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View Full Version : No One Is Icpi Certified


STRINGALATION
09-12-2008, 02:42 PM
i saw that the GIE was here so i wanted to see if they had any cert classes i found none so i went to ICPI website i found none close so i used there search engine to find a nerby certified installer and in a 20 mile radius all i found was one over in indiana.:cool2: i am big on being qualified and being able to show that i know what i'm doing. but no one here being certed says either it wont matter to the public or it will be significant in bidding. i hope the latter. i want to tap into harscaping but i refuse to tackle a ever growing driveway.:laugh: 6000 - 7500 sqft:laugh: he is asking for trouble i might tackle a 36 sqft paver pad to put a rolling grille on but thats about it i bidded on an overlay and that was pushing it. i.m not afraid to make mistakes but LIABILITY & MY COMPANY NAME ARE AT STAKE. now if i could get my helpers to understand we cannot just up and tackle everything because we think we can read enough to doit. i think i just ranted on sorry about that:hammerhead::hammerhead:

Hardscaping
09-12-2008, 03:02 PM
you should go get the course, and not talk bad about me, because i am willing to take on such a big driveway. I will grow with time and i don't plan on being a small company. the only way to grow is to learn, the only way to learn is to do.

So go out and do some jobs and then come back and tell me i shouldn't do the driveway.

Other then that go get the course it will help you out if you don't know what you are doing yet. Other then that a 36 sq ft patio that is really small but a good place to start. but if you can't have confidence in a 36 sq ft patio then don't do it. You have to be confident in what you do before you can tackle anything. Maybe just do a small mock up of interlock in a small area like a 15 sq ft area from a driveway to the steps for the door.

STRINGALATION
09-12-2008, 03:28 PM
sorry if you took that the wrong way. just some hardscape ribbing. everyone wants to see how it turns out. it is that is a big job and they have pointed out some very valid points. and I HAVE TAKEN A LOSS BEFORE IT SUCKS I EVEN GOT A MESS CLEANED UP AND GRADED. MY GRADER MADE 1500 HELPER MADE 90 I CHIPPED IN 250 NOT INCLUDING GAS TO LET ME GRADE AND SOD HIS LAWN ACTUALLY so by no means am i perfect just hate to see it happen to some one else on such a scale. and a lot of the warning light are there. i hope it turns out faboulus but dont let some random comments discourage you or anger you but do seriously think about them

DVS Hardscaper
09-12-2008, 04:14 PM
Huh??

My head is spinning. ICPI Certified, Driveway, grading sodding. I'm confused.


Is this thread an instigator thread or what exactly is being discussed?


Maybe we need the moderator to delete and possibly start over??

mrusk
09-12-2008, 04:38 PM
I never mention I am certified. I am almost embrassed to mention it. TO many hacks get certified and plaster the seal over everything the own. Then they go back to their hack ways.

Hardscaping
09-12-2008, 04:39 PM
I am not sure if this is to target me or if he actually wanted to see what people had to say about no icpi certs in his area.

PatriotLandscape
09-12-2008, 05:19 PM
it is still a valid cert here but my suppliers are giving the test locally now. When I took it I had to drive 2.5 hours away. We are moving onto level2 cert. just to stay ahead.

amscapes03
09-12-2008, 09:34 PM
I agree with mrusk 100%.

STRINGALATION
09-13-2008, 03:45 AM
the actual topic is as stated i just found it interesting noone here is in the data base so i'm like are they all doing it wrong. for example my neighbor got some curbing done at his house $530.00 for 2 hours work. 2-man crew. took a sod cutter then cleaned it with a spade. ran a nice gutter conduit under the ground that came out to a sorta hole with a cap flush to the ground then pumped concrete. i thought there would be some sort of prep for heaving now about every 2-3 feet he sliced through the entire thing i geuess as expansion joints. hadrscaping i'm not targeting you at all i just want to know if i'm wasting my time trying to get certified

PatriotLandscape
09-13-2008, 06:32 AM
no you are not wasting your time getting the cert. as for it validity it is what you make of it. We are certified through several agencies we pump them all when I talk to people. I am ICPI, ISA Arborist and a Mass Certified Horticulturist. My Wife is ICPI, NCMA, a CLP from Planet and a Mass. Cert. landscape Professional.

The certs are a base line and sell your customers that you have a commitment to continuing education.

Hardscaping
09-13-2008, 12:31 PM
The certs are good when people ask you have you done this before? do you have work we can see? Do you know what you are doing since you haven't really done it before?

