Sometimes I get overly detailed on notes

TPendagast

LawnSite Fanatic
I had a new site I wanted, but did not really get along with the would-be client. Spent a lot of time measuring, and the 'client' said, "JC, with all the time you've spent measuring, you could have put the system in by now!" That did it, that was 'The Sign' I'd been looking for: bailed. The next day I get a cold call from a couple who had a new house being built and wanted me (the neighbors were clients) to ramrod the grounds layout. They were a nice couple, waterfront site, LOTSA Microsoft money!!!!!
I took it, and realized that if I had not followed my intuition, I would have had no time to do their 'plum job'. :nod:

See
IMO
In the day an age of online reviews
People piss all over you.
Once they call you, you are bound by the eternal oath of Odin to give them something (typically a bid)
Now
If you take too long
They bad mouth you
If you come in too low you’re screwed

If you come in too high
They bad mouth you

I had this deck remodel to look at last month.
Talk to the wife
Take pictures
Go back to office
Scratch my head about it,
Start vacation that had been planned already
Told customer I wouldn’t be back until next week to work on the proposal.

See even though I know how to do the work, it’s out of the league of the ability of anyone I had on staff,
When I got back and caught up on paper work, I came to that conclusion,
Even if I gave them a huge price, I don’t have the right guy to do the project.
So I declined
Then husband calls all upset,
I told him I had put a call into someone else to see if they wanted to look at it and he said he already had other numbers, ok then.

Then he goes on google because I didn’t talk to him for two weeks.
I never talked to him
I talked to his wife, twice
Before and after vacation
Told her I was leaving for a week and I’d get back to her.

It’s not a price to mow a lawn, not a price to blow out an irrigation system, it’s a two story bi level deck with switch back stairs installation.

Omg you don’t have a quote for me?
You called a landscaping company , you know that right?

That’s the problem with telling a customer no.
Cyber terrorism.
Didn’t get what they wanted
Make crazy story online
 

Mike Leary

LawnSite Fanatic
All of my ongoing clients knew me well, my attitude, my attention to detail, I was expensive, and the fact that, if ANYTHING went wrong, I was over there, NOW, whether it was beer-thirty or the weekend. So ,I believe, before they gave me a referral, they sized up the would-be, as well! Thumbs Up
 
OP
mitchgo

mitchgo

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Redmond, WA
OH man.. I'm going here tomorrow. This is my last year notes. This post is just to upset my good friend Tpendagast about how it's just too much. Sorry dude that I do such a good job it upsets you. Again, I don't care if anyone reads it. But you don't get to B1tch about the bill if you don't read it.

So much notes I had to split into two


4/11/17 - Mitchell ***; *Located Leaking Valve and replaced valve . The valve was near a tree and took some time to expose and replace. The water meter is now holding tight with no leaks on the sprinkler system!

*Began inspecting sprinkler system. At first the all zones are barely operating and all heads were leaking out of their seals. I confirmed the water source was fully turned on and noticed a recently installed pressure reducing valve on the water service line. This was set to 40 PSI which was too low for the sprinkler system to operate correctly. I increased the pressure to 60 PSI- you may notice a slight increase in your house.

We will need to return to complete a full system tune up and repair:
Zone 1: Left of Driveway Lawn ( NW) - There is a full pipe break on this zone flagged Pink- I'm unsure of any additional damage to this zone until this pipe break is repaired


Zone 2: Left of Front Door/ North Side House Lawn and Shrubs- There is a bad sprinkler head that needs to be replaced

Zone 3: Right of Front Door/ Circle Island Lawn - There is a pipe break right of front door flagged . I'm unsure of any additional damage to this zone until this is repaired


Zone 4: Location currently unknown- There is a full pipe break I did not visually discover yet. The water meter indicates full water usage of a broken pipe

Zone 5: There is no wire attached ( Notes say port was sending constant volts? I tested electrically and did not see this)

Zone 6: SE Lawn- There is a pipe break under a major large root next to a tree. Flagged Pink


Zone 7-8 . South Lawn and South East Lawn- There were no major breaks on these zones and they were operational however I did not actually inspect the sprinkler heads ( Just quickly saw from afar)

