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Fire the lawn service
Old 05-28-2017, 12:20 PM   #1
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Fire the lawn service

I haven't had a gardener for about 10 years. The mower broke down this winter , twice. I flagged down a gardener who does 3 yards on the block. Got a price for Mow and Blow, 2x a mo. His price is about double of the low ballers , so a somewhat high price is ok with me, you get what you pay for in the long run. MY ONLY HARD RULE " IF YOU BREAK A SPRINKLER JUST LEAVE A NOTE IN THE MAILBOX" .


One of the heads blew off last night. A forensic examination revealed : Rusty black pipe nipple cross threaded a now ruined underground fitting.

I tossed 3 gardeners over the years for this kind of thing.

Just one, simple, zero cost request . Are all landscapers brain dead ?
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Old 05-28-2017, 01:00 PM   #2
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I'm an expert on underground sprinkler systems and I have never had a lawn service.

It turns out that roots grow and apply forces to pipes and fittings. And the tree/bush roots can be pretty far from the trunk. Underground fittings are a DIY project.

But where did the rust come from? My 25-year-old system is all plastic underground.
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Old 05-28-2017, 01:06 PM   #3
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....... His price is about double of the low ballers , so a somewhat high price is ok with me, you get what you pay for in the long run.......
This is why I don't have an FA, because I cannot find any to charge me 4%, after all I want one that is good

Why do you think the mower ruined your sprinkler ?

If you have picked the low baller, you could use the "extra" money you saved to have someone fix it.
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Old 05-28-2017, 01:09 PM   #4
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I'm not firing my landscaper. He is the handyman around my house. How about getting rid of grass. We have no grass. I had some Korean grass in the front and my husband, aka the landscaper, decided to get rid of it. He said he thought it was looking like it overtook the front yard. One small area any way.
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Old 05-28-2017, 01:27 PM   #5
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I fired my landscaper last year. They did a great job with design and installation, but not so good in maintenance. We don't have sprinklers, but blowing cuttings to my neighbor's side of the street wasn't good for neighborhood relations. Plus his weed control was lacking and failed to show several times. He was also expensive. Found a new guy starting out through Angie's List that has done good work so far for less money. We'll see how it goes.
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Old 05-28-2017, 02:11 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by Lakewood90712 View Post
I haven't had a gardener for about 10 years. The mower broke down this winter , twice. I flagged down a gardener who does 3 yards on the block. Got a price for Mow and Blow, 2x a mo. His price is about double of the low ballers , so a somewhat high price is ok with me, you get what you pay for in the long run. MY ONLY HARD RULE " IF YOU BREAK A SPRINKLER JUST LEAVE A NOTE IN THE MAILBOX" .


One of the heads blew off last night. A forensic examination revealed : Rusty black pipe nipple cross threaded a now ruined underground fitting.

I tossed 3 gardeners over the years for this kind of thing.

Just one, simple, zero cost request . Are all landscapers brain dead ?
This is sort of hard to follow... at least to me. Fire him or don't fire him?
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Old 05-28-2017, 02:55 PM   #7
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.... MY ONLY HARD RULE " IF YOU BREAK A SPRINKLER JUST LEAVE A NOTE IN THE MAILBOX" .

c
One of the heads blew off last night. A forensic examination revealed : Rusty black pipe nipple cross threaded a now ruined underground fitting.

I tossed 3 gardeners over the years for this kind of thing.

Just one, simple, zero cost request . Are all landscapers brain dead ?
If the head didn't blow while the mower guy was mowing, how could the mower guy know he broke a sprinkler?
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Old 05-28-2017, 03:46 PM   #8
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If the head didn't blow while the mower guy was mowing, how could the mower guy know he broke a sprinkler?
When stepping on or hitting a head with lawn equipment hard enough to break, YOU KNOW IT.

I know someone broke it and did a half-a$$ repair with a rusty pipe nipple because I installed that head and branch in 100% plastic about a year ago .