The answer yes i do know what i am doing i have taken this course this one and that one. Makes the customer feel safe and then they will go with you. The way i sell my work is that i garuantee it for 2 years and that i don't get paid until they are satisfied with the job.

DVS Hardscaper
09-13-2008, 03:41 PM
I am ICPI Certified.

Have been for about 9 years.

I used to throw it infront of prospective cleint's faces.

But since everyone and their brother are now paver experts, I NEVER bring it up anymore.

Many of the local dudes that are ICPI certified, do some crappy work, and I wonder how on earth they passed the exam.

Also, I have lost respect for ICPI.

It used to be that in order to renew your membership you needed more classes.

Now, all you have to do is mail them a check.

This tells me that ICPI really is more about making money.


No certificate is going to make YOU or ME do a superb job.

With 12.5 years of solid hardscape experience - We have enough inventory of completed jobs under our belt where a prospective client can see our work up close and in person. It doesn't matter where in our main county a prospective client may live, we have at least one complete job within 5 miles from where ever that may be.

stuvecorp
09-13-2008, 05:02 PM
No certificate is going to make YOU or ME do a superb job.

With 12.5 years of solid hardscape experience - We have enough inventory of completed jobs under our belt where a prospective client can see our work up close and in person. It doesn't matter where in our main county a prospective client may live, we have at least one complete job within 5 miles from where ever that may be.

That is my feeling, the ones that are a part of some of these organizations are the biggest scrappers. As you go you will build on past projects and the clients will be your best witness/salesmen.

Mike33
09-13-2008, 07:11 PM
! drove to Pittsburgh 2 years ago ( 100 mile ) paid 150.00 for class, motel, meals, etc., for NCMA class. I have also done the same for training seminars for ab, versa-lok, cornerstone block. I will have 300 walls experience this season and will always try to keep up on new ideas. NCMA i felt good that i have always exceeded and didnt really learn much, but i did a few things making it woth while. I think cert. and training is putting your company to a different level and i will always continue to do so. i will throw up cert. once in a while to sell a job if need to be.
mike

Hardscaping
09-13-2008, 08:49 PM
The certs in some cases allow you to charge more especially if there are noone around you with them.

When the customer says well this guy is going to do it for this much, you say well ok let him do it. but before you walk away you say to them does he have anycertification that you know of and mention to them you are certified and they will sometimes feel safer letting you do the work. You should also offer good warranties with the work you provide, I have found just because of uppping the warranty by only one year more then you can get the job, gives the customer a sense of good will and knowing that the job will be done right because you don't want to have to go back in three years to redo the work you are doing for them.

YardPro
09-15-2008, 07:57 PM
So go out and do some jobs and then come back and tell me i shouldn't do the driveway.


.

i lay over 20K sqft per year and have for many years.....
....


YOU SHOULDN"R DO THE JOB

if is not fair for the customer...

you obviously (from your posts) have no clue about what you are doing..

PatriotLandscape
09-15-2008, 10:17 PM
The certs in some cases allow you to charge more especially if there are noone around you with them.

When the customer says well this guy is going to do it for this much, you say well ok let him do it. but before you walk away you say to them does he have anycertification that you know of and mention to them you are certified and they will sometimes feel safer letting you do the work. You should also offer good warranties with the work you provide, I have found just because of uppping the warranty by only one year more then you can get the job, gives the customer a sense of good will and knowing that the job will be done right because you don't want to have to go back in three years to redo the work you are doing for them.

How many jobs have you sold? no one pays more because of certifications. The will pay more for reputation. If yu have only been in business less than a year then what difference does it make if you give a 3 or a 10 year warranty it is all garbage.

How many jobs have you sold over 5k?

Mike33
09-15-2008, 10:37 PM
I would like to know how old are you?
mike

LB1234
09-16-2008, 07:19 PM
ugghhhh!!!

Don't get me started on ICPI and NCMA. I'm finding out it doesn't mean CRAPOLA to the customers AND those two organizations only care about one thing...gettting their membership dues.

Met with a prospective client and spent over an hour and a half just going over a large patio from a walkout basement. Explained to them the process of how to properly construct an INTERLOCKING paver patio...with pictures of some of our work. BTW, it included some construction pics to better give them an idea of the size and scope of the job. Go back and forth over email, over the phone, etc. during the next two weeks. Blah, blah, blah.

Get a phone call one evening from the customer and she wanted to know if it was okay to use stonedust. I said no and explained why. Her response was company XYZ said its completely okay to use stonedust and he is ICPI certified as well. I just hung my head and moved on to the next potential customer.

I, as others have already said, don't even mention I'm certified...what's the point.

