It’s Mostly About the Benjamins

We mentioned Monday that this is the week of the contractor around the Little House. So far, we’ve seen five contractors (three roofing and two sprinkler) and have at least four more coming out between now and the middle of next week to finish quoting the sprinkler system and the fence/deck repair and stain. Everyone we’ve spoken with so far has been knowledgeable, courteous, and enthusiastic about our projects.

Unfortunately, one can’t pick a contractor on knowledge, courtesy, and entusiasm alone.

You also have to consider the Benjamins.

Mostly About the Benjamins

Our first sprinkler contractor insisted on not only giving us a quote for the sprinkler installation, but for our entire yard project – deck, patio, sprinklers, fence – the whole shebang. We made it as clear as we could that we fully intend to do everything but the sprinklers ourselves, but decided that seeing a quote for everything would, if nothing else, allow us to see how much we save by doing most of the project with ourselves.

Below is a snippet from The-Sprinkler-Company-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named’s quote.

Backyard Quote

The estimate for the actual sprinkler system itself is right in line with the other quote we’ve received. Everything else gave us a little sticker shock.

Take the landscape fabric for example. The-Sprinkler-Company-Who-Shall-Not-Be-Named quoted us $0.30/sq. ft. for landscape fabric, including labor, we assume. About two minutes of Googling landscape fabric left us with several options in the $0.04/sq.ft. range and our labor, other the spending a gorgeous Texas spring afternoon outside, is free.

Even after seeing this quote we’re still 110% committed to DIYing the majority of our backyard ourselves… and it’s a lot of work left to be done.

We only have 50 days to finish the yard, so hopefully we’ll wrap up the contractors by mid-next week and get started with the first phase, reroofing the Little House, by the first week in February!

5 comments

  1. Christina @ Floridays Mom says:

    First of all..I’ll be looking for my invitation to this crawfish boil! 🙂 YUM!!!!
    Now that we got that out of the way..I think you can definitely do a majority of that list on your own. You can always sub out some of the jobs that are just completely out of your comfort zone. We did a similar thing with our sprinkler re-do. The major sprinkler company in our area wanted $5000 to REPAIR our existing system saying that it had to be completely re-done. I ended up finding a guy on craigslist who guaranteed his work for a full year and he really worked with us. We did a lot of the hard labor on our own and he did he rest for about $500. My yard is green as could be and we have an extra $4500 in our pockets..score!

  2. Emily says:

    Random question – how do y’all decide which contractors you get quotes from? We want to get a sprinkler system installed at our house on the other side of the metroplex, but haven’t found any good sources for looking for landscapers/contractors/sprinkler guys. Thanks!

    • littlehousebigheart says:

      Hi Emily!
      We used Angie’s list to find our contractors. It costs a few dollars a month to be a member, but the information you get about companies is priceless (no company can post their own review of themselves… it’s all user generated content). We simply looked only at contractors with “A” grades, then of those, we looked for recent comments on full sprinkler system installs.
      I hope that helps! And if you’d like the names of the companies we had quote us I’d be happy to send them to you!

      • Emily says:

        That would be awesome, thanks a bunch! I’ve considered getting on Angie’s List, so it’s good to hear someone else say it’s worth it.

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