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In season hardscape booking

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by mbella, Jan 12, 2005.

  1. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    How far out do you guys find that you can book residential hardscape projects. I'm talking about during the season, not booking projects in January for April. Last year was my first full year running my business and I found that I hit a wall at about six weeks. Potential customers didn't want to wait any longer. I'm thinking that as I begin to sell "word of mouth" projects, I may be able to stretch it out a little further.

    What have your experiences been?
  2. cgland

    cgland LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,929

    My experience is that 2 months was about our cut-off point. Like you said, most people don't want to wait that long and there is an adundance of landscapers in my area. (90% are a joke, but they still get work :dizzy: )
    It's funny that people will book in Jan. for an May install, but they can't wait from May untill June!!?? ;)
    I've had some customers that will wait however long I tell them and some that won't wait a week! Go Figure!

  3. steve in Pa.

    steve in Pa. LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 294

    We have had customers who booked with a deposit in April for a job in Sep, Oct, Nov. Our schedule is done by return of signed contract. First come First in line!!
  4. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 821

    Request a substantial deposit of like $1000 to hold there place in line.
  5. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    You missed the point. I found that people didn't want to wait two months. Requesting a deposit isn't going to help. How far out to you find that you are able to schedule work?
  6. landscapingpoolguy

    landscapingpoolguy LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 821

    If you are busy enuff to be booked up for two months and they dont wantto wait, then there is nothing that you can do, I try to take deposit,something they wont wantto lose OR, ill start the job, and leave and come back later, it kinda s$^ks to do that but, sometimes its the only way.Just dont sign a contract with time lines.

  7. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    It's always a challenge and we lose our fair share because people don't want to wait, but we also get plenty that will wait longer.

    6 to 8 weeks is what we like to have crews booked but we also have a crew that is usually available within 2-3 weeks. We have some long term, demanding commercial customers that request work within a week or two... We accommodate them.

    For small softscape jobs that our maintenance crews can do , usually the longest wait would be a month... most times within a week or two. We schedule them so they have one to two days per week for small jobs.

    Perhaps it's time for you to expand?
  8. scaglawnsnj

    scaglawnsnj LawnSite Senior Member
    from nj
    Messages: 435

    Don't Even Worry About It..if You Can't Start The Job Within Two Weeks, You'll Lose That Job Due Too, Not Performed On A Timely Basis, Or You Will Give The Customer Good Chance Of Shopping For Prices..so Heres Some Advice, Book Them One Week After Contract Is Signed. Have A 75% Deposit On Work And Materials..hire Extra Help (part-time Crew Helpers) Bang The Job Out. That Will Give You A Solid Back Round, By Word Of Mouth.
  9. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    I refuse to start a job and then leave to start another job. At what point do you leave? Do you dig out the base and then leave? Do you base it in and then leave?

    On three separate jobs this year there was another contractor working close to where we were that did this. Each time the homeowner that we were working for mentioned it. The one was on a job that we started the week of Thanksgiving and finished the following week. This guy showed up the same day we did. He excavated the first day. He had his materials delivered the second day. He had his 2A dumped in the driveway. This is a new subdivision with only a base coat of asphalt on the road, yet he dumped it in the driveway. This guy still hasn't done any more than what he did the first day.

    Anyway, I ran two crews this year, one install, one hardscape. I was booked at times 6 weeks out with hardscape and never felt the need to leave a job half way through in order to start another job. I set my start dates, which are contingent on unforeseen problems and if I have to push somebody back, I call and explain.

    If there was an emergency somewhere and I could use the hardscape crew for a day then I guess I would explain to the customer that we wouldn't be there on a certain day, but I wouldn't leave to start another job just because I was behind. I think some guys do this just to start the other job and get their deposit.
  10. mbella

    mbella LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,284

    Good point. That is where I was going with this.

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