Mike33
09-16-2008, 08:51 PM
Thats what we call " Elements of Business " it happens and will happen again. I guess a big thing for a plus is, say you would get in a law suit. Thats about the only standard than can be throwed against you, if you excced it your ahead of the game.
mike

STRINGALATION
09-22-2008, 05:37 PM
HEY everyone i just got power after 9 days. and have been doing cleanups so thanks for the responces . one thing i'm not hearing is will i learn proper protocal of course some will knowit but get lazy. my angle is if i do a patio tommorow with no experience will it be more liklye to be more successful if i had taken the courses.

LB1234
09-23-2008, 08:13 PM
My instructors for ICPI were very good. And I did learn a thing or two...especially some things I was doing wrong...or not doing enough of. I have however heard stories how some instructors weren't so good.

JimLewis
10-01-2008, 10:50 PM
I find certification to be virtually worthless in terms of helping you land a job. Most homeowners don't care. And worse, they don't care to be educated about what certification means either. They just want someone they trust, photos of previous jobs, and a good price. That's pretty much it. Nothing else seems to matter. You could have every certification under the sun but if your competion comes in with better references (trust), better photos, and a cheaper price, you're screwed.

Now in terms of it helping you learn how to do stuff the right way, I am all for certification. Before I took my AllanBlock wall certification classes, I though we built walls the correct way. Unfortunately, after taking the class we all (my and a bunch of my employees) felt like we wish we could go back and re-do some of the walls we had already done. We used to feel secure about the walls we built. After seeing what can happen when you don't do every step right, and knowing we hadn't done walls 100% right in the past, we found ourselves hoping the ones we had already thrown up didn't fail. Needless to say, we learned a LOT and now I can safely say we build walls correctly and also can safely say most of our competition does not.

I think it's probably like that with most certification classes. You'll go and then learn all sorts of things you never knew. Important stuff.

Go into it thinking it will help you do work properly but not help you get jobs and I think you'd find it of value.

STRINGALATION
10-02-2008, 01:00 AM
THANKS EVERYONE i domplan on getting certed based on knowledge gaining. i just thought it a bonus that noone is certed here

DVS Hardscaper
10-02-2008, 09:11 AM
This isn't an industry where you attend a class or read a book and then you're an expert.

This is a trade. It's something you learn from experience and from mistakes.

Just like mechanics. Yes, I realize cars are computerized, and schooling is necessary. But as far as basic mechanics, a good mechanic does not go to mechanic school to learn how to work on cars, they have the mechanical common sense and ability dating back to when they were toddlers.

Same goes for hardscape construction. You need to have a great deal of construction knowledge. Ranging from excavating and grading to carpentry. You also need to have an eye for architecture and design. These are things you don't necessarily learn from a class. I know of a guy that built a wall under a deck. Well, he built the freakin wall between the deck posts! So it is chopped full of interuptions, thus it has NO flow, and looks like crap! Construction knowledge is necessary - say you're putting in a raised patio behind a dwelling, but they have a sunken living room. Sunken living rooms can often put a different spin on the logistics of the construction of the raised patio, as you don't want water finding it's way through the living room's walls. Yet, you didn't go inside their house to see the sunken living room, therefore you need to be able to discover this fact on your own from standing in their backyard. Excavating skills are critical, the last thing you want to do is flood the next door neighbor's basement.

The biggest thing is PASSION. Are YOU passionate about hardwork, challanges, and hardscape design? Or do you think this is an industry where you'll make loads and loads of money?? If there is no true passion about every aspect of the industry, then I respectfully suggest you expend your time and energy on something that is more fitting for you.

I have always preached passion. A few weeks ago at the gym 2 guys were talking. One said "what do you do?" The other replied "I build houses, it's a family business". The other guy said "cool, is that your passion, do you like it?" And ya know it sounds like a silly question, but in reality it's a great question. There are so many people in a career where they're miserable.

Sure ICPI classes certainly won't hurt ya.

But really, no one here can tell you what will make your patio builds a success.

Everything boils down YOUR Determination, Dedication, and Desire.




.

Mike33
10-02-2008, 09:32 PM
Taking Pride also helps. I was showing my 24 year old daughter some of my work the other day. Hoping 1 day she will tell her kids look there my dad built or planted that yard 30 years ago and not be ashamed.
Mike

STRINGALATION
10-04-2008, 01:46 AM
Dvs well said

PatriotLandscape
10-04-2008, 10:46 AM
Just landed a 25k job because i waas the only one certified and could talk the talk with the owners son who is a civil engineer.

They help.