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Residential Seal Coating

Discussion in 'Seal Coating Forum' started by FIREMAN Q, Jul 10, 2006.


    FIREMAN Q LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 260

    I'm looking to add another service to my business. I am thinking of seal coating driveways. Nothing to large. I do know that I don't want to buy any machines. I was hoping to be able to do it by the bucket.

    I have no experience in this so any tips would be appreciated.

    I know that $$ is always a tuff question, but what should I even be charging for this service, by the bucket, sq foot, etc. Also how much on average does everyone get for a driveway. Lets say a 1000sq drive. I believe that I would need about 7 buckets???

    thanks in advance for any advice. thanks.
  2. onahill

    onahill LawnSite Member
    from mn
    Posts: 65

    Get a 55gal drum. The kind the whole top comes off and buy your sealer in bulk.
    You don't want to mess around with 5gal pails.
    Bulk sealer is much cheaper than buying it in 5gal buckets.

    A 1000sq will be around $100 for the average drive.
  3. Coater

    Coater LawnSite Member
    from MI.
    Posts: 51

    FireMann I've got a few water hoses sitting around and some ladders, and I'd like to start putting out fires can you help me?

    You know I've got at least 20 K invested in my business I do Professional Seal jobs. If you would see mine next to one done out of buckets its not even close. Whenever I go to a job done UN professionally and charge what I need to after someone has done an amateur job its hard explaining to them the difference and prove to them that my jobs last twice as long

    Have you researched the business have you read spec's on material, Do you know that you need to add sand to sealer? My Min is 3 LB per gal of sealer.
    Do you know that a sealed driveway is slippery when wet and that the nice old lady you sealed her driveway for mite slip on her way to the mail box!

    All I'm saying is if your going to do it do it right! And good luck.
  4. kirk brown

    kirk brown LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 164


    i do some sidejobs with a bucket and roller and there is no way you could say which one is which.
    you don`t need 20k to get in business you need 100$ and some ambition
  5. Coater

    Coater LawnSite Member
    from MI.
    Posts: 51

    i do some sidejobs with a bucket and roller and there is no way you could say which one is which.

    I'd bet you 20,000 You could see the the difference!! That just tell me you don't have a clue to what a pro seal job is!! A ROLLER? Come on!
    I hope y'all carry lib insurance for that slip and fall
  6. kirk brown

    kirk brown LawnSite Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 164

    ok let this be a lesson to everyone.
    don`t add this service your business unless you going to invest big money, if you don`t "coater" will know how you applied it and it won`t look good.
    i guess i never made any profit with this business and my customers must be angry to???????
  7. Coater

    Coater LawnSite Member
    from MI.
    Posts: 51

    i guess i never made any profit with this business and my customers must be angry to???????

    O, I'm sure you made a profit. It may have took you all day for something I do in hour or less.

    Look, If ya just seen it done right once you would know what I mean in the difference of quality. Ive done seal-coating off and on for over twenty-five years and most of that time I was doing it wrong, But now I know the right way. This is what I'm trying to tell y'all if your going to do seal-coating spend some time and research it. learn the correct way.

    You guys in lawn service, it would be like me cutting grass with a push mower, something that would take me all day to do with the right equipment y'all can come in there and get-r-done in thirty minutes
  8. yes finally i can make fun of square plastic tanks without somebody talking smack and have Coater to back me up.

    I started out with a 55 gallon drum which I then transfered into buckets. a 1000sq feet should be $200, but it depends on your market really.

    I don't know, I just started this biz last year, started out the hard way, and this year bought a 700 gallon trailer/tank that cost me over $18,000 by the time i was done paying taxes, custom paint, shipping charges, etc etc

    BUT, I now have a PROFESSIONAL, RELIABLE machine that gives me the capacity to seal huge parking lots, and lets me seal and keep sealing driveways insted of wasting time and money running to the plant for another 55 gallons of sealer.

    Trust me, I started with drums and buckets cuz i had to, and it was the single biggest waste of time ever. Mixing buckets with an electric drill and paddle just so you can seal, total pain. Plus I trashed my truck transfering the sealer from drum to bucket (how else are you going to lift a 550+ lb drum of sealer?)

    I am now probably one of the fastest growing companies in the area. When people see a tank like that, and a quality, professional job, I get tons of leads/jobs off everyone I do if its on a main road. Obviously that speaks for itself. I would still get leads doing it by bucket, but not nearly as many and people would just be like "hmm".

    And don't even bother doing it with home store stuff, that stuff is designed to be user friendly for the average homeowner, and you would just be doing something the homeowner would do himself. At least buy your products in bulk from a good distributor or manufacturer.

    And a bucket and drum will never give you the ability to mix up extra heavy sandloads with latex-epoxy additives and keep it mixed uniformly during the whole proccess. My jobs still look good from last year, but this years jobs will be even better.

    If you are serious about getting into the business, spend the money to do it right. You wouldnt run a professional landscaping company with a 21" Homedepot mower, would you? Would you open up an autobody shop with a cans of spraypaint and a can of bondo?

    And don't use a roller, squeegee or brush all the way.
  9. Coater

    Coater LawnSite Member
    from MI.
    Posts: 51

    I seen a homeowner bent over today with a roller:hammerhead: his son had a roller with a stick he looked real happy :cry: I just wanted to laugh. I stoped in and told him next time call me. I'll do it prob for what you paid for the buckets and a lot better :laugh:
  10. Watkinslawnservice

    Watkinslawnservice LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 378

    OK heres the deal, I don't really know much about sealcoating and would never doubt that you probably do a better job than someone with a bucket and squee-gee. But before you get all high and mighty about your $18,000 machines that you bought and need to feel good about, please realize that a lot of these people who are asking questions about this line of work are contemplating a sideline to get them by during the slow times in the lawncare industry. For most of them an $18,000 machine would have a hard time paying for its self.
    As far as doing a "professional" job with buckets, the company in my area that is considered the most reputable is called Jet Black. They are a national or at least regional franchise that has probably hundreds of franchise owners. A friend of mine gets his driveway done every 2 years by the franchise in our area and I have watched him do it with buckets! That seems to be the way they do it.

    Also please try to remember that it seems that the bucket and squee-gee method is what you both started with. Why was it ok for you to start that way but everyone else should start out $18,000 in the hole? Coater when you started did you research the biz? Did you read specs on materials? Did you know that you needed to add sand? Did you know that it was slippery or did you find out the hard way?

    As far as the analogy about cutting grass with a push mower goes, if you do a search on this site you will see that there are a lot of very successfull LCOs who do use push mowers and have over 9 crews of employees pushing them. So there is a place for every piece of equipment. All of my accounts could be done with a push mower and would look just as good when finished I just wouldn't get as many done in a day. But then again I would still have the money I paid for my stander.

    We appreciate your honesty and insight but please try to do it in a less demeaning way. Not everyone is as smart as you.

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