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Our first real customer

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Crusis, Oct 16, 2007.

  1. Crusis

    Crusis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    We just completed the front yard for this guy, I know I underbid it but they're friends of ours and the owner is on the HOA board. I sure hope THAT pays off when I bid on the HOA mowing contract next year.

    I tried to talk him into stone around the house too, but he was adamant about brick. A couple of more stages to the work here and his front yard will be done. He wants some low voltage lighting and some more brickwork along his walkway. Then it's off to the backyard for a bit more.

    I didn't have this guys grass contract until late this year, so the grass isn't my fault. ;) We've already wrapped him up for the complete lawncare package for next year, hopefully the grass will look like turf should look by then.

    You should have seen the nightmare job his brother did that we had to pull out of there. It was a horrible tangle of assorted plants, weeds, thorns, rocks (he used rocks instead of mulch, something I'm not very keen on), mice and spiders. The homeowner wife saw a mouse run out from her foundation while she was talking to us outside, I could have charged her $100 to kill that one mouse I think and she'd have been fine with it.

    I just explained to her that well kept and tended landscape plants provide less cover for vermin, and told her that we'd be glad to tend their plants as part of their package next year. Some of the plants in the bed by the house look like crap. Particularly the filbert. But they wanted to reuse salvageable plants, so that is what we did. I'm hoping to talk him into a nice $500 landscape rock in that open spot next to the shepherds hook.




  2. Crusis

    Crusis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    Oh, and we didn't do the leaning tree. That's not my fault either. LOL!
  3. Crusis

    Crusis LawnSite Member
    Messages: 40

    Thought I would toss in a before photo, and a during photo.


  4. Albery's Lawn & Tractor

    Albery's Lawn & Tractor LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,674

    ;) I hope your not expecting compliments.;)
  5. maintenanceguy

    maintenanceguy LawnSite Member
    from NJ
    Messages: 156

    Are those bricks dry stacked? If so, what stops the neighbor kids, or the dog from knocking down the wall?
  6. TXNSLighting

    TXNSLighting LawnSite Fanatic
    from DFW, TX
    Messages: 6,463

  7. newz7151

    newz7151 LawnSite Silver Member
    from Tejas
    Messages: 2,419

    Why would you stick that brick in the corner like that instead of cutting them at an angle to make a solid corner? Maybe this isn't completed yet and that hackish corner is going to become something else...
  8. EagleLandscape

    EagleLandscape LawnSite Platinum Member
    Male, from Garland, Texas
    Messages: 4,350

    A few things that I noticed. Just keep these in mind on your next install.

    1) Mulch level seems a little high. If it is over the brickline where the slab meets the brick, water can seep into the brickledge and up into the home. It is also an open door for subterranean pests, such as carpenter ants and termites.

    2) The white downspout for the gutter. When it rains, does that water just dump into the bed? Will it wash out the mulch? Where will that water go?

    3) It seems that the brick is dry stacked? That could be a liability, and something that can be bumped easy by a mower or trimming or kid. Did you put a base underneath the brick? Also, if you did mortar the joints (which I don't see.) Did you form a slab underneath for stabilization or the brick wall?

    4) The plants that are in the bed now, did you resuse those? or buy them that way from a nursery?

    5) How big of a rock are you going to get for $500? I forget what I pay per pound, but you would have to get a serveral hundred pound rock to bring up a price tag like that.

    6) Finally, I think you had the right idea, but the above things are some things to consider taking into account to deliver a more professional job. I think you would agree that if you matched the mortar on the home, that wall would look alot better.

    I drive by some of my first jobs that I did, and shutter and how bad they look. If this is your first, just be glad that you can use this as a learning tool to build on.

    What was the final price tag of the job? Was the brick provided? $700?
  9. NNJLandman

    NNJLandman LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,306

    that one tree is leaning pretty bad
  10. Harley-D

    Harley-D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 508

    Keep your head up and don't be afraid to look at other jobs and pick up ideas. Some stuff may even seem like common sense. Using the same brick as the house is a great idea-now really tie it together and have the wall mortered to match the house. Not to mention that it will be more structurally sound. Take as many classes as you can at the local community college and at local nurseries. Keep an open mind.

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