View Full Version : first real instalsation

04-13-2000, 09:30 PM
i have a customer that i mow for, and they are talking to me about how they want landscaping done, but all the contractors they talk to have a waiting list, 3 weeks just for a plan, no instalation till fall. My drawing skills are poor, nonetheless, i'd like the instalation job. i'm thinking of putting a rounded bed in their front yard and some trees in the back yard, maybe a patio? I will be honest with the customer, and i'd like a shot at it. what do I need to make a plan, i can get the drawing equipment from school. oh, and the house is on a hill, the top being towards the back, there are some drainage problems. there is an existing 2 foot brick retaining wall. i'd like to use a trencher and dig a drainage tile to go in on the down side of it, piping it to the driveway/street drain. i'm afraid though that i could destablize the retaining wall, and thats big money/liability. what are your suggestions?

04-14-2000, 12:54 AM
Paddy you had better look in some books or tech manuals. The drainage pipe goes behind not in front, of the wall.<br>There is a lot more to design than being able to draw. Do you know anything about plants? If not you will have to bone up with books and this may take more time than having someone else do the plan. There is a raeson most landscape firms are booked up months in advance, if you're anygood you are in great demand.<br>If you really want to gat started in the design/build business you need to do your homework. Either hire a designer(lots should be getting out of school about now) or learn yourself. We all started out at the bottom but your learning curve will be very steep. Many people learn on the job or take formal education. Check the licencing requirements in your area before you get into trouble and remember to get insurance because things tend to go wrong when you have little experience. Good luck.

04-14-2000, 02:59 PM
that makes sense, and i have read that, about drainage supposed to be behind retaining walls. Is it possible to trench up there, and not worry about the wall falling over? i talked to my teacher today, and i'm gonna try to draw up a plan at least. first i'm gonna try to design the beds, location and shape, then add in major items like trees, and then smaller plants. so far as plants, i'm gonna look around and see what people use already. I know what they look like, but not the names. I don't like azaleas, they look ok when they are blooming, but the rest of the time they look sick, i associate them with tired landscapes

04-14-2000, 09:01 PM
Paddy, why are you so concerned about drainage behind the wall? Is it failing?Unless there is a problem or you know there is no drainage, leave the wall alone, you'll only make a mess and you'll become liable if anything goes wrong.<br>You better find out a lot more about plants before you start placing them whereever. It doesn't matter what plants you like, it's what the client wants, and where you advise them the plant will do well. Study,study, study, you can't know too much. We are all learning but you are at the steep part of the learning curve. If you want to make a good impression on your customer then you had better have some answers. If you screw up the job your name will be mud and they'll be sure to tell their friends who did this crappy job. They won't care that you did it cheap or that you're still learning. Take the time to learn how to do the job properly. You haven't indicated whether or not you need a contractors licence where you are. If you get caught without one bye-bye profit. Also make sure you have insurance, things sure can go wrong. If you get sued you could loose everything.