Landscaping Workers

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  #1  
Old 03-19-2015, 07:45 PM
gomsiepop gomsiepop is offline
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What I would recommend before hiring a landscaper. I'm writing this from my own personal experience. I just had my landscaping completed by a landscaper that is being ruined by his help. If he isn't there to literally babysit the laborers they sit around smoking and probably accomplish 2 hours of work in 7 hours. My landscaping should have taken no more than 4-5 days at the most. It took 9 days and rain was not a factor. My suggestion is no matter how great the plan is and how articulate the owner is do yourself a favor and before you sign on the dotted line ask where the company is currently working. Get an address and watch the workers for at least a half an hour. Try not to let them know you're watching them. If they aren't working the way you would expect them to on your property go on to another company. I won't name the landscaper I went with because it wouldn't be fair to him. He is knowledgeable about which plants and palms should be placed in certain areas and his design is great. I can't explain the frustration and stress that I went through until the project was completed and it was a fairly large job. There was extensive damage to my grass and my neighbor's grass because of the transporting of shrubs and plants. Because of this my neighbor and I no longer speak to one another. The sod was replaced but only after much grief. I don't know if this is just part and parcel for this industry but for the prices that they charge it definitely is a disgrace.
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  #2  
Old 03-20-2015, 07:57 AM
bagboy bagboy is offline
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And it would be helpful to get recent references, go and check on their finished product, and talk to the most recent customers.
  #3  
Old 03-20-2015, 08:49 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomsiepop View Post
What I would recommend before hiring a landscaper. I'm writing this from my own personal experience. I just had my landscaping completed by a landscaper that is being ruined by his help. If he isn't there to literally babysit the laborers they sit around smoking and probably accomplish 2 hours of work in 7 hours. My landscaping should have taken no more than 4-5 days at the most. It took 9 days and rain was not a factor. My suggestion is no matter how great the plan is and how articulate the owner is do yourself a favor and before you sign on the dotted line ask where the company is currently working. Get an address and watch the workers for at least a half an hour. Try not to let them know you're watching them. If they aren't working the way you would expect them to on your property go on to another company. I won't name the landscaper I went with because it wouldn't be fair to him. He is knowledgeable about which plants and palms should be placed in certain areas and his design is great. I can't explain the frustration and stress that I went through until the project was completed and it was a fairly large job. There was extensive damage to my grass and my neighbor's grass because of the transporting of shrubs and plants. Because of this my neighbor and I no longer speak to one another. The sod was replaced but only after much grief. I don't know if this is just part and parcel for this industry but for the prices that they charge it definitely is a disgrace.

I think you should let us know who the landscaper is so we don't fall victim to his poor operation and management. Simply because he knows where to place plants does not make him a reliable contractor. It isn't fair to this forum not knowing his name. Just my 2 cents...
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Old 03-20-2015, 10:15 AM
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raynan raynan is offline
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I agree that we need to know who and if that had happened to me I would have been on the phone to the owner informing him constantly of his laborers antics. The owner is paying hourly wages to them and not getting his share of profit to maintain his business.
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Old 03-20-2015, 02:39 PM
gomsiepop gomsiepop is offline
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I understand your need to know who the landscaper is but, in the end everything wrong was made right. I'm just saying if you want your landscaping completed in a timely fashion then due diligence is needed in addition to getting estimates. As far as calling the owner and telling him about his workers the owner was here most of the time. His hands are tied because the workers have a don't care attitude.
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Old 03-20-2015, 07:33 PM
Ragman Ragman is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomsiepop View Post
I understand your need to know who the landscaper is but, in the end everything wrong was made right. I'm just saying if you want your landscaping completed in a timely fashion then due diligence is needed in addition to getting estimates. As far as calling the owner and telling him about his workers the owner was here most of the time. His hands are tied because the workers have a don't care attitude.
Simple solution is hire new workers. Sounds like a cowardly or lazy owner.
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Old 03-21-2015, 07:17 AM
gomsiepop gomsiepop is offline
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Easier said than done. I spoke to the owner and the sad reality is that many of the people that apply for these jobs are addicted to drugs or alcohol and just want to make some money to buy some form of substance and then they take off. Also, there are others that just can't cope with the heat and their bodies just can't take it. That is probably why the prices of landscaping in The Villages is as expensive as it is because of the labor factor. Maybe if there were a monetary incentive attached to these jobs the employment might be more stable. For instance, work for six months and get a 10% raise. Really, I don't know how this problem can be solved. Just saying.
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Last edited by gomsiepop; 03-21-2015 at 01:57 PM.
  #8  
Old 03-21-2015, 02:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gomsiepop View Post
Easier said than done. I spoke to the owner and the sad reality is that many of the people that apply for these jobs are addicted to drugs or alcohol and just want to make some money to buy some form of substance and then they take off. Also, there are others that just can't cope with the heat and their bodies just can't take it. That is probably why the prices of landscaping in The Villages is as expensive as it is because of the labor factor. Maybe if there were a monetary incentive attached to these jobs the employment might be more stable. For instance, work for six months and get a 10% raise. Really, I don't know how this problem can be solved. Just saying.

