"A Little Cheaper" by Chad Rodvold


I lost a job this week that really surprised me. The text message said "I have somebody else doing the install for me that was a little cheaper". That wasn't the surprise, but the disappointing points just add up to a big "WHAT"! 

- I know this builder from my church and we even know a bit of each others "back story".

- I was referred by the landscape architect. First time I was ever recommended by an LA and didn't get the job!

- I spec'd out the equipment for the LA and recommended a couple unique details to the design that will make this job extremely cool.

- I am more expensive, but for a reason...not design, not equipment, but in the details of the installation. I make guarantees others can't because of how I install the job and won't install it any other way...not even to reach a budget.

- Reality is when it comes to million dollar plus homes, budgets are secondary to the quality. 

Thinking this particular builder either believes outdoor lighting companies can be compared apples to apples or doesn't place any value on the outdoor package. Either way, I'll make another guarantee, a phone call will be made to whoever does install the job "a little cheaper" to make changes (adjustments) within a year. At least if I'm right, it'll be a good point to make to other builders down the road.

Boys and their Balloons by Chad Rodvold

We never get tired of seeing the hot air balloons at our new home in McKinney, TX. For about ten years, we lived near Love Field in Dallas with plenty of low flying planes waking us up but never a hot air balloon. Although I like seeing them, I don't think I'll be reserving a time to fly in one anytime soon but we'll definitely enjoy seeing them fly by at the end of a day of outdoor lighting. 

The Front Walk Looks Like A Runaway Lights by Chad Rodvold

What were you thinking Mr. LA?

What were you thinking Mr. LA?

Trace Adkins said it best in his his 1996 hit single "Every Light in the House" and I had to repeat it a couple months back to a builder and landscape architect. I was given the plan to bid from a highly regarded landscape architect in Dallas, TX for a contractor I have worked for in the past. I've never been a fan of the "bidding" process since I'd like to believe I do landscape lighting design first and foremost....build is as important but not without great design. So they needed several quotes for the homeowner and right away I noticed the runway for the front walkway. After reviewing the plan in more detail, I realized this landscape architect had no business designing the landscape lighting. To be gentle...it was not representative of the quality and value of the home...which is what I told the contractor. In reality...the plan sucked and that is what I really wanted to say. 

Over the years, I've found it hard to convince contractors that I know more about lighting than the landscape architect, but thankfully this contractor agreed and arranged for a conference call. I really thought the call would be more of a "p***ing" match than anything else, but after a few minutes of discussing the plan, the landscape architect actually agreed with everything and asked that I create and send them over a new plan! I hate giving my plans out without a contract or deposit and against my better judgement did exactly that...sent a copy to the landscape architect and builder. 

Then I got the news...I lost the job to a competitor! Couldn't believe it...jump through hoops to save the day and get kicked to the curb. I understand the homeowner makes the decision at the end of the day, but I would have thought someone would've stood up and said "E2 Illumination Designs saved our project from looking like a "runway" at night" and the homeowner from wasting thousands more to install a terrible plan they already spent thousands on. So now my plan will be used and the homeowner will get the product he deserves...and I will still get the shaft! (Update: They lighting installers didn't read the plan right and job looks no bueno.)

Well on to the next project. I really don't mind giving advice so if you should have any questions regarding a plan or your outdoor lighting project don't hesitate to call. 

Holy honey bee and hazard pay? by Chad Rodvold

Fortunate to have a great "bee man" on call and even more fortunate having the guys on the ground when we see the nest. They can create quite the problem when we're working on the outdoor lighting and all of sudden come upon them. This nest was about 15' up the main trunk and on a property near Houston. The bee man will relocate them in the next couple weeks and was kind enough to give us a bottle of honey from his bee farm! Benefits of a career in landscape lighting....yum, yum honey!