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View Full Version : Does hardscaping ruin your personal life?


Steiner
07-13-2011, 11:37 PM
Working on our biggest project to date. Walls, fire pit, lighting, plants, privacy fence, the whole nine yards.

Anyway we usually do plantings, design, mulch, trimming, basic landscaping stuff.

But man the last few weeks; I am coming home sore, tired, and grumpy. I want to go to bed shortly after I get home and I think my girlfriend is getting annoyed.

Up at 6, road by 7, pulling block all day, cutting with demo saw, hot sun, customers calling, scheduling deliveries, my butt is dragging by 4.

I am behind on all my paperwork, my laundry is backing up, and my friends are wondering who I am....

Does this happen to you guys?

Tell me your best "Hardscaping ruined my personal life story."

Then the vets can chime in with strategies to not get so tired.

Jb3NH
07-13-2011, 11:43 PM
haha yeah.

long story short, upgraded to girlfriend 2.0

she loves to cook and eases me out of sleep mode gently.

issue resolved

iowa
07-14-2011, 12:08 AM
Delegation.
Posted via Mobile Device

DVS Hardscaper
07-14-2011, 12:10 AM
yep! I have a stck of receipts that need entered in QB, and 3 months of bank statements that need reconciled! Weekends is family time (moto-cross (I've been getting my kid into racing) tractor pulls, drag strip, time on the river, last weekend was Monster Truck Jam at M&T Stadium). So I slowly enter this stuff in during the week.

Designs?? Ummm......after doing designs for the last 15 years - designs become the last thing you wanna do.

Grumpy?? I'm only grumpy when we don't have work. Which hasn't been the case this year :)

Social Life? We try to go out every other Sat night. The guy down the road cuts my grass. During the week I go to his house to pay him (he's also a friend). He has buddies there pitching horse shoes. He offers me a beer. "Nope, no beer, I have work to do".

I like our demo work. No designs. I can price and sell the work from my house. And no heavy lifting!


,

DVS Hardscaper
07-14-2011, 12:32 AM
delegation sure sounds really cool! But it's not that simple! If you're able to delegate, then that means you have many other responsibilities you're tending too!

You get back what you put in.

Theres a landscaper in the area, successful, lives in a HUGE, NICE home seperate from his business, been in business at least 31 years. He probably has at least 25 employees. And I see him out watering flowers at his maintenance sites in the evenings and weekends, I see him marking out for new commercial installs on weekends.

Just like farming, except we take our work on the road. It becomes a way of life.


,

Karmascapes
07-14-2011, 01:26 PM
My wife used to be the one to call at 2pm and ask what time i'd be home, that drove me nuts... we finally had a come to jesus meeting and now i don't hear from her at all during the day unless its an emergency or about a job.

Marek
07-14-2011, 02:41 PM
DVS where do your kids race at ? What class do they run ? My boys raced for years with mama and d7

Murphy's Law
07-14-2011, 03:59 PM
My mother called me at the end of July last year saying we haven't seen you since Easter! She was right but only my wife and my dogs saw me for about 3 months. I do make up for it in the winter. My social life has an inverse relationship to the weather!

OutdoorCreations
07-14-2011, 06:41 PM
On the bigger jobs we have done in the past I am a nervous grumpy SOB. The weather is what makes me the most frustrated. I am still trying to learn how to deal with this. I am young and still trying to get my business established, so it is all stressful now that I think about it...

eastcoastjessee
07-14-2011, 06:53 PM
Not so much just the hardscaping but landscaping in general. At work by 5:30 or 6, work til 6 everyday. Sometimes later, had a meeting last week that didn't end til 9:30 but there were a few cold ones involved. Had one this week that ended at 8:30. I'm younger and makes it hard to have fun and do the things i enjoy. My GF is understanding to a point but is growing tired of it.

I do find myself asking the question, is it worth it?

OutdoorCreations
07-14-2011, 07:11 PM
East Coast, I feel the same way a lot of the time. Is the view worth the climb???

STL Ponds and Waterfalls
07-14-2011, 07:18 PM
Running a business in general is time comsuming. I like being small so I can take off when I want/need to, so I stay sane. Kinda of sane at least.

shovelracer
07-14-2011, 09:08 PM
East Coast, I feel the same way a lot of the time. Is the view worth the climb???

