Techo Showcase & Showcase Project

Discussion in 'Hardscaping' started by DVS Hardscaper, Jan 19, 2013.

  1. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,405


    And see, thats exactly as it is with internet industry forums, such as Lawnsite. The same topics will always keep coming up, over and over. I have even thought about storing my responses in a Word file and just copy and paste. Same old, same old, yet many of us keep returning day after day, week after week, year after year.

    Is having 2 full size tractor trailers, all the sales reps, and the Showcase support team canvassing the United States and Canada worth the dreaded door hanger spiel? That's alotta glitter. Glitter baked into the cost of the product. Glitter that the other manufacturers are not sporting.

    Hardscape guys will always attend the Showcases. Even if for the next 5 years Pete still is preaching door hangers. We're not going to miss the opportunity to eat a free meal (compliments of OUR hardscape clients whom have selected to use Techo for their job). We're not going to miss the opportunity to see who from our area shows up. We're not going to miss the opportunity to network. But all those things have little to do with the message that Techo is trying to convey. Thus, making their objective counter productive, that is - as long as we're still hooked on the door hanger and mailer card spiel.

    Techo will never see this. Because their attendance numbers won't decrease, for the reasons I mentioned in the above paragragh. And their survey sheet doesnt really ask questions regarding the bordom of the door hanger and mailer card spiel.

    Pete made it clear at the Frederick MD show that Techo doesnt care what people online (people who are buyers of pavers and hardscape products) have to say about the show. (he was referring to himself, but he is the representative of his employer) He made it clear that Techo DOES NOT want business from these people. Keep in mind - many of us contractors have a conceived stereotype of our clients. And sales reps of hardscape products have a conceived stereotype of the contractors that buy from them :) Except we contractors don't broadcast to our existing and or previous clients such thoughts....

    In another thread - ETWMan said it best when he said Techo needs to come up with a new format.



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    Last edited: Mar 3, 2013
  2. Gilmore.Landscaping

    Gilmore.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 645

    So I attended my first Techo/Paver Pete showcase earlier this week. Interesting to say the least.
    Here are my points about it.

    1. Doorhangers/mailer are great but NOT with a techo Logo on them! As one person brought up they did the techo doorhangers last year and when following up in neighhbour hoods or home shows the potential client said they got the flyer but only looked up techo bloc not his company. If I am going to spend the money on flyers/door hangers I want my logo and my logo only. Sorry Techo.

    2. Paver Pete is a pretty aggressive guy. I understand he wants to captivate his audience and get his point across but yelling at people at close range to get your point across. Major loose.

    3. Definitely a blah design/install for the showcase project. There main field gray pavers where highlighted with different grey pavers, complemented by....wait for it......more grey pavers. The expansive hard surfaces with planting only being introduced around the perimeter was hard to look at

    4. I understand his point about not building against house walls, but the scenario he showed was very specific and not at all common around here. He also kept saying not the build against foundation walls and that he is building his own wall in front, but in his example that was not a foundation but a wood framed siding covered wall. Anyway this seemed much more confusing then it needed to be and I feel sorry for anyone who is slightly new to hardscape construction because I think he make it more complicated then it actually was.

    5. His segment on lighting and planting where horrible worded and was awkward to watch. He clearly knows nothing when it comes to either of them and it showed. Would have been better to leave those parts out and let the kichler lighting rep who was at the show speak if anything.

    6. Techo has some weird products that are not even close to worth the money. The new counter top thing. 2'x3' sections at $240 each? I could get granite counters for that price and would look 100% better without all the seems.

    Would I go again? I might stop my at lunch for their new product trailers and free food but would not waste my hole day sitting through that again.
     
  3. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    I think a lot of contractors in my market took Pete's admonition to not build against a new house to heart. I met with a client today who's building a house. After talking to several contractors they've decided to hire a designer first, but she made the comment "several of the guys I talked to said they can't build a patio within 5-10' of the house since it's new construction. What do you think about that?" Love it. Hey, whatever gives me my big fat planting beds for my big fat happy plants.
     
  4. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,405

    Although papercutter, that's common sense. Most of us contractors have all learned lessons the hard way about new fresh backfill.
    Posted via Mobile Device
     
  5. Gilmore.Landscaping

    Gilmore.Landscaping LawnSite Senior Member
    from Ontario
    Posts: 645

    As much as that is true, and as DVS said because of the fresh backfill close to the house, I have been in many new neighbourhood where the entire site is new backfill. And how do you propose not having anything within 10' of the house? are they just going to go out their door walk across grass to get to their new patio? Its tough turning down business because someone want a patio NOW and "The other contractor said they could do it". We try the educate and even when I think I have gotten it across to the client I will drive by later and boom new patio. :nono:
     
  6. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    I have been in business since 2008 in this area and have worked here since 2005. In all those sales calls I think this is the second, maybe third time a homeowner has ever mentioned hearing this. If she really did hear this from "several" contractors, something's changed. I know Pete banged that gong pretty hard at the Dulles showcase. Or maybe it's being brought up at ICPI classes, or....? It just struck me as odd after all these years.

    Gilmore, on this one we'll do a small deck off the back of the house big enough for a small seating grouping and a set of steps to grade. This house has an ugly set of basement steps smack in the middle of the back of the house so sliding the patio away from that mess isn't breaking my heart any.
     
  7. DVS Hardscaper

    DVS Hardscaper LawnSite Fanatic
    Posts: 6,405

    I certainly do not believe a block sales rep has anything to do with this.

    Keep in mind these facts:

    1) Pavers are more common today then they were in 2005, 2006, 2008. So contractors that have been doing pavers since 2005 have had time to have failures and learn from them. See, when you're a new contractor - everything is new, you haven't been around long enough to know right from wrong. Now guys are getting more time under their belts and they're learning.

    2) We have industry forums such as Lawnsite and we have posts like I have previously created drawing awareness to such issues. I have created threads on nearly every subject the pertains to reality that you can think of :) Word is getting out!

    3) also, this client of your has done her homework in regards to who she has called for estimates. She obviously has called only the better contractors and has weeded out the guys from Craigslist.
     
  8. PaperCutter

    PaperCutter LawnSite Bronze Member
    Posts: 1,938

    Interesting that we knew about settlement and overdig in '05 then. My mom was right, I AM a genius! Suck on that, Miami University.

    Hey, it's not like it matters to me one way or the other, I just wonder if there isn't some correlation. Contractors talking about it at all is a pretty big sea change from where I'm sitting.
     
  9. mrusk

    mrusk LawnSite Gold Member
    Posts: 3,260

    The thing is, if you are building against a house that is under 10-15 years old you need to do things differently. Waiting a year or 2 or 5 to build against a house is not going to make a difference! If a house has 7' of backfill against the house and it settles 1% its still an inch. How will you steps look when they drop an inch?
     
  10. MJK

    MJK LawnSite Senior Member
    Posts: 356

    I made this exact discussion a topic yesterday, asking what to do different on new construction installs.

    After reading around the only answer seems to be stated that you need to do something different, what that different is never seems to be stated and then the words don’t do it, or tell them to wait follows shortly after.

    I’m pretty sure everyone isn’t turning away new home installs since they are some of the most profitable kinds of installations we can do. Unless everyone only works on homes that are built on estate size lots, you really have no choice other then to put a patio right off the door wall of the house.

    So again I ask, what can you do different when installing?
     

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