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What's the big deal about $1500 a zone?

Discussion in 'Irrigation' started by Mike Leary, May 30, 2007.

  1. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,103

    If we all brought the expertise up...up, & took good care of them, property
    sold, your still there...know the kids (not the daughters)..it's the biz,IMHO.
  2. PurpHaze

    PurpHaze LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 5,496

    WTF Mike??? You been sniffing the brew glue??? :)
  3. Mike Leary

    Mike Leary LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 23,103

    It's the heat..it makes us crazy when it gets over 80.
  4. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    Yeah 1500 a zone and make it 200 an hour + parts fixing homeowner install screw ups. Im with ya. Oh wait I will starve. well good idea if you can get every one to get in the game.

    Messages: 18,668

    Mike I think you need to expand on this statement. I have a pretty good idea from having read your posts as to what you are installing and what you do to make sure the system runs at its best from using the moisture meter among other things. I guarantee you the typical Dallas irrigator who is installing low end Hunter stuff and doesn't even bother to make sure the customer knows how to use the system properly among other things is looking at what you get per zone and looking at that as all extra profit and not adding any quality to the system.
  6. sildoc

    sildoc LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,925

    No, I can see where you are all coming from, I just cant see a customer paying that much with out doing it themselves. this creates a bigger problem.
    I am sure there is a niche in the market for it but man I can see plenty of customers saying 1500? per zone and cost for materials is only 400 wtf. I will do it my self.

    Messages: 18,668

    I'm sure irrigators went straight to mapquest after Mike's quote and I suspect he is in a very unique environment. Probably a gorgeous place to live. Unique situations allow for unique pricing. Having said that I think having read Mike's posts (Jeez I hope his head doesn't swell) I think he takes his craft to a very high level.
  8. bicmudpuppy

    bicmudpuppy LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,781

    The VALUE is there. I lived and worked for two years in DFW, and (atleast then) all the licenses and regulations didn't help. A plumber gets $80/hr two hour min in a const market in the KC metro. An electrician doing new const. can get $100/hr. So, tell me why the guys who write the checks are so willing to PAY for the guy charging $20/hr max for irrigation work? I can show you jobs where $1500/zone still isn't making money, but we are talking about small commercial and residential. In DFW, we made cracks about volunteer fireman. I know of one Air line pilot in the Lawrence area who has a pretty good buis now, but he broke in doing $10 turn ons w/ bf test. As long as you can log on to a forum like this one and the guy who says "its not rocket science" doesn't get flamed and run off, we aren't going to make what our competitive equivalents do. As long as we tolerate the guy who just got laid off being happy killing himself for $10/hr over the cost of parts w/ no mark-up and don't hold them accountable for quality and code, we aren't going to compete with other trades. IMHO, our wages are partially self-inflicted. We get so hung up on being competitive, that we forget that after we cash the final check, we are supposed to get paid too. Correct, what we do isn't ROCKET science, but it is SCIENCE. It isn't brain surgery, but it IS a SKILLED trade. I admit to being guilty. I have used the "they're good for buisness" line way to often for the fly-by-nighters. Great thought Mike, and Good Luck with starting a national movement. When I can feel the motion, you will find me pushing too.
  9. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,794

    The area of the PNW were Hank and Mike are will easily support that kind of money.

    It was similar in my old town.

    I'm in Redmond now, When you drop $500k for a townhome and 3/4 of a mil for one on a decent lot, you usually have some cash left over for the irrigation :)
  10. Rainman7

    Rainman7 LawnSite Senior Member
    from NY
    Messages: 291

    $1500 a zone? What makes your zones $1500? Is it $1500 for the first zone and a lesser price for subsequent zones? What kind of material goes into one of these zones? Monster cable to the valves? tin all connections...with gold? are there any special(costly) permits required in your area?

    Someone said in a previous post that you take your work to a higher level. Do you have the system blessed upon completion? I'm sure you properly design your systems and install them, but above that what do you do that sets you apart from the majority of us? use a laser level on the heads? site level on the valve boxes? use special equipment that hovers above the lawn and installs pipe? I heard you use moisture sensors (whoopee) but do you use one on every zone?

    Don't get me wrong, I'm all for making more money, but I am afraid if I told someone that a 6 zone job will cost about $9000(no mater what materials I was using) they would either laugh at me uncontrollably or run in the house and lock their doors.

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