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Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by Brando55, Jan 5, 2009.

  1. Brando55

    Brando55 LawnSite Member
    Messages: 20

    This year I started my mowing business and for the upcoming year im looking to begin expanding. I was thinking of getting into some sod installations and am just wondering the best way you guys find to get some jobs. Do you speak to contractors and get new home deals? Any advice would be great

  2. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    You can get hooked up with some builders and contractors, but they're 90% likely wanting the job done for next to nothing, so it's not worth it most of the time.

    I go on bid-clerk to look for local building projects and contact the winning contractor to put in a sub-bid for the landscaping. Most of the time in that situation they want a price for the whole project and not just the sod.
  3. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Messages: 1,774

    Sod jobs are not often a stand alone job. They are part of a bigger job, so it is unlikely that you will land contracts to just do sod.

    Also, at least in my region, some sod growers have install crews that you can hire. Since that is all they do and they use the service to help sell product, it is pretty hard to beat their prices as a subcontractor.

    Unfortunately, it is easier for smaller companies to grow by offering complete services than to offer specialized services. It is much easier for a large more established company to cut out other services in order to specialize.

    Obviously, it would be nice to cash in on more profitable parts of jobs without having to carry the overhead of equipment, management, and payroll that is needed to do complete jobs. The problem is no contractor is going to sign on to do the rest of the project and let an easy profitable part go to someone else.

    There is not a lot of opportunity for a small company to specialize in sod installaion.

    Do you see many people just decide to have sod intalled? Typically it is a finish to either a new construction, addition, septic upgrade, or some other kind of repair to the property. Who ever is doing that work is most likely going to finish it. As the economy slows, less work will be subcontracted out.
  4. Summit L & D

    Summit L & D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    White Gardens, how have you done working with BidClerk? $500.00 per year? Is it worth that, or are leads you are left with a bunch of low ball contractors wanting everything for nothing?
  5. White Gardens

    White Gardens LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,776

    It hasn't worked out too bad. What I do is sign up when I see a slow period coming, so one month is $50 bucks, I find out what companies and contractors are involved with certain projects, then I just call and cancel my membership.

    I've scored two jobs using it, the main thing I look for is jobs for hospitals and city funded jobs, knowing there is a little more money in the budget. I just find out who's been bidding on the jobs, and who was awarded the contract.

    State Farm uses Bid Clerk to find potential contractors, and they have no problems paying out for quality work, and they are also sticklers for quality, not the cheapest price.

    I'm also good friends with a local contractor, and she gives me a heads up as they are on bid-clerk too.

    Luckily it was smaller jobs, so it wasn't hard to pull a small profit when it was said and done, but yes, contractors are looking for the cheapest, I just try to pick and choose which projects look like they need a quality job done.
  6. Summit L & D

    Summit L & D LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 269

    Thanks for the info.

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