Zone 9- 10 Both of these zones do not have an electrical reading at the controller. I'm unsure at the moment of these zones are blank wiring just connected up to the controller or if these are actually 2 zones that have electrical issues

Zone 11-14 South Lawns- These Zones are operational however I did not actually inspect the sprinkler heads ( I saw operating from afar)

*The Rachio controller had a blinking light indicating there may be some connectivity issues or programming issues? With out phone/ account access we currently can't review the programming


*Lastly- You have rather large property on AMES LAKE Water district- This district has some very expensive water rates and as much as 12 different tiered billing rates( The more water you use the higher the ' same amount of water' charge gets. Programming with the Rachio Controller- Although simple and intuitive doesn't take in account of your actual water bill. My suggestion is to take an assessment of your property to see what you actually want watered and not watered to help manage your water bill.

*Recommending a master valve due to age of system and high costs of Ames lake water district water usage and possible future leaks. ( Did not have time today to create an estimate for this)

4/18/17 - Mitchell *** ; Howie **; Todays Visit:
Continued and started sprinkler system repairs. 9 Zones out of possibly 10-12 zones are fully operational. Just about every zone unfortunately had some sort of broken pipe / multiple broken sprinkler heads. Today we repaired many broken pipes and sprinkler heads


*Zone 1- Located NW property- Left of Driveway circle lawn- Unfortunately the Tree removal in this area has caused major damaged to this area. As we turned this zone on we found and repaired a multiple amount of broken pipes ( A new broken pipe would show up further downstream in the piping after repairing the break in front) We got to a point where over '15 of the piping was removed and we cannot find the old piping to connect into.. Unfortunately to get this zone operating we must run a new pipe with sprinkler heads. An estimate is attached for this.

Zone 4- Unfortunately I am still unable to locate this zone- The water meter indicates a fully broken pipe . There are 2 sections in the landscaped property that aren't getting water.. 1) The corner of the roads SW Corner property all of this lawn is currently being missed and 2) The SE side of the house (right up against the house lawn)

Zone 9 & 10 unfortunately I didn't get to look into this yet- these zones have no electronical readi
ng.. These may be spare/ blank zones in which if they are they should be removed from the controller to prevent future confusion. They also maybe the 2 missing area's in the yard.


Newly installed Veggie boxes- Unfortunately there are no nearby sprinkler heads that cannot be adjusted to water this area as well , the main components ( What's needed give the ability to expand the system are not nearby either. An estimate is attached for a new zone

The rest of the system is operational however we did not get the ability to program the controller as this a Rachio a wifi App based controller. I need to correct my previous invoice , you live in UNION HILL WATER DISTRICT not ames lake .

Zone 1- Left Driveway Lawn
Zone 2 - Left Front Door Lawn
Zone 3- Right Front Door Lawn and Driveway Circle Island Lawn
Zone 4- Unknown- Currently full pipe break
Zone 5- No wire hooked up to port ?
Zone 6- SE Lawn
Zone 7- SE Mid Lawn
Zone 8- SW Mid Lawn
Zone 9- ? No electronic reading at controller,possibly blank zone, remove it is
Zone 10 ? No electronic reading at controller,possibly blank zone, remove it is
Zone 11- South Shrubs
Zone 12- SW Mid Lawn
Zone 13-SW mid lawn
Zone 14- E Lawn


5/4/17 - Matt ** t;Mitchell *** ; Today we:

*Replaced the leaking valve

*Rebuilt zone 1 - left side of driveway lawn

Unfortunately due to a lighting storm today we weren't able to look into anything also

It doesn't appear there is anything close enough near the veggie garden to make any quick changes to water the garden area
 
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OP
mitchgo

mitchgo

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Redmond, WA
I had to split this into two- read the above post


10/10/17 - Matt **; Mitchell ** ; System Modifications for today are complete!
All Zones are operational with no broken pipes/ sprinkler heads. An estimate is attached for further continuation of work involved to help improve the sprinkler system.

