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JimLewis
08-06-2011, 07:25 PM
Well, I haven't been around Lawnsite much this year. Too busy working. We've grown by over 50% in sales over last year and last year was a record year. We grew last year by over $500,000 (45%). This year's growth has been even more. It's been non stop work every day. All season. Crazy.....

Anyway, here's a recent job. These photos are mostly of the hardscape, since that's the forum I'm in. But the whole back yard was taken down to bare dirt on the first day. We installed pretty much everything in these photos. Plants, trees, steps, lawn, irrigation, lighting....

Thought I'd throw you guys a bone and post a few photos for once......

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JimLewis
08-06-2011, 07:26 PM
A few more photos of the project....


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JimLewis
08-06-2011, 07:30 PM
And here are some photos of the rest of the landscape.....


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DVS Hardscaper
08-06-2011, 07:35 PM
That's ok Jim, no need to xplain your absentism. I think a letter just went out to you stating we're going to have to demote your rank here.



Where's the step's handrails?


Also, the pavers. Go back to all the topics in this hardscape forum. I have a topic about Nicolock's Stone Ridge having too many little pavers. By "little" I was referring to pavers that are almost 4x8's. I had stated that most manufacturers all buy the same molds.

Well, anyway - the pavers in your pics look close to the pavers in the topic I was referring to. And I'm seeing alotta 4x8ish pavers! Looks like what I'm talking bout in my other thread.

Some of the planting is disportioned. Like the 2 barberrys round the tree - not the best use of the space, doesn't do much. And I see some other plants that need better grouping and arranging. Other than the steps with no rails, I like it. And for the record, we're about to do a job with railless steps, too :)



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tadpole
08-06-2011, 09:51 PM
Thought I'd throw you guys a bone and post a few photos for once......

Grrr! Gnaw! Grr! Gnaw! Gnaw! Grr! Ruf!

JimLewis
08-07-2011, 12:24 AM
.....the pavers in your pics look close to the pavers in the topic I was referring to. And I'm seeing alotta 4x8ish pavers!..

Well, you may not dig it but my customers are loving that pattern. I always show people a variety of patterns from patios we've done to see what they like. I get 3x more requests for that pattern than any other one I've done. It's just a Muster K pattern with 50% of the 8x8 squares being replaced by 4x8s instead. Breaks it up more. The use of 3 sizes, rather than 2, is more interesting to most people. It appears more random than the regular Muster K pattern does.

xtreem3d
08-07-2011, 05:02 PM
Jim,
Congrats on a nice job also congrats on growing the business...what do you attribute the substanial growth to this year and last?
Steve
PS in the 8th pic down it looks like you did a nice job of scribing the pavers to the column

JimLewis
08-07-2011, 05:38 PM
Thanks Steve.

I'll P.M. you on what's causing all the growth. That's more information than I like to let out in general public. Too many of my competitors reading this forum...

KrayzKajun
08-07-2011, 06:21 PM
Beautiful work Jim.

Congrats on the business growth. You definitly have a good business plan

scagrider22
08-07-2011, 08:40 PM
Thanks Steve.

I'll P.M. you on what's causing all the growth. That's more information than I like to let out in general public. Too many of my competitors reading this forum...

Pm me also please, besides doing nice work I would also like to hear what you have done to gain more business. We almost doubled in size in the last two summers and Im considering droping the maintenance side because its been a real strugle for me to find good employees to cut fricken grass. :dizzy: Everything looks good Jim!

CALandscapes
08-07-2011, 11:52 PM
Jim,

Nice work! If it makes you feel any better, we're currently installing two sets of steps that are lacking handrails, as well (ha!)

I'm eager to hear about the cause of the substantial growth, as well..

Thanks in advance

-Chase

White Gardens
08-08-2011, 12:46 AM
Awesome work Jim! As Usual!

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JimLewis
08-08-2011, 01:46 AM
Here's a couple of BEFORE photos from that same project. This isn't a true before photo. This is what it looked like right after we took out a few of the big old trees and the old deck. After this photo, we proceeded to take out everything else in the yard. Like I said before, it was down to bear dirt once we started the install part.

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silverado212
08-08-2011, 08:32 PM
Looks nice man

nepatsfan
08-08-2011, 08:43 PM
Nice work....i also noticed the scribing against the rock. well done

DVS Hardscaper
08-08-2011, 08:51 PM
...... Im considering droping the maintenance side because its been a real strugle for me to find good employees to cut fricken grass. :dizzy:

That would be a bad move. That would be like a new car dealership dropping it's service department and only selling cars. The service dept is where a dealerships cash flow comes from. Same principle for lawn and landscape maintenance.

