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View Full Version : Paver installing......what do you think??


AB Lawn Care
04-18-2000, 09:53 PM
This spring I was talking to a customer about his property.He told me that he was going to rip out his old cement driveway and put in a paver driveway and add a circle driveway in front of his house.He got an estimate for $25,000 canadian!This got me thinking is paver intallation an area I should consider getting into.Does anyone do this???How would I go about getting into this business?Do some paver companys provide training?And how much investment will I have to shell out?????Any help would be helpfull!!!<p>from:Adam<p>AB Lawn Care

EDL
04-18-2000, 10:13 PM
I know that unilock has classes and that alot of places that produce pavers are located in Canada. You could probably rent most of the equipment and have the materails delevired to the job site.

paul
04-18-2000, 10:14 PM
Alot of us do this, do a search 30 or more days and you will find posts on building base for pavers and types of pavers used. <p>Contact a paver manufacturer in your area for installation instructions and classes. There is good money in installing pavers.<p>Tools needed:<br>plate tamper $2500 US<br>Tub or brick saw $2000 US<br>hand tools<br>shovels<br>rakes<br>hand tamper<br>pipe 3/4&quot; (for screed rails)<br>screed boards 1&quot;x6&quot;<br>pencils<br>hammer<p>If you have any other questions e-mail me at palnelson@aol.com<br><p>----------<br>paul<br>

Lanelle
04-18-2000, 10:23 PM
Good news Adam! There are several people who regularly participate in this forum who make good money installing pavers. This is definitely a topic that requires education and training to do correctly so that the projects are long-term successes. Your suppliers may provide some training or help put you in touch with industry training. Consider the basic contractors training provided by the ICPI (Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute). The session I attended was partly taught by a Canadian. I have his name, company name and address at my office if that's of interest to you. There are several critical aspects of paver installation. One is the understanding of the type of existing soil base you are working with and how much base is required to stabilize the sub base and provide a well-compacted site for your pavers. <br>I'm certain that you'll get several replies to this because its a popular subject. <p>----------<br>Lanelle<br>

Stonehenge
04-18-2000, 10:40 PM
I would be remiss if I didn't join in. This is certainly a profitable area to get into. The Canadian side of Niagra Falls has incredible amounts of pavers, 100's of thousands of square feet. And an advantage with this over lawn care: It's a much more specialized skill, one with a few more barriers to entry, not like lawn care, where your neighbor down the street with a mower and a p/u can be a competitor. <p>As Paul said there are some great threads here - Lot's of info on how to set a paver base, the tools we use, different variations on how we run things...And you'll get different perspectives - I run a small, residential operation, Paul runs a larger commercial operation, Lanelle's is mostly commercial and of good size also (I believe), along with many others I'm sure I'm forgetting.<p>Follow the above advice and check with some local distributors/mfgs for classes. Good Luck!

kermit
04-18-2000, 11:51 PM
Adam, I've been doing interlock since 1980 and frankly there is a lot of competition in the business. If you really want to get into the business you can rent everything you need. It's a great way to find out what equipment is good, and you don't tie up all your capitol. Once you know that you can be competitive you can buy the equipment you need.<br>Both permacon and Unilock have classes in your area although you are a little late in the season to start out. technical info is readily available on line from manufacturers.<br>As I said earlier, there is a lot of competition in this area, really bad in your area. I try not to bid too much interlock as there are easier ways to make money, natural stone pays way better. It just seems that everyone and his brother are in the interlock business. They start up, do lousy work which fails within the first or second winter and go belly up when they can't afford to do the call backs. Make sure you do it right,the base being very important with our deep frosts, use some creative patterns to distinguish yourself from your competition, don't do the work too cheap. Here in Eastern Ontario interlock averages 8-14 bucks a square foot installed, given average conditions. You won't make any friends among other contracters if you price way below market, remember, they know their costs or they wouldn't still be in business. Ask your supplier what they know about price in your area. The more you lay the less you pay per square foot, so your costs will be more than a large contracter, good luck.

steveair
04-19-2000, 06:44 AM
Here in New Jersey competition can be very fierce for doing paver work. Some guys do nothing but paver work and can outbid the living hek out of you. Its crazy, but I've heard people doing jobs for 3.50 a sq ft. It's nuts.<p>On the average, jobs are going for around 8-10 sq ft. A not so high number, especially if you are only doing a few hundred sq ft. Can be especially hard to make money if you do not the right setup and can set the job up right.<p>Myself, I don't even try to compete with pricing. I just don't have the crew or setup to do paver work for some of the prices that other people charge.<p>I base my paver work on quality, not price, and it works well. I end up being 2-3 more per sq foot than others, but I guarantee the quality of my work, which goes a long way.<br>Attention to the little details, like cutting in edges, laying unique patterns, etc. can go a long way in getting the job. <p>I don't know how the market is up there, but if you have no experience and plan to compete with some of these other guys out there on bigger jobs, it may be very difficult. They can do the jobs for far less than a guy who does paver work less frequently. <p>steveair <br>

Stonehenge
04-19-2000, 10:45 PM
I would imagine that $3.50/sqft price was for a display, or something where the company is getting some PR value from it. Otherwise, it simply can't be done that cheaply and make money. The cheapest brick here (and I know the brick here is cheaper than most other places) is $1.40/sqft for concrete Holland. <p>Now I can't say I know anything about the market you're in, so I can't guess at what you could get per sqft, especially being a newby. Sure, there's competition, but it can't be any worse than the competition for lawn maintenance. And when it comes to this service, there are all kinds of market niches you can cater to, while in lawn maintenance (at least from what I read in the lawn maint forum) cost seems to be the only factor. So you can be high cost/high margin, and still have your schedule full. But I think that'll only come after you've developed a body of work that you can impress customers with. Prepare to eat some humble pie for the first couple years.