So I do an install and now...

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Precision, Mar 20, 2005.

  1. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    I do mostly maintenance, but for existing clients and for referrals, I will do minor landscape installs. Nothing that requires tools beyond a wheelbarrow and shovels.

    I have a new referral maintenance client in a brand new tract house who has tract house (read as REALLY UGLY) landscaping. He asks me to come up with a plan and review it with him then do the install.

    I get an idea of what he wants, sketch it out, bring him pictures of all the plants I am suggesting with size and growth charateristics. We review and make changes. I submit a finalized plan along with price. He loves it and so does the wife. I do the install while they are at work. They come home and "hate" the centerpiece. The part that they loved / had to have.

    A quad head adonidia palm, my cost $260.

    I removed a scrub oak stick from the front bed and replaced it with the palm. Crown heights of 4-6 feet will grow up to 12-15ft in time (all was explained).

    Now they say it is too big of a focal point. It draws attention to their yard, but not to the house. They think it over powers the house and it blocks the view of the front door. I didn't make the bed location.

    The plant is paid for and not able to be moved to another location on site. I really doubt the nursery is going to want it back.

    I told them to take the week to get used to it, if for no other reason than I can do nothing about it till next weekend. Then we will see.

    Any suggestions
  2. Appalachian landscape

    Appalachian landscape LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 453

    Tell them it's $275 and $50 more to dig it back up. F**K losing almost 3 bills over an indecisive customer.
  3. ECS

    ECS LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,733

    That shucks! It is like they are leaving the burdon on you for their decision.
  4. Davis Lawn Mowing LLC

    Davis Lawn Mowing LLC LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 318

    If it was agreed upon beforhand and they dont like it, tough S---. Tell them you will gladly take it out, but it will cost them. Just make sure you get paid for it and purchasing it. Just because the customer comes to find after completion they dont like it, dont let them take advantage because they are indecisive morons. It is precisely this type of thing that keeps me from digging in to the landscape market further besides mulch installs. Mulching is about the only thing I will do in the landscape area.
  5. mcclureandson

    mcclureandson LawnSite Member
    Messages: 242

    I hope you at least got a deposit to cover costs of materials prior to making any purchases...and did they see the palm at the nursery before you installed? If they are just trying to change their minds, it's their problem not yours. Bill them for the remainder of the work as agreed - and get paid. Next, discuss the cost of re-doing what they just paid your usual rate, it's not like moving a couch...oh, it looks better over here, no wait I like it over there better...
  6. sheshovel

    sheshovel LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,112

    Exactly you should have sent them over to the nursery to look at it first.Regardless if they approved the plan and that plant in that spot and now don't like it,You still must take care of the situation and make them happy.
    This is what to do.Talk to the nursery owner and explain that the clients really do not like it or want it and you want to return it to exchange for credit or another plant.If you paid for the plant out of pocket,
    get your money back from the client 1st!Explaine to them that they approved it and now don't like it is not your fault.That you paid for it out of your pocket and they need to reimburse you for it and you will have to charge them for removal and return to the nursery,but you will plant the replacement plant free.Find out what they want and return the palm to the nursery and use your exchange to get and plant something else.
    Dig it back up carefully and return it immediately in the same container you bought it in,they dont have to know you even planted it at all.The clients saw did not like and you want to exchange or?Keep it watered and alive.
    Next time get your material $$ up front and don't use your $$ for the stuff what are you a bank??This is normal proceedure .Next learn a bit more about the biz before taking on this type of work,there are all kinds of places that a client can get you into that you do not want to be.You need to find out more.
  7. NickN

    NickN LawnSite Bronze Member
    from Alabama
    Messages: 1,009

    No problem.Tell the customer you will need them to sign a change order for the contract they signed.(You did have them sign on the dotted line right?)In the change order,you will charge them for your cost of the plant plus a removal fee.This is on top of the install fee,since they agreed and you installed.Then charge them for whatever they choose to install in its place.It's their problem if they signed the contract.Your contract should state that the price is for labor and materials(with a list of materials) and that if any changes are made during the process,a change order will need to be signed and changes will be charged accordingly to the customer.
    Same thing as if they wanted a pond that was finished and then decided they wanted a pondless waterfall instead.You wouldn't eat the price of the pond and install the waterfall instead.It always costs the CUSTOMER more to make changes during the process.It should not cost you anything,but more time.Which of course you'll charge to the customer,since it sets your schedule back.
  8. Mdirrigation

    Mdirrigation LawnSite Gold Member
    Messages: 3,794

    The job is done , request that you get paid in full. If they dont like the plant , charge them to remove and dispose of it . No where in my contract does it that we will make changes if the customer doesnt "like" something or changes their mind. As long as you performed the work in the scope of your written contract and followed the plans you dont have a problem , the customer does.
  9. jreiff

    jreiff LawnSite Senior Member
    from MN
    Messages: 402

    Just wondering if alot of you guys have a change order form? Sounds like it would be a good idea and a way to save yourself from having to eat costs like this one.

    Anyone have a chage order form that they would like to post? Would liketo see how they made it. Thanks...
  10. Precision

    Precision LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,995

    no change order form. Currently. will be adding it though.

    They have gotten used to the palm now. Like it alot. Some people have no imagination or sense of taste or style.

    So squeaked by on this one, but now I need to write up a change of order form for the future. What a hassel.

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