PDA

View Full Version : Equipment photos


Pages : 1 2 3 4 [5] 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13

oakwdman
08-06-2008, 07:20 PM
you guys arent hauling the concrete out by yourselves are you?

meets1
08-06-2008, 10:23 PM
Been there - done that!

I would image you have a crew taking out the crete and they probably grind/recyle the old. All that money at one time being taken out.

In my climate, i do take out a few patio's due to cracking etc. I have yet to tear out a paver patio/walk/drive due to cracking.

Can't wait to see the 'after' pictures!

PlatinumLandCon
08-06-2008, 10:33 PM
There are two types of stamped concrete. Concrete that has cracked and concrete that will crack.


You got it brother. Not meant for the winters up here. Can't wait for the afters.

P.S. Over 1000 posts!

Petr51488
08-06-2008, 11:19 PM
Wow, that golf course looks amazing. You sure have your head screwed on straight! Nice job.

Cooter
08-07-2008, 03:06 AM
Yeah, there are two absolutes with concrete. It is hard. It will crack. I'm sure it will look awesome when finished.

02DURAMAX
08-08-2008, 02:19 AM
Can't Wait to see pics!!

1993lx172
08-09-2008, 12:12 PM
I just got through reading the thread and you guys have done some very nice work.

Kennedy Landscaping
08-09-2008, 10:24 PM
do you use tireshine or anything. also do you wax that tailer....shiny!

etwman
08-14-2008, 07:14 PM
We've been there 6 days and this is where we are at.

6534 sf of pavers down
5 tractor trailer loads, 53 skids, 172,000 lbs of pavers.
4 man crew
Perimeter cuts tomorrow and sand
Gone by 5 p.m. Friday, that'll be day 7.

On too the next one.

mrusk
08-14-2008, 09:09 PM
As I read your stats for the job, I was figuring that the pattern was something simple!

So what did you to to insure that the pattern met up properly as you made your way around the circle. Around a pool I always run a ton of lines. It doesn't look like you could run a ton of string lines on that job.

I assume you subbed out the concrete removal/excavation. It had to be near 250 yards excavated if there is a 12 inch base.

etwman
08-14-2008, 09:32 PM
The pattern is simple, its herringbone. Stop watching birds and start studying hardscape manuals.

We ran string lines all over the place and it met up. The key is knowing how to run lines in this situation.

The country club used an excavator they were comfortable with and we worked well together. They'll return in a few days to hot patch around the edges. When the stamped concrete came out it tore the edges, it was inevitable.

mrusk
08-14-2008, 09:36 PM
Did the excavator rough in the base?

etwman
08-14-2008, 09:37 PM
No I put it on clay Matt, I was thinking woodchips but they we went with clay.

Yes they roughed in the base and we fine tuned it. They did it to my exact specs and did a really nice job with it.

deere615
08-14-2008, 09:42 PM
Wow thats alot of pavers, Nice work!

etwman
08-14-2008, 09:45 PM
They jacked the concrete out, dug out and removed sub base down 18", and stoned the base in less than 3 days.

mag360
08-14-2008, 10:29 PM
[QUOTE=etwman;2466565]The pattern is simple, its herringbone. Stop watching birds and start studying hardscape manuals.

We ran string lines all over the place and it met up. The key is knowing how to run lines in this situation.

QUOTE]

One of the payoffs of you shelling out the payroll for established, skilled formen. The thought of getting everything to meet up there just gives me a headache.

dura to the max
08-14-2008, 11:05 PM
your work amazes me. that is awesome. you've come a long way since this thread was started.

Matt k
08-15-2008, 12:32 PM
Looks like 2 3/8" pavers to me???? 3" would have been a better choice King Jarod :)


I'm guessing no large deliveries in this area?

etwman
08-15-2008, 06:43 PM
Beginning next week they are not allowing delivery truck traffic to go over the paver areas, only cars. The trucks have to use another access area so 2 3/8 were okay. This decision was confirmed with EPHenry reps as long as the base was deep enough we were good. In addition the customer wanted the true OTC look, which as you know, isn't available in 3".

oakwdman
08-15-2008, 07:34 PM
not trying to veer this thread in a different direction but How has the 6.0L in the 550 been doin'?

etwman
08-15-2008, 09:10 PM
Just fine, knock on wood. No problems at all. It has about 60,000 miles on it now.

etwman
08-16-2008, 09:22 AM
A couple shots at end of Friday. Due to rain in the area it restricted us from Poly Sanding, we'll do it Monday morning and be gone by noon. We did get it acid washed, scrubbed, and rinsed off. We do this on every hardscape job and it brightens the colors tremendously, another item that makes us stand apart from the competition.

PORTER 05
08-16-2008, 11:40 AM
you might want to watch the birds more than you think, they have alooooooooooooot to teach you!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

amazing work , and youre trucks are freaking awsome, love the 550!!!!!!!!id love one for landscaping , one day!

Pastaboy62
08-16-2008, 02:48 PM
I only have one question. What is off road
diesel?? I have a diesel truck, and mower. I run premium diesel in
both. Seems to do the trick. Thanks again, and happy holidays!


Hey everyone listen to this!!!!!

............. Get this on road is about $1.50 gallon. Off road, $.89. Big difference. And perfectly Legal......

etwman.


From 12/23/02....Thought it was interesting...

meets1
08-16-2008, 08:55 PM
awesome job. I did one within the 3000 sq ft range. Alot of prep - laying is the easy part and I was dealing with a square so very little cutting. If I may ask, and if you may tell, what price range was this in? Did you go by sq ft for laying or was there a total bid and you sub out the excavation of concrete and base work?

etwman
08-17-2008, 08:17 AM
This is like a broken record. You don't ever go by price per sf on any paver installation. Its been said once, its been said a million times on this site. Every job is different. Truthfully I don't even know where we were at on price per sf on this job. I know my costs, my material, labor, and time it took me to do the job. Every company is different. We have a great estimating program that tell us all that information. In order to be successful in this industry you have to know your operating numbers. If you don't your shooting in the dark.

Numbers on projects is something I won't discuss on a public forum, its no different than pay rates on employees. Everyone reads this and that would not be a wise move.

meets1
08-17-2008, 01:53 PM
I here ya. I usually don't do any of the excavation work unless I have the time and equipment for the job - not transporting equipment from place to place to keep job 1 and job 2 going at the same time. I have had an engineer do his study, and one time the base was not correct due to difference in soil from point a to point b and therefore alot more prep/excavtion work needed to be done which blew the estimate/price/quote out the window!

Either way, looks great!

I do quote projects but I guess alot of times it is based on our reputation of work, time frame and uniquiness that I do for the clients. I feel sometime the higher the price the more the client wants us cuz were high and therefore I think the client senses were better!

GraZZmaZter
08-21-2008, 12:29 PM
WOW! I was going through this thread, and i was post #44! Man, that was a long time ago. (Same month i joined the site 12-02)

I now know what off-road diesel is...lol However, i dont have the diesel mower any longer. Still have the truck though. And what about the prices of diesel back than!!?!?

Still a great thread, keep up the good work Jarod.

LawnMowerKing10
08-21-2008, 01:45 PM
etwman does your stihl back pack blower backfire after use and get really hot like mine ?

cleancutccl
08-22-2008, 06:02 PM
Jarod, did you write the estimating software or are you using a box software? I'm looking to speed up our estimate process by moving to a software that we can add production times for different processes and just fill in the blanks and watch the calculations. We estimate using the MORS system which might be similar to what you do. Thanks.

TXNSLighting
08-22-2008, 06:59 PM
Its amazing the difference from the beginning of this thread... What a biz youve grown! I think this winter you need to take a pic of everything now! like a side by side. that would be cool. pavers are awesome by the way.

Tony Clifton
08-22-2008, 10:04 PM
Jarod, did you write the estimating software or are you using a box software? I'm looking to speed up our estimate process by moving to a software that we can add production times for different processes and just fill in the blanks and watch the calculations. We estimate using the MORS system which might be similar to what you do. Thanks.

How's that system working for you, and when did you purchase it?

etwman
08-22-2008, 11:00 PM
One's estimating program is only as good as knowing your employees talents and efficiencies. I have custom built our program over the years and it works very well for what we do. I can take look at an extensive plan, do a quick site visit, and usually project (within a couple man hours) how long it'll take to build it in a short time. Take me out to your project and ask me how much I would charge using your guys, equipment, etc. I'd be lost in a minute.

What estimating program is better than another? Find what works for you, know your company and its talents, and charge what you need to charge to make money. Furthermore, know what your operating expenses are, that is so vital to the success of a seasonal business. If you don't know those numbers you might as well sell now.

STIHL GUY
08-22-2008, 11:59 PM
nice equipment

meets1
08-23-2008, 12:55 AM
That is so true - know your operating expenses! That can't be said enough.

I see so many guys come and go but yet i am still here. I think to myself - at times I wonder if I am doing the right/wrong thing but something is working for me and my company.

Just got word today that a competitor of mine been in business for a while, 4 man crew, new everything - sold out today to a window washing business. He said there was no money in it, guys need badysitting, etc. Bottom line - operating expenses! KNOW THEM!

etwman
08-23-2008, 08:33 AM
There is a number, which I just happened to call the "Golden Number", which is what it cost you daily to operate your business. This would be what you have to net each day to just cash flow your company. This doesn't include gas, employees, etc. These are your fixed costs, insurance, rent/mortgage, equipment payments, and the list goes on and on. You probably could put your salary in there because you have to be paid or the company doesn't exist, but that is arguable. So many guys don't know that number, or know it and divide it out over 365 days and feel confident they'll make it work. You are in a seasonal business, divide it by 365 and it will put you in the poor house real quick. Take out winter (forget snow removal, don't even bank on that) 10 weeks, less weekends, less holidays, less .5 rain days a week, and what are you left with? About 200 working days a year. Take your annual fixed costs and divide them by 200, that'll give you your golden number of what you have to earn each day, NET, than that'll cover your operating costs. You actually want to make money, you have to exceed that golden number consistantly. Is it overly conservative, maybe, but you end up working more than 200 days a year that's money in the bank. When someone outside the industry thinks its so easy to make money in this line of work you can slap them upside the head and give them this scenerio. Tell them they would be have to work all year long, stay in their current house, make 2/3 their salary, and find a way to make it work, you'd get a good look for sure. The less debt you have, the lower that golden number. Mega debt and no assets will burn you fast. There are lots of ways to lower that Golden Number. The lower it is, the better you position yourself, the longer you will last in slow times. Lets call this business 101.

meets1
08-23-2008, 09:27 PM
ETW - that is awesome!

Enough said!=))

GroundScapesIncorporated
09-04-2008, 02:10 AM
Jarod, how bout quick tech tip on running string lines?

mag360
09-04-2008, 02:35 PM
Jarod, how bout quick tech tip on running string lines?

Hire employees who can run string lines:drinkup:

etwman
09-15-2008, 08:15 PM
Here's a couple from a project we are wrapping up in Hershey. There was about 480 linear feet of fieldstone walls and 300 or so pieces of plant material. There are Integral lights about every 8 feet that have to be hooked up along with quite a bit of uplighting in the beds. We have another sizable natural stone project coming up shortly, so yes we do natural work as well.

The second was a small firepit that we did in the same development.

With the signing of another proposal today we are just about booked for the rest of the year. We are into mid December at a minimum.

