Working with home builder?

Discussion in 'Lawn Mowing' started by jklawn, Jun 2, 2005.

  1. jklawn

    jklawn LawnSite Member
    from Texas
    Messages: 2

    What are some advantage and disadvantage regarding working with home builders?
  2. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    Lately I've seen no advantage and plenty of disadvantages.

    I'm going back to working with homeowners soon after they purchase new homes.

    Builders want everything done on the extreme cheap cuz it's towards the end of the build and they don't want to invest any more money in the build. You end up parking your rig in front of a crappy job, and the neighbors who would have called you to do their home don't call you because they see the crap job you do next door.

    No thanks, no more builder work for me UNLESS they want the premium full service job done.
  3. olderthandirt

    olderthandirt LawnSite Platinum Member
    from here
    Messages: 4,899

    I do a lot of the model homes for builders and love the work. Plus they can keep you busy and as a bonus they let me place biz cards inside and lawn signs outside, so I get the neighbors attention before they even move in.
  4. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 789

    My father has been building houses for well over 35 years and being a landscaper and the son of a building contractor, I know both sides of the argument. I would always try to get my father to make additions when I would run my bobcat and construct yards.

    Builders look at two things when building a house and this pertains to the landscaping aspect.

    1. Cost of an item.

    2. will this item get back its value when I sell the house.

    In other words if I plant a $300 japanese maple, will I as a builder be able to recoup this cost in the selling price. Most builders cannot justify high end landscaping on the average house, since plain and simple the builder is not making a profit.

    Also a lot of builders are hacks and dont care about landscaping and try to use the cheapest materials to make the most profit. You will learn fast if a builder is worth working for or not.
  5. 65hoss

    65hoss LawnSite Fanatic
    Messages: 6,360

    I can give PLENTY of disadvantages to builders. I now put most homebuilders in my area above used car salesmen on the $H!T list.

    I even had a run in with 2 very high end builders lately. They were worse than the guys building the small houses.
  6. impactlandscaping

    impactlandscaping LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,332

    Don't do any work for them if they tell you that you'll get paid after a bank draw clears their account...big red inspections never go as plannned, and that draw could be a month away or more...
  7. stimpy

    stimpy LawnSite Member
    Messages: 67

    jklawn. I used to build homes in michigan. Check with the plumber/elec guys they get paid twice. Rough in and final at the end. They should know how the builder/bank is with money. You could ask for a month up front. If a guy does not have 100 to 150$ look out. Also new seed/sod gets watered 3to5 times a day so the ground may be very soft for weeks. You will have to use your 21 inch mower for a few weeks. Check with the building inspector to see if you qualify as a sub and can put a lein on his homes if you dont get paid. Should be a good way to pick up more lawns. Its a shame what some states let builders do. People piss and mone about how bad their homes are built. You tell them they need to do this this and that and it will cost you 20% more to get a quality well built house and they look at you like you are nuts.
  8. pagefault

    pagefault LawnSite Senior Member
    Messages: 492

    Since I only do maintenance, here is what keeps me away from the builders.

    More often than not, the sod is installed improperly and I don't want to be the one taking care of it when it dies. I don't even like to do new homes for homeowners for this reason. I see a lot of new homes around here where sod is thrown on top of really bumpy, compacted, crappy soil. If you're lucky, they throw a couple of inches of topsoil down before the sod. Then, the lawn might do ok for a year. Might.
  9. Green Pastures

    Green Pastures LawnSite Silver Member
    Messages: 2,457

    This is why I bought my Cat 257B, to rip out the crap builders are putting in at $600K and above homes and install a real lawn/landscape for the homeowner.

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