You think its bad finding peoPle to mow? Finding people that can read and use a tape measure is even harder.

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DVS Hardscaper
08-08-2011, 08:58 PM
Those that are lacking handrails, just make sure your contract reflects.

Last week I came out my kitchen porch. It was pitch black outside. I missed the top two steps and fell forward in a side wards motion. What saved me from breaking my neck is my reaction was to grab onto the handrail. And I instantly thought "so that's what those are for"!

When we do jobs without handrails or safety rails my contract will ALWAYS say "handrails and or safety rails to be installed by others". This way in 4 years when someone misses a step like I did, the liability comes back to the home owners. And all my proposals are always written with the names that appear on the state's Real Property Data website. Never do I write a contract out to the name of the individual that initially called for an estimate. This way the mrs (or whomever) can't say "I never agreed to that"z
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scagrider22
08-08-2011, 09:49 PM
That would be a bad move. That would be like a new car dealership dropping it's service department and only selling cars. The service dept is where a dealerships cash flow comes from. Same principle for lawn and landscape maintenance.

You think its bad finding peoPle to mow? Finding people that can read and use a tape measure is even harder.

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Posted via Mobile Device

I started the business without maintenance and we did fine, I actually dont have as much trouble finding labor for the hardscaping because I can afford to pay them more. It would be nice to have the cash flow from maintenance but I dont have enough maintenance work to hire a manager (baby sitter) and I really never wanted it to grow big, I only did it so I wouldnt lose touch with customers which means possibly losing future landscape work. My cousin who got me into the business years ago does really well and has become wealthy only doing patios and walls. I have a lot of thinking to do this winter.

DVS Hardscaper
08-08-2011, 09:57 PM
I at one time was wealthy from only patios and walls.

Then, everyone else started doing it and my bubble burst. As a market grows (development - more houses, shopping centers) so does the sum of landscape contractors. At one time I paid very well. Competition in a recession brought that to an end.

The mowing guys are like McDonalds workers. They do the same thing every day. Installation, you have to think for yourself and for however many people are working with you. It gets exhausting.


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nepatsfan
08-08-2011, 10:05 PM
I started the business without maintenance and we did fine, I actually dont have as much trouble finding labor for the hardscaping because I can afford to pay them more. It would be nice to have the cash flow from maintenance but I dont have enough maintenance work to hire a manager (baby sitter) and I really never wanted it to grow big, I only did it so I wouldnt lose touch with customers which means possibly losing future landscape work. My cousin who got me into the business years ago does really well and has become wealthy only doing patios and walls. I have a lot of thinking to do this winter.

5 years ago I dropped about 40 maintenance customers which was about half at the time. I was ready to get rid of all of them and now I am so glad didn't. Maybe things would work out better for you but I have since built the maintenance back up and have two maintenance crews and myself and 1 other guy hardscaping. The maintenance pays the bills. It might not be the best money but I make pretty decent money on the mowing crews. I could make a living with just maintenance. Its slow and very cut-throat for hardscaping. 90% of my work comes from mowing customers or referrals from mowing customers....that is a huge thing that you have to consider.

Hayes Outdoor
08-09-2011, 10:02 PM
Jim, please include me in that message as well I am always curious about new ideas to grow my company. Any info you have and can share is very much appreciated. By the way I think you did a great job on this project

OutdoorCreations
08-10-2011, 05:03 PM
Include me as well. I am still new to the business and am always looking for new ideas from successful contractors. Thanks in advance!

tadpole
08-10-2011, 05:43 PM
Looks like the beginnings of an Email Consulting business.

Glenn Lawn Care
08-10-2011, 05:45 PM
Thats incredible!

AzLawnMan
08-14-2011, 03:07 PM
I got so busy with installs about a year ago and it never once crossed my mind to get rid of the maintenance side of things, 60% of my install sales come from my regular maintenance customers. But as of late the install side here in Arizona has been so bad it's not worth even going on a bid. Went to a bid for 3200 sqft of holland on Friday and the first thing I asked is if she has gotten other bids, she said she had two, one for $3.50 sqft and another for $4.85 sqft. She was looking for the cheapest price so I chose not even to measure or submit a bid. Maintenance is were it starts and were it ends for me, I am expensive so what I make on one property, others have to do two and three properties.
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xtreem3d
08-14-2011, 03:51 PM
just curious what you might have charged per sq ft for the Holland Stone?. Here the stone would be about 2.20 per sq just to buy it not including fabric,rock..ect