Concrete Curbing

Discussion in 'Landscape Architecture and Design' started by emil35, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    Anyone in here do the concrete curbing? Was looking at it the other day and looks interesting. Is it a good money maker? If you had to choose between the curbing and mowing, which one would you go with? Thanks
     
  2. AGLA

    AGLA LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,749

    How many people want there lawn mowed? How many people want concrete curbing? If you are starting out, you'll quickly find that it is harder to start out with a specialized service than offering a wider variety of more commonly needed services. Specialization is something to work toward as you have enough work to sustain it.

    It is like fishing in order to eat. You throw out a big net into the middle of a pond and catch all kinds of little fish and get a meal out of it. Or, you target big lake trout that are few and far between. When you catch one, you eat well. You probably will catch more lake trout after you have been fishing for them for a long time and learn how to catch them. If you are hungry, you may starve before you catch a sustainable amount of lake trout.
     
  3. Randy J

    Randy J LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,124

    I would reckon it depends on your market. If you're in a large metropolitan area, you could probably do well with concrete curbing. But I'd hate to depend on it for my sole service in a smaller area. As AGLA said mowing would probably be a much safer bet there.
     
  4. Kurbing Man

    Kurbing Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    I do Concret Edeging in NC and it is not very big here Thats why I'm going back to lawn care
     
  5. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    Those are good points to bring up. Here's my situation to better explain my interest in the curbing. In my area when I really started mowing about 5 years ago and buying commercial equipment for it, the mowing was pretty good for there were the few bigger guys and the long time smaller guys, but everyone charged reasonable prices and so forth. However now days in the growing season, every other truck another here has a lawn mower and trailer behind it, most without insurance, cutting lawns for $5/cut. Since I'm going to be going to college next fall and don't really want to have to cut a hundred lawns a week to make some extra cash, I thought the curbing would be a nice niche market...unless you guys know of any better niche markets I should look into. I'm going to stay in the mowing but only service the customers that pay well and respect my work. All the ones that only try to price shop and get it done cheap can go elsewhere. I'll have enough mowing accounts to cover my overhead and about half of my college expenses, but I still need more. Just not sure if it's worth trying to mow 10 lawns or more a day at a reduced price to get the work and be in class everyday, or cut on the weekends and do curbing jobs as I get them and start booking them once I get known for my work. What do you guys think I should do? plaease and thank you!!
     
  6. Dirty Water

    Dirty Water LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,794

    A buddy of mine has done curbing for 3 years.

    He is a firefighter, and does curbing on his 4 days off (lucky SOB). If it wasn't for the firefighting he wouldn't have made it. He shut the business down this year.

    I think you need to more a little more diverse. Out here most landscapers won't sub a dedicated curb guy either, because they would rather make more money using SRW type borders.
     
  7. emil35

    emil35 LawnSite Member
    Posts: 213

    Alright, well it sounds to me like the curbing is kinda up in the air...may sell, may not. So until I know it would be profitable, its not worth doing at this time. So what do you guys think I should do to earn some more towards college. I've though about irrigation maintance and perhaps installation, skid steer work, fertilization...what do you think would be the best thing for me to do? Thanks again for all your advice
     
  8. Kurbing Man

    Kurbing Man LawnSite Member
    Posts: 2

    Like I said I do curbing in NC and some say it is ok. I just have not found the right type of customers. I dicided to go back to lawn care and try to use the lawn care to get the curbing started. I to am also a firefighter and do this on My four day break (sorry guys) but some one has to do it. I will tell you do not jump in to the water and buy the whole set up I just bought just the the basics and figer I build it from there. That was the best thing I ever did.
     
  9. Mr. Vern

    Mr. Vern LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 632

    Here's what I would do. Open the local yellow pages and count the number of curbing companies. Then call a couple of them and get some quotes. If the prices come in at or above $4.00/foot for standard gray curbing, you might be in a good market. Next you want to ask the guys how backlogged they are. If they can get to you in the next week or two, it might be a saturated or not yet educated market. I would also find the newer nicer neighborhoods and drive them. I would count each lawn that has curbing and get the percentage of lawns that have it. I would say if you get a 10% or higher and the prices are high and backlogs exist; you are in a good market. Next I would look at the methods of advertising that the guys are using. It's helpful to know how aggressively they are having to advertise in order to stay busy. If you find there is good product awareness (which the percentage of installed will indicate) and the competition is light, go for it. It is a potentially lucrative business. We are doing very well with it and it is easy money once you know the business. Make sure you do the marketing research first though, the last thing you want to do is buy a machine and have to lowball to get work. That will just stress you out and cause the other guys to struggle and then nobody wins.
     
  10. bobbygedd

    bobbygedd LawnSite Fanatic
    from NJ
    Posts: 10,178

    i know a guy personally who has been in this "curbing" business for 3 years. it's a big loser. don't waste your time + money
     

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