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JCPM
03-23-2010, 09:42 AM
I've been laying pavers for years without being certified. Has anyone else been benefited by having the icpi certification?
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Kevin332
03-23-2010, 09:57 AM
Very beneficial plus looks great on resume for bidding a job

Woodland
03-23-2010, 12:00 PM
The information taught in the course is very helpful, especially if your just starting out and assuming you take a class taught by someone who knows what their talking about and doesn't just read you the book (I took an NCMA cert course that was like the latter). As far as benefit...people seem to put some stalk in the "certified" logo. I don't tell them that the "test" I had to take was multiple choice and easier than a 5th grade science test.

Rex Mann
03-23-2010, 12:30 PM
It helps our company get jobs. It creates value. which is what we try to create and sell to clients. Others, usually not ICPI, are selling on price.

Peace,

Rex

http://PaverExperts.Com

Bru75
03-23-2010, 01:44 PM
I've had customers tell me that they chose to call me because of the icpi logo in my ad.
It doesn't hurt to have it.

landscapediva
04-01-2010, 03:25 PM
We're certified also. Would recommend ICPI and NCMA (retaining wall) certifications?

JCPM
04-01-2010, 05:27 PM
How hard is the exam? I didn't give it much thought until they emailed me the study guide.
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jamo1911
04-01-2010, 11:08 PM
Get certified, if you learn 1 thing - and you will - it will be worth is. Obviously get the NCMA as well. Goes without saying.

Rex Mann
04-01-2010, 11:34 PM
Pass rate is 90%. There are 100 questions. 75 true and false, 25 multiple choice. No math or essays. No time limit to take the test.

Peace,

Rex

http://pavers.ning.com/

Bru75
04-01-2010, 11:34 PM
How hard is the exam? I didn't give it much thought until they emailed me the study guide.
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It's easy.

JCPM
04-03-2010, 06:47 PM
I took the test this afternoon. It wasn't too bad. Some of the stuff like soil sieve testing and density testing was a little involved for a 2 day course. The class had a lot of great information overall.
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DVS Hardscaper
04-03-2010, 09:04 PM
For the record, with all due respect, one of the responses on the 1st page is from someone that is an ICPI instructor. www.biasedopinion.com

I have not made mention of my ICPI certification for at least 5 years. Which I currently have let run out. Everyone and their brother is certified. We have one contractor in the area that is ICPI certified. They do terrible work. they do not use any geo-textile fabric. I could go on and on about their pathetic paver install practices. So much for that certification class and test he/they took. But that logo sure does look nice on their proposal!

Folks, get real - this is what sells work:

1) Passion for the work and passion for your company
2) An extensive portfolio of completed jobs
3) Display of extensive knowledge for the work / product.
4) References (BTW - I supply references of clients of whom we've done work for not 6 months ago - but of clients whom we did work for 2-3 years ago. It takes around 3 yrs to see the effects of a job done wrong)
5) No complaints on your state contractors license
6) A professional, DETAILED proposal. TYPED NOT hand written

Logo and all that. Great. Fine. Is the logo REALLY helping you, or is it making your local competitors feel compelled to become ICPI certified which in turn is helping ICPI make money???? Remember back in the 90's when everyone had Oakley logos on their windshields? Did girls stop you and say "whoa sexy, you have an Oakley sticker, I wanna hop in bed with you"?

Dude, if you been doing pavers for years and if you have a steady stream of work - then the answer is as plain as day......


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kootoomootoo
04-03-2010, 09:07 PM
what Andrew said.

DVS Hardscaper
04-03-2010, 09:16 PM
Just had a contact come in from our webpage.

On our contact sheet I ask some questions.

Taken directly off a web hit that just came in:


"what_prompted_you_to_contact_us: pictures, and explanation of process with detaisl"




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DJJS
04-03-2010, 10:09 PM
Logo and all that. Great. Fine. Is the logo REALLY helping you, or is it making your local competitors feel compelled to become ICPI certified which in turn is helping ICPI make money????


Being ICPI certified's helped me win a few jobs over other contractors who aren't certified, customers around here ask a lot of questions, which is great because it helps take the hacks out of the equation sometimes. The class itself helped learn some little tricks here & there, but I'd done pavers before, so I knew the basics, just wanted the certification. Certifications might not matter to all customers, or even many of them, but if that 'logo' helps me get one job a year that I might not have without it, it more then pays for itself.

DVS Hardscaper
04-04-2010, 02:42 AM
Continuing education is something that ALL business owners should partake in.

But as far as preaching certification to a client - thats a joke.

Most clients do not even know what a 'paver patio' is. They know what a 'brick patio' is.

So if they dont even know the correct term - they certainly are not concerned about dinky old interlocking concrete pavement institute.

And who is to blame for that? I blame ICPI. The 1st reason is because ICPI has their focus in the wrong direction. Their focus is on money and pulling in dollars. Here we have lawn jockeys, most with only high school educations, turned paver installers. You could not find a better group to sucker money out of. Literally. What we have here are newbe's to the paver install biz that are pumped up on ICPI and think ICPI is gospil. Talk to some SMART, competent, observant veteran contractors and they'll give you conflicting opinions (keyword: smart).

Ever hear of the 'Professional Masonry Association'?? The PMA has done something that ICPI has NOT. PMA is drawing PUBLIC awareness to the masonry industry. they have run television commercials broadcasting the advantages of having all brick homes. I have seen ads in magazines intended for HOMEOWNERS. They have done radio ads intended for homeowners. See, ICPI is stopping short of this.

What the hell good is ICPI doing if people think pavers are bricks???? If they can't differenciate between the two - they certainly dont care about Pauey's Patios being certified.

When ICPI stops giving certifications to anyone with a pulse

and

when they start drawing public awareness to the paver industry

and

when they start pulling certification from their CERTIFIED sub par contractors.....I'll start supporting ICPI again.

ICPI has some image restoration to do.

I'm all about education. But I'm about certifying contractors that are passing the test yet are operating as if they never took a test. What a freakin joke.

And maybe the forum's ICPI instructor will bring the issues to the powers to be at ICPI, and hopefully the powers to be will respond on this forum.....



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DJJS
04-04-2010, 10:30 PM
But as far as preaching certification to a client - thats a joke.




I dont 'preach' certification to my clients, but I do try to educate them. In your market ICPI certified might not mean a d*mn thing, but in my area, you'd be shocked how many homeowners are aware of what the ICPI is, theres a mason yard in town and they're constantly running ads in the local papers about selecting paving contractors and for homeowner seminars etc. They push ICPI, so when you go out to bid on a hardscape job in town, about 60% of the time, the homeowners going to ask if you're a ICPI contractor

JCPM
04-05-2010, 07:01 PM
There is actually not too many ICPI certfied installers in my area. My main reason for taking this course was to learn as much as possible and to seperate myself from other installers who may not know what they are doing.

Also, I am asked on EVERY bid if I have a trade license or certification in this field. I don't want to bid on price anymore. Even if I only pick up one job a year from having the ICPI certificate, its worth it to me.
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