Please take my money.
July 31, 2012 1:43 PM Subscribe
Why can't I hire a landscaper? I know how to find one. I know how to show what I want done and how to ask for bids. Why can't I get one of them to accept the job?
posted by caryatid to home & garden (20 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
I have a double corner lot with a patio, a pond, and some mature landscaping (that I mostly did myself) that I want to finish. "Finishing" involves moving some large chunks of flagstone to make a small patio, laying sod, and renovating (digging out and readying for replanting) some borders. There are also some unskilled jobs I'd like done, such as removing weeds and spreading mulch in the formerly weedy areas. This is neither a huge job or a tiny job.
I've had five different companies/individuals come out and look at the job. Not one of them was inclined to take it on - and it's not that I can't or didn't want to pay what they asked.
What I think might be putting them off is that what I want is not your standard cookie-cutter suburban landscape. I don't want irrigation installed - instead, I want very low-maintenance plants, including buffalo grass sod (which I know where to obtain) instead of Kentucky bluegrass. I already have the flagstone so there goes the big markup they'd get for supplying it. I have a big pile of mulch.
What I can't understand is why, at a time when most contractors are begging for work, I can't get anyone to take this on. It's not highly-skilled work. I would think a client who actually knows what she wants would be ideal for a contractor.
Is it a deal-breaker for a client to know what she wants? Am I doomed to accept all the things I don't want (irrigation, bluegrass) in order to get a landscaper to work for me? Do I have to play dumb? (The guy who was here this morning seemed downright offended when I called my trees ailanthus instead of the local nickname "sumac." And I didn't correct him - he corrected me.) Is there something I don't know about the landscape business going on right now?