M RASCOE&SONS
09-15-2008, 08:40 PM
There is a number, which I just happened to call the "Golden Number", which is what it cost you daily to operate your business. This would be what you have to net each day to just cash flow your company. This doesn't include gas, employees, etc. These are your fixed costs, insurance, rent/mortgage, equipment payments, and the list goes on and on. You probably could put your salary in there because you have to be paid or the company doesn't exist, but that is arguable. So many guys don't know that number, or know it and divide it out over 365 days and feel confident they'll make it work. You are in a seasonal business, divide it by 365 and it will put you in the poor house real quick. Take out winter (forget snow removal, don't even bank on that) 10 weeks, less weekends, less holidays, less .5 rain days a week, and what are you left with? About 200 working days a year. Take your annual fixed costs and divide them by 200, that'll give you your golden number of what you have to earn each day, NET, than that'll cover your operating costs. You actually want to make money, you have to exceed that golden number consistantly. Is it overly conservative, maybe, but you end up working more than 200 days a year that's money in the bank. When someone outside the industry thinks its so easy to make money in this line of work you can slap them upside the head and give them this scenerio. Tell them they would be have to work all year long, stay in their current house, make 2/3 their salary, and find a way to make it work, you'd get a good look for sure. The less debt you have, the lower that golden number. Mega debt and no assets will burn you fast. There are lots of ways to lower that Golden Number. The lower it is, the better you position yourself, the longer you will last in slow times. Lets call this business 101.
i like what your saying ,its pretty cut and dry .i think im gonna start off 09 following this.thanks:drinkup:

deere615
09-15-2008, 11:58 PM
Nice work, do you guys travel far for alot of you work?

Adam's Lawn and Garden
09-16-2008, 12:09 PM
Hershey is about 20 minutes from you guys isn't it Jarod? Either way, there are some gigantic houses up there. And you mean you don't only do "EP Henry Paver Patios"...fascinating. Anyways, Looks Great! Talk to you soon.

deere615
09-16-2008, 11:34 PM
Hershey is about 20 minutes from you guys isn't it Jarod? Either way, there are some gigantic houses up there. And you mean you don't only do "EP Henry Paver Patios"...fascinating. Anyways, Looks Great! Talk to you soon.
I didn't know he was that close to hershey.

etwman
09-17-2008, 08:25 AM
Half hour up the back way. Being located 1 mile from the turnpike exit we can be in Philly, Allentown, Harrisburg, York, and Hershey all within 45 minutes.

kreft
09-17-2008, 05:18 PM
what foot ball team do you like? eagles or steelers?

etwman
10-02-2008, 08:59 AM
The Eagles because of some personal attachments. Hershey is about a 35 minute haul for us.

Attached are some pics of another project we opened up in Hershey. The fall in the back yard is pretty substantial thus the need for a 1000 sf retaining wall. It is engineered and is being constructed out of EPHenry Cov Plus Wall. Above the wall will be a two tier patio, fireplace, and pond. We will most likely build the wall, tweak the design while head to another project and come back to finish this one up later this fall. We have another project we have to be at by mid October and are full for the year so scheduling is becoming a challenge.

Earlier this week we just sold our largest residential landscape/hardscape project to date in our company's history. The project (not the one posted below) will total just under $425k and be all natural products. I normally don't post dollar figures on projects but the scope of this project needs to be put into perspective. Completion date to be late next spring, but we will start this fall. I need to get permission from the client to release photos to the public before posting the final design. It will be a masterpiece to say the least. I may consider starting a separate thread for that one but I will see. For now its labeled as Project X.

Supper Grassy
10-02-2008, 09:07 PM
Wall looks good... the start of it any way

what is the reason for two compactors the hand one and the plate one

RedMax Man
10-02-2008, 09:15 PM
Is the gray thing with orange paint on it on the side of the dirt embankment a septic tank?

cleancutccl
10-02-2008, 11:52 PM
in your trench are you using sand as a leveling pad? Just see a difference in material and don't know what it is, Here our AB3 or crushed limestone is a tan color.

etwman
10-03-2008, 08:27 AM
The compactors in the trench are a plate tamper and a jumping jack. The jumping jack will work better in a tight area and give you the compaction that you need.

Yes that is the septic tank, our grid will run right up to it.

Our 2A modified is grey crushed limestone.

kreft
10-03-2008, 04:23 PM
Do you own any of those nice toy's yet? (Skid, Mini)

mrusk
10-04-2008, 08:58 PM
Jared I got a few questions.

A few pages back you posted pictures of a dry stacked wall. It appears that you jointed the top stones with mortar. How do you think the mortar will hold up in a dry stack application with the constant freeze and thaw?

On this current job the trench looks alittle narrow. How wide do you like to dig your wall trenches? Do you put geo texile just on the bottom of the trench? I always through it was best to have it on all sides 3 sides where the base hits dirt. Whats that wacker 1550 doing in the pic? Those things are not good for anything. You don't use them for base compaction do ya?


Good luck on that big project.

etwman
10-04-2008, 10:33 PM
There's a footer in that application. The customer wanted that look for the top, looking for a cap look.

The footer for the current job is 24" wide (and 2 feet deep) since that was the bucket on the hoe. We buried two full courses. We ran textile across the base and about 12" up the sides. Different applications for different jobs according to engineers. In the NY job we actually wrapped the entire stone footer on all sides and top before laying block, just follow the engineers I suppose. The 1550 is in there just to fine tune and compact the top 1" of modified stone, that's about all it was good for in this application. For most of our compaction we use the 3545 or jumping jack (footers) with fine tuning with the 1550.

mrusk
10-04-2008, 10:56 PM
There's a footer in that application. The customer wanted that look for the top, looking for a cap look.

The footer for the current job is 24" wide (and 2 feet deep) since that was the bucket on the hoe. We buried two full courses. We ran textile across the base and about 12" up the sides. Different applications for different jobs according to engineers. In the NY job we actually wrapped the entire stone footer on all sides and top before laying block, just follow the engineers I suppose. The 1550 is in there just to fine tune and compact the top 1" of modified stone, that's about all it was good for in this application. For most of our compaction we use the 3545 or jumping jack (footers) with fine tuning with the 1550.

What type of footing does the dry laid wall have?

I too sometimes use the 1550 for the top layer of base. While 24" wide base meets industry standards I perfer wider. I dig all my footers the width of my pc150s bucket. Unless I am doing a straight wall I like to have room to play with when laying out curves. A wall never failed for to much base.

DillonsLawnCare
10-04-2008, 11:08 PM
everything is amazing!!! nice work!!!

bakerc8
10-05-2008, 01:09 PM
My 2008 fall clean up set up.

Junior M
10-05-2008, 01:26 PM
:help: what does that^^^^^ have to do with this thread? :confused:

bakerc8
10-05-2008, 02:12 PM
its equipment

Travis E
10-05-2008, 02:26 PM
its equipment

Ya but this thread is meant for etwman's equipment pictures!

MysticLandscape
10-05-2008, 04:43 PM
We go from A million dollar operation to the local kids wagon. I love this site.

bakerc8
10-05-2008, 05:25 PM
its for by my house id it part time and i work for brick man must of the time i have like 20 acounts

PlatinumLandCon
10-05-2008, 06:51 PM
its for by my house id it part time and i work for brick man must of the time i have like 20 acounts

Dude, start your own thread. Didn't you notice how long this one is????:dizzy:

Ch2008
10-05-2008, 07:03 PM
LOL,

love the wagon!

BTW threads not just for ETW's equip, ask him:) I think he posted it on page 27, lol

Green Team Landscaping
10-05-2008, 07:18 PM
Hahahahaha where did that kid come from? I got some hate mail from him before, and if he has a "jhon deere z turn", then why isn't there a pic of it, and why does he type like he's 5?

etwman
10-05-2008, 08:24 PM
Awe, c'mon leave the poor kid alone, you bunch of thugs. For all you know he could be the next Bill Gates. I seem to recall pushing a mower around at 8. But yeah, he could start another threat with that....

RedMax Man
10-05-2008, 09:09 PM
Awe, c'mon leave the poor kid alone, you bunch of thugs. For all you know he could be the next Bill Gates. I seem to recall pushing a mower around at 8. But yeah, he could start another threat with that....

Reminds us of our humble beginnings.

mag360
10-05-2008, 10:01 PM
its for by my house id it part time and i work for brick man must of the time i have like 20 acounts

A lot of new members see the title to this thread and post pics of their equipment. If you have a day or so free start reading from the first page and prepare to be inspired. Welcome to Lawnsite :drinkup:

dura to the max
10-05-2008, 11:20 PM
LOL,

love the wagon!

BTW threads not just for ETW's equip, ask him:) I think he posted it on page 27, lol

ETW did start this thread from the begining, i think he posted on like page one...

Junior M
10-05-2008, 11:23 PM
I have never read this thread all the way through but I have read the first couple pages and have been keeping up lately and I just figured this thread was for etwman and his jobs and equipment..

etwman
10-05-2008, 11:29 PM
It's got a little bit of everything in it, perk yourself a good pot of coffee, and head to the couch with the laptop.

RedMax Man
10-06-2008, 05:19 PM
It's got a little bit of everything in it, perk yourself a good pot of coffee, and head to the couch with the laptop.

Just to clarify, the morning time would be reccomended unless you want to pull an all-nighter:)

Supper Grassy
10-06-2008, 05:29 PM
this thread takes HOURS to read...... Dont ask how i know

dura to the max
10-06-2008, 06:56 PM
this thread takes HOURS to read...... Dont ask how i know

i second that...it was a good read though.

bakerc8
10-06-2008, 07:47 PM
i do have a zero turn its in the shop and i will get a pic of it when i have a chance

oakhillslandscaping
10-06-2008, 07:56 PM
in defense of etwman i think his wagon is bigger hahaha

Ch2008
10-06-2008, 10:07 PM
lol, well maybe:)

Superior L & L
10-06-2008, 10:49 PM
in defense of etwman i think his wagon is bigger hahaha

20' enclosed trailer and wagons have the same number of wheels !!!!

etwman
10-09-2008, 06:41 PM
Attached is the plan of this project. The lower tier will have a fireplace. The boulder wall, as seen on the original plan, was replaced with a 1000 sf SRW wall for stability purposes. With this much area up top the safer bet was an engineered wall with 300 tons of 3/4 clean stone as backfill.

We've been on this project 8 days, lower wall will be done tomorrow. We estimated 10 days for lower wall construction with all excavation. By the time we grade and seed the lower lawn it'll be right at 10.

Great customers, neat project.

JRSlawn
10-09-2008, 07:05 PM
Jared your designer is good I have never been able to find a designer to spec a plan like that the last design I worked off of said as many steps a necessary in one section. Keep up the good work!

mrusk
10-09-2008, 09:58 PM
8 days to get that wall up? How many guys?


What concerns me most is that the entire backfill area is clean stone if I read right. I have had extensive discussions with my engineer about this very topic. Clean stone does not 'hold' grid, the way any materials with fines will. We NEVER backfill reinforced walls with all clean. We would put 12" of clean behind the wall and then fill the rest of the area with imported bank run. Yes it takes longer, but its a better install.

etwman
10-09-2008, 10:31 PM
5 days with two guys, 3 days with three. We don't mess around.

The 60 pages of engineering plans for this project, which are stamped, indicate a six foot set back of cleaned stone for drainage purposes. I confirmed this with EPHenry in this application and got the same feedback. Most of the dirt that was removed from excavation was junk fill which shouldn't be put back behind there. We were lucky the cut held while we built the wall, had we gotten a deluge of rain it may have been different story. We dug down until we hit virgin soil in the footer area.

mrusk
10-09-2008, 11:08 PM
5 days with two guys, 3 days with three. We don't mess around.