Sometimes you have to decide to climb cause it is all your heart says you should do. The other option is to not do it and regret that you should have.

Any service business takes time from personal life. The owner of our local nursery works 7 days a week. If you need to find him he is at the office, July 4th, New Years, 2AM in a snow storm. My neighbor paints professionally, he leaves at 6 and gets home about 6-8 each night. I work 70-90hrs a week myself, I allot myself 2 half days during the weekends each month to spend time with the family in a "fun" setting.

DVS Hardscaper
07-14-2011, 09:44 PM
DVS where do your kids race at ? What class do they run ? My boys raced for years with mama and d7

He's just getting into it. He's only 7 and has a sweet little KTM 50 Mini-Adventurer, 1 speed, it's fast and has a real suspension! I made him a small track with small jumps our our property. Cept he doesn't like riding on it because its on the back of the property and there's no audience. He's very comfortable on the bike, and quite the hellian, taking turns super fast, getting air, etc. His idle is Travis Pastrana.

He's been doing some practicing at Tomahawk this fall I'm hoping to get him racing (if time allows).


http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e124/DVS360/Ryan/IMG_1304.jpg

DVS Hardscaper
07-14-2011, 09:50 PM
Running a business in general is time comsuming. I like being small so I can take off when I want/need to, so I stay sane. Kinda of sane at least.

Yep, there are some perks to having a small biz. In a few weeks I plan to shut down for 1 week. 3 days at the beach, and 4 days at home getting some chores around the property done, and drinking beer with the neighbor!



,

JDiepstra
07-14-2011, 09:53 PM
Sounds like u need to get in better shape!
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stuvecorp
07-15-2011, 12:55 AM
I have pretty much given up trying to have a life and do this, so am not sure it is really worth it?

Marek
07-15-2011, 07:50 AM
DVS
The 50s were the most fun by far.My one son started racing when he was 4 on a pw50 then to a Cobra 50 and on to a 65. The two older kids started on 65s and went on from there. MAMA is a great place to start racing ,they have a full day practice on Sat and race on sunday . I miss those days , we would leave on Friday after school and camp at the track till we left on Sunday night .The kids used to race 25 weekends a year. We used to watch Pastrana when he was 14 at Budds , he was amazingly fast back then too.Back then they had this beat up motorhome and 16' carmate trailer, its been neat watching him transform into a legend. look up mamamx.com they used to run Tommahawk sometimes but there wasnt alot of room to park.

White Gardens
07-15-2011, 09:35 AM
DVS- Nice Katoom you've got in the pic. My favorite dirt bike growing up was the KTM enduro bike. Got one as soon as they came out with it, and it was still white with purple graphics.

My early 80's 125 husqvarna was a sweet bike too. So light and balanced.

Now with a business and a family, I wouldn't even think about getting back on a dirt bike. Can't take the risk of getting injured and not working.

Heck, I can't even play sports anymore. Broke my thumb playing basketball about 4 years ago, and that was the end of that. What I wouldn't give to be in a soft-ball league again also, but I love diving for fly balls and the such, so again I'm afraid of injury.

When it comes to family, I've made it a point to at least be home around 7p.m. this year. Sometimes I have a later night, but not too often.

The wife doesn't care, just as long as I keep bringing in the money.

....

MDLawn
07-15-2011, 12:28 PM
My little tidbit may not matter to most here but for me it is a YES. Now my difference from most all of you dare I say it.....I'm a part time. Now before you bash me, I did it right with taxes, ins, and such with possible plans of full time. After a weekend sod job kicked my butt and I missed a fun party with my son I'm calling it quits at years end. I don't have a "desk" job for my fulltime and it's a really fun job. I just like doing the landscape work and for part time it paid really well. Any business ownership takes time from your life, some just pay better than others with not so much work involved. I'm sure when spring comes around I'll be debating doing some work again but I know I cannot. I'd have to work 10 times as hard to make the same money&benefits I do now at my job. Not to mention I get about 4-8 paid weeks off.