My rule is: if you break something , no big deal, but DO NOT TRY TO "FIX IT" , just let me know it's broken. Not that hard.
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:05 PM   #9
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I don't have a sprinkler system, because with 60" annual rainfall the grass never needs watering here. The previous owner had a sprinkler system for her various other plants, but I had it removed when I took her plants out because it is unnecessary for grass (my yard of choice).

No sprinkler system any more to break, but my lawn guy broke one of those metal, semicircular hose supports like this one. It was very old and almost rusted through.

He has been my lawn guy for 14 years and this was the first thing he ever broke. He said nothing. I said nothing, removed the pieces after he left, and put the hose in the garage. I seldom use it. I still think my lawn guy is the best ever.
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Old 05-28-2017, 04:28 PM   #10
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Originally Posted by Lakewood90712 View Post
When stepping on or hitting a head with lawn equipment hard enough to break, YOU KNOW IT.

I know someone broke it and did a half-a$$ repair with a rusty pipe nipple because I installed that head and branch in 100% plastic about a year ago .

My rule is: if you break something , no big deal, but DO NOT TRY TO "FIX IT" , just let me know it's broken. Not that hard.
Do you know if they understand English? I thought it was obvious that I have no trespassing sign in my front yard until I realized maybe they can't read nor knowing what it means, even though they do speak English. I caught a few people this way with their standar answers so I know they don't understand it.
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Old 05-28-2017, 05:51 PM   #11
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I don't have a sprinkler system, because with 60" annual rainfall the grass never needs watering here. The previous owner had a sprinkler system for her various other plants, but I had it removed when I took her plants out because it is unnecessary for grass (my yard of choice).

No sprinkler system any more to break, but my lawn guy broke one of those metal, semicircular hose supports like this one. It was very old and almost rusted through.

He has been my lawn guy for 14 years and this was the first thing he ever broke. He said nothing. I said nothing, removed the pieces after he left, and put the hose in the garage. I seldom use it. I still think my lawn guy is the best ever.
I had a trailer in the backyard, buried in the long grass, the trimmer fellow didn't trim around it, so the mower guy mowed over the trailer hitch !!
Cut it into pieces.
I didn't say anything, as I figured they had to spend a bunch of time replacing the blade or at least grinding it sharp again

Oh, and they were cheap, so the savings more than would pay for a new hitch thing.
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:04 PM   #12
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Originally Posted by Lakewood90712 View Post
When stepping on or hitting a head with lawn equipment hard enough to break, YOU KNOW IT.

I know someone broke it and did a half-a$$ repair with a rusty pipe nipple because I installed that head and branch in 100% plastic about a year ago .

My rule is: if you break something , no big deal, but DO NOT TRY TO "FIX IT" , just let me know it's broken. Not that hard.
Ah, that wasn't clear in your OP, that you discovered the mowing guy's repair when the head blew at night. I guess you'll be firing him then.
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:20 PM   #13
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I like doing the lawn myself. We've hired it out several times (when we have to), but I'm usually disappointed. We have a large lot, over 2 acres with around 150 post oak trees. Mowing requires a zero-turn to go around all the trees. When they mow, many of the trees have scars at the ground level where the mower deck hit them. Also, there are large areas where the grass is gone because they went too fast around the trees. And yes, broken sprinkler heads... usually the ones on risers at the edge of a planting bed. I'm guessing the trimming guy stumbles over them. Once they broke a sliding glass door (flying rock I guess) and never mentioned it to us. The owner paid for the repair after some discussion. All of this is a result of going too fast and not being careful.