The 60 pages of engineering plans for this project, which are stamped, indicate a six foot set back of cleaned stone for drainage purposes. I confirmed this with EPHenry in this application and got the same feedback. Most of the dirt that was removed from excavation was junk fill which shouldn't be put back behind there. We were lucky the cut held while we built the wall, had we gotten a deluge of rain it may have been different story. We dug down until we hit virgin soil in the footer area.

So the towns in your area require all the calculations also? In my area its haf and half. Half the towns will accept a side profile diagram with grid and ofcourse the stamp. The other half wants all 50-60 pages of calculations that I doubt ever get read.

Superior L & L
10-10-2008, 07:47 AM
WOW a couple of years back I did a 7-10' high wall 800' long and didnt need anything for he city.
We did get the manufacturer involved for our piece of mind but the city didnt care

PlatinumLandCon
10-10-2008, 09:47 AM
WOW a couple of years back I did a 7-10' high wall 800' long and didnt need anything for he city.
We did get the manufacturer involved for our piece of mind but the city didnt care

Woahhh thats not right. I thought it was pretty standard to have everything engineered and inspected for anything over 4'. I would have it done anyways to deflect some liability.

etwman
10-10-2008, 04:25 PM
It all depends on the municipalities. I have found the closer you get to major cities/more dense poulated areas the more hurdles you have to jump through. The further we head west from Philly the less red tape we run into. It is coming, its just a matter of time. More rural areas aren't aware yet of what happens when a major SRW fails. With a higher density area, more SRW's are needed because less space is available, thus higher regulations. Its all relative.

We have done work in municipalities where we could do this type job with just a simple building permit, no inspections. They'd write you out a permit while you waited. Other places you have to jump over hurdles.

Bottom line is on a project of this scope, with that type of surcharge, regardless of what the township requires you should get a set of engineering plans done. If there are ever any questions you can roll out the plans and present photos.

oakhillslandscaping
10-10-2008, 07:26 PM
im looking at job that has a wall over 5ft and we are running into complications with the local block supplier wont certify their product so we are now waiting for them to find another block supplier such a headache

mrusk
10-11-2008, 06:15 PM
Is that wall suppose to be 1000 face feet?

etwman
10-11-2008, 07:44 PM
It is when its finished, there was around 700 up there. The final pics are on the crews camera, which haven't been downloaded yet. I will post them Monday when I get the camera from them.

etwman
10-15-2008, 08:34 AM
Here are a few photos from the end of last week. We graded, seeded, and put a temporary fence up along the top to return later this year (or early spring) to finish out the project. It really extended the upper area for a neat outdoor living area.

Junior M
10-15-2008, 05:14 PM
So did you invest in a skid and mini ex?

etwman
10-15-2008, 07:17 PM
We own some and rent. We have a very good deal worked out with the company we rent from, so much so that I could actually rent a machine for 6 months straight and it wouldn't pay me to purchase it. I always have new machines, don't have to maintain it, insure it, or baby sit it. Knowing when to buy vs. rent is all key to the game. Especially in a tanked economy. Alot of manufacturers are sitting on alot of equipment right now. Throw them a bone, name your price on rental, and you might be pleasantly surprised at their response.

etwman
10-17-2008, 04:44 PM
We will be breaking ground on this project in the next few weeks. There is nothing there in this back yard currently. Everything in these CAD designs will be constructed. Most of the 3,000 sf decking is Travertine, 2" honed copings with paver accents & natural stone veneer. It should be really neat when all is said and done, I'll post progress pics once construction begins. Landscape and lighting plan to follow soon.

Self_Paid1
10-17-2008, 05:59 PM
This is going to be a good project! I want to see the before and after pics! Also I wanted to commend you for your company's success and future!

PlatinumLandCon
10-17-2008, 06:30 PM
Is this project X?

etwman
10-17-2008, 10:45 PM
No that's another one, this is just a large project.

PlatinumLandCon
10-17-2008, 11:01 PM
No that's another one, this is just a large project.

What's the timeline for X?

kreft
10-17-2008, 11:21 PM
What is X?

deere615
10-18-2008, 02:09 AM
That looks like a neat project. I bet it will turn out real nice.
Project X is the big secret project we can't know about yet

etwman
10-18-2008, 08:50 AM
X (and I say this because I'd rather not expose customer's names because of the scope of work) will start late this fall and most likely go through next year. While we won't be there continuously, we will be there for a large part of the time.

The one above, which we are project managing, I hope to hit hard and be in and out in 2-3 months. I don't have exact hours on it yet in the computer but should by weeks end. We have gotten to a point that the hours we estimate on a project we usually hit within 98.2%. We haven't over run on a project timeline schedule in 19 months. I can attribute that to excellent guys in the field who make stuff happen.

ALC-GregH
10-18-2008, 09:41 AM
Very nice work ETW.... I'm not too far from you guys. Make sure to post pics of the current project as it unfolds. :) What price range is that in?

Superior L & L
10-18-2008, 01:16 PM
X (and I say this because I'd rather not expose customer's names because of the scope of work) will start late this fall and most likely go through next year. While we won't be there continuously, we will be there for a large part of the time.

The one above, which we are project managing, I hope to hit hard and be in and out in 2-3 months. I don't have exact hours on it yet in the computer but should by weeks end. We have gotten to a point that the hours we estimate on a project we usually hit within 98.2%. We haven't over run on a project timeline schedule in 19 months. I can attribute that to excellent guys in the field who make stuff happen.

If there hitting the hours 98% of the time then you need to lower the projects hours a little bit so you challenge the guys

PlatinumLandCon
10-18-2008, 02:02 PM
What price range is that in?

$1-$1M.

He's not going to give you price info, he uses his formulas to come up with a number that allows it to be most profitable while still being as low as possible. The guy has it down to a science from what he says.

etwman
10-18-2008, 02:08 PM
They are hitting that mark because of the equipment provided, education/training, site management, and good incentives. There's really no need to shift or tighten those hours if our project quality/efficency exceeds most of our competition and our margins are where we need them to be. There comes a certain point, if you push too much, quality will be sacrificed. There's a happy medium between great efficiency / quality, where the two meet on a graph is where you want to be.

I'd rather not disclose pricing of projects on a public forum, I think I did mention that somewhere before. I'm not sure "low as possible" would be the correct terminology. Often times one cannot sell value and quality while being the lowest quote.

PlatinumLandCon
10-18-2008, 02:20 PM
They are hitting that mark because of the equipment provided, education/training, site management, and good incentives. There's really no need to shift or tighten those hours if our project quality/efficency exceeds most of our competition and our margins are where we need them to be. There comes a certain point, if you push too much, quality will be sacrificed. There's a happy medium between great efficiency / quality, where the two meet on a graph is where you want to be.

As soon as greed steps in, its all down hill from there. When one reaches that sweet spot, why push to make it sweeter? You've taken the time to find hard working, dedicated, intelligent employees which, IMO, is a huge accomplishment in this industry.

I'd rather not disclose pricing of projects on a public forum, I think I did mention that somewhere before. I'm not sure "low as possible" would be the correct terminology. Often times one cannot sell value and quality while being the lowest quote.

I guess I used that for lack of a better term. If they want a backyard getaway, they'll pay the price. All too often I'll visit a client that simply wants an alternative to asphalt on their driveway, not a value-adding, beautiful driveway. In that case I'm usually too expensive for their budget. Catch my drift?

etwman
10-18-2008, 03:33 PM
As soon as greed steps in, its all down hill from there. When one reaches that sweet spot, why push to make it sweeter?

Thus the true reason why this economy has tanked. I don't want to open this can of worm on this thread but I am a true believer that this is one of the primary reasons this economy is where it is today. Greed, simple as that, people living beyond thier means using credit for everything under the sun. It's really quite the simple solution folks, if you can't pay for it out of your checkbook you don't buy it.

PlatinumLandCon
10-18-2008, 05:57 PM
Thus the true reason why this economy has tanked. I don't want to open this can of worm on this thread but I am a true believer that this is one of the primary reasons this economy is where it is today. Greed, simple as that, people living beyond thier means using credit for everything under the sun. It's really quite the simple solution folks, if you can't pay for it out of your checkbook you don't buy it.

He doesn't mean DON'T put it on credit, just don't use it to afford thing out of reach. Credit can sometimes be a good thing ( if you're looking for a skid, Bobcat's 0% financing is a good thing) but can also be a bad thing (I can afford that '08 SuperDuty if I pay over 60mo's, even though my '03 is fine).

Lawnworks
10-18-2008, 06:57 PM
Thus the true reason why this economy has tanked. I don't want to open this can of worm on this thread but I am a true believer that this is one of the primary reasons this economy is where it is today. Greed, simple as that, people living beyond thier means using credit for everything under the sun. It's really quite the simple solution folks, if you can't pay for it out of your checkbook you don't buy it.

I like that. What is your philosophy on debt? I know you mentioned Dave Ramsey once before. From what I have read and heard, Ramsey believes in absolutely no debt. A doctor friend of mine that is now a millionaire told me to never finance anything that depreciates. Keyoski(sp?) from "rich dad poor dad" says you have to finance and take risk at least in dealing w/ property. What is your take?

PlatinumLandCon
10-18-2008, 07:33 PM
I like that. What is your philosophy on debt? I know you mentioned Dave Ramsey once before. From what I have read and heard, Ramsey believes in absolutely no debt. A doctor friend of mine that is now a millionaire told me to never finance anything that depreciates. Keyoski(sp?) from "rich dad poor dad" says you have to finance and take risk at least in dealing w/ property. What is your take?

You NEEED to finance property. ROI just wouldn't be worth it on a rental if you paid for it up front. Buy something, rent it, sell years later for profit (not to mention monthly cashflow). Like Kiyosaki says, you need a passion for something, his being real estate and small-cap stocks.


Maybe we should start an investing/asset building thread instead of hijacking this one....

Adam's Lawn and Garden
10-18-2008, 08:26 PM
Jarod,

Do you feel that using the computer animated images is helping the sale of a project because people are able to see the end result instead of trying to imagine it on their own? I am going to assume the client still gets the hand drawn copy too? You already know i agree with you on your financial few points.

For those of you out there that might not believe that ETW always is saying the truth that he is able to sell these large jobs in this economy and make the profit he does and the way his crews operate. I have a good relationship with his company and have visited him on many occasions and what he tells you is 100% true. He has this down to a science, sometimes I try to figure out how he was able to do it. And his guys are EXCEPTIONAL, and they love working for him (a crewman even told me that, said it was the best landscape company to work for). Not trying to rant just thought some people might be skeptic about Jarod.

Adam

oakhillslandscaping
10-18-2008, 08:29 PM
etwman-"It's really quite the simple solution folks, if you can't pay for it out of your checkbook you don't buy it."

he has said this before on here and the first time i read it i copied it and printed it out and its on my desk as a reminder everyday and it hasnt failed me yet

Petr51488
10-18-2008, 08:32 PM
Just curious.. why do you guys start a project and finish it up later on?

PlatinumLandCon
10-18-2008, 09:42 PM
Nov 24/07:
In '07 the 550 was added, along with the building and property. '08 will be another truck and several other pieces of equipment we are looking at purchasing.


How did this year pan out?

etwman
10-18-2008, 09:45 PM
There are a lot of good books out there on financial wisdom. There are good points and bad points to all. There is no perfect book, nor is there a perfect financial advisor. I agree a lot with Dave Ramsey, I believe in running a debt free company, and there are a lot of different view points on that. Iím not going to go into a never ending thread on whether debt is good, bad, healthy, unhealthy, beneficial or not beneficial. Do I believe you can run a debt free company? Absolutely. The Forbes 400 is a list of the richest 400 people in America as rated by Forbes Magazine. When surveyed, 75% of the Forbes 400 (rich people, not your broke brother in law with an opinion) said the best way to build wealth is to become and stay debt free. Walgreens, Cisco, Microsoft, and Harley-Davidson are all run debt free and so can your company.

