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ICPI certified?

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by LawnBoy89, Oct 28, 2007.

  1. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 967

    Where can I become ICPI certified? I really don't know much about hardscaping but from what I see it looks like a very profitable business. I don't want to have to give up my 55 lawn maintnence accounts to acheive this though. Will getting certified teach me everything I need to know to do really good work?
  2. PlatinumLandCon

    PlatinumLandCon LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,315

    There was a recent thread on this. Do a search. To answer the question, just google them and search their site.

    I'm not a big hardscaper but from listening to guys here, it isn't as easy as it looks. You have ******** charging almost nothing to install and HO's that are looking for cut-throat prices. Don't get me wrong, its definitly possible to make a good living, its hard when starting out but once you're rolling, its much easier.

    You should consider expanding the lawn service and maybe move into landscaping and additional property services like mulching and that sort of thing.
  3. kootoomootoo

    kootoomootoo LawnSite Platinum Member
    Posts: 4,369

    yep 2 days answer a few multi guess and you are certified.

  4. tjsquickcuts

    tjsquickcuts LawnSite Senior Member
    from Atlanta
    Posts: 943

    Me and 2 of my guys just finished up some classes by Allan Block last week. We also have more classes set for ICPI cert coming up in Jan. and Feb and will be going to Nashville for a 4 hardscape show in Feb. We also drove up to Indy to visit with EP Henry and check out their product. Found out We have a rep here in Atl which is good. I do agree that it does only take 2 days to become certified, but it takes years to gain the experience. I learned so many little things I didnt know before hand so I feel the time and money we spent was worth it. Also learned a lot more about the target market area we should shoot for and mainly target. There are only about 4 guys in Atlanta that are ICPI cert, so the market here is wide open here.
  5. pj550v12

    pj550v12 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 302

    Its not so much the fact that unless you're certified, you're not capable of doing the job. Its more of the marketability of your company, in being able to say you have it. In my opinion it would be easier to sell yourself with the certification and some experience, than no certification and a lot of experience (aside from the non-certified installer having a vast portfolio, or reputable name, which I'm sure some do).

    Then again, thats just my opinion with personal experiences, not with the certification since I dont yet have it, but would like to soon, but with almost anything. It's easier to sell educated and certified services than those that aren't. Basically, selling yourself as an ICPI certification CAN show some one that you're educated on the latest, most proven techniques, and that you made the effort that many dont, to go that extra step.

    This is just one way to look at it, people will argue until the cows come home on the subject, but rather than argue, look at it from this point of view, and all others, then asses which direction, and decision would be the most benificial for your company.
  6. STL Ponds and Waterfalls

    STL Ponds and Waterfalls LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,177

    You do learn a lot and it gives you the basics for doing pavers. No matter what you need real world experience to be a paver pro. It cost $250 for 5 years which is better than some other marketing I've used in the past. Get your cert, research, read,read, read and read as much info as you can find. Than do a few jobs for friends and family to get some real world practice. Don't let anyone tell you different. Everyone has to start at the bottom.
  7. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    My honest opioion is, unless you are doing high end work its very hard to make a living. There are to many companies out there working cheap and deliverying a infeior product. THe worse part is many homeowners can not tell the difference between a good cut and a bad cut. I've seen huge paver jobs on million dollar houses with big 1 inch gaps in the boarder courses and the homeowners think nothing of it.

    I flat out think its foolish to do any job that under 10k unless its for a repeat customer. Face it, the smaller the job, the more guys that (think they) are capable of doing it. Then they bid it cheap and do a bad job. But majority of the time the ho does not realize their patio, walkway or whatever looks like schit.

    Unless your doing high end work, you really will not make all that much more money hardscaping over lawn work. Heck the real money is in plantings anyway!
  8. LawnBoy89

    LawnBoy89 LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 967

    I was under the impression that the only hardscaping work most of the time was high end work because anyone else wouldn't be able to afford it..

    Anyways, I'm going to see what happens with this certification stuff over the winter research it and what not then I have alot of work I can do just between my house and my grandmothers to play around with pavers and walls.
  9. LB1234

    LB1234 LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,210

    I just received my ICPI certification this past spring. Basically its a two day course that you can register for online (or at least print out the registration and fax it in). You then can download the book and start reading before the class. The first day you go over the first 3/4 of the book. The next morning you finish it. Then you take the test in the afternoon.

    Its closed book, multiple choice. About half hour before the test the instructors go over just about everything that needs to be answered. IMHO, you need to be paying no attention at all to not pass this test. I thought it kinda took away from being able to claim that you were 'certified'. Bottom line, I thought it was a little too easy to become certified.

    With that said I felt the course was very good and I recomend it to everyone. Will you learn everything you need to know from it? Absolutely not. The only way to really learn is to do it. However, I felt the main reason the course was good was due to the instructors we had. It was more an open forum/discussion than a lecture or class. I can read a book and follow minimum requirements...anybody can do that.

    However, the book doesn't provide answers to specific questions regarding contracts or real world situatons with getting paid or when to use one cutting technique over the other.
  10. McLandscapingInc

    McLandscapingInc LawnSite Member
    Posts: 66

    The ICPI course is ten times cheaper than doing the job wrong, and going back to fix it. The food isn't bad either..

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