Landscaping for a general contractor

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by JNB, Sep 11, 2003.

  1. JNB

    JNB LawnSite Member
    Messages: 3

    I may have the opportunity to do some landscape work for a general contractor. He is going to build 25 houses over the next 2 years and wants me to put in a minimal landscape (probably includes irrigation) to meet the code so that the houses can be sold.

    Have any of you ever done this type of work? If so, enlighten me on the good and the bad? What should I look out for?
  2. GLAN

    GLAN Banned
    Messages: 1,647

    first it is good

    bad is payments, some may string you along till the house is sold.
  3. Gene $immons

    Gene $immons LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,028

    I just got involved with a home builder who has been sending me house after house for basic foundation landscape installs.

    The pay is excellent. Makes me wonder why I mow!

    Like GLAN said, they are kind of slow pay. Just ask them straight up 'when will I get paid"

    Good Luck
  4. GarPA

    GarPA LawnSite Silver Member
    from PA
    Messages: 2,585

    If they allow you to do a quality job then its good work. I've worked with 2 builders. One of them was pushing lots of plants for each home inside the homeowner landscaping allowance....but...he wanted the plants thrown in at ground level...and then mulch thrown on top of the graded lawn. We dont' do beds that way. Beds at ground level look like krap in the long run so we walked away from that builder. The other one lets us meet directly with the new homeowner...this has worked out much better. We show them what their landscape allowance will buy them...most spend a little more . The difference goes inside their mortgage. THe builder then pays us wthin 30 problems (so far) getting paid. Its a really good arrangement if you find a builder who cares about the proper way to do the installs. And theres rarely ever a time crunch to get it done since you have a couple months to iron out the details and get it planted. Nice work if you can get it
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    GC's ..there is good, bad, and some ugly.

    Price it like it may be the only job you get from them . Don't get sucked into the promise of lots of work in the future ... stick with a quote you can make money on.
  6. Rex Mann

    Rex Mann LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 621

    Be aware of the old line..."If you do these models for a good price I'll give you all my others at your regular prices."

    Do not do that!

    Go into the talks with your guard up. Not all GC's are out to drive your prices into the ground. Some actually respect what we do and all their other subs do.

    Ask them what happened to the other company they used. Ask them the other companies name. Just by the people they have used in the past will give you an indication of what they pay and their expectations.

    Good luck.


  7. Lanelle

    Lanelle LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,361

    If the builder wants you to do all of the houses, he should be willing to enter into a contract with with you, spelling out the amount to be spent per house or model type and thus the total amount of the contract with payment arrangements. It pays to ask around about that builder's way of dealing with subs. If you find his site excavation people, guys who put in the drives or whatever, ask how long they've worked with this builder, how the speed of payment is and overall treatment. I hate being told on Tuesday that three houses need to be landscaped by Thursday of the same week. Look at the sites where he is building and see how orderly and tidy they look in comparison with others in your area. Whatever you accept on site will end up being your responsibility.
  8. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Messages: 4,369

    Cash flow cash flow cash flow...

    ............if you dont have the cash or the ability to wait 90 days for payment ....dont do it.
  9. Robert T

    Robert T LawnSite Member
    Messages: 24

    I agree with Kootoomootoo
    Cash flow!
    The builder I work for pays me on time every time on a 30 day cycle, They schedual lawn installs 1 or 2 days before closing.
    most of the time they pay in 15 days!!
    I work for one of the largest builders in the area and some times install 5-6 lawns a week..... (in May June Sept And oct!) so cash flow can get you in trouble for the first 30 days
  10. blafleur

    blafleur LawnSite Member
    Messages: 229

    When you guys say good money, is this comparing to mowing, or to other residential installs. Do you price work for builders more or less than regular residential?


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