There are other things they do much better and more efficiently than me, like most of the non-mowing tasks. I actually enjoy the mowing part, but not trimming, blowing, shrubs, etc. That part is VERY labor intensive on such a large lot. I spoke to the owner about doing a deal where they do all the ancillary tasks on a weekly basis and I do the mowing. He quoted me a price which was just barely less than before. He explained that his crews are staffed and equipped to do it all, so he wouldn't really save any time or manpower by skipping the mowing. The reduction was for fuel associated with not mowing. I think the reality is that he didn't want to ask the "mower" (usually the most senior guy on the crew) to pick up a hedge trimmer or blower instead of driving around on the zero-turn.
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Old 05-28-2017, 06:22 PM   #14
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I'm not firing my landscaper. He is the handyman around my house. How about getting rid of grass. We have no grass. I had some Korean grass in the front and my husband, aka the landscaper, decided to get rid of it. He said he thought it was looking like it overtook the front yard. One small area any way.
when i bought this 3,000 sq foot estate, i wanted to make my front lawn into a nice interlocking stone front. Turns out i must have a certain amount of green frontage, im 100 % sure im the only one in compliance with this. Every dog in NYC loves me now. The fire hydrants are very lonely now. My nightly routine is walking around with a watering can on the front lawn to stop the burn spots.
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Old 05-28-2017, 08:07 PM   #15
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I have always found cutting grass and other yard work relaxing. Started as a kid in grade 1 when it was one of my chores to cut the grass and do the trimming. Nowadays I do my yard, cottage, mom's yard and occasionally others. I was doing my mom's the other day and noticed her neighbour's yard was getting longish and the trimming looked like it hadn't been done in at least a couple of weeks. I went over and knocked on the door and asked if they wanted me to cut it as I knew that rain was forecast for the next few days. They had been away and had fired their lawn maintenance crew this year and hadn't been able to find anyone. Woman said her 72 year old husband was going to start cutting it. Asked me if I did yard maintenance... I explained that as soon as one starts getting paid to do it then the relaxation part is over.
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Old 05-28-2017, 09:11 PM   #16
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I have a zero turn mower to mow my 150' wide by 200' deep lot. I can finish in 15-20 minutes and it's actually a very enjoyable task. Often my 9 year old grandson will cut it for me, and he's as good running equipment as an adult.

Never understood why so many people do little for themselves. I really don't want anyone doing anything that I can personally do--now that I'm retired. I was at the doctor last week, and he said the best thing I can co for my health is remain very, very active.
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Fire the lawn service
Old 05-29-2017, 06:22 AM   #17
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Fire the lawn service

I used to love to mow Then my Sears tractor from hell started breaking down and costing me a fortune. Just after the warranty ran out it needed a new camshaft $400. Then the starter and the wiring harness and on and on... at that point I hated mowing and that machine. Oh and I made the mistake of going on the tractor forum and bad mouthed Sears tractors. I had no idea Sears tractors had a cult following ... man those guys were rough I thought they might be coming for me.

Then a godsend -The neighbors mother wanted to get rid of her John Deere x300 - $1000 bucks bam. Sold my red Sears tractor for a couple hundred bucks using Craigslist. As the guy drove away I cursed the machine, Sears and Briggs and Stratton. I vowed never again.

Three years later- 1 tune up kit, 1 new serpentine belt and 2 new blades. A single mow cost $60 here so I figure I already got my money's worth. God bless John Deere. The joy has returned to mowing...
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Old 05-29-2017, 06:28 AM   #18
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I mow my own lawn 2 or 3 times a week and enjoy it. I use a John Deere 300 for most of it, but use a push mower in the back down to the lake. And I'm always doing some sort of yard work. Yesterday and today - spade edging the planting beds, and trimming some brush.
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Old 05-29-2017, 06:31 AM   #19
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One of the heads blew off last night. A forensic examination revealed : Rusty black pipe nipple cross threaded a now ruined underground fitting.

Are all landscapers brain dead ?
No. Many landscapers are terrific.

Before you accuse your landscaper, remember that rust doesn't happen overnight. Are you sure this happened recently? Are you sure your landscaper is to blame?
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Old 05-29-2017, 07:17 AM   #20
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My lawn service is my brother, so broken sprinkler heads or no, I won't be firing him.

He does hit a head every once in a while, but the roots and frost heave tend to do some damage to the lines and heads every winter, even with blowing out the system with air in the fall. Since DH and I do those repairs on my brother's yard as well as ours, it all balances out.
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