* Installed Master Valve- The valve is now installed in series with the main line piping at the back flow assembly. This prevents the main line from being on 24/7 and only allows it to operate when the system is actually running from the controller. No additional steps are needed to operate this valve- it will work automatically with other zones

* Installed Dedicated Veggie Zone- We utilized the piping to zone 4 which was discovered a fully open broken pipe back left corner of driveway. We are assuming this zone use to water the shrubs north of the driveway/ garage area however it's been damaged beyond repair as well these planting's don't need water. We took this piping and extended it to the new veggie boxes- this is now zone 13. ( See below for new list of zone)

*Located wire break / repaired for previous zone 9 that watered along the South Side of the house as well as the septic mound


*Located wire break/ repaired for previous zone 10 that watered the SW perimeter lawn/ shrubs

*Completed a system wide Tune up - We focused on missed coverage area's and ensures the new plantings around the perimeter property were getting coverage

*Zone 2- Garage driveway shrubs- There is water coming up from the crack of the driveway. With how the zone is setup it appears to be a sprinkler head under the cement or possible a crack in the piping. The zone is operating correctly even with this leak- unfortunately there is no easy way to fix this. At the moment we did not repair this and suggest to leave as is unless the situation got worse. The 2 options to fix would be to remove a section the cement here to gain access to whatever is broken or - finding the piping before the cement and capping the pipe prior, this would however abandon the sprinkler heads in the shrub island next to the garage bay doors.

- There use to be a Fence a good 20' into the property around the corner of the roadside- the sprinkler system was designed around this originally however this has been removed, meaning there were several sprinkler heads very close to each other watering the same area. We had to decipher what was needed and what wasn't to prevent redundant watering.
We have re-wired the controller to help simplify the watering schedule and organize the layout in counter-clockwise rotation around the property. The system was unorganized and would ping-pong around the yard. Fortunately the programming on the controller wasn't fully setup however the pictures that were taken for the zone location will now be off and will need to be deleted.


We did not program the Rachio Controller- I am providing the information here so you can compare / change the information on your Rachio App . Please run through the programming Wizard provided by Rachio, when you setup each zone the wizard will ask several questions. Please answer them to the best of your ability as they will provide major factors into how the system is watered. The type of sprinkler head; The sun exposure ; and the sloop.

Average run time for pop up static sprays is 5-15 min, average run time for Rotor sprinkler heads is 15-45 min , average run time for Rotatory nozzles is 25-35 min . Average frequency for lawn watering 2-3 Day interval. Average frequency for shrubs is 2-4 days, average frequency for veggie zones 1-2 days. With this keep in mind you have a large property . Answering theses questions in the wizard will determine the frequency and run times however it doesn't factor in your water bill. You may decide to change certain zones to reduce/ increase programming. With a property of this size I would expect a peak season water bill with moderately green lawn all around of $600-900 with union Hill water rates.
The new sequence is as follows ( This now includes Zone 5 port which before did not have anything wired in) A Total of 13 zones


Zone 1- Left Of Driveway Lawn- Rotatory Nozzles ( MPR Rotator) Full to partial Sun exposure with minor sloop.
Zone 2- Left Front Door Lawn/ Shrubs and Garage shrub Island- Pop Up sprays 1.5" Per hour , partial sun with no sloop
Zone 3 -Driveway Circle Island And right of front door- Mixed zone primarily Rotor Nozzles . Full to partial sun with minor sloap
Zone 4 - Right of Driveway Lawn - Rotors - Full / Partial Sun with Minor Sloap
Zone 5 - Mid Lawn/ Shrubs South West - Rotors- Partial Sun with No Sloap
Zone 6- Center South Lawn - Rotors- Full/ Partial Sun with No sloap
Zone 7- South Lawn along House - Rotors- Full Sun with Minor sloap
Zone 8- Center East Lawn- Rotors- Full Sun with no Sloap
Zone 9- East Lawn - Rotors- Partial Sun with Minor Sloap
Zone 10- South East Lawn/ Shrubs - Rotors- Full Sun with Minor Sloap
Zone 11- South Perimeter / Roadside lawn- Rotors- Full Sun with Minor Sloap.
Zone 12- Center Brick Walls shrubs/ Lawn- Spray heads - Full/ Partial Sun with no sloap
Zone 13- Veggie Zone- MPR Rotators ( Rotary nozzles) - Partial Sun with no sloap

