Just venting

ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
Installed a system approx a year ago, after install went through system with customer and all is good. He originally was going to install sod so I set the heads above grade for sod. He changed his mind and decided to seed so I reset 50 or so heads at no cost. It was too late in the year to seed so this spring when it is time to seed I kill out the existing lawn at no cost for him to seed. Then he decides he wants to sod. Fine as I am out of this from this point. He asks about a local company which I do not recommend as I have had to deal with the after effects of their jobs in the past. Well they lay the sod past the lines of the sprinkler system so there is sod that is not getting watered and they layed sod in an area he clearly stated when I was installing he did not care to water. He then points out I missed the property line by 6' and wants the heads moved, of course this messes up all the spacing. The area that was not watered at all he wants heads added which meant adding a station and taking up a lot of sod. I made a few tweaks and managed to get a little more coverage. When I told him the price of adding an extra station and making changes he backed off. At the time we discussed property lines he gave general descriptions and I went with what I understood. At the end of the install he did not mention the property lines and where the heads stopped. I guess in the future I will have the customer draw a line in the sand. I should have known from the beginning to avoid this customer. He is an "engineer". Not to stereotype but have you ever noticed some of these types have little common sense. He struggles with operating the I-Core more than most. Forgive the boring story but just getting it off my chest.
 

Dirt Boy

LawnSite Senior Member
Location
MidWest
I hear ya:dizzy:
But, those are change orders, and should be charged accordingly.
Helps to have these things written down as well, but I guess you live & hopefully learn before you go broke or crazy!

I would imagine that we've all been down this road a time or two, if that's any comfort.
 

mitchgo

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Redmond, WA
Depending on the guy... I've always stuck with Jim's quote. Jokingly ". Engineer ?! Ah, Where's your train ?"

Pretty much what dirt boy said . It's hard because people change their minds too often . Coming from a company that does not do landscaping I'll get stuck in these situations from time to time. I for one would not want to reset 50 heads for free to come and find out I have to add a zone and redesign . Communication is key

Give them the spray paint so you can get the design, add wiggle room for moving heads / resetting height after installation .

Just a small paragraph will save yourself , make it a contingency should the original design be changed
 
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Kawizx62003

LawnSite Silver Member
Location
Richmond, VA
It sounds like you handled it well (not working too much for free) and keeping your cool. Use it as a lesson. Maybe make it a policy of yours to make a professionally detailed drawing of all jobs and have reviewed and signed by the customer. Explain to them that any deviation from the original plan (once work has started) will be charged accordingly.

Ok, you vented, onto the next project.
 
OP
A

ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
Just a word of friendly advice to all newbies. "Engineer" is a word to sound the alarm bells and raise your trouble radar settings to maximum.

I've always heard the engineer stories and never paid much attention but after running across a few of these I see what they mean. Some of them may have high education but no real world experience doing simple tasks. A brother in law of mine has a masters degree in engineering but couldn't change the headlight on his car for example.
 
OP
A

ArTurf

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
Ark
While were at it, just installed a system at a new house. Landscapers installed the flowerbeds and raised the grade prob 6" so now the heads are that far under grade. Even worse than the heads is they raised the grade above the foundation vents. I would suppose that is some sort of building code violation not to mention a bad idea in general but that's not my department.
 

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