Just been to price up 6 gardens, out of a total of 35, in a newish (2008) development. Houses have been vacated by their occupiers as building work is being undertaken to correct serious structural problems.
As the builder has currently taken over 6 of the 35 properties until the structural works are complete, they need to look after the gardens, until the homeowner moves back.
All 35 properties will require their gardens maintained at some point for a period of 4 to 6 months. Although not all at the same time.
Ok, here is the problem.
The gardens are all to to the back of the properties, and the only access to the rear gardens is through the front door, down the hall, out the back door, and over two scaffold bars. Access to the front door could be an issue as well as there is site fencing and skips to some of the front drives.
The gardens are not that big, 4 of the six gardens are in grass and 2 fully paved.
The building contractor has had 3 seperate grounds maintance guys out to quote and they either never followed through or declined the job.
Money wise, I think there would be a good profit in these gardens. However are these guys that quoted before me, are they seeing something I am not? Or are they sensing that manouvering lawnmowers, strimmers, blowers etc through a house, is just not worth the hassle, no matter how good the potential profit could be?
My work diary is full at the moment, but additional work, especially work that would see me through the winter is always welcome.
Any one been in this scenario before and what was the outcome?
Feasible to do the grass by strimming-only? That would be my offering in this case as it's possible to get a very nice smooth finish as you know.
Watch payment terms. Make sure you have contract tied up, especially if dealing with builders/developers.
Can you temp remove sections of fence and cost in to replace/re-install at end of contract (or have builder do it?))
Agree with above , strim if you're good, use small landscapers bags to bring stuff thru house. We have to do similar with a developers new build site of empty 'for sale' town houses. We line the floor and steps with Cordex sheets (luv the stuff...so useful) and use a lightwt mower (for us its an etesia pro46). Also have a 'Henry' hoover to hand in case....:-)
Thanks Dan & Gary for the reply.
The grass would need to be mown. Even the area is small, it is on the bigger side of small.
Houses are currently empty of fixtures and fittings. Floor coverings have been removed or either covered in thin plywood. Might become a problem when the painter and decorator come in and the kitchens put back.
I think i'll just have to incorporate a fee to each site to cover my back for additional time spent manouvering site fencing and the like.
No 'Henry' hoover I am afraid. Will have to make do with the BR600 magnum instead.
If it was me i would either pass or put in a much higher than normal price to take into account all the extra hassle. When i did domestic grass cutting i dropped quite a few clients due to access problems.
All properties side by side. Timber frame structure sinking as the foundations were orginially built for a tradtional block build and therefore not 100% level, and the shims used to level up the foundations to the frame have failed. A very expensive mistake. Wouldn't like to be the guy that signed the build off.
Andrew do you mind telling me what development it is? Dont worry im not going to try and steal your work, just interested ;)
Could you not get access to the rear garden by lifting/raising a fence panel out?