Prior to changes on the zone description it was marked as this

Zone 1- Left Driveway Lawn
Zone 2 - Left Front Door Lawn
Zone 3- Right Front Door Lawn and Driveway Circle Island Lawn
Zone 4- Unknown- Currently full pipe break
Zone 5- No wire hooked up to port ?
Zone 6- SE Lawn
Zone 7- SE Mid Lawn
Zone 8- SW Mid Lawn
Zone 9- ? No electronic reading at controller, possibly blank zone, remove it is
Zone 10 ? No electronic reading at controller, possibly blank zone, remove it is
Zone 11- South Shrubs
Zone 12- SW Mid Lawn
Zone 13-SW mid lawn
Zone 14- E Lawn
 
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AmarilloSlim

LawnSite Member
Location
Tx panhandle
Coming from a company that paid piecework and had to get approval from the client beforehand. The detailed description makes perfect sense. Or cents. I for one would appreciate being in the know what I’m being charged for.. zone 1 doesn’t work.... took 6 hrs @ $xxx per. Wire break, lat broke, valve diaphragm leaking during run duration?, valve body cracked and leaking for. 16 min duration. A half as explanation with a $300 fee would lead me to a professional that charged double and would explain the issue. Guess that’s just me.
 

Love the Green Biz

LawnSite Fanatic
Location
NYC Metro Area
I had to split this into two- read the above post


10/10/17 - Matt **; Mitchell ** ; System Modifications for today are complete!
All Zones are operational with no broken pipes/ sprinkler heads. An estimate is attached for further continuation of work involved to help improve the sprinkler system.

* Installed Master Valve- The valve is now installed in series with the main line piping at the back flow assembly. This prevents the main line from being on 24/7 and only allows it to operate when the system is actually running from the controller. No additional steps are needed to operate this valve- it will work automatically with other zones

* Installed Dedicated Veggie Zone- We utilized the piping to zone 4 which was discovered a fully open broken pipe back left corner of driveway. We are assuming this zone use to water the shrubs north of the driveway/ garage area however it's been damaged beyond repair as well these planting's don't need water. We took this piping and extended it to the new veggie boxes- this is now zone 13. ( See below for new list of zone)

*Located wire break / repaired for previous zone 9 that watered along the South Side of the house as well as the septic mound


*Located wire break/ repaired for previous zone 10 that watered the SW perimeter lawn/ shrubs

*Completed a system wide Tune up - We focused on missed coverage area's and ensures the new plantings around the perimeter property were getting coverage

*Zone 2- Garage driveway shrubs- There is water coming up from the crack of the driveway. With how the zone is setup it appears to be a sprinkler head under the cement or possible a crack in the piping. The zone is operating correctly even with this leak- unfortunately there is no easy way to fix this. At the moment we did not repair this and suggest to leave as is unless the situation got worse. The 2 options to fix would be to remove a section the cement here to gain access to whatever is broken or - finding the piping before the cement and capping the pipe prior, this would however abandon the sprinkler heads in the shrub island next to the garage bay doors.

- There use to be a Fence a good 20' into the property around the corner of the roadside- the sprinkler system was designed around this originally however this has been removed, meaning there were several sprinkler heads very close to each other watering the same area. We had to decipher what was needed and what wasn't to prevent redundant watering.
We have re-wired the controller to help simplify the watering schedule and organize the layout in counter-clockwise rotation around the property. The system was unorganized and would ping-pong around the yard. Fortunately the programming on the controller wasn't fully setup however the pictures that were taken for the zone location will now be off and will need to be deleted.


We did not program the Rachio Controller- I am providing the information here so you can compare / change the information on your Rachio App . Please run through the programming Wizard provided by Rachio, when you setup each zone the wizard will ask several questions. Please answer them to the best of your ability as they will provide major factors into how the system is watered. The type of sprinkler head; The sun exposure ; and the sloop.