The only one thing I will say is thereís no such thing as 0% financing, if there were no lending institutions would be in business, think about it. Next time you buy a piece of equipment or vehicle barter them down on financing, then pull out the checkbook, youíll be surprised at the savings.

Adam, yes we have moved in the direction of CAD and it is well received. We have pulled building permits on our design/display center on our property and construction will begin this fall. By next spring everything should be in place.

Why do we start projects and not finish them? Itís a rarity. Sometimes we revisit the design per the customerís request. The one on the previous page, where the large wall was, is taking another look at a deck/patio combination which should be neat. It was tough to visualize the entire area until the lower wall was built. Iím fine with that as we are most likely too busy to revisit it again this fall anyway.

In closing, we donít have the perfect company and itís not always a bowl of cherries. I donít sit in my hot tub and pop Bon Bonís all day long. While I appreciate the compliments, I share this information as a hopeful encouragement to those who have a strong desire to make things work. Nothing is ever handed to you, you have to decide where you want to go and work very hard for it.

PS Ė GO PENN STATE!

baker818
10-18-2008, 09:59 PM
i like your equipment

TomberLawn
10-19-2008, 12:26 AM
I agree with the debt-free business. It felt great to get out of debt. I bought a new mower last week and did finance it, because I'm waiting for cash from my used mower that is for sale. It was one of those opportunities that you don't get often.

This whole economy is structured on debt. Money is so highly inflated because of debt. Think about this. You purchase a mower, which is financed through some company. You mow for several customers, most of whom pay with a credit card, which is normally a debt tool instead of simply a convenience tool. You are paying off your debt with the debt of your customers. Debt just keeps getting shuffled around. When you deposit money in the bank, the bank lends out a large percentage of it. The borrower uses those funds, which are deposited into other banks. The money is then lent out again, deposited again, lent....it's an endless cycle. $100 can quickly become $1000 after lending and borrowing several times. But there is only $100 backing that $1000.

Can you see why only a few financial failures can cause havoc in the economy?

I'm going to pay off my new mower just as soon as I have the cash to do so. It's financed for 36 months, but the sooner I pay it off, the less interest I will pay. And I can assure you, I couldn't have gotten a better cash out-the-door deal. I could have also gotten a 0% plan, but it had a $400 doc/app fee, plus a pay-off penalty. Definitely not a good deal.

PlatinumLandCon
10-20-2008, 10:37 AM
Jarod,
How many employees do you have? I know you mentioned back in 05 or 06 that you had 5 full-timers and a few seasonal guys. Having the 2 FL-70's and the 550, how do you break up your guys into crews? How many jobs are you simultaneously working on usually? I've got a bunch more questions that I might assemble into an e-mail, but I just wanted a little insight into day-to-day operations.

Thanks!

tthomass
10-23-2008, 07:23 PM
"PS Ė GO PENN STATE!"

who?

etwman
10-23-2008, 08:49 PM
Look who surfaced! Wow! We need to catch up, hope all is well Todd.

C'mon you hokie! Share a little love.

tthomass
10-24-2008, 12:41 AM
I can't say much......ECU was embarassing and the Boston College game wasn't much better.

International is out of the shop, just needs boxes. Work is slowing but I'm closing on a property that needs a lot of work so thats fine with me.

tjsquickcuts
10-29-2008, 12:59 AM
If all goes well, I am hoping to be in Va for the UVa and V.Tech game. We started off bad with that horrible loss to USC, but we have found our mojo and turned things around. Maybe we can tailgate or something if you are going to the game....I know you will be glad to get your truck back....what have you done in the mean time???? If work is slowing down for you then I might need to send you a plane ticket to come down my way because we have more then we can get done this year, especially since mother nature decided to put us on ice. I finally took the time out to resize some photos and post them in the same thread (Playing in the dirt) in the commercial landscape section I posted the before pics in. So far, my best work. But not the hi-jack Jarods thread, Jarod really has given many of us a model to follow. I do think there are times where you cant pull out the check book and scratch off a check and call it a day. But debt management and planning is key if you cant pay cash. Before I finance anything, I make sure I can pay it off if needed before we buy, but its just more cost effective to make payments for a few months then to payout on lump sum. Now that doesnt apply to small handheld equipment....Cash flow management has been key to my success this year....BTW Jarod, hope the snow didnt slow down productions.....I am hoping to make it through the end of Nov before we shut down all landscaping for the season.

etwman
10-29-2008, 09:18 AM
Our work load? We have been fully sold out for this year since beginning of October. My only hope is that we can push into January because we have three sizable projects in the drawing stages for spring. I don't recall having a fall this busy in many years. I have lines drawn in my schedule for Friday and Monday to help the guys in the field and I haven't been in the field in a looooonggg time. I got out of the field 5 years ago and didn't look back. This should be interesting, I'm going to be the greenie, I'll probably get yelled at. Helping others? Sure it would be fun but I have to get through my fall first.

Debt management, key marketing and advertising, pricing jobs right /efficiency and quality of work will get most companies through this tanked economy.

TLS
10-29-2008, 10:54 AM
I didn't know you weren't in the field etwman.

Congrats for not having to, but I just assumed you were a hands on guy out on the job every day.

What comprises your day then? If you don't mind.

etwman
10-29-2008, 11:04 AM
Meetings with customers, architects, vendors, equipment purchases, etc. our average project proposal is 13 pages in length. I will assure you that these higher end project don't just come about in two weeks. From initial phone call from a potential customer to beginning of construction usually falls around 3 months. There's redraws, material selection, appliances for kitchens, structures, etc. The list is quite long.

I give my foreman complete control of their projects, and all decisions from a construction standpoint. There's a handful of projects I only see from photos when they are completed.

I stepped out of the field completely 5 years ago and rely on excellent guys in the field to build our projects.

TLS
10-29-2008, 11:13 AM
Sounds great.

I know a few bigger (in my mind, not to your level or caliber though) hardscaping companies around my parts that the owners are the gophers. Driving for materials, supplies, driving machines around etc, but they are still on the job at some points during the day. In no way would his men be capable of what yours are in terms of decision making. (maybe they are, but the owners don't give them the power?)

So, your able to take vacations while your men work? Or not?

etwman
10-29-2008, 11:17 AM
I take that back, I was on the NY jobs some because they were so involved. Ironically the last two years we were up there we finished up in the first week in November. Last night they got 6 inches of snow and the high is 28 today. I guess you could say we rolled the dice right, picking the right two years.

I do miss the field at times but my time is better spent in the office and on logistics.

etwman
10-29-2008, 11:19 AM
I have taken weeks vacations several times and haven't had the need to call and talk to any of my guys in the field, knowing full well they have everything under control.

If you don't believe me you can ask them for yourself how much they hear from me when I'm gone.

TLS
10-29-2008, 11:24 AM
That's great! This is eventually my goal. My wife doesn't like waiting for a drought to go on vacation.

etwman
10-29-2008, 11:35 AM
The owner of a company getting out of the field full time is probably one of the top 3 biggest hurdles that you'll experience in owning a company. Empowering key leaders in the field, to do the same quality work that you would do, is a sizable risk. Face it, that company is your baby, relinquishing that responsibility is a huge move. The guys that will never do that, or can't bring themselves to do that, will approach a glass ceiling and that will be it. Or, they aren't charging what they should to pay someone full time to take over their field responsibilites.

You have to shift gears at some point, you can only reach so much speed in first gear. When you make that shift be prepared to not see a whole lot of profit right away. It'll take a year of hard core selling and management to get up to speed and rebound.

mrusk
10-29-2008, 01:22 PM
Jarod is right. You will never get anywhere if you are in the feild. And guess what, I am always in the feild. Its my biggest proablem. I almost feel like I am running in place.

I think PA must have a better work force then nj! The best masons and carpenters I know all live in PA.

Its so hard to wear every hat in a company and excel in each role.

Jarod posts some more pics.

Tyler7692
10-29-2008, 01:23 PM
ETW, if you would care to share, what is your best form of marketing (other than quality, word of mouth, ect...). What type of demographics?

syzer
10-29-2008, 07:34 PM
I have taken weeks vacations several times and haven't had the need to call and talk to any of my guys in the field, knowing full well they have everything under control.

If you don't believe me you can ask them for yourself how much they hear from me when I'm gone.

One of the best feelings in the world having confidence in your work force!

etwman
10-29-2008, 08:56 PM
I'm pulling a late one here tonight, finsihing the final take off for the project on post #1093, the CAD drawing of the pool project. I have to place the travertine order this week as the pool is being dug soon. 5,413 sf of travertine, with accenting with a dark brown 6x6 concrete paver in multiple areas. This is going to be cool. I'll have to post a pic sometime of the layout for the accenting. I think I would put this job in my top 5 favorite.

Answers to questions. Marketing? There's about a combination of about 10 things that we do combined that put us where we need to be. Its kind of the perfect recipe and I'd rather not divulge those secrets on a public forum. I will tell you though some companies will do some here and there, but in order for it to all work like a well oiled machine, they all need to be implemented equally.

Confidence in the work force comes from getting the right guys and a two way street of respect. I can honestly say in 10 years I have never once raised my voice to any of my employees or cursed at them whatsoever. I can say the same thing in return for any of them. We all have great understanding of what we expect from each other.

Gardens^3
10-30-2008, 04:40 PM
Love the thread because it allows me to benchmark a successful businessman. I realized the importance of benchmarking when a brilliant entrepreneur came and spoke to my entrepreneur/small business college class and discussed the process. His success was in land, funeral homes, grave plots, graveyards, capstones, cremation ect... (kinda a gloomy industry if you ask me). With most of my education geared toward corporate business, this last semester has been a breath of fresh air and sparked more of my interests than prior semesters primarily because of the formerly mentioned class, business strategy, and intermediate economics. Up till now, I think all I've received is a pound of theory, which I think has been half as valuable as the ounce of business experience I've had from businesses in my family and my very small "lawn maintenance" business. College seems wasteful.

Anyways, my questions for you Jarod is:

Did you benchmark anyone? Were you mentored? Or are you self-taught?
(You observed operations of landscaping companies in college so I guess I'm asking more about the way you grew in the management side of business)

When did the rubber meet the road for you to decide that you didn't want to work for the man and do you ever envy that less stressful life? How did you evaluate your opportunity costs?


I don't think you fart rainbows or anything I just really enjoy hearing how successful people find their passion, drive, and wisdom in business. I enjoy the "listen weedhoppa" posts you write.

Self_Paid1
10-30-2008, 04:54 PM
Love the thread because it allows me to benchmark a successful businessman. I realized the importance of benchmarking when a brilliant entrepreneur came and spoke to my entrepreneur/small business college class and discussed the process. His success was in land, funeral homes, grave plots, graveyards, capstones, cremation ect... (kinda a gloomy industry if you ask me). With most of my education geared toward corporate business, this last semester has been a breath of fresh air and sparked more of my interests than prior semesters primarily because of the formerly mentioned class, business strategy, and intermediate economics. Up till now, I think all I've received is a pound of theory, which I think has been half as valuable as the ounce of business experience I've had from businesses in my family and my very small "lawn maintenance" business. College seems wasteful.

Anyways, my questions for you Jarod is:


Did you benchmark anyone? Were you mentored? Or are you self-taught?
(You observed operations of landscaping companies in college so I guess I'm asking more about the way you grew in the management side of business)

When did the rubber meet the road for you to decide that you didn't want to work for the man and do you ever envy that less stressful life? How did you evaluate your opportunity costs?


I don't think you fart rainbows or anything I just really enjoy hearing how successful people find their passion, drive, and wisdom in business. I enjoy the "listen weedhoppa" posts you write.

Gardens this is a good Question!!!!!

etwman
10-30-2008, 08:37 PM
Now weíre getting deep, but thatís okay because they are good questions so Iíll do my best to answer them as accurately as possible.

Did I benchmark anyone? I wouldnít say I benchmark any one person, Iíve observed many, studied quite a few, read books, and made lots of mental notes. I have a core group of successful small business owners that I seek counsel from on occasion, none of which are in the green industry though. Having a college education helped, but one can only learn so much from a classroom setting. I did teach myself quite a few things, ironically from quietly watching those who I knew wouldnít succeed, all while making a list of things I promised myself Iíd never do. I would say the combination of having a business early on in life, selling it, going to college, working for 3-4 different companies while in college, and then proceeding with ETW is what has brought me to this point in life. That and the grace of God. Face it, its 20 years of education, I didnít learn everything overnight, and Iím still learning.

When did the rubber meet the road? Funny you should ask that. Probably one night, about a year after college while working for another landscaping company, I turned to my wife and said do I really want to start all this on my own again, itís so much work or do I just want to work 9-5. My wife convinced me thatís where I belong, with my own company again. So I actually left that landscaping company and drove ready mix truck for a year to clear my mind. Itís the first time in my life I worked out of the green industry. I always wanted to drive truck so I figured why not with a college education and get completely out of the landscape industry to see if I really missed it. I donít regret driving truck, not for a minute, learned more, and while in that cab began to make notes on a small notepad. I still have that small notepad today tucked away. In that notepad were the notes that led to the vision for this company.

Do I ever envy the less stressful life? I think it really comes down to how much you let the stress run your life. Is there stress? Absolutely, you build $500k back yards and see if thereís not stress. Do I let it control me and my family, no. Life goes on, every day is a new beginning, and you take it one day at a time. The stress you create trickles down to your employees, customers, and bottom line. Learn how to deal with it effectively and it wonít cripple you or your company.

Opportunity costs? Patience and persistence.

Hope this helps some.

etwman
11-15-2008, 03:17 PM
Here are a few updates. Currently we have three major builds under construction all at once, but I'd rather have it that way than the other. We're experiencing our busiest fall in 10 years. I know we are a minority with that, but we'll take it.

The first pic is the product layout for the CAD plans shown back a few pages on 110. Let me explain this so I don't get a bunch of questions. The cream (or lighter color) is all travertine. The lower area that was originally stamped concrete has gone to travertine as well. All the dark brown areas are EPHenry 6x6 Harvest Blend Brown that will accent all the travertine and form a paver walkway around the pool on a 45. This is probably one of my top three most favorite projects. I will post some pics of it in the next few weeks as the pools are shot and the footers go in for the walls.

The second and third pics are of another pool job that we have going. Keep in mind the top plan is NOT the bottom project. This will have an outdoor kitchen as well, and will do the driveway at the end. There's probably 5000 sf going in there as well.

We are hiring rapidly and are seeing the cream of the top in incredibly qualified guys come to us. I'd like to think we are positioning ourselves well for the future as we see other companies dropping off.

Junior M
11-15-2008, 03:39 PM
Never seen a ride on roller that small....

Keep us updated, you do some awesome work...

BMFD92
11-15-2008, 03:54 PM
how is the compaction on the ride on roller versus a large plate compactor

TXNSLighting
11-15-2008, 04:00 PM
Sweet lookin job! Keep the pics comin!

kendeas
11-20-2008, 06:17 PM
Wow i have read this entire trend from 2002 to present and wow wow wow i just started my own business only 2 months ago yes bad time of year but it is what you make of it etwman you got it going on

tthomass
11-22-2008, 06:52 PM
I hear its cold in PA......hope that jobsite doesn't freeze up on you!

kendeas
11-23-2008, 12:49 AM
So how is it working out for you in the field lol how is the shop coming

etwman
11-23-2008, 08:23 AM
Ground is top frozen, by an inch or two. Temps Monday in mid 40's should take care of that and we should be back at it. Way too early for this cold weather, I don't care if I never see snow this winter. I have enough other stuff to keep us busy.

Below is a pic from the job on page 110 that's opened up, pool will be shot this week, footers in, etc. We should be prepping base mid December if the winter holds and my travertine arrives on time.

The shop expansion I really want to do my self with all the displays and structure out front. Right now I don't have the time and I'm not hiring more guys, I already took on three in the last month. My goal is to have it done by April, we shall see.

Nice comment Todd. You wouldn't believe hold cold it was up here Saturday morning, wait, yes you would. Good to see you.

kendeas
11-23-2008, 11:33 AM
Nice work do you think the weather will set you back on the current project or did you allow a few extra days in case of freezing ? It was 32 degrees here but no ice we are lucky to see sleet we had the roads ice over one time in the early 1990s

etwman
11-26-2008, 05:46 PM
Man I hate the muddy fall. At times I'm not sure which is worse the frozen ground or the mud. This is where if you don't have a track machine you're done.

Kitchen is underway. All stainless steel appliances were ordered. 48" grill, sink, fridge, burners, cabinets, etc. About 2000 sf of pavers are down 800 sf to go, upper tier done next week, and on out the driveway we go for another 2000 sf. We'll probably block the kitchen up and come back and stone it later, drop appliances in, and put the granite top on. We're doing all the work in house. Another job is calling....

mrusk
11-26-2008, 06:15 PM
Jared- Explain to me how grid works when it is one row from the top?

Junior M
11-26-2008, 06:20 PM
Do you have a whole fleet picture from this year?

PlatinumLandCon
11-26-2008, 06:35 PM
Jared- Explain to me how grid works when it is one row from the top?

I was sorta wondering the same. I would have thought it would be 2 or 3 courses from the top.


Also, how old are those houses? All the backyards look pretty bare.

etwman
11-26-2008, 06:55 PM
Actually you really don't even need the grid to be fully honest in this application according to most manufacturers. We're just putting it in as a precautionary measure. The wall is only 2 1/2 feet high. We'll backfill the wall with clean stone up to the grid level. Pull it out and stone the rest in with modified. The above patio is down to subgrade. We'll be buring the grid under 8" of modified stone. That'll be plenty for that small wall.

etwman
11-26-2008, 07:11 PM
Actually if you think about it a Coventry Plus Wall system allows you only to put grid pulls at 21" because its a panel system. Here we put it at 24". I suppose we could put it at 18" but I really don't think it will make any difference, you'll still have a ton of weight on top of it. We are going to drain the water behind the wall in a drainage network and eliminate drains in the wall. This is a really complex drainage project because the water is all coming down a slope towards the pool so we ended up putting in a fairly detailed drainage network with traps in many places to keep water from dumping into the pool.

No time for a fleet pic in 2008.

Houses in that development are about 4-5 years old, start at $500k

PlatinumLandCon
11-26-2008, 07:32 PM
Actually you really don't even need the grid to be fully honest in this application according to most manufacturers. We're just putting it in as a precautionary measure. The wall is only 2 1/2 feet high. We'll backfill the wall with clean stone up to the grid level. Pull it out and stone the rest in with modified. The above patio is down to subgrade. We'll be buring the grid under 8" of modified stone. That'll be plenty for that small wall.

Ok, that was my second thought. I usually only use UniLock Pisa/Roman Pisa so I don't use different sizes like I see there. It doesn' hurt to have grid for a 2 1/2' wall.

$500??!?!?! Thats a cool $2 million in my area, if you can even find a lot that big!


P.S. You guys did the tile/bullnose/hot tub work?

Kennedy Landscaping
11-29-2008, 11:28 PM
Man you have come a long ways! Great work! Keep it up!

etwman
12-03-2008, 06:57 PM
Attached are several pics of our third major build that's going on. Right now we have three going on all at the same time and have doubled our employees. We've welcomed some very skilled employees to our staff and are extremely excited about what the next year holds. I need to fiqure out someway of naming each of the ones under construction to reduce project confusion amongt the readers. I'll work on that later.

Someone inquired a couple pages back about me being out of the field and hands off. To show you how much I trust my guys, I have three major builds going on, all of which are over 6 digits, and I'm getting on a plane tomorrow morning to the Carribbean. Its actually more business than pleasure, working with Hope International and startup small business owners in third world countries. Neat organization, google it.

I'll post more upon returning. Find good employees, empower them, treat them well and don't micromanage.

PlatinumLandCon
12-03-2008, 08:33 PM
Find good employees, empower them, treat them well and don't micromanage.

Less than 10mins ago I read that in a book called "How to get Rich" by Felix Dennis. Its basically a book about how he made a $750M fortune and what he thinks are most important to get there. I just finished chapter 13, The Joys of Delegation. Those words above could possibly be some of the most powerful in business

Tyler7692
12-03-2008, 11:07 PM
Jarod,

Do you think in your experience its a better strategy to focus exclusively on one aspect of the business (for you, it looks like hardscaping), or do you think it is just as easy to establish a maintenance and install divisions at the same time?

Do your guys still do maintenance?

Another question, if I may. What's your best advice to getting out of the field. Personally, I just started my business 8 months ago and it has done great. I'm anxious to see what '09 holds.... my marketing is light years ahead of where it was this point last year. Long story short, I want to get out of the field asap and start making larger moves (GROW, GROW, GROW!). You can't get rich on your own labor (You know this, obviously). What's your take?

TXNSLighting
12-04-2008, 01:24 AM
Jarod,

Do you think in your experience its a better strategy to focus exclusively on one aspect of the business (for you, it looks like hardscaping), or do you think it is just as easy to establish a maintenance and install divisions at the same time?

Do your guys still do maintenance?

Another question, if I may. What's your best advice to getting out of the field. Personally, I just started my business 8 months ago and it has done great. I'm anxious to see what '09 holds.... my marketing is light years ahead of where it was this point last year. Long story short, I want to get out of the field asap and start making larger moves (GROW, GROW, GROW!). You can't get rich on your own labor (You know this, obviously). What's your take?

Its going to take some time to get out of the field. I hope youre not expecting it in your first couple years...

Tyler7692
12-04-2008, 01:36 AM
Its going to take some time to get out of the field. I hope youre not expecting it in your first couple years...

I'm not expecting it to happen, but working relentlessly towards the goal!

etwman
12-04-2008, 06:08 AM
In my opinion, and this is just my take, it'll take 4-5 years of good steady growth before your out of the field on a a brand new start up company unless your very aggressive. Best advise, price jobs correctly. You price them too low, you'll never be able to hire the right individuals to get yourself out of the field and enable the company to grow correctly. You hit a glass ceiling and stop there.

I posted a couple threads exclusively on the topic of how many divisions is good and how many isn't. Once again, just my opinion. Its a ways back in this forum but its there, you'll have to dig for it some. There's a happy medium in good growth, too much or too little will kill you.


Our focus is on high end landscape and hardscape, that's pretty much it. The marketing moves we made this year, which I hold close to me, have paid off and this is the direction we're going.

Gotta plane to catch....

riverwalklandscaping
12-04-2008, 11:27 PM
You're building houses now? Don't know how you have time to post on here. When we get busy (and I'm a speck by comparison) I never have time to post on here. Also how do you easily find good employees? I pass on many hardscape jobs, not because I don't know how, but because I can't find employees who understand the difference of doing something to get it done and doing something special.

qualitylandscaping
12-06-2008, 11:52 PM
Man things have changed in 6 years! I just spent a good 2 hours reading the last 1/2 of this thread.

We both joined this site about the same time, and I remember taking alot of your advice into consideration when I was starting to grow my business. We've gone two completely different directions, you going into major landscape/hardscape and my company going 70% mowing with a client base of well over 1400 weekly accounts.

Congratulations on your continued success, you're top class in my book.:waving:

EagleLandscape
12-07-2008, 01:38 PM
Steve, i remember you from back in the day. good to see you are still around.

qualitylandscaping
12-07-2008, 08:47 PM
Steve, i remember you from back in the day. good to see you are still around.

yep, still here.. It's amazing how many new people I see on here each year, and how many I've seen for years, that suddenly disappear. I suppose its the nature of the business.

etwman
12-14-2008, 05:03 PM
I returned for the Dominican Republic after experiencing a great time with people from Hope International. I get approached a fair amount from non-profit organizations, but I tell you what this is the most impressive by far. Iím not going to write a book here but this is what HOPE does in laymanís terms. They extend low interest loans to people in poverty stricken areas to start their own small businesses, or otherwise known as micro financing. Most loans are simple $100 loans with a very low interest rate. These people must present a business plan to Hope staff in order to qualify for their loan. In addition, they received counseling and support from their community. When you go into a ravished, poverty stricken area and see someone that has a small grocery store in a shed with the help of HOPE itís a very humbling experience. These people have learned to become self sufficient on their own and provide for their families. HOPE has 14,000 non-collateral loans out in the DR alone, with a repayment rate of 99%. Bottom line is you can give a man a fish and heíll eat for a day, teach him to fish and heíll eat for a lifetime. The very small interest goes to provide health care for them and a savings account and as soon as the loan payments are made the monies are redistributed. All of HOPEís staff is paid for by the board of directors. HOPE is in 14 countries worldwide and expanding rapidly. I was asked by the president of HOPE to take a team of 8-10 small business owners down there in 2010 to experience this incredible experience firsthand. I eagerly await this opportunity as well as a possible future trip to Congo in South Africa.

We are moving along with the projects. A 3,000 sf Paver driveway to go in this week for the house that had 2,600 sf go in the back with the pool and kitchen. Iíll post pictures this week. After much research, plant tours, and close inspection weíve made a decision to move to another hardscape manufacturer for paver and wall products because of QC issues. This manufacturer is very very impressive, bold colors, and exact tolerancesÖ.they are what I would say to be the next ďdark horseĒ in becoming a leader in the hardscape production industry. This driveway will consist of this new concrete product. After itís in Iíll post some pics and reveal the manufacturer.

PlatinumLandCon
12-14-2008, 05:08 PM
Sounds awesome, my friends dad went to DR to teach entrepreneurship partnered with ScotiaBank Canada.

Any ETA on that new project and manufacturer reveal?

JRSlawn
12-14-2008, 09:00 PM
Jared looks like you are going to have a real nice project there. How do you feel about the upcoming year and season with the down economy? I am very concerned with our installations and even our maintenance I had 2 of our high end customers get their homes repoed this winter. What are you planing on doing this year to keep up with your yearly projected growth numbers?

Supper Grassy
12-14-2008, 09:21 PM
Do you plow?

any new equipment pictures

cleancutccl
12-14-2008, 11:08 PM
How are you able to continue to do patios with frozen temps? It is supposed to be below freezing or barely above all week here, I've had to postpone 2 patios and 1 wall until next spring. If you have some tips that can help us get some more jobs completed let me know. We push snow as well so its not as if we go completely cold turkey.

etwman
12-17-2008, 04:33 PM
In order.

1. As soon as the weather cooperates we'll install a driveway with the new paver and I'll post some pictures and let you be the judge.

2. The economy (and this can obviously all change so its better to be proactive than reactive) has not affected us that much, at least not now with the marketing we've done. We may have had one customer shift this year with us. Our higher end clients are usually fairly stable with the swing of things and we are into a fairly niche market. We are offically sold through beginning of June 2009 at this point, experiencing a record backlog headed into 2009, bucking the trend according to all our vendors. My biggest challenge right now is figuring out how many guys to hire and stay efficient. I don't want to be top heavy and its difficult at this stage of the game to predict what late next summer will bring. Worse thing you can do is load up too heavy with guys in the spring, then be in a jam in August figuiring out to do with everyone when the spring chaos is over. We've hired three more in just the last month so we are pretty well staffed headed into 2009. The plans that are in the drawing stages at this point, for next summer, do not have deposits on yet but I feel pretty strong they'll come in.

3. We only plow two commercial lots side by side (our accountant and our insurance company). I don't look for too much plowing, my guys aren't overly excited about it, nor am I. What we do we do well. We'd all rather be hardscaping.

4. How are we able to push on with work? Well right now you might as well drop back and punt. If you don't have track machines right now you might as well pack it in fully. We use heat blankets on our bases to keep them from freezing, leave our bedding sands on our trucks (which are parked inside a heated building at night), and make the most out of the few good days we have. We have a driveway we'd really like to excavate out and get in yet this year but I would like a 7 day window before I pull the trigger. You don't really want a good customer to not have access to their driveway all winter long. We'll do what we can to take the load off the spring work.

We're finally in our new offices in our building, setting up a new computer system is an absolute thorn in my side.

PlatinumLandCon
12-17-2008, 05:07 PM
Are those the knotty pine beaded board offices I remembr you mentioning in 05 or 06? Are there plans for another truck or will the SNG trucks handle another crew without needing a truck?

etwman
12-17-2008, 05:17 PM
We have enough trucks/equipment to run next spring with three crews. However multiple trucks are needed for several project so some decisions will have to be made soon.

I'll post some pics of the offices some day when I have a camera here.

PlatinumLandCon
12-17-2008, 05:22 PM
We have enough trucks/equipment to run next spring with three crews. However multiple trucks are needed for several project so some decisions will have to be made soon.

I'll post some pics of the offices some day when I have a camera here.

Sweet deal man. It still blows my mind the unique niche you've carved in the industry and the efficiency you have in a business plagued with BS and "dumb labor".

If I remember correctly, you have 3 LA's that you use right? Do most of your clients give you a general idea of what they want then give you a budget and set you free?

etwman
12-17-2008, 05:29 PM
We'll chose one of the architects depending on which one I feel is best for the application.

We have an entire 30 page workbook that was just revised that takes our customers from inital meeting to completion. There are things in there that help them develop a budget if they have no idea on one. Only about 40% of our customers have a budget that I know of.

CertPro
12-22-2008, 08:46 PM
I thought EP Henry was supposed to be the best paver out there??

DVS Hardscaper
12-23-2008, 10:28 AM
I thought EP Henry was supposed to be the best paver out there??


LOL - I been tellin ETWMan for a year now to can EP Henry!

I think at one time EP may have been a good paver. After a while a company becomes bigger and bigger and before long quality gets lost to mass production.

Honestly, is one really better then the other??

We have been rekindeling an estranged relationship with Belgard. So far so good, no complaints.

We use 3 brands. Techo, Belgard, and Nicolock. We don't use a lot of Nicolock, but I love Nicolock. I LOVE Nicolock because their non-tumbled Colonial wall block is $9 / SF! And it looks nearly identical to Mini-Creta and Celtik wall, which those are in the $14 - $15 price range!



CertPro, you're a new name here, how bout you - why not start a new thread and introduce yourself? Tell us about yourself, your company, location, what brand of pavers do you fancy, and did you go to Staples yesterday and get the free copy of QB Pro 2009 that they had on special??





.

wcoltharp
12-23-2008, 04:38 PM
This thread and Company as grown and evolved into a great information source for some of the younger guys on this board and I would like to say thanks for everything you have shared with us!

I have a question about site visits. When dealing with high end clients, which it seems you do 100% of the time, do you try to make it to each site daily if possible, or are the crew leaders trained and knowledgeable enough to deal with any questions or non-contract breaking changes that the customer inquires about?

Also, once an agreement has been made and a contract written up, what changes, if any, are allowed to be made by the principal so to not mess with your scheduled work?

I hope I have made myself clear with the questions I have asked. Thanks again!!

CertPro
12-23-2008, 04:56 PM
CertPro, you're a new name here, how bout you - why not start a new thread and introduce yourself? Tell us about yourself, your company, location, what brand of pavers do you fancy, and did you go to Staples yesterday and get the free copy of QB Pro 2009 that they had on special??
.

Not much to tell here. My name is Edward, I'm from SE PA. I'm a one man band with the occasional help from my brother in law. I'm big on education and learning to do things the right way. I do tons of research on these boards, but recently started to post. I have used EP a few times with little issue, but I'm not married to any one paver maker. I install whatever the customer wants. And no, I didn'r even know about the QB special.
Sorry to hijack ETWman!!!

etwman
12-23-2008, 09:21 PM
1. Do I make it to each site every day? Are you being serious here? No, I'm lucky if I make it to each project once a week if that. I'd say 35% of our projects I never see onsite, only by progress photos. Our foreman can run any project I throw at them and can easily advise customers on any concern or question they have. If there is an upcharge, or add on, they'll call me with materials and exact hours neccessary to build it and I'll draw up a change order. We don't hire average foreman. You have to have the best of the best when dealing with high end projects.

2. After we start most of our projects there are add ons. Its inevitable. The key is to antipate them and forsee them. Often times we'll know in the back of our minds that the customer will do it, even though they may not think so at the onset of the project. Allowing this time buffer is critical in scheduling. I'm not sure if this answers the question or not, it really wasn't that clear.

etwman
12-23-2008, 09:26 PM
Here's the driveway we are holding on with the new paver product. Sit and wait....wait and sit. We'll need 6 days from start to complete finish. As soon as we have the window we're moving on it. The back hardscape is completely done with the exception of the kitchen which we are doing all in house. Veneer and tile are picked. Appliances are all in.

PlatinumLandCon
12-23-2008, 09:35 PM
1. Do I make it to each site every day? Are you being serious here? No, I'm lucky if I make it to each project once a week if that. I'd say 35% of our projects I never see onsite, only by progress photos. Our foreman can run any project I throw at them and can easily advise customers on any concern or question they have. If there is an upcharge, or add on, they'll call me with materials and exact hours neccessary to build it and I'll draw up a change order. We don't hire average foreman. You have to have the best of the best when dealing with high end projects.


In that case, what are you doing all day? How many projects do you have going at any given time?

You always talk about having the best of the best for employees, how do you go about finding these people and attracting them to you (aside from paying big $$)?

Thanks

Junior M
12-23-2008, 09:36 PM
Looks like ya got the equipment a tad bit muddy!

tthomass
12-23-2008, 09:42 PM
Much more enjoyable drive without having to stop every 15-20min to beat the ice off the wipers. Good see'n ya and when you get that 6 day window of warm weather make sure it migrates down this way so I can get rid of this mud.

P.Services
12-23-2008, 09:43 PM
good job cleaning the tracks on the 332 out!! that can just f up a day when you dont.

etwman
12-23-2008, 09:57 PM
I don't want to come accross harsh here but do you have any idea how much leg work is involved in putting together 6 digit builds? Try 4 at the same time. Material selection, multiple revisions on plans, permits, meetings with pool contractors, electricians, plumbers, and the list goes on and on. We aren't talking about a 200 sf front sidewalk here.

When you have to find the right employees there are ways of finding them, I'll leave it at that. When you treat them right, word travels, and they tend to want to work for you.


You should see that back yard, I mean mud everywhere. I honestly think it takes the cake on "backyards destroyed" but it'll look real sharp when planted and finished off. That job box was around back by the pool and last week we put a chain on it, hooked it to the front of the 332 and drug it around the front. That 332 is an ox, but it took all it had in the mud to get it out front. This job would have come to an abupt hault four weeks ago without track machines.

You fail to clean muddy track machines before it freezes you will develop a new four word vocabulary when you decide to start one and move it in sub zero temps.

P.Services
12-23-2008, 10:00 PM
You fail to clean muddy track machines before it freezes you will develop a new four word vocabulary when you decide to start one and move it in sub zero temps.



move it in sub zero??? you mean TRY to move it. then pick at the mud with a spud bar for hours. ya i know those words.

PlatinumLandCon
12-23-2008, 10:07 PM
I don't want to come accross harsh here but do you have any idea how much leg work is involved in putting together 6 digit builds? Try 4 at the same time. Material selection, multiple revisions on plans, permits, meetings with pool contractors, electricians, plumbers, and the list goes on and on. We aren't talking about a 200 sf front sidewalk here.

Thats why I asked*trucewhiteflag*. Biggest project I've done is about $17k so I'm a far cry from 100, 200, 300k like some of your projects must be.

AintNoFun
12-23-2008, 11:39 PM
I don't want to come accross harsh here but do you have any idea how much leg work is involved in putting together 6 digit builds? Try 4 at the same time. Material selection, multiple revisions on plans, permits, meetings with pool contractors, electricians, plumbers, and the list goes on and on. We aren't talking about a 200 sf front sidewalk here.

man you hardscape guys got some egos, lol

MysticLandscape
12-24-2008, 02:07 AM
I respect ETW an what he says, always admire his work an could only dream of doing what he does....

etwman
01-03-2009, 03:04 PM
Winter Work. In a time in which many contractors are slow the first thing that comes to mind is discount work over the winter months to keep things moving. This is a dangerous incentive to offer and can very quickly put you in the red if you are inefficient or the weather plays havoc.

If you decide to play that game, and work through the winter (which can be done if you take the right precautions), there are several things to keep in mind.

First, in your contracts, you want to word them in a way that you are never upside down on your winter projects. This can be done in several ways. One…getting a larger deposit up front. Two, requesting multiple draws on certain dates or after certain phases are done. Three, (and this is kind of my preference) quote the project, get a signed contract and a 50% deposit, and bill them at the end of each week for the work that was done. While their deposit holds up their balance due will be $0, after that they will owe you for each weeks work completed with terms due on receipt. By the end of the project the final invoice will not exceed the total cost of the project. Yes this is a lot of paperwork, and I wouldn’t encourage it during your busy season, but it will keep things cash flowing for you. It protects both the customer and you in harsh working conditions.

Let’s draw this scenario: Project costs $30,000. You get 50% down to start the project. You’re 80% done and the ground freezes solid or you get a blizzard. In a normal summer season the weather will usually turn fairly quickly and you’ll be back at it. In the winter it could be 6 weeks before you are back in there, now you’re in the red. To request another 25% draw spontaneously, the customer may say, well when will you be done? Or it wasn’t in the contract. But by billing them at the end of each week (with due on receipt terms) for work completed, you’ll be okay until the weather breaks. It just boils down to communication and being upfront with the customer.

Cash flowing winter projects can be a challenge, we’ve got two large ones open now and the weather is playing with us, but we are making progress and we aren't upside down on either one. However, we’ve talked with both customers about this going into the winter and they understand the payment strategy.

Bottom line: Be careful working in the winter, discounts is not always the best option. Thinking ahead will often save you a lot of aggravation.

Just my two cents...

Junior M
01-03-2009, 03:07 PM
Any update on your current jobs? Maybe some pictures?

etwman
01-03-2009, 03:15 PM
The one job all the pavers are done in the back yard, around the pool, upper patio, and up to the driveway. The kitchen is fully blocked up and the veneer and tile is going on Monday. On Friday we wripped out the driveway and have begun prepping it for base (154 ton going in Monday). By the end of next week we should have pavers down in the driveway, kitchen veneered, appliances in, and waiting on the counter top. All this is being done in house so we control our own destiny, assuming the weather cooperates. Good news it is 4 miles from our shop so travel isn't a major issue.

Will post pics of that one later this week.

johnnybravo8802
01-03-2009, 08:36 PM
I'm too busy mowing to wash my equipment that much!!!! Also, with the watering bans, they won't allow it here.

PlatinumLandCon
01-14-2009, 11:00 PM
How's everything going with the driveway?

MudFlapLip
01-15-2009, 07:22 PM
pj-

"No back vacs, we don't bag anything. We send it right back where it came from. We don't cut anything less than 3.5"

etwman

Yeah I'm a little behind on this thread. I'm also up in NEPA. What about in the spring a fall? Do you adjust your heights or do you just run it at 3.5 all year round. Sending it back where it came from, same here man.

PlatinumLandCon
01-15-2009, 07:27 PM
Yeah I'm a little behind on this thread. I'm also up in NEPA. What about in the spring a fall? Do you adjust your heights or do you just run it at 3.5 all year round. Sending it back where it came from, same here man.


Dude, when was that post from? They don't do maint work anymore.

MudFlapLip
01-15-2009, 10:46 PM
Dude, when was that post from? They don't do maint work anymore.

Like I said, I was a little behind on this one. The post was on page 1. I never had the time to read the whole thread. Just curious.

etwman
01-16-2009, 09:19 AM
Driveway was all dug out last week and stoned in with 132 tons in a day. We put the Freightliners on round trip and did it all in a day. Driveway is ready for pavers once the weather is condusive. I'll post pics later.

Right now I've escaped to NY for a 800 mile snowmobile trip, returning Sunday. The temp this morning is a balmy -26F. It adds a whole different experience to snowmobiling. I'd throw up a pic but the camera is frozen.

Tyler7692
01-16-2009, 10:48 AM
What kind of sleds do you run, ETWman?

Junior M
01-16-2009, 10:51 AM
Driveway was all dug out last week and stoned in with 132 tons in a day. We put the Freightliners on round trip and did it all in a day. Driveway is ready for pavers once the weather is condusive. I'll post pics later.

Right now I've escaped to NY for a 800 mile snowmobile trip, returning Sunday. The temp this morning is a balmy -26F. It adds a whole different experience to snowmobiling. I'd throw up a pic but the camera is frozen.
800miles on a snow mobile? That thing better have a cab before I'll be out in 26below...

etwman
01-18-2009, 03:11 PM
Here's a few pics of the driveway, nothing elaborate. We dug it out/stoned in with our equipment in an 8 hour day. The back kitchen is scratch coated, plumbing, electrical, and gas are all in. Veneer & tile going on next, appliances are all in, granite should be here soon, kitchen should be done in about a week. One good week of above freezing temps would finish all the hardscape... if I could get it.

Sled of choice: Ski Doo Rev XP Renegade X w/ the new 600 E-Tec. A true engineering marvel.

Kennedy Landscaping
01-18-2009, 03:24 PM
That looks great! I like that Freightliner in the first picture too.

Twitchy
01-18-2009, 05:44 PM
I gotta say this one of the best threads on this site for company growth and work pics. Congrats. Is that a topcon laser level in the driveway pics? If so how do you like it, i've been looking at that brand laser for about a week and heard mixed reviews. Also when you guys lay radius borders do you cut the border paver to make the curve tight or just fill the void in w/ poly sand. The reason i'm asking is because one of the patio pics looks like there are some big voids where the border separates the walk and the patio. I notice that you guys do everything but waterfalls especially into the pools, how come? Check out my threads w/ pics let me know what you think , i would appreciate your opinion. Thanks etwman.

etwman
01-18-2009, 06:36 PM
You won't go wrong with Topcon Lasers, at least that's my opinion. Get a self leveling one, and more often than not you can get a good deal on one at a winter trade show.

Most of our border we cut gaps larger than 1/8", smaller than that are usually poly sanded. You can argue that process up and down, but there has to be a happy medium. This entire patio hasn't been sanded yet because of the cold weather. Most of the gaps will be adjusted (or cut) before sanding. It'll take 2-3 skids of sand and a day with a crew to sand this whole project with the driveway.

We have done several waterfalls ourselves, the pool company did this one.

DVS Hardscaper
01-19-2009, 09:56 PM
Jarod, 'ol Buddy.......I must agree, the border gaps are quite wide.

A few years ago we put in this 600 SF lead walk. It didn't have a straight edge anywhere. And we mitered EVERY paver, just as we done with all our jobs.

When we finished the client said to me "Mr. Hardscape, you didn't tell me you were going to miter the border. That makes a world of difference. I suggest that in the future you inform your propsective clients that you do this because they may end up going with another contractor who doesn't miter the border, it's a win win for everyone"

Ever since I have taken his kind advice to heart.

mrusk
01-20-2009, 12:36 AM
Boarder gaps are too large but thats how they are in almost every job posted in this thread. And don't try to tell us you still have to cut them. That wont work now.

I am also alittle concerned with how the wall is stepped up in the last pic. Thats a bigger proablem then then big gaps on the pavers.

etwman
01-20-2009, 08:48 AM
Like I said anything over an 1/8" we mitre. Most of the pavers around the pool were mitred. I don't have to come up with excuses or explanations. We do what we do and everyone is entitled to their own opinion, which is fine. There's probably 3-4 there at the walkway border that could be mitred. I don't think we've been in business for 10 years, grown an average of 21% each year, have the backlog we do, and land the size projects we've done because our work is shady.

Matt, I'll assure you the wall will be fine when everything is excavated.

JRSlawn
01-20-2009, 09:16 AM
I agree there are a few by the walkway but I would like to see some projects from other one here who don't post pics I have seen some real hacked up patios over the years. P.S the patio looks bad ass I can't wait to see some pics of the entire project!

etwman
01-20-2009, 09:23 AM
I think Jeff posts a good point. There is no perfect company. There are things we have done that I wish would have done differently, but you know what you learn and improve. The first company that fails to continue learning is in trouble. Have we ever had a failed project, no, matter of fact we haven't had a recall in 3 1/2 years. The first company to admit they are perfect needs to take a hard look at their work.

Real Green
01-20-2009, 03:52 PM
I think Jeff posts a good point. There is no perfect company. There are things we have done that I wish would have done differently, but you know what you learn and improve. The first company that fails to continue learning is in trouble. Have we ever had a failed project, no, matter of fact we haven't had a recall in 3 1/2 years. The first company to admit they are perfect needs to take a hard look at their work.

Jarod,

That is so true and so often forgotten by many in this industry. Very good words for everyone to conduct business by! Thank you.

etwman
01-20-2009, 08:25 PM
Realized I didn't post these after construction. We have plans to add two more offices, security system/cameras, and a few other things. Outdoor display area material is being finalized. Reception area, my office, and the conference room pictured.

Heard today of a leading hardscape manufacturer that shut down all manufacturing facilities for two months and laid off 130 employees, sign of the times I suppose.

kreft
01-20-2009, 09:07 PM
Nice pad! This is connected to the shop right?

So do you have a hot secretary? haha

GroundScapesIncorporated
01-20-2009, 10:30 PM
Lookin good Jarod!!!!

jhgilliland
01-21-2009, 11:30 PM
Jarod, The office space looks incredible. You wouldnt even know it's the same area that i looked at when i was down a year ago. I hope all is well. Im ordering the switch n go the first of Feb. The truck is going for paint on monday or tuesday. Its really just minor stuff to finish. Ill shoot you some pics when it hits the road. Oh yeah; Keep up the good work!

mrusk
01-21-2009, 11:51 PM
I will agree no company is perfect. BUT that edging is spiked into dirt.

wayside
01-21-2009, 11:56 PM
Really nice office everything looks well put together. Any photos of where you store your trucks & everything else?

riverwalklandscaping
01-22-2009, 01:19 AM
Really nice office everything looks well put together. Any photos of where you store your trucks & everything else?

search the earlier parts of this thread there are pics of his stuff/shop

wayside
01-22-2009, 01:22 AM
search the earlier parts of this thread there are pics of his stuff/shop

Dont have time to sit looking page by page . I seen The older photos from the 1st few pages & all of the new work but i wanted to see an updated photo if he has made any changes to where he stores everything. but thanks tho

02DURAMAX
01-22-2009, 03:50 AM
Very Nice Office!

etwman
01-22-2009, 07:57 AM
Matt -

The edging is not spiked into dirt. I'm not going to go into a peeing match with you. All our patios/walkways area overstoned at least 6", driveway's a foot.

mrusk
01-22-2009, 09:42 AM
Matt -

The edging is not spiked into dirt. I'm not going to go into a peeing match with you. All our patios/walkways area overstoned at least 6", driveway's a foot.

Just checking.

Adam's Lawn and Garden
01-22-2009, 11:15 AM
I told myself not to get involved in this but I'm still baffled. Rusk do you really have nothing better to do than sit on here all day staring at pics of jarod's work and try to find problems? You know its okay for someone to have a bigger and better company than you. It's supposed to encourage you to be as good as you can. His jobs are some of the best if not the best on this site or anywhere. He didn't become a major supplier of photos to one of the leading hardscape suppliers by doing poor work. The area that jarod's located in I'd imagine the clients he does work for all know each other(since he mostly relies on word of mouth referral), and if he did bad work it would have affected his growth significantly by now. Well I'm done at the auto garage so I'm back to work.
Adam

CertPro
01-22-2009, 07:36 PM
Just because a job looks good when you are done does not necessarily mean it will look good in a few years.

PlatinumLandCon
01-22-2009, 10:33 PM
Just because a job looks good when you are done does not necessarily mean it will look good in a few years.

That's true but I think after 8 years of constant growth and impressive jobs, they know a thing or two about proper construction methods.

Lawnworks
01-22-2009, 10:47 PM
I told myself not to get involved in this but I'm still baffled. Rusk do you really have nothing better to do than sit on here all day staring at pics of jarod's work and try to find problems? You know its okay for someone to have a bigger and better company than you. It's supposed to encourage you to be as good as you can. His jobs are some of the best if not the best on this site or anywhere. He didn't become a major supplier of photos to one of the leading hardscape suppliers by doing poor work. The area that jarod's located in I'd imagine the clients he does work for all know each other(since he mostly relies on word of mouth referral), and if he did bad work it would have affected his growth significantly by now. Well I'm done at the auto garage so I'm back to work.
Adam

Those were some big gaps even to a non-hardscaper. If it wasn't ETW, would he REALLY be above reproach? I don't think so.

Adam's Lawn and Garden
01-23-2009, 12:30 AM
Do i think the gaps are big? A little, but I don't know a dang thing about patios, but he has proved himself to know more than enough about them. He's the kind of guy that if it was wrong, he would make his guys go back and fix it. Thus why his crew takes the amount of pics they do. Moving on. So how are you looking to arrange your crews next year jarod?

Adam

Gold Star Lawns
01-23-2009, 07:38 AM
I'm new..just joined yesterday(found this from ********?!?! don't ask how I found that before cuz I feel this site has a TON more info)...got sucked into this book....it's 5:33 am(evansville,in). Someone said in a early post that if your geared for an all-niter(I DID IT!) With that said--Nice thread...that can't justify it enough. Quality work and quality information from everyone. I tip my cap to you ETW for keeping this ship in its mature state. For we all know that these threads and forums and get ugly and non-informative in a hurry. OH and I'm going to go to bed so carry on......

CertPro
01-23-2009, 02:35 PM
No doubt Platinum, but some people can get caught up looking at huge patios and big, shiney trucks and can quickly forget what reallygoes into installing a quality job.

P.S. Adam, have you picked out a date as to when the surgeons will be removing you from ETWMan's anus?

wurkn with amish
01-23-2009, 04:40 PM
Lets not get our panties in a bunch here guys!
Take a look at the pic again. 1 gap is maybe 1/2" the rest are definitely under that
and when the sand gets swept in, you wont notice.
Look at the rest of the soldier courses and you wont see a problem.
Just one stupid gap and you would think you guys are gonna have a conniption fit!

Superior L & L
01-23-2009, 04:58 PM
Ok , you guy are all stupid. Most people on here that are commenting on ETW's work are probably 19 year old lawn mowing guys(nothing wrong with mowing guys) who have never done a paver in there lives. Im not a old timer but ive been "around" some time. Them posted pics are top notch quality. Im sure he will adjust 6-8 of the solider course and the only decent gap will be gone.

Until you have built a few projects at this level you will never understand all the different items that have to tie together and "work" There are many fixed points that have to be hit on a project of this size.

etwman
01-23-2009, 05:10 PM
You guys all need to just settle down a little bit, take some Ritalin for crying out loud. Its three gaps, good grief they'll be fixed before its sanded. There's nothing that can be done about it this second, there's a 4" frost line in the ground.

We had a warm day yesteday and today and were able to veneer the kitchen, I'll post pics of that later. I really like the veneer the customer picked, its different.

Attached I grabbed just three of over 34 project photos that were in various vendor catalogs for 2009. I could be wrong, but I don't think we'd have that many projects published if our work was that bad.

I am headed to Florida next week for additional meeting for futher golf courses we have on the hook in the northeast. More details to follow on those later. In the meantime try and control yourselves over a couple pavers.

Summit L & D
01-24-2009, 12:29 AM
Jarod, do you hire a professional photographer for your completion photos? Or, if you're doing it yourself, What setup are you using?

CertPro
01-24-2009, 08:09 AM
Typically when a manufacturer wants your project in their catalog they send out a professional photographer and they "stage" the site

etwman
01-24-2009, 08:42 AM
We use our own professional photographer, I'll take some myself or some vendors will send their own photographer. We've supplied pics to vendors as well (NY Projects), it all depends on the situation.

etwman
01-25-2009, 09:17 AM
Kitchen is veneered. Guys pulled a Saturday, believe it or not. Probably one of 5 I can count in the company's history, but it was totally thier choice and the weather was right. Employee dedication, my guys are great. We'll acid wash it yet to clean it up a little.

Under counter lights to light up the stone, tile backsplash, appliances, then counters. They picked a neat looking granite that'll compliment the stone nicely.

The next kitchen we're doing, which is blocked up, is about 4 times this size with natural stone. This is a good prequal.

Snow prediction this week, thorn in my side. I'm probably a minority with that, but that's about the last thing I want right now.

Junior M
01-25-2009, 09:27 AM
this is way off topic with what yall are talking about now, but what trucks do you have now? I mean like 2-FL70's 1-550...

EagleLandscape
01-25-2009, 09:37 AM
Jarod, can you tell me what all of these items are on the table, and what you use them for? I assume they are used during a customer meeting, or employee training?

stone kitchen looks good

thanks,

http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=132344&stc=1&d=1232497290

EagleLandscape
01-25-2009, 09:40 AM
jarod,

also, what is that stone on the right side that has a notch in it for?

http://www.lawnsite.com/attachment.php?attachmentid=132810&stc=1&d=1232889364

Junior M
01-25-2009, 09:48 AM
Jwing, that looks like it might be for a receptical or something of that sort.. Just a guess..

PlatinumLandCon
01-25-2009, 08:19 PM
ETW,
How do you incorporate so much creativity in each job you do? All the curves, different wall heights, colour blends, etc. I know you have 2 (or 3?) LA's working with you, but how did you find them? I have a couple projects coming up this summer that I feel have budgets warranting a full plan ($20k+) but I'm not sure where to start when looking for an architect. Any ideas or experience to share?

Thanks!

etwman
01-25-2009, 09:03 PM
Junior M - We've added some equipment from the last photo shoot and are putting some more together as we speak. I changed the graphics on one truck and am strongly contimplating doing all the others. When this is all said and done I'll attempt to get a picture of everything, but there is no telling when it will be. Remember a business isn't all about how much equipment one has, and surely isn't about how much NEW equipment one has.

jwingfield - Its mostly catalogs, product samples, etc. for customers we meet with in the conference room to go over plans.

Junior M
01-25-2009, 09:05 PM
Junior M - We've added some equipment from the last photo shoot and are putting some more together as we speak. I changed the graphics on one truck and am strongly contimplating doing all the others. When this is all said and done I'll attempt to get a picture of everything, but there is no telling when it will be. Remember a business isn't all about how much equipment one has, and surely isn't about how much NEW equipment one has.

jwingfield - Its mostly catalogs, product samples, etc. for customers we meet with in the conference room to go over plans.
I know its not, I am just curious of how you've changed and grown since the last photo which just contained the 2 FL70's your long bed GMC and I believe an F550? If I am thinking of the right thread..

etwman
01-25-2009, 09:11 PM
We've added more innovative equipment....we'll leave it in suspense for now.

In addition, we just hired four more guys full time with benefits in the past three months. So I would say we are definitely growing in a volitale time. The spring looks quite promising for us and we are currently maxed with our equipment, thus things will need to change once again.

CMLawnCare
01-25-2009, 09:12 PM
ETW-

PM about that Ski-Doo. Which 600 model was it? Very interested about those new BRP machines!

Junior M
01-25-2009, 09:12 PM
We've added more innovative equipment....we'll leave it in suspense for now.

In addition, we just hired four more guys full time with benefits in the past three months. So I would say we are definitely growing in a volitale time. The spring looks quite promising for us.
Wow, I am definetly excited to see the photo shoot, sounds like you've grown quite a bit..

CMLawnCare
01-25-2009, 09:21 PM
We've added more innovative equipment....we'll leave it in suspense for now.

In addition, we just hired four more guys full time with benefits in the past three months. So I would say we are definitely growing in a volitale time. The spring looks quite promising for us and we are currently maxed with our equipment, thus things will need to change once again.

Hey How do you operate in the winter months with "Full Time" employees? Assuming you don't do any more commercial snow removal

etwman
01-25-2009, 09:31 PM
We keep our selves pretty occupied, working on equipment, trade shows, etc. You can push on with some site work as long as you are careful with what you do and take the right precautions. You make the most of the good days you have.

We also have a bunch of custom cut paver work for one upcoming project that we are doing at our shop, will repalletize, and will take it to that project this spring.

Guys will take layoff if its really necessary, but the work is there and if we don't get on top of it by spring, we will be bottlenecked.

Supper Grassy
01-25-2009, 10:50 PM
Jarod

as usual thanks for keeping us updated

oakhillslandscaping
01-26-2009, 09:45 AM
jarod how come you changed the logo design on the trucks? i really liked it, said before and will continue you are living up to your slogan you truely are leaders in landscaping, do you guys still have the f550?


-thanks Steve

etwman
01-26-2009, 09:50 AM
We're just changing the graphics some, not the tag line. We incorporated over a year ago and needed to change things anyway. If I'm going to have to do that, I'll change a couple other things. The website will be getting an overhaul too. Its 3 years old and needs a facelift. I've seen some preliminaries for the new one and it'll put our current site to shame.

Yes we still have the 550.

jg244888
01-26-2009, 02:12 PM
I know this was a wile ago but what was the model of that little jcb backhoe you had?
Thanks