It'll never be solved because of the following equation : No skill labor + low pay = low skill people
  #9  
Old 03-22-2015, 06:53 PM
Ozzello Ozzello is offline
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I pay my workers on percentage. They make better money, work harder, and have pride in the work they are doing. Landscapers paying help 9 or 10 bucks an hour and blaming them when the customers aren't happy, are a dime a dozen. I doubt the plan is as good as you think. You will know in a year or 2.

Are the Loropetalums or Walter's Viburnums still in front? How many sub-tropicals did they use? If you counted all the good landscape designers in TV, you would only need one hand. Most of the 'designers' are actually salesmen or lawn care people who learned the names of a few plants and a knack at spacing them out, with no idea or care at what your landscapes future is.

One common problem I am finding lately,( big and small landscape companies ), is the limerock used as base under the stack walls, getting used as fill where the plants are planted. In about a year, the plants and trees are yellowing due to the alkalinity, and I have replaced a crazy number of plants (in landscapes done by other companies) where the "soil" was either mixed with the limerock, or was ALL limerock. I have to wonder if they don't know...or just don't care. For the money these companies are making, they should be ashamed of how they are bamboozling most of you with fancy equipment and huge advertising budgets. Can't wait till the building stops and the carpetbaggers move on.
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Old 03-22-2015, 07:59 PM
sunnyatlast sunnyatlast is offline
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Now you know why many of us buy courtyard villas on small lots that don't need a lot of trees and landscaping.

Somebody yesterday commented about how the "lower priced homes are too close together" in a thread about overcrowding. We've been there, done that with big houses on 1-acre+ lots, and we are done with hiring and paying a lot to landscapers, mowers, nurseries, etc.
  #11  
Old 04-20-2015, 06:01 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ozzello View Post
I pay my workers on percentage. They make better money, work harder, and have pride in the work they are doing. Landscapers paying help 9 or 10 bucks an hour and blaming them when the customers aren't happy, are a dime a dozen. I doubt the plan is as good as you think. You will know in a year or 2.

Are the Loropetalums or Walter's Viburnums still in front? How many sub-tropicals did they use? If you counted all the good landscape designers in TV, you would only need one hand. Most of the 'designers' are actually salesmen or lawn care people who learned the names of a few plants and a knack at spacing them out, with no idea or care at what your landscapes future is.

One common problem I am finding lately,( big and small landscape companies ), is the limerock used as base under the stack walls, getting used as fill where the plants are planted. In about a year, the plants and trees are yellowing due to the alkalinity, and I have replaced a crazy number of plants (in landscapes done by other companies) where the "soil" was either mixed with the limerock, or was ALL limerock. I have to wonder if they don't know...or just don't care. For the money these companies are making, they should be ashamed of how they are bamboozling most of you with fancy equipment and huge advertising budgets. Can't wait till the building stops and the carpetbaggers move on.

Amen Ozzello,

We run our company on the same pay system!
We also can't wait for the building to stop so smaller companies like us can focus on maintaining all of the over planting done by inexperienced landscapers.

Big companies come in with big equipment and perform "landscaping" services, then maintenance companies like us have to keep up with everything they installed!
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