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ALLPro Landscaping
01-07-2009, 02:32 AM
What do you guys think of ICPI certification classes. And doest it lock in more jobs for you

LB1234
01-07-2009, 10:01 AM
my class was really good. It has landed me NOTHING in terms of jobs.

Dreams To Designs
01-07-2009, 10:02 AM
The education you will receive to get your certificate is great, unfortunately, the general public does not know who or what the ICPI is. The educated consumer will know and understand the benefits of an ICPI certified installer and it should be part of your mission to educate the rest.

Kirk

Bru75
01-07-2009, 10:10 AM
I think it's worth it. I have had people tell me that my company was chosen because of it.
I think a lot of the general public still thinks that anybody can do what we do, thanks to hgtv and the like, and I believe certification helps to change this perception.
A big advantage is that you can tell potential customers that you use the industry accepted practices to do your installations. This is especially helpful if your competition doesn't.

ALLPro Landscaping
01-07-2009, 04:32 PM
Thanks guys i'm gona take it

LB1234
01-07-2009, 07:04 PM
you will learn a lot in the class if you pay attention and ask questions...don't be afraid to. I learned a lot of things that I was doing wrong and in speaking with other contractors picked up some ideas on how to speed certain areas up during the install.

I'm a little down on ICPI though.:cry:

Went on a quote for a family last year for a patio install. Spent over two hours with them on a Sunday morning. Explained the whole process on what 'interlocking' actually meant and its benefits. explained I am ICPI cert., past clients info, pictures, willing to take to previous jobs completed, etc. Long story short she called me a few times and emailed over the next few weeks...the last phone call she said she found another contractor that was ICPI certified and they said stonedust is accetable and that is what they use. Basically my credability was shot...and so is ICPI's in my opinion b/c they don't enforce "certified" contractors to follow their rules/regs/guidelines, whatever.

I since had to change the way I speak about ICPI...

sorry for hijacking your post

Bru75
01-07-2009, 11:03 PM
you will learn a lot in the class if you pay attention and ask questions...don't be afraid to. I learned a lot of things that I was doing wrong and in speaking with other contractors picked up some ideas on how to speed certain areas up during the install.

I'm a little down on ICPI though.:cry:

Went on a quote for a family last year for a patio install. Spent over two hours with them on a Sunday morning. Explained the whole process on what 'interlocking' actually meant and its benefits. explained I am ICPI cert., past clients info, pictures, willing to take to previous jobs completed, etc. Long story short she called me a few times and emailed over the next few weeks...the last phone call she said she found another contractor that was ICPI certified and they said stonedust is accetable and that is what they use. Basically my credability was shot...and so is ICPI's in my opinion b/c they don't enforce "certified" contractors to follow their rules/regs/guidelines, whatever.

I since had to change the way I speak about ICPI...

sorry for hijacking your post

I like to send potential customers to the icpi website so they can see the proper way for themselves, that reinforces everything I told them.

Henry
01-08-2009, 08:05 AM
I can name 10 competitors in my area that are icpi certified and don't follow the guidelines.

LB1234
01-08-2009, 11:46 AM
Don't get me wrong...I highly advise taking the classes and ICPI is very good. Learned a lot and lord knows how much crap I was doing wrong before that class. I've since gone back and looked at some of the earlier work we did and WOW what the heck was I thinking:laugh: But I just wish there was a way for ICPI to make sure its members are actually utilizing ICPI guidelines.

loupiscopolandscaping
01-09-2009, 08:39 AM
i agree with LB1234

Bru75
01-09-2009, 05:09 PM
You are right, I don't really know what they could do though, other than pull your certificate if they get complaints. But who, other than another installer, would report them. As Kirk said above, the general public has no idea what icpi is.
I would like to see them advertise.
I did crap wrong before the class, too.

BOEpavers
01-11-2009, 06:23 PM
My 2 cents on ICPI certification. First I have a problem with any certification for a trade where the certification is based soley on book learning/testing without any hands-on proof that you can apply what was taught in the class. Secondly, like any other class, what you learn is dependent on what you were taught, and what you are taught depends on the instructor. Like all other training, some people are meant to teach and some aren't. You can have the most brilliant instructor, one who does impecable work on the jobsite, yet can't get his point across in a classroom. As LB1234 stated, ICPI has no way of enforcing that certified contractors are doing what they are taught. In our case, we are both EP Henry Authorized Contractors and Techo-Pro certified contractors. Techo-Pro is pretty much like ICPI in that it is an application process, fill out a form and send pics. EP Henry goes a little deeper. Must be a well run company both from a job standpoint and a financial standpoint. They randomly inspect jobs to be certain correct procedures are being followed (Our EP Henry rep visits one of our jobsites at least every 3rd week), etc. To me this certification has value. We educate all our customers on the requirements for all 3 and point out that ICPI has no means to enforce, and hence they are at the mercy of the honesty of the contractor. Pictures of your process, pointing prospects to the ICPI website, and references are the best thing you have going for you. We have never won a bid based on ICPI certification, but we have won because of our EP Henry Authorized contractor status.

Paver Gangster
01-12-2009, 01:00 AM
The ICPI Certified Installer Certification only certifies that you sat in their class for 2 days, took the class, and passed. Other than that, the ICPI does not guarantee that its ICPI certified installers will actually then go out and install to the ICPI guidelines.

If there is an ICPI certified installer that is telling their customers that any bedding material other that ASTM C-33 graded material passing a Lilly Dawson bottle test for hardness, such as what in most markets is referred to as "stone dust" is accepted by the ICPI, frankly they are liars, and as a contractor, I would have no problem telling that to my propsective client, backed with a copy Tech Spec 9 from the ICPI, which can be easily downloaded from the ICPI website.

I also think seeking manufacturer certification is a great idea. EP Henry, Techo as well as Belgard all offer good programs where inspection of jobsites for installation to ICPI standards is required.

All in all, I still think the ICPI installation program is a good certification to take and promote.

Mid-Ohio Scaper
02-28-2009, 02:24 AM
I might be the only one here but I gonna say take the classes if you're new to hardscaping and have no clue. But if you've been in the industry for a long period of time I think it's a waste of time and money.
Personally I strongly disagree with ICPI about what material to use for base. I would never use gravel with dust for base or sand for screed. It all holds moisture and then what happens when it freezes and thaws, it moves, heaves, or settles. I back my work up with a 5 year guarantee and not one problem to date doing it my way.
Besides, like a few said in other posts. Customers really don't know much about it, and contractors don't always abide by it. So what's the point???
If you do good solid work that lasts the test of time, I'd say that says way more than some bulsh*t certification.