Average run time for pop up static sprays is 5-15 min, average run time for Rotor sprinkler heads is 15-45 min , average run time for Rotatory nozzles is 25-35 min . Average frequency for lawn watering 2-3 Day interval. Average frequency for shrubs is 2-4 days, average frequency for veggie zones 1-2 days. With this keep in mind you have a large property . Answering theses questions in the wizard will determine the frequency and run times however it doesn't factor in your water bill. You may decide to change certain zones to reduce/ increase programming. With a property of this size I would expect a peak season water bill with moderately green lawn all around of $600-900 with union Hill water rates.
The new sequence is as follows ( This now includes Zone 5 port which before did not have anything wired in) A Total of 13 zones


Zone 1- Left Of Driveway Lawn- Rotatory Nozzles ( MPR Rotator) Full to partial Sun exposure with minor sloop.
Zone 2- Left Front Door Lawn/ Shrubs and Garage shrub Island- Pop Up sprays 1.5" Per hour , partial sun with no sloop
Zone 3 -Driveway Circle Island And right of front door- Mixed zone primarily Rotor Nozzles . Full to partial sun with minor sloap
Zone 4 - Right of Driveway Lawn - Rotors - Full / Partial Sun with Minor Sloap
Zone 5 - Mid Lawn/ Shrubs South West - Rotors- Partial Sun with No Sloap
Zone 6- Center South Lawn - Rotors- Full/ Partial Sun with No sloap
Zone 7- South Lawn along House - Rotors- Full Sun with Minor sloap
Zone 8- Center East Lawn- Rotors- Full Sun with no Sloap
Zone 9- East Lawn - Rotors- Partial Sun with Minor Sloap
Zone 10- South East Lawn/ Shrubs - Rotors- Full Sun with Minor Sloap
Zone 11- South Perimeter / Roadside lawn- Rotors- Full Sun with Minor Sloap.
Zone 12- Center Brick Walls shrubs/ Lawn- Spray heads - Full/ Partial Sun with no sloap
Zone 13- Veggie Zone- MPR Rotators ( Rotary nozzles) - Partial Sun with no sloap

Prior to changes on the zone description it was marked as this

Zone 1- Left Driveway Lawn
Zone 2 - Left Front Door Lawn
Zone 3- Right Front Door Lawn and Driveway Circle Island Lawn
Zone 4- Unknown- Currently full pipe break
Zone 5- No wire hooked up to port ?
Zone 6- SE Lawn
Zone 7- SE Mid Lawn
Zone 8- SW Mid Lawn
Zone 9- ? No electronic reading at controller, possibly blank zone, remove it is
Zone 10 ? No electronic reading at controller, possibly blank zone, remove it is
Zone 11- South Shrubs
Zone 12- SW Mid Lawn
Zone 13-SW mid lawn
Zone 14- E Lawn
When is the movie due out?
 
OP
mitchgo

mitchgo

LawnSite Gold Member
Location
Redmond, WA
Just to ruffle some feathers. All I'm doing is setting the bar of the level of expectation that you should be doing too :) . So far I have done about $2.2k worth of repair work- super nice property but poorly managed system


8/28/18 - Mitchgo ; Focused on Front yard


*Replaced Many Leaking/ non rotating Rotor Sprinkler heads

*Corrected Distribution Uniformity to many of the front yard zones ( Many of the sprinkler heads had the wrong spray nozzle- some were Way too big and others were way too small all the while covering the same type of area/ square footage. ) By correcting the nozzle size this helps provide a much more uniform coverage of water distribution

*Moved several sprinkler heads that were in the wrong location- by doing so this will help brown spot locations.

Unfortuantely there are a number of issues still to the system:

*Re-nozzle Zone 3

*Repair Zone 4 (Now newly operating however the zone is rather beatup still )

*Repair wiring to Zone 6- tune up zone afterards

*Inspect / repair all backyard zones

*Repair Zone 13

*Fixing wiring with zone 14- tune up zone ( If zone is even needed)

*Renozzle Zone 15

*Renozzle Zone 18

*Figure out what to do with now extra zone ( North lawn of house) As there are actually 19 zones - this zone was doubled up with zone 4 however it was causing the area to be way over extended and not allowing it to work correctly.



9/27/18 - Mitchgo ; Todays Work:

*Completed Nozzle replacement on Zone 3 South Front Island rotors to help even out Water Distribution



*Repaired Zone 4 North Driveway Shrubs- Installed several new sprinkler heads that were broken or too low beneath the surface



*Fixed up Zone 6- The valve's solenoid needed to be replaced as it had failed. After fixing this we tuned up the zone- this area had 2 broken pipes and a number of smaller issues.



