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Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by alldayrj, May 15, 2012.
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Sorry to bring up an old thread. I never saw this thread before.
There is this big conglomerate (they have branches all up and down the West coast) called Systems Pavers that offers a 25 year warranty on their paver patios and also a 30-day money-back guarantee. All they are is a sales company. The only employees they have is a branch manager and a few estimators. They have no installers, no shop, no office, nothing. Every time they land a job, they sub it out to someone else in the area who does pavers. And since none of the reputable, more established companies in the area would ever work for them, they get sort of the bottom of the barrel in terms of installers and experience. They get these companies who sort-of know how to install pavers. They never use edge restraint (just pour a few bags of concrete around the edges to keep the pavers in place). They never install geo fabric. They will install steps right over siding, etc. and without any flashing, vapor barrier, etc. I've seen a number of their installs where they didn't even install a border (e.g. sailor course or soldier course) when one was really sorely needed.
The Portland branch gets mixed reviews on Angie's List. Some F's and D's but also a fair amount of A's, B's and C's too. The main complaint seems to be that the customer didn't understand that they used subs and they were unhappy with the subcontractor. Other complaints involve the wrong variety or color of paver installed or poor communication.
But their big selling point is their 25 year warranty. It's really all they got going for them. I hate going against them on bids. Fortunately, we know their weaknesses and have learned to capitalize on that. So when we hear we're bidding against them we will emphasize strengths that we have that we know they are weak in. But I still hate that damn 25 year warranty. It's freakin' ridiculous! What I hate most about it is when people actually fall for it. And they do!
See, the Angie's List ratings can be misleading, in terms of paver installation as it takes approximately 3 years to see the effects of a paver install done wrong. I could build a patio today and purposely do everything incorrectly - and the customer will give me a good rating because it just looks so beautiful! Yeah, they always look beautiful when they're new. Infact, when I provide prospective clients with references, I try to use jobs that are at least 3 years old, I almost never use a job we recently completed as a reference.
I'm wondering how those people came up with a 25 year warranty. I mean, what products / services are out there that are warrantied for that long? Ok, roofing shingles have 30 to 40 year warranties. Craftsman tools are warrantied forever. But just typing off the cuff I can't think of much else that has such a warranty. It seems like a huge risk for the contractor.
3 years for hardscape and irrigation (install and new parts only; repairs for 90 days to 1 year--lots of factors)
1 year for plants (not all apply)
For us is a matter of what type of work is being performed.
We tend to give about 1 or 2 years of warranty is the norm here in Maryland. Although, if after that time, a customer has called us saying that they had an issue, we have always fixed the problem for free.
If the work was a repair, we do not offer a warranty. Only on new or fully rebuilt projects.
I dissagree with Dvs about "always looking beautiful when new" I see so much crap and poor designing that it boggles my mind how these guys even pick up the job to start with. An extended warranty to anyone but a fool is not worth a damn. This company gives 5 yr warranties. It needs to be fixed now and its not done yet.
Andy you're getting a little carried away with analyzing what I write.
Naturally there's new jobs that look like crap. You, I, and all quality veteran contractors know that. It goes without saying.
When I say "all jobs always look beautiful when they're freshly completed", I'm speaking in general terms. Because its true.
Just like new employees always work wonderfully for the first two weeks.
Just like new boyfriends or girlfriends are always so nice and easy to get along with at the beginning.
Asphalt is only as good as what's underneath it. So - new asphalt jobs always look nice.
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The engineered foundations and structural framing of a house here in SC must be warranted for 10 yrs. Cosmetics are 1 to 2 years.