RLLServicesCT
07-18-2011, 02:46 AM
Yes, personal life=destroyed. Family and friends rarely see me and if they do they are shocked. Work 7 days a week 14-18hr days between starting at 6 and working around the shop and office till late every night. Social life is at the coffee shop and gas station...yes it's pathetic, but everything is paid for and I keep building. Luckily no wife or gf to answer to at this time, but I'm too tired to really do anything else but work. Once the last gf left, it's been all business.
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Cornell
07-18-2011, 03:42 AM
I rarely see friends and if I do its at night on Saturday. Sunday is the day I try to relax.

Mon-Sat its up at 5:30 hour drive to work, 10-14 hour day, drive home, eat, talk a little bit to gf. Sleep and repeat.

Ecoscapes
07-18-2011, 07:58 AM
It sure can if you let it! My story in a nutshell; started small biz about 10 years ago landscaping, mowing, did a few small stonewalls and stone walkways, then it was all about hardscaping. This one huge job that spanned about 3 years almost broke me, stone walls, patios, walks, etc., but the glory of completion was and is great. After that project I should have said ok that's enough hardscaping for a lifetime, but the work kept coming, I'm still going but now looking for a way out. Half my problem is finding laborers that want to do this hard work, the other half is I'm worn out from doing so much of it and trying to get everything perfect. We don't have the migrant workforce up here, we got drunks and guys that want all the glory for themselves. I'm mostly a one man operation, got a mini ex last year and getting more equipment work now, that's a relief. I've had a good run with the stonework, left my mark, I'm fine with moving on but its hard when its your bread and butter! A few rich folks I've worked for told me to start investing, do the stonework for the love of it and not to make a living, I think I agree, I've been studying the stock market and realestate investing for a few years now, and feeling much better about the future. Physically I gotta make a comeback, the stonework has beaten me up pretty good, I'm amazed how some guys can do it for a living into old age but for me I can tell I better get on some lighter duty work or I'll be crippled later on! Well time to go to work -

2brothersyardcare
07-18-2011, 10:14 AM
Yes, personal life=destroyed. Family and friends rarely see me and if they do they are shocked. Work 7 days a week 14-18hr days between starting at 6 and working around the shop and office till late every night. Social life is at the coffee shop and gas station...yes it's pathetic, but everything is paid for and I keep building. Luckily no wife or gf to answer to at this time, but I'm too tired to really do anything else but work. Once the last gf left, it's been all business.
Posted via Mobile Device

were are you out of?

prosper
07-18-2011, 01:25 PM
Are the long days that everyone talks about here due to the fact that you have your own buisness or is it the nature of the industry? Are the long days just for the warm season? HO asking a ?

prosper
07-18-2011, 01:31 PM
I'm still going but now looking for a way out. Half my problem is finding laborers that want to do this hard work, the other half is I'm worn out from doing so much of it and trying to get everything perfect. We don't have the migrant workforce up here, we got drunks and guys that want all the glory for themselves. I'm mostly a one man operation, got a mini ex last year and getting more equipment work now, that's a relief. I've had a good run with the stonework, left my mark, I'm fine with moving on but its hard when its your bread and butter! A few rich folks I've worked for told me to start investing, do the stonework for the love of it and not to make a living, I think I agree, I've been studying the stock market and realestate investing for a few years now, and feeling much better about the future. Physically I gotta make a comeback, the stonework has beaten me up pretty good, I'm amazed how some guys can do it for a living into old age but for me I can tell I better get on some lighter duty work or I'll be crippled later on! Well time to go to work -

Be carefull leaving what you know and even more carefull with investing in things like real estate. There are tons of builders that are going out of buisness in my area and my market is better than alot out there. Remember you do have skills that you can control, working a desk type job takes the control over. Stock market is very hard to invest in as a job and make money, lots of taxes too. I think the real estate and stock market "easy money period" is over. I know lots of people that are on the side of the fence that you are speaking of (investing, desk job, hot skills) that are losing there shirt.

"guys that want all the glory for themselves"
what does that mean, just curious

Steiner
07-18-2011, 01:51 PM
I think what is wise is to put money away from hardscaping and let those dollars become your employees and work for you while you sleep.