*Replaced Broken Sprinkler head Zone 7 ( Documented in the Remaining work section of more information on this zone)



*Replaced Zone 8 Valve- Unfortunately this zone was not working physically- Although recently replaced solenoid it was working electrically however not physically. This valve was also leaking externally. We replaced the valve box for 3 valves as the 2 boxes were rather destroyed.



* Repaired Zone 13 South Side Shrubs- Found multiple pipe breaks



*Located Zone 14 Valve - Determined the solenoid is broken and needs to be replaced( More information on Remaining work section of the estimate that is provided



* Re nozzled Zone 15, 17,18 Rotors to provide even water distribution



Remaining work : An Estimate is attached for remaining Tune Up Items and Suggested Renovation/ Modification Items to (Mitchgo sidenote- over $2k on the sidenote )



Tune up Items:

*Zone 6 and Zone 8 (Front Shrub Zones) Now That these zones are working without pipe breaks - it's suggest to spend up to 30 min on each zone to help increase the zone operation. Most of the shrubs are covered however there are some that are missed. By Raising , Replacing, Renozzling some of these sprinkler heads we can help these area's out

*Zone 7- Back Lawn- Our Visit today we replaced a broken sprinkler head however after repair we still had low pressure- The zone only has 2 sprinkler heads on this zone however the meter indicates 14 Gallons Per min Usage when running . There is a hidden pipe break on this zone. It's suggested to look and find for break during the winterizing process. Lastly - when the zone is repaired we will need to add a sprinkler head against the back area for coverage gap fixes

* There is a Zone 19- This zone water North Side Lawn- Currently the controller only goes up to 18 Zones - Originally this zone was doubled up with Shrub Zone 4 however it was way over taxed with water usage that nothing worked. This zone has 4 sprinkler heads on it but they hardly work- the meter indicates 18 Gallons per minute which tells us a major pipe break- nothing has surface. We will need to continue to look into this

*There is possibly a Zone 20- All the Back Patio Shrub patches have sprinkler heads however we saw none of this run on any of the zones. Now that All zones are accounted for on the controller onto of an Extra Zone 19 zone - we are unsure what's going on with this zone. We will need to continue looking into this

*An estimate is attached for a new controller replacement



11/19/18 - Mitchgo ; While winterizing I discovered a hidden pipe break on zone 3 along the edge of the driveway next to a recent drain line install. This is documented and to be repair in the spring time.

Unfortunately we Could not Find Either pipe break on Zone 7 (Back Yard Lawn) or Zone 19 ( North Side of House Lawn) . These 2 zones have hidden pipe breaks we have not found yet. Typically with the Air Compressor (As air emits a much louder sounder then water) we can often find breaks . Unfortunately we were not able to. Both of these areas are near a baseball batters cage that is raised / elevated from the original ground- my suspicion is the breaks are under this area a couple feet under the ground. We can attempt to cap the sprinkler heads and run the zone using accoustical equipment

12/18/18 - Mitchgo ; Today I used a combination of inducing a high volume of air/pressure and using sensitive electrical acoustical listening equipment to locate several hidden pipe breaks on the system

*Repaired Pipe break Zone 3 Located along driveway from new drain install

*Acoustically located Pipe break on Zone 7 Back Lawn and repaired the break- The piping that was broken as at a corner from the Batters Cage. I installed a sprinkler head here for improved coverage to the back lawn

*Acoustically Located Pipe Break on zone 19 North of House Lawn- The break was against the wall of the septic tank lid riser . The break is now fixed- Come spring time we can now Tune this zone up- Like the other rotor lawn zones we will need to renozzle the sprinkler heads to help provide water distribution uniformity and possibly replace a sprinkler head or two.

* I Looked into the back yard Patio Shrubs. I hooked up a air compressor hose to this area and listened for underground breaks with the acoustical equipment. It appears that that patio area has 3 separate sections and each with a pipe break . Today I Flagged/ spray painted and took pictures of the locations but I did not repair any. This ( These ) area is still not connected to the system and there are no physical wires at the controller . It's possible we might need to add a new zone valve to get this area up and running.
 
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