New Opportunity, or "Biting Off More Than I Can Chew"

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by AltaLawnCare, May 20, 2003.

  1. AltaLawnCare

    AltaLawnCare LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 961

    I have the opportunity to do a big install / construction job...its in a very new developing "second home, vacation" community on a lake about 20 miles from me.

    I'll need to install stone steps 70 foot run, approx 30- 40% slope. Then the whole back yard, 35% slope, a winding pathway, which wil have to have steps incorporated in it to graduate it to 10%. Landscaped all around, very informal, natural for the area...approx 5000 finished lawn areas.

    I'm a little intimidated by this project, but at the same time I feel like this could bring me into a new market with more growth and money potential.
    I'm supposed to meet with them this weekend.

    The other landscapers in this area just aren't interested in doing it, probably because of the PITA factor.

    We've already discussed the idea, that this will be done over a period of time and billed out over months, even a year.

    Who else has been faced with this, and made the "next step" to grow the business?
  2. KPD

    KPD LawnSite Member
    from Houston
    Messages: 3

    Are you/your company capable of doing this work? If your answer is "no" then yes, don't do it.

    If you are capable, then why are you passing on the opportunity? Remember, you are in business to make money. If noone else wants to do it ,then this means you can bid the job with a decent amount of profit. Since it is far (20 miles isn't that far for a "big" job) don't forget to add labor for drivetime.

    As far as I am concerned, you can't wait around for the "perfect job" which will allow you to grow.

    This is it! Remeber, you will learn through experience! Sounds like a money maker to me.

    Good Luck!
  3. DaddyRabbit

    DaddyRabbit LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 937

    Above all, "don't get your crank stepped on" if you're not sure. If you're not sure then you'd better sub it out and learn from the guys who do know and stick a few hundred in your pocket. Look at it like this, you were paid to learn and you'll know how next time.
  4. Mike Bradbury

    Mike Bradbury LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    I did a stone step install last week for the first time, it went well and isn't really that tricky, though a lot of work for sure. Take the job but make it a time and materials job, not a set price, then you don't get stuck when something takes twice as long as you figured, especially working on slopes. Planting stuff is planting stuff, intimidating conditions aside.
  5. kris

    kris LawnSite Bronze Member
    from nowhere
    Messages: 1,578

    Chances are that they want a contract price ... and I would be pissed if I was paying by the hour only to watch a crew scratching their heads trying to figure out what to do next.

    The ?

    First off you should have a design ... if you don't have the skill to do one ...sub it out. This is a "first step" must.

    Once the design is finished and the customer has made any changes then estimate it. If you are not confident perhaps sub out the hardscape and do the softscape.
  6. Mike Bradbury

    Mike Bradbury LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    Standing around trying to figure out what to do next isn't the same thing as a job taking longer because it's on a hill.(what I refered to)

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