On my regular landscaping jobs I try to pull in about 20% of the profit and invest it, but because hardscaping is so demanding I think I will bump it up to 30%.

Really the best strategy is to work smart not hard. Invest in tools that take the strain off your mind and body.

-Chris

DVS Hardscaper
07-18-2011, 02:19 PM
And hardscaping can lead to better things. You never know when door could
Open.
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Steiner
07-18-2011, 03:17 PM
My goal has always been to get into equipment work, become an operator for hire, as my body ages.

My trajectory has been as follows:

1. Worked for other companies as landscape laborer
2. Worked for myself on small odd jobs.
3.Started business and did small scale landscaping and plant installations
4. Got more into a mixture of hardscaping/landscaping/design
5. Now moving toward hardscaping/drainage/design/equipment work...

Ecoscapes
07-19-2011, 08:14 AM
Right about hardscaping leading to better things;

Steiner; our trajectories are very similar; if I didn't take a chance on financing my mini ex last year many doors would not have opened, and I do see myself going into more equipment based jobs, especially with the 360 degree cherry picker attachment for mini, place stones with less fuss, should be getting a tractor soon as well so I'll focus on tractor work and mini ex. There's always drainage work to do! I just took stonework to the limit, hoping to phase out of the hard labor just in time as my wrists and knees start to click and clack.
With realestate I was thinking of $20000 to 40000 lots, it'd be a small down payment and small monthly payment, put in a driveway, timber value, and resell down the road. Our area is somewhat sheltered from the realestate bubble, lots are being developed and new construction exists. Wouldn't be dealing with buying houses; not a carpenter, nor do I want that kind of debt to sit on. Stock market is doable part time, in winter, I'm no gambler but pay attention to a few companies and ride the upswings.
Office job is not an option.

They want all the glory means they want to be thier own boss, understandable but you have to start somewhere, I worked for other outfits years ago, gotta work your way up, just seems like everyone wants to instantly do there own thing. Thanks for the helpfull coments!

SVA_Concrete
07-20-2011, 10:57 PM
so hardscaping ruins you guys personal lives yet you still have time to complain about it here on the intraweb.

:confused:

zedosix
07-21-2011, 05:06 PM
hardscaping and ignoring your better half is what ruins your personal life. There always has to be time for your loved ones no matter what you do.

mdlwn1
07-21-2011, 05:53 PM
The women either support it/you or they don't...doesn't seem to be any middle ground.

DVS Hardscaper
07-25-2011, 09:25 PM
This is a fast paced industry. You gotta close the sale before the prospective buyer decides they'ed rather build that detached garage instead. To maintain success takes dedication. To close sales often means putting prospective clients ahead of your own time.

On the other hand, this industry can be very good to you. Those that have been successfully doing hardscapes can look around at what they have. I'm not gloating by any stretch, and it hasn't been an easy journey, but to put this in prospective - I live in a rural community full of great people, in one of the most beautiful parts of the United States. often times as I drive home at night with a full moon and I look at the beauty, I often think how well hardscaping has done for me.


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zedosix
07-25-2011, 09:44 PM
This is a fast paced industry. You gotta close the sale before the prospective buyer decides they'ed rather build that detached garage instead. To maintain success takes dedication. To close sales often means putting prospective clients ahead of your own time.

On the other hand, this industry can be very good to you. Those that have been successfully doing hardscapes can look around at what they have. I'm not gloating by any stretch, and it hasn't been an easy journey, but to put this in prospective - I live in a rural community full of great people, in one of the most beautiful parts of the United States. often times as I drive home at night with a full moon and I look at the beauty, I often think how well hardscaping has done for me.


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I totally agree with your comments especially the first one about closing the sale. Nothing worse than letting your prospective customers "sleep on it" for a day, let alone a week. Do the quote get it to them and you'll draw more business guaranteed.

I also step back and look around at what I have accomplished and I gotta tell you its a great feeling to come home or to the cottage and sit on the deck looking across the water.......

all ferris
07-25-2011, 10:48 PM
How hardscaping is ruining my personal life - my hands are so ruff my wife won't let me touch her. Life sucks:laugh: