This has probably been asked before but I would like to know for every one who has large lots with many islands to markwith stakes .Do you charge the stakes used?do you just figure it in as the per inch price?
I have found that I can by 2x2x8' pressure treated ballusters for a reasonable price, then I just cut them in half and paint one end red(stands out better in the snow) I buy enough of them that I spread the cost out over the cost of all of my accounts so I don't have to charge extra.
It's all added in, especially since right now I do not have to many sites that have islands all over- what I am mostly dealing with is plantings that I need to avoid when plowing. Plus if you use a post driver it takes less time than with a hammer. You can get them at any Farm and Country store for $25-30.
If you do use the stakes, you have to factor that time & materials into your price. Around here there aren't many that do stake properties. I did some of the more islanded properties my first season. I found that by the time the snow actually flew 1\3 of them were already missing, and after the first snow or 2 another 1\3 were gone, so I haven't bothered since. With the ridiculous amount of lawyers & lawsuits around here I can see myself having to deal with court cases involving the kids impaling themselves, or vehciles impaling their oil pans etc from the tractor trailers having moved my stakes, than dealing with slip & falls which is what I'm supposed to be concerned with in managing the snow & ice. I'd rather not leave those convenient weapons out there for the kids to play with LOL.
I have an SRP for each site with a detailed map that the drivers & subs are trained to use. So far we haven't had any major curb moving or island destroying episodes by not having stakes there.
I agree- I do not stake too much, but I do mark out the hidden sprinkler heads and other little things that can be easily hidden by snow. Luckily I also do not have too much to worry about as far as kids moving the stakes around- the lots I plow are in a small village, and since I have been a member of the local ambulance corps- the local police know me well, and keep an eye on my stuff. They do regular patrols through the area any way, but I get a heads up if there is something amiss. Makes it kinda nice.
The time to cut and install them is negligible- I can easily cut them while I am cutting ballusters for a deck I am working on, letting another job pay for my time there, and as far a installing them- that can be done on the last inspection of the year when we are preparing to plow- need to walk the site anyway, kill two birds with one stone.
If you don't want to stake a property, you can also draw a diagram of it. We do this and use it as a tool in case some of the stacks turn up missing and also to show the property manager where we will be stacking the snow. If you have a digital camera taking a couple of pics it helps if you need a reference of the property.
I stake all of my commercial properties and yes, many get broken or disappear, then we stake importand areas again. I think its much better than ripping up nice plantings or curbs, and it allows us to easily make sure that we are pushing everything all the back to the curb. As far as who pays, its all a cost of doing business. If the cost of stakes and a few hours will make-it or break-it for you than you bid way too low.
We used to stake all our properties, and then charged for missing stakes at the end of the season. We used the fiberglass stakes from Home Depot. Howeverlike was mentioned by mid season they were all just about gone, and the ground was frozen so you couldnt get new ones in. So we have stopped staking the properties, and quite honestly, since we started running u edges, no real issues with hitting things. We now bounce off them.
for 20 wood stakes it costs me 2 bucks and about 20 mins to install.yes they rip out but when it comes spring time and the customer wants curb repair the insurance company won't pay unless it was documented that the property was staked out.but i also put in my contract that i won't cover that type of damage unless if i was to stupid to stake it out in the first place lol
I have now added a clause into my contract that if it isn't staked, I am not responsible for it. All my customers seem happy with it so far, and it put the responsibility on them. I doubt it would hold up in a court of law, but I have a signed document that says if it isn't marked with a 5' stake, I am not responsible for it.
When I do stake something, I find saplings, 6-8' long work good. I noticed that New Hampshire DOT uses them on the Kangamangus Highway over the mountain. They work well, flex when hit with a plow and are obviously cheap.