realize that the lowest price is not necessarily the best deal. For me the workmanship, communication and reputation (meeting deadlines, coming in on budget) trumps the short sidedness of saving a couple grand now by going with the lowest bidder. If the bids are within $3,000-$5,000 of each other we will go with whomever we have the most confidence in to do a good job.

    How do I go about this competitive process while being a good customer?

    As a contractor, if you received a request for proposal (RFP) that included everything down to the type of irrigation product lines the client preferred and they wanted the quote to come back broken down:
    How would you feel? Would you appreciate the client is thorough and detailed or annoyed that you had to break it down? As a contractor if you were in the homeowners shoes how would you put a landscape bid out to be fair and to make sure that the quotes are indeed apples to apples? We don’t want any surprises or to get stuck with a contractor that keeps trying to upcharge things along the way.

    I appreciate all the input.

  2. MR-G

    MR-G LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 479

    as long as you asked for the bid broken down in the beginning it shouldnt be a problem....when i give a bid its always completely broken down...that said the prices are based on us getting the entire job....if we dont get certain aspects of the bid we will price each item alone...and that will usually add 10-20%

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