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Old 08-27-2012, 10:50 PM
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Originally Posted by MDLawn View Post
Also I know it's not completed yet but all comments/suggestions are welcome. If a negative one, which are fine, I just ask that you supply the better solution or way as have already been done a few times. Also remember this is the first one I have ever done without any prior experience working for a landscaper who does this type of work. First time with compactors, wet diamond saw, and pavers for that matter, etc.... Most of you guys here do execptional work and I know this is not going to be remotely close to the product you offer your clients.

A few things I have learned along the way:

- Should have started with a more simple project.

- Takes much more time than you think (especially for first time). Even us veteran contractors will get at least 1 to 2 jobs a year that take longer then we ever thought

- Totally wasted some money in rentals, as stated above, due in part to thinking I'd be moving quicker. When renting - sometimes renting for weekly periods are cheaper then daily periods.

- Don't put base stone on any soft surface. Luckily we have soil from removal to spread around and seed.
Sometimes you can't avoid dumping aggregate on the lawn. But you need to account for this when you price the job. If the job will take 15 tons - factor in an additional 3 tons to compensate for the aggregate you lose in the lawn. And factor in a couple yards of top soil for repairing the area when you're done.
- Leveling the base is so important and mine is off just a bit and you can see it, luckily still pitched away from the house though. This will account for 50% of the labor time. We use a string line and line level for leveing the aggregate base. With the line you have a visual and can see what's going on. Whereas, if you use a laser level - you don't have the visual that tells the whole story.

- Laying pavers by yourself takes A LOT of time. Having someone be able to at least stage them for you is a time saver! I think many of you may think the term HARDscaping refers to my chest - but no, the work is called "HARDscaping" for a reason

- Cutting pavers takes a lot of time Yes it does. And making perfect, clean, crisp cuts takes even longer. As mentioned in an earlier thread 0 we do almost all of our cutting with a table saw, we do not use a cut off saw. We sell craftsmanship. Not a production tract home.

- All the small things you can't envision happening without doing many many installs. Such as daily cleaning of the driveway and street. I', pricing a large patio for a repeat customer - just sweeping the poly sand in is going to take 2 guys about 1/2 a day. Of non-stop brooming.

Hopefully my brother gets to enjoy his patio for a long time and thanks to him for willing to sacrifice himself for